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  • 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 likeHow often do you experience calmness?”

  • andHow 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 ofone nation, one peopleforcing

  • all Bhutanese to dress the same and speak one language.

  • The King disregarded disparate ethnic groups, notably the Nepali-speakingLhotshampas”,

  • 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 moretook 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 quotedistractionif 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.

In the years after World War II, Gross Domestic Product or GDP became the gold standard

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B1 中級

この国は経済よりも幸せを優先しているが、それが功を奏したのか? (This Country Put Happiness Before Economy, But Did It Work?)

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    quirer に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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