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...

    Adolescents and Youth in South Asia: A Force to Reckon With

    Winter Edition , “The future of our nation depends on the worth, capabilities and motivation of today’s youth. Therefore, I will not rest until I have given you the inspiration, knowledge and skills so that you will not only fulfill your own aspirations but be of immense worth to the nation. This...

    The State and Its Institutions

    Winter Edition , On April 13, 1655, Louis XIV, King of France (1638-1715), addressed the Parliament of Paris, famously declaring, ‘L’Etat, c’est moi (I am the state)’. It is also said that on his deathbed he declared, ‘I am going away, but the state will always remain’. The difference in these two...

    The Traditional Institutions of Governance in Bhutan Before 1907 and their Modification with the Coming of the Monarchy

    Winter Edition , History of Governing Institutions Before the Zhabdrung Rinpoche The governing institutions of any country are rooted in the founding principles and social history of its people. Prior to the country’s unification during the 17th century, Bhutan consisted of numerous independent communities of diverse origin. Governing institutions from that era...

    Institutional Setting: The Role of the Unheralded Factor in Bhutan’s Growth Story

    Winter Edition , What are Institutions and Why Do They Matter? This year Bhutan was found eligible for graduation away from Least Developed Country (LDC) status, a group of 49 countries facing deep structural impediments to development. Its stellar performance in improving social outcomes and in raising average incomes provided the justification...

    The Changing Role of the Bhutanese Civil Service within the Bhutanese State

    Winter Edition , Introduction The changing role of public administration globally is often portrayed using the analogy of a boat. The functions of public officials have been associated with ‘rowing’ and ‘steering’ the boat.1 These two functions are reflective of the models of public administration. Rowing represents the hierarchy or the bureaucratic...