Archives

Month: September 2016

Conversation on the 2nd and 3rd Issues of the Druk Journal, 14th September 2016

Conversation , The third issue of the Druk Journal, carrying the theme Bhutan and Modernity: Responding to Change, was released on 14th September 2016 at the third in the series of the Druk Journal Conversations in Thimphu. The event brought together 42 participants from the media, civil society, academia, political parties,...

Reflection on Modernisation and Westernisation

Summer Edition , Words, words, words. Words define our understanding of the world. Words structure our relationships with the world and with each other. Words make the past present to us and project us into the future. Words expose us to reality and enable us to hide from it. Words are the...

A Chasm Between Vision and Policy

Summer Edition , Decisions have shaped human history, established the current global scenarios, and will influence the future of mankind. Decisions have created the world’s systems of government, as well as the legal, economic and social order. As a country and as a society, we have reached where we have reached because...

Building Capacity Without Losing Capacity: Legal Change and Dispute Resolution in Bhutan

Summer Edition , The small group of elected village leaders—or Tshogpas—sat in the courtyard of a Gewog center (local administration office) in the Paro valley. To the left, the Paro Dzong presided majestically over a patchwork of green rice paddies. To the right, the upper reaches of the Paro valley stretched to...

An Analytical Look at Bhutan’s e-Governance Journey: Is the Glass Half-empty or Half-full?

Summer Edition , What is e-Governance? The UNESCO definition is: “e-Governance is the public sector’s use of information and communication technologies with the aim of improving information and service delivery, encouraging citizen participation in the decision-making process and making government more accountable, transparent and effective.”1 e-Governance involves new styles of leadership, new...

Creating Civil Society Space in Bhutan: When Citizens Become Responsible

Summer Edition , Introduction Just out of college, 22-year old Meera Ghalley stands before a room full of Tshogpas (elected local officials), town council members, representatives from nearby villages, the police force and the business sector. She presents a waste management plan, using a powerpoint and pictures of the Bondey market in...

Modernisation in the Service of Cultural Preservation: Discussion on Dzongkha Continues

Summer Edition , The Magical Secret of Phonology Linguistics is the science of language. Language science describes and analyses language phenomena in order to understand how language works. In England, Sir Isaac Newton described the phenomenon of gravity and the physics of movement with his laws of motion and gravitation. He did...

Blogging

Summer Edition , Blogging: The Early Days The “blog” as we know it now, was started as a personal homepage by a Chicago- born student named Justin Hall in January of 1994. Credited to be the world’s first ever blog––Links.net (http://www.links.net)––it is still in existence. During its initial days a blog was...

Bhutan’s Hand-woven Textile Cultural Heritage: A New Perspective of Conservation through Cultural Industry Development

Summer Edition , Introduction History and Current Context of Social Change in Bhutan The genesis of Bhutan’s modernisation can be attributed to the third Druk Gyalpo His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck (b.1929 – d.1972) who also initiated and instutionalised Bhutan’s Five-Year Plan (FYP) in 1961.1 The modernisation process was intensified by the...

Bhutanese Contemporary Art

Summer Edition , A ferocious mask with fangs, punishing eyes, and a crown of skulls fills the canvas. A set of eyes, almost lost behind the mask, peer through the gaping mouth. This painting of a traditional mask, depicting a Buddhist deity, is a modern take on what is traditional. These masks...

The Spiritual Dilemma of Modernisation

Summer Edition , Buddhist values are deeply rooted in our culture. To most Bhutanese, Buddhism and culture are probably inseparable. But times have changed and there is a somewhat obvious discrepancy between the values of Bhutan’s young generation and the values of our forefathers who emphasised devotion to the Buddha, Dharma and...

Bhutanese Health and the Health Care System: Past, Present, and Future

Summer Edition , Introduction It can be argued that the modernisation of Bhutan started in 1961 when the first five-year plan was rolled out. However, development of the health system we know today started long before that. The first agents of change that brought western (allopathic) medicine to Bhutan were British medical...

Trash versus Treasure

Summer Edition , In 2014, returning from a tour of the remote gewog of Lauri in Samdrup Jongkhar, I skirted the base of a village and entered a dense forest. As I admired the verdant vegetation, an incongruous sight greeted me: a hand painted notice placed atop a stick. Written in Dzongkha...

New Times, New Challenges for Bhutanese Youth

Summer Edition , Druk Journal (DJ) talks to Lama Shenphen Zangpo (LSZ) on youth-related issues in a society in evolution DJ: Lama, we know that you are helping our youth deal with a number of problems, including drug and alcohol addiction. Would you link these problems to change and modernisation that Bhutan...