My lovely neighbour, Sue Hill, and her brother Pete are in Bhutan, having been invited to make new artwork and provide art direction for a brand new festival – the First Bhutan International Arts Festival (www.bhif.org) Feb 14th – 24th. They are working with a little gang of Cornish artists and local Bhutanese artists to decorate the site for the festival and to make a lantern wind-horse and ……
Sue has sent along the following photographs of their work, both in progress and made. Click on any photo for an enlargement and the caption.It looks like a wonderful place to be!
Thank you for the photos, Sue. Have a wonderful time for the rest of the festival.
Bhutan measures prosperity by gauging its citizens’ happiness levels, not the GDP. What a wonderful idea! I read that “A series of hand-painted signs dot the side of the winding mountain road that runs between the airport and the Bhutanese capital, Thimphu. Instead of commands to cut speed or check mirrors, they offer the traveller a series of life-affirming mantras. “Life is a journey! Complete it!” says one, while another urges drivers to, “Let nature be your guide”. Another, standing on the edge of a perilous curve, simply says: “Inconvenience regretted.” Fancy being greeted like that as you drive around your home town!
“It’s easy to mine the land and fish the seas and get rich,” says Thakur Singh Powdyel, Bhutan’s minister of education, who has become one of the most eloquent spokespeople for GNH. “Yet we believe you cannot have a prosperous nation in the long run that does not conserve its natural environment or take care of the wellbeing of its people, which is being borne out by what is happening to the outside world.”
Powdyel believes the world has misinterpreted Bhutan’s quest. “People always ask how can you possibly have a nation of happy people? But this is missing the point,” he says. “GNH is an aspiration, a set of guiding principles through which we are navigating our path towards a sustainable and equitable society. We believe the world needs to do the same before it is too late.”
You can read more by clicking on the red link.