For that past 30 years, Bhutan has been ruled by a benevolent king. Suddenly, their country is about to change.

I admit, I’ve had a few daydreams about visiting the mythical Bhutan. After watching this excellent short film from Current on their recent move from monarchy to democracy, it remains just as tempting a destination.

In a country like Burma, under the grip of a tyrannical junta, it’s easy to see why democracy is desirable. But for Bhutan, they see their strife ridden neighbours Nepal and India, and are fearful their “gross national happiness” will be the first thing to go.

The older Bhutanese blame their new ills on television and westernization… unavoidable products of democracy.

What do you think about the tradeoff? For a country like Bhutan, is it better to accept democracy, and self-determination, even if it’s deeply flawed?

Feature photo: Marina & Enrique

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