Making a Case for Bhutan: Rochelle, This is For You!

My obsession with the takin:

has morphed into a full-fledged drool fest over the country that is lucky enough to have this amazing beast as its national animal:

Bhutan AKA The Last Shangri-La. Oh, it’s too good to be true.

Top Ten Reasons to Love Bhutan (and consider moving to there with me to start a commune):

10. The State religion is Drukpa Kagyupa, a branch of Mahayana Buddhism. While some may have a difficult time with the idea of a state religion, it isn’t easy to find fault with Buddhism itself. This leads me to my next point…

9. There is relatively little crime in Bhutan.  Violence is not a problem and it is one of the safest countries in the world.

8. Apparently, it is also safe for animals, as there is a wide variety of vegetarian dishes in the local cuisine.  “Bhutanese food has one predominant flavor – chili.”  Niiice.  Shamu-datsi – a mushroom, cheese and chili dish.  Cheese and chili, accompanied with rice, comprise most of the meals.  Damn, how good does that sound?

7. You’re probably thinking one might gain a few extra pounds with all that cheese.  Not a problem.  Just walking in this country provides fantastic exercise, given that it’s situated all up in the Himalayan grill.  In other words, there is only one airport in the country, in the city of Paro, because Paro happens to contain the one section of flat land large enough to host a landing strip.

6. In addition, don’t expect to watch too much TV, as the Bhutanese government just legalized it in 1999.

5.

Um, that’s a flag I can get behind.

4. The Bhutanese people continue to wear traditional Bhutanese dress.That means seeing something like this:

Bhutanese women in traditional dress, Thimpu , Bhutan

rather than this:

EEK!

3. In 1999, Bhutan banned plastic bags.  That, I think, is completely rad.

2. Inheritance in Bhutan generally goes in the female rather than the male line. Daughters will inherit their parents’ house. A man is expected to make his own way in the world and often moves to his wife’s home

1. Most people in Bhutan are poor.  This takes the sting off that most horrible nag of all time: potential.  Living up to it, not living up to it, who needs that kind of pressure?  In Bhutan, wealth is measured by GROSS NATIONAL HAPPINESS.  Yep, the Bhutanese value well-being, not consumption.
Hot damn, how can you resist?

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