Ev­ery young Bhutanese is the cus­to­dian of na­tional her­itage and na­tional iden­tity: His Majesty the King

Bhutan Times - - Front Page - An­jana Subba

His Majesty The King, ac­com­pa­nied by Her Majesty The Gyalt­suen, graced the 10th Con­vo­ca­tion of the Royal Uni­ver­sity of Bhutan on the 25th of Fe­bru­ary , 2015 at the Royal Thim­phu Col­lege .

Ad­dress­ing the sea of grad­u­ates, His Majesty said that the achieve­ment of the grad­u­ates was com­mend­able as a life­time of hard work and ef­fort had brought them here, and their fam­ily, friends and teach­ers had ev­ery right to be proud.

“Your ed­u­ca­tion will be a great as­set to you, and more im­por­tantly, it will be of im­mense ben­e­fit to the coun­try,” His Majesty said.

His Majesty shared with the grad­u­ates the three things that His Majesty wants ev­ery young per­son in the coun­try to re­mem­ber:

1. They are the Cus­to­di­ans of our Na­tional Her­itage and Cul­tural Iden­tity

“Our coun­try’s nar­ra­tive helps us de­fine our iden­tity; it sets us apart, and il­lu­mi­nates our fu­ture.” His Majesty said.

His Majesty said that our fore­bears safe­guarded an ex­tra­or­di­nary and unique cul­tural le­gacy and left for us an ex­cep­tional coun­try.

“It will take a lot of ef­fort to pre­serve our re­mark­able her­itage, but it will be ex­tremely easy to let it erode. There­fore, it is our duty to nur­ture, re­in­force, and pass down our rich her­itage to the suc­ceed­ing gen­er­a­tions,” His Majesty said.

2. They are the Guardians of our Peace and Sta­bil­ity

“The great­est as­set of our very small coun­try is our peo­ple. If our peo­ple are able to work to­gether in unity and har­mony, noth­ing can thwart us,” His Majesty said. “If we live as one fam­ily, we need not fear any ad­ver­si­ties– for we will be able to brave what­ever the fu­ture may bring us. Our strength comes from unity and col­lec­tive ser­vice.”

3. They are the Ste­wards of our Na­tion’s Fu­ture

“Your ca­pa­bil­i­ties will in­vari­ably shape the fu­ture of our Na­tion,” His Majesty said. “If we want to fore­see our prospects for to­mor­row, all we have to do is look at how ca­pa­ble we are to­day. If our com­pe­ten­cies are medi­ocre to­day, our fu­ture will also be medi­ocre, but if we are driven and com­pe­tent to­day, our fu­ture will nat­u­rally mir­ror our strength.”

His Majesty also shared the three things about our coun­try that His Majesty al­ways keeps in mind:

1. We are a small coun­try

“Sanc­ti­fied by the bless­ings of Guru Rim­poche, the coun­try that we have in­her­ited is un­doubt­edly very spe­cial and very beau­ti­ful,” His Majesty said. How­ever, His Majesty added that we have only about 7 per­cent arable land, our coun­try is small and land­locked, and our pop­u­la­tion is small and un­likely to grow very large in the near fu­ture.

2. Our neigh­bor­ing coun­tries are the two most pop­u­lous and fastest grow­ing economies the world has seen.

3. We are try­ing to sur­vive in the 21st cen­tury

“We are mak­ing con­certed ef­forts to achieve our Na­tional Goal of Gross Na­tional Hap­pi­ness and its four pil­lars, we are work­ing un­remit­tingly to es­tab­lish a firm foun­da­tion for democ­racy, and to en­sure a pros­per­ous, en­light­ened and peace-filled fu­ture for our peo­ple. The

fun­da­men­tal ob­jec­tive of all our ef­forts is to sur­vive in the 21st cen­tury,” His Majesty said.

His Majesty said that the world around us is chang­ing– what has re­mained res­o­lute for a life­time in the past al­ters in a mo­ment to­day– this brings op­por­tu­ni­ties, but also new and un­fa­mil­iar chal­lenges.

“We are at the junc­ture where it is no longer enough to do as we have done be­fore– we must shoul­der greater re­spon­si­bil­i­ties, work even harder, and be more in­dus­tri­ous,” His Majesty said.

His Majesty re­minded the grad­u­ates that the road ahead will be long and hard, but also that there is noth­ing we can­not achieve.

“In our long and il­lus­tri­ous his­tory, be­gin­ning from the time of Guru Rin­pochhe and Zhab­drung Ngawang Nam­gyel, to the De­sis and our Mon­archs, we have al­ways re­mained tri­umphant and un­bowed. We are un­like any other peo­ple in the world– we have al­ways braved all ad­ver­si­ties, and we still re­tain that met­tle in abun­dance,” His Majesty said.

“There is no doubt in my mind that we can hand over an even more suc­cess­ful and pros­per­ous na­tion to our fu­ture gen­er­a­tions.”

His Majesty re­flected on the tran­sience of time, re­mind­ing the grad­u­ates that 9 years have al­ready passed since His Majesty be­came King at 26, and af­ter 15 more years, the na­tion would be cel­e­brat­ing the Sil­ver Ju­bilee of His Majesty’s reign.

“There is no time to waste,” His Majesty said. “Let’s not waste our lives, and this op­por­tu­nity that we have to achieve some­thing ex­tra­or­di­nary.”

“Col­lec­tively, we can en­sure that each and ev­ery one of us suc­ceeds in life; col­lec­tively we can en­sure that our coun­try re­al­izes its full po­ten­tial, and in the 21st cen­tury, we can be the most suc­cess­ful na­tion in the re­gion,” His Majesty said. “I be­lieve that it is pos­si­ble, and I also be­lieve that fail­ure is not an op­tion,” His Majesty said.

His Majesty then de­scribed how we could suc­ceed as a coun­try in the 21st cen­tury.

“As a small coun­try, we can be far more ef­fi­cient, ex­pe­di­tious, and de­ci­sive than a large coun­try can ever be,” His Majesty said. “If we learn to use our small­ness to our ad­van­tage, we will suc­cess­fully nav­i­gate through change, over­come ob­sta­cles, and guar­an­tee the suc­cess of our na­tion.”

His Majesty said that the key would be to un­der­stand that as a small coun­try with a small pop­u­la­tion and limited re­sources, we can’t af­ford to have the prob­lems as­so­ci­ated with large na­tions. In­ef­fi­ciency, bad plan­ning and in­abil­ity to ex­e­cute plans– th­ese are prob­lems as­so­ci­ated with large, pop­u­lous na­tions that are ge­o­graph­i­cally un­man­age­able and de­mo­graph­i­cally dif­fi­cult to gov­ern– and if we have th­ese prob­lems, it will be our un­do­ing.

So if we keep in mind our small­ness, and ac­cord­ingly for­mu­late plans and poli­cies, trans­late them into re­sults, guar­an­tee its suc­cess– and oc­ca­sion­ally, if need be, change our game plan, we will suc­ceed.

Fi­nally, His Majesty said that the great­est and most valu­able wealth that we have in Bhutan is our peo­ple. Our land does not ex­ude gold or oil, but what we have is our peo­ple.

“We can never go wrong if we in­vest in hu­man re­source– no mat­ter how much it costs, that in­vest­ment will give our na­tion rich div­i­dends,” His Majesty said.

“What we lack in num­bers, we must make up in tal­ent,” His Majesty pointed out.

“When I be­came King, when I re­ceived the sa­cred Dhar Ngye Nga from the March­hen Lhakhang of Zhab­drung Ngawang Nam­gyel, I made a pledge to work tire­lessly in ser­vice of the na­tion and all my peo­ple. And I take that vow very se­ri­ously,” His Majesty said.

“I look for­ward to tak­ing this jour­ney with you, and work­ing hard to­gether to write a most suc­cess­ful story of our na­tion.”

His Majesty The King Awarded De­gree Cer­tifi­cates to the rep­re­sen­ta­tives of each col­lege un­der the Royal Uni­ver­sity of Bhutan.

More than five thou­sand grad­u­ates from eleven Col­leges and In­sti­tu­tions un­der the Royal Uni­ver­sity of Bhutan re­ceived their De­grees.

His Majesty The King and Her Majesty The Gyalt­suen with the grad­u­ates of 11 Col­leges and In­sti­tu­tions of the Royal Uni­ver­sity of Bhutan at the 10th RUB Con­vo­ca­tion on the 25th of Feb , 2015.

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