Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Bhutan : National Day celebrations

Thousands of people packed the Changlimithang stadium today to celebrate the National Day. It was on this day in 1907 that the people of Bhutan unanimously elected Trongsa Penlop Gongsa Ugyen Wangchuck as the first hereditary monarch of Bhutan ushering in an unprecedented era of peace and prosperity. The celebration in Changlimithang was graced by His Majesty the King.

In his royal address on the National Day, His Majesty the King began by expressing his condolence for the families of the victims of the air crash in Nepal. His Majesty said he has been deeply saddened by the loss and asked the bereaved family members to remain strong.

His Majesty then spoke about the achievements over the last four years, the socio-economic development of the country, and the 10th Five Year Plan. His Majesty thanked His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo, on behalf of the Bhutanese people, for the peace, happiness and prosperity we enjoy today.

The main emphasis of the royal address however was on the responsibilities we all shoulder in further strengthening our nation.

His Majesty said “there is a higher responsibility…” apart from our responsibilities based on our professions whether they be in the civil service, business or even as parents and teachers.

His Majesty stressed the importance of “upholding values such as integrity, justice and compassion and above all living by that unwritten but absolute code of right over wrong, no matter what it is we are trying to achieve as individuals or as a nation.”

His Majesty said “while the objectives are important, the manner in which we achieve these objectives is a far more important indicator of our strength as a nation. We must achieve everything as a united harmonious family. I truly believe that it would be a great service to the nation if, as individuals, we always treat each other with respect and dignity.”

His Majesty said “a family in which there is deep discord between parent and child or brother and sister is unlikely to achieve anything that leads to lasting happiness. As a nation, it is no different.”

His Majesty reminded the gathering of the promise he made in his coronation address in 2008 that, “throughout my reign I will never rule you as a King. I will protect you as a parent, care for you as a brother and serve you as a son. I shall give you everything and keep nothing; I shall live such a life as a good human being that you may find it worthy to serve as an example for your children; I have no personal goals other than to fulfill your hopes and aspirations. I shall always serve you, day and night, in the spirit of kindness, justice and equality.’

His Majesty said he has “always taken every decision and carried out every action with this promise in mind.”

As artisans and common people performed folk dance and sang to entertain the crowd, His Majesty mingled with the crowd, walking through the stadium, stopping every now and then to talk to people, enquiring about their life, picking up children or holding the hands of the elderly.


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