字幕表 動画を再生する 英語字幕をプリント In the years after World War II, Gross Domestic Product or GDP became the gold standard for gauging a nation's overall health and productivity. But while most countries focused on industrial output, a tiny Himalayan kingdom created its own method to measure worth: Gross National Happiness or GNH. The country behind this widely adored spiritual model is Bhutan, and for many years it was considered one of the happiest and most authentic countries in the world. But what exactly is the actual cost of happiness? Bhutan's perception as an idyllic wonderland is owed in part to its location. The small, mountainous country sits near India, Tibet and China with a population of 750,000 people. Unspoiled nature and a peaceful citizenry is why Bhutan is often seen as “a magic time machine,” and it has a long history of rejecting outside influence to preserve its identity. After defeating Tibetan forces and feuding warlords in the 16th century, Bhutan's leader unified the country and cultivated a unique culture to differentiate itself from warring powers. A distinct Bhutanese identity emerged which emphasized a communal relationship with nature and a lifestyle centered around Buddhism. Bhutan avoided globalization and preserved its society in isolation for centuries. As the rest of the world modernized, Bhutan still had no currency, telephones, hospitals, or paved roads. It wasn’t until the late 1960s that Bhutan cracked open its doors to the outside world and started to focus on development. But instead of hurriedly adopting western reforms, Bhutan's beloved Fourth King Jigme Singye Wangchuck invented Gross National Happiness to guide his country's progress. GNH measures spiritual growth instead of rising incomes, and relies on four key pillars: good governance, economic development, culture, and environmental conservation. Every policy proposal in Bhutan is screened by the GNH commission and children are taught GNH in schools. The Center of Bhutan Studies conducts a survey on various aspects of Bhutanese life. Residents are asked questions like “How often do you experience calmness?” and “How much do you trust your neighbors?.” This happiness experiment is celebrated by the international community, and other countries have even created their own ministries of happiness modeled after Bhutan. But this model of state happiness didn’t extend to everyone living in Bhutan. In the 1980s, King Wangchuck instituted a policy of “one nation, one people” forcing all Bhutanese to dress the same and speak one language. The King disregarded disparate ethnic groups, notably the Nepali-speaking “Lhotshampas”, whom he exiled in large numbers. To this day, the government claims the ethnic group left voluntarily. Bhutan's isolationist policy saw more flaws in the 1990's. Bhutanese residents got access to television, and cell phones and cars started to become status symbols. Divorce, crime and school dropout rates increased, perhaps as a result of access to western technology and materialism. As the country continued to develop, the concept of quote “I want more” took root in the Buddhist Kingdom, shifting the country's perception of happiness. Today, Bhutan is a developing economy with a GDP of just $2 billion. Many Bhutanese still work as subsistence farmers and suffer from poverty. There's also an uptick in mental health issues and alcoholism, but Bhutan doesn’t provide basic services to address these issues. It seems that the autocratic policy of gross national happiness is a cover for serious failures of governance, poverty and human rights abuses at home. And the King's remarkable public relations surrounding GNH protected him from international condemnation. In the latest shift towards modernity, Bhutan's centuries-old monarchy was replaced with a parliamentary democracy. As the government shifts, some at the top believe that GNH may not be the foundation for perfect policy. Bhutan's Prime Minister has even called the GNH a quote “distraction” if it doesn’t address important social issues. Nevertheless, in the most recent Gross National Happiness survey, over 90% of Bhutanese still consider themselves happy. But with Bhutan's semi-authoritarian government ignoring chronic social issues in the pursuit of uniformity, it's hard to tell just how happy the Bhutanese are. Modernization hasn't shifted Bhutan's moral center completely off balance, however, as democratic institutions are put in place, there could be more consequences if the talk of happiness persists over real progress. For more interesting stories, check out this video from Seeker Stories on the powerful student protests in Chile that are helping reform the country's education system. Thanks for watching Seeker Daily, make sure to like and subscribe for new videos.