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The Buddhist Kingdom of Bhutan is just
about the poorest nation on earth,
sandwiched between India and China
(Tibet) and regarded as a buffer state
by both. Tiny though it is, it consists of
three major tribal groups and their
respective languages and is given over
to an almost 100% subsistence
economy. The King's declaration that
the nation's happiness is more
important than anything else seems enlightened (and it's true that the people do seem
to be happier than you'd expect them to be when they have nothing that we would
regard as contributing to a normal way of life), but it's a hard life of constant toil
unless you opt for the monastery at an early age. These monasteries, 'Dzongs', are
scattered throughout the country, and each seems to sport of roof of gold (so that's
where the money goes, then). This one is in the small town, hamlet really, of Tongsa,
surrounded by the foothills of the Himalayas and more paddy fields and bamboo
plantations than you can shake a stick at. You'll see the odd yak, but herds of cattle or
sheep are unheard of, the roads are poor (and twist around the foothills for ever),
and there is clear evidence of health issues - goitres, for instance - that wouldn't been
seen in the west. But I think they have TV now, so that's alright then.
The Buddhist Kingdom of Bhutan is just about the poorest nation on earth, sandwiched
between India and China (Tibet) and regarded as a buffer state by both. Tiny though it is,
it consists of three major tribal groups and their respective languages and is given over
to an almost 100% subsistence economy. The King's declaration that the nation's
happiness is more important than anything else seems enlightened (and it's true that the
people do seem to be happier than you'd expect them to be when they have nothing that
we would regard as contributing to a normal way of life), but it's a hard life of constant
toil unless you opt for the monastery at an early age. These monasteries, 'Dzongs', are
scattered throughout the country, and each seems to sport of roof of gold (so that's
where the money goes, then). This one is in the small town, hamlet really, of Tongsa,
surrounded by the foothills of the Himalayas and more paddy fields and bamboo
plantations than you can shake a stick at. You'll see the odd yak, but herds of cattle or
sheep are unheard of, the roads are poor (and twist around the foothills for ever), and
there is clear evidence of health issues - goitres, for instance - that wouldn't been seen in
the west. But I think they have TV now, so that's alright then.
The Buddhist Kingdom of Bhutan is just about
the poorest nation on earth, sandwiched
between India and China (Tibet) and regarded
as a buffer state by both. Tiny though it is, it
consists of three major tribal groups and their
respective languages and is given over to an
almost 100% subsistence economy. The King's
declaration that the nation's happiness is
more important than anything else seems
enlightened (and it's true that the people do
seem to be happier than you'd expect them to be when they have nothing that we would
regard as contributing to a normal way of life), but it's a hard life of constant toil unless you
opt for the monastery at an early age. These monasteries, 'Dzongs', are scattered
throughout the country, and each seems to sport of roof of gold (so that's where the money
goes, then). This one is in the small town, hamlet really, of Tongsa, surrounded by the
foothills of the Himalayas and more paddy fields and bamboo plantations than you can
shake a stick at. You'll see the odd yak, but herds of cattle or sheep are unheard of, the
roads are poor (and twist around the foothills for ever), and there is clear evidence of health
issues - goitres, for instance - that wouldn't been seen in the west. But I think they have TV
now, so that's alright then.

Bhutan Dzong

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For your own fine-art print of this picture:
The Buddhist Kingdom of Bhutan is just about the poorest nation on earth, sandwiched between India and China (Tibet) and regarded as a buffer state by both. Tiny though it is, it consists of three major tribal groups and their respective languages and is given over to an almost 100% subsistence economy. The King's declaration that the nation's happiness is more important than anything else seems enlightened (and it's true that the people do seem to be happier than you'd expect them to be when they have nothing that we would regard as contributing to a normal way of life), but it's a hard life of constant toil unless you opt for the monastery at an early age. These monasteries, 'Dzongs', are scattered throughout the country, and each seems to sport of roof of gold (so that's where the money goes, then). This one is in the small town, hamlet really, of Tongsa, surrounded by the foothills of the Himalayas and more paddy fields and bamboo plantations than you can shake a stick at. You'll see the odd yak, but herds of cattle or sheep are unheard of, the roads are poor (and twist around the foothills for ever), and there is clear evidence of health issues - goitres, for instance - that wouldn't been seen in the west. But I think they have TV now, so that's alright then. 
mh248 The Dzong at Tongsa
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