002-gross-national-happinessIn recent times, Bhutan has become a country of interest worldwide due its developmental philosophy, Gross National Happiness (GNH). Coined by the fourth King His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck, the concept articulates that development has many more dimensions than those measured in economic terms.

The GNH philosophy places the individual at the centre of all development efforts and recognizes the spiritual and emotional needs of people in addition to the material ones. The concept of Gross National Happiness is based on the premise that true development of human society takes place when material and spiritual development occur side by side to complement and reinforce each other.

The philosophy of Gross National Happiness has gained momentum and international recognition with the United Nations implementing a resolution “…recognizing that the gross domestic product […] does not adequately reflect the happiness and well-being of people,” and that “…the pursuit of happiness is a fundamental human goal”. The UN ratified this holistic governance philosophy with 142 signatories of the comity of nations and declared March 20 as the International Day of Happiness.