The Bhutan’s 115th National Day: Of Triumphs and Trumpets


17 Dec 2022 It is hard find more resounding victory cry than stadium full of Bhutanese shouting ‘Gyelo’ (“victory”) to call of ‘Palden Drukpa’ (Bhutan) – stadium full of people who had congregated without any covid mandates. It was resounding cry for overwhelming victory over the invisible global enemy – the pandemic.

Had there been deaths only from covid and nothing else, then in this 2 years of pandemic, Bhutan have lost only 21 people – mostly those with pre-existing conditions. Except for 21 people, all people are here after 2 years of pandemic to congregate freely, in health and to express our gratitude to the monarchs. This is remarkable, if you consider that countries with better resources lost more than whole population of Bhutan. And it can be attributed entirely to our King – yes, there were support of the government, yes, there were support from international community, yes there were organizations and volunteers that came forward but all of them were led and were there because of the leadership of our King that stood steadfast, sacrificing more than any other, driven by genuine concern for people, being wise to be combine all of this goodwill with science.

And the congregation in Thimphu, with His Majesty set to attend, started to happen night before the actual national day. People stayed in the cold open stadium through the night as not to miss the chance to express their gratitude to the His Majesty the next day. This was in Thimphu, else where in other districts, people assembled only when the celebrations started on the 17th Dec, but still it was with no less gratitude and unrestricted celebration of the day like in Thimphu. The flags flew high all over and trumpets horn mingled with songs and laughter taking away memories of lockdowns and silent streets. In Thimphu, His Majesty addressed the nation and mentioned the volunteers, armed forces, people and other members of the royal family in overcoming the pandemic. Yet all of them knew the source and the grace.

His Majesty spoke of nation needing to develop and change for better, most of people remained grateful that they were safe and in position to even think about change – if not for His Majesty, one would not have seen this day. The national day is perhaps the most appropriate to express our gratitude to monarchs that came about this day bringing unprecedented peace and prosperity. Since 115 years ago, 1907 CE, the day Sir Ugyen Wangchuck was chosen to be first King of Bhutan, marked end of civil strife and start of era of growing prosperity and peace for the country. Each monarch, like His Majesty Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuck more than rose to occasion of their time’s challenges. The monarchs have remained to be anchor and manifestation of Bhutan’s protective deities.

Article by Original Bhutan; Pictures courtesy: Royal Media

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