Bowled Over by Bhutan - 2007

The second pillar to achieve a happy society is the preservation and promotion of

Bhutan’s cultural values. The capital city’s National Museum, National Library, National

School of the Arts, The National School of Music and National Hospital for Traditional

Medicine are tangible proofs of the government’s support of these aspects of the

culture. The Museum houses preserves and displays artifacts from the country’s history,

including tools, clothing, weapons, and statuary. The National Library is a repository for

the ancient Buddhists scriptures and commentaries. It is also in the process of acquiring

books on the history of the country and its place in Asian history as well as copies of books

published in Bhutan. There is also an effort to collect copies of books written by

Bhutanese authors. At the National School of the Arts, talented students are admitted and

supported with government stipends so they can learn the 13 traditional arts and crafts of

Bhutan, such as weaving, tailoring, metal, wood, and stone carving, drum making, religious

painting, and gold, silver and iron smithing. The students who successfully complete these

strenuous courses, lasting from two to six years, are guaranteed employment in

government projects but are also encouraged to work in the private sector whenever

possible. At the National Hospital for Traditional Medicine, treatment is provided and

instruction in the methods & processes of traditional medicine are taught to students so

that traditional medicine will continue to thrive. The Music School exists to keep traditional

folk music and song alive and a vital part of the culture.

The government also supports the monasteries, shrines and temples all over the country

for the encouragement of Buddhism as the state religion. The monasteries keep cultural

values current by practicing the religion for the benefit of all the people, by preserving

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