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The University Buddhist Association of UCLA is an organization of students, faculty, and community members who come together to learn about and practice Buddhism. We're a non-sectarian Buddhist group that welcomes all Buddhists and non-Buddhist of all faiths and traditions.

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Sunday, November 9, 2008

Interesting Facts about Bhutan

Bhutan recently crowned Oxford-educted King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck as its fifth king. Here are some interesting facts about the country of Bhutan:

- Wedged between China and India, the tiny, isolated and land-locked nation of 47,000 sq km with a population of 600,000, controls several key Himalayan mountain passes. It takes its name - Druk Yul, the Land of the Thunder Dragon - from violent storms in the Himalayas.
- The conservative Buddhist kingdom has been ruled by a hereditary monarchy since Ugyen Wangchuck became its first king in 1907.
- Democratic reforms in July 1998 gave the National Assembly powers to remove the monarch with a two-thirds vote.

- More than 100,000 Bhutanese Lhotshampas (Hindus) have been confined in UN refugee camps in neighbouring Nepal since 1990, when they fled or were expelled after violent clashes fuelled by tensions with the Buddhist majority.

- Bhutan is one of the world's smallest and least developed economies. 63% of its labour force works in agriculture. Its per capita GDP (PPP) is US$5,200 (2007 estimate). Average life expectancy is 65.53 years and the literacy rate is 47%.

- In 1971, as Bhutan was admitted to the United Nations, the then King articulated the idea of Gross National Happiness, stressing happiness, self-reliance and prosperity as a more important development measure than Gross National Product.

- In December 2006, King Jigme Singye Wangchuck abdicated the throne to his son, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, to give him experience as head of state before the democratic transition.

1 comment:

bhutan holiday said...

Great post!! Bhutan has always fascinated me and i have always wondered how can a country be so happy without having material comforts of countries of western world.