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Gross National Happiness (GNH)

Bhutan, a country where Gross National Happiness (GNH) is more important than Gross National Product (GNP)!

Bhutan, a country described as such by Lonely Planet, "if you do visit Bhutan, you will become one of the few who have experienced the charm and magic of one of the world’s most enigmatic countries – the ‘last Shangri La.’"

Almost everything is unique about Bhutan, its beautiful and majestic land, its friendly and very hospitable people, its unique culture steeped in Buddhism and Himalayan traditions and the concept that encapsulates it all is GNH.

What is GNH? GNH is an attempt to define quality of life in more holistic and psychological terms than gross national product. The term was coined in 1972 by Bhutan's former King, Jigme Singye Wangchuck, who has opened up Bhutan to the age of modernization, soon after the demise of his father, King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. It signaled his commitment to building an economy that would serve Bhutan's unique culture based on Buddhist spiritual values.

GNH has presented the world with an alternative way to life than one of constant production and consumption. While conventional development models stress economic growth as the ultimate objective, the concept of GNH is based on the premise that true development of human society takes place when material and spiritual development occur side by side to complement and reinforce each other.

The four pillars of GNH are the promotion of sustainable development, preservation and promotion of cultural values, conservation of the natural environment, and establishment of good governance.
GNH indeed captures the core of what makes Bhutan the "most enigmatic country" in the world and why it is on the list of 100 places to see before you die!

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