The future of Bhutan lies in the hands of Bhutanese youth. Does it? At a recent Druk Journal Conversation one participant argued that the future is decided by today’s leaders who make the decisions that determine this future. And youth have no say in these decisions. However, the fact remains that today’s youth will be the active citizens of tomorrow’s Bhutan. How they will live, how society will function, and how Bhutan will grow depends a lot on how they are shaped by today’s socio-economic, cultural and political environment. So how are Bhutanese youth being nurtured and brought up? What kind of education and other forms of learning are they being exposed to? What are the values that are being nurtured in today’s children? Who are their role models? How is the realm of social media affecting them? For some, the word “youth” is synonymous with “problems”. Are we forgetting their dreams and aspirations? How about their successes? Are youth being given the opportunity to think critically and to express themselves? What can young people do and what they are doing? What do youth cost society and what do they contribute? The fourth issue of the Druk Journal explores these questions so that Bhutanese society—leaders, thinkers, policy makers, civil society, media, youth themselves—get a deeper insight into the situation of today’s youth. On the premise that we do have youth “issues” that are of concern to us all, we need to understand the experience of Bhutanese youth in a rapidly changing society. And we need to know what all of us must do to ensure that we indeed leave Bhutan in the hands of a generation of productive and capable citizens. The objective of this issue is to initiate and encourage a high level discourse that will provide Bhutanese decision makers, parents and teachers, youth, and society as a whole with a deeper understanding of the situation of Bhutanese youth. We look at this situation, analytically, from different angles, its causes and conditions, going beyond facts and figures and symptoms. This is a mandate that has been expressed in a Royal Command of His Majesty the King to young Bhutanese: Our nation’s vision can only be fulfilled if the scope of our dreams and aspirations are matched by the reality of our commitment to nurturing our future citizens… Therefore, I will not rest until I have given you inspiration, knowledge, and skills so that you will not only fulfill your own aspirations, but be of immense worth to the nation.

Youth Matters

Winter 2016 Volume 2, Issue 2

Table of Contents

Wither Youth?

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

Bhutan’s National Youth Policy: A Gap Between Commitment and Output?
Tashi Choden

Unintended Forces That Shape Youth Values: A Theoretical Analysis of the Implicit Messages in the Structure and Processes of School Education Shaping Youth Development
Chencho Lhamu

Reflecting on the Past to Forge the Future: What Can Modern Bhutan Learn From Ling Gesar’s Youthful Bodhisattva Warriors?
Sonam Chuki

Youth in Bhutan: Dreams and Dilemmas

The Promise of Broken Youth: A Positive Perspective
Karma Phuntsho

Dreams, Opportunities, and Realities
Gopilal Acharya

Let’s Focus on the Gaps: Educational Disparities and Youth Potential in Bhutan
Pema Tshomo

“I Didn’t Know What I Was Capable Of”: The Voice Of a Bhutanese Youth
Riikka Suhonen

Raising Them Right: Role of Adults in Shaping Youth
Pem Lama

Protecting Children in Bhutan from Violence: A Call to Action
Aniruddha Kulkarni

Recreation for Youth
Peky Samal

Leveraging Youth Groups for Change
Tim Huang

Surviving in a Sea of Information
Rabi Dahal

Youth in Other Societies

Effects of Rapid Urbanisation on Youth in Mongolia
Badruun Gardi and Anudari Dashdorj

Youth Participation in Democracy: The Danish Experience
Julia Raavad

Korean Youth Flap Their Wings Towards Their Dreams
Mina Kim and Yoonpyo Jeong

The Need for Critical Thinking Against a Tide of Social Media
Tshering Eudön

The Interview

Inspired and Driven: Aiming High
Tshewang Dendup

Pursuing a Passion: Making a Dream Come True
Tenzin Rabgye