Friday, 7 November 2008

His Majesty the King

Even though I'm an anti-monarchist at heart, and even though the people of the United States of America just elected arguably the cutest president ever (although Franklin Pierce also classifies as "adorkable"), Bhutan takes the prize with the coronation of His Royal Highness Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuck (28). The Land of the Thunder Dragon received the world's youngest reigning monarch.

The BBC has an interesting photo gallery from the coronation ceremony, and a profile of the young constitutional monarch. The transition to democracy has been a late but steady one in Bhutan, and the royal family is determined to promote general suffrage and voting habits, cautious of the fate of monarchy in neighboring Nepal. Bhutan has a historical reputation for being voluntarily isolated, and the official policy today is attempting to balance between preserving the cultural and natural heritage and accepting outside influences. However, Bhutan has always been a part of the web of world cultures, through the Buddhist faith and the second-largest religion, Hinduism. See also the website of the National Library of Bhutan with many interesting links of religious and cultural interest.

The transition process can be illustrated by comparing the king's ancient titles:
Supreme Protector Of The People
The Great Elected One
The Upholder Of The Law

with the modern titles:
Protector Of The Nation's Security
Guardian Of The Constitution
Inspiration For Gross National Happiness
Found through the Buddhist blog Dreaming of Danzan Ravjaa. And back to Obama: This blog is like Cute Overload for Obama fans. You have been warned.

1 comment:

Rozmin said...

He is a pretty cute president, isn't he? :-) I'm glad he won.