Gross National Happiness

Lately, I’ve been getting heaps of new students from Bhutan, a tiny country tucked between India and China. I’m completely enamoured with their jangly ankle bracelets, nose rings and habits of dissolving into laughter over just about everything.When I googled their home country, I discovered that in addition to measuring Gross Domestic Product (like every other country) Bhutan is the only country in the world that measures happiness, via Gross National Happiness. Via wikipedia: The Bhutanese grounding in Buddhist ideals suggests that beneficial development of human society takes place when material and spiritual development occur side by side to complement and reinforce each other. The four pillars of GNH are the promotion of sustainable development, preservation and promotion of cultural values, conservation of the natural environment, and establishment of good governance.

Amazing, eh? Maybe all our governments could learn something from this tiny country.

16 Comments

cuileann

I remember reading about GNH a few years ago in the news. I turned to my roommate and exclaimed, "I think I'm in love with Bhutan!"

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la_vida_l0ca

We studied Bhutan in Politics because the king decided he wanted to make the country a democracy but everyone loved him so much they didn't really want a democracy πŸ™‚

I think we could all learn a lot from the happy Bhutanese people

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Luinae

I remember reading about it a few years ago- isn't it amazing?

My father had some friends who went to Bhutan, and they said they could have stayed their forever because it was so amazing.

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Anonymous

I read about this in an article on Buddhist economics for bus ethics class. Very, very cool!

I was linked to an article the other day about how detrimental long hours and commuting really are to happiness.

It inspired me to commit to selling my car when I leave the country and just keep my bike and motorcycle when I come back.

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Tarryn

This made me smile!
What an awesome concept. I totally love it. And that picture just makes me want to go there!!!

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Billie-Jo

I read about this in The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner.. he basically visits the happiest/unhappiest countries in the world and talks about why they're so happy/unhappy.

It's an awesome read!

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Anonymous

Indeed they should! I'd love to see that done here! What do they do when the gross national happiness is low though? Take them out for ice cream and tell them jokes ;p, hehe. Just kidding but I do kind of wonder what if any measures they take if the gross national happiness is low.

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mahantas

Just here to give another bump pup to Geography of Bliss, which has a part about Bhutan, like Billie-Jo said. I just finished re-reading it, it is really interesting!

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