Sunday, October 7, 2012

In Bhutan Happiness is the Measure of Success

Most countries' primary focus is increasing their national wealth and Gross Domestic Product, or GDP, but Bhutan is a different story. The Kingdom of Bhutan, a landlocked state in South Asia tucked neatly between the Himalayas, the Republic of India, and the People's Republic of China, prides itself not on their GDP, but on something else- a term they dubbed GNH. 

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GNH is a term coined in 1972 by Jigme Singye Wangchuck, Bhutan's fourth Dragon King. It stands for "Gross National Happiness". The term, GNH, serves to show Bhutan's dedication to building an economy based on Buddhist spiritual values

The leaders of Bhutan wished to prevent the loss of culture that seemed to occur with a country's increase in economic status. To prove their seriousness about this new development, Karma Ura developed a survey instrument designed to measure the population's general level of well-being.

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The "Four Pillars" of GNH are the promotion of sustainable development, preservation and promotion of cultural values, conservation of the natural environment, and the establishment of good governance

The government in Bhutan believes spiritual and psychological well being and happiness are far more important to a nation than wealth based on materials and economic status alone. 

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