Bowled Over by Bhutan - 2007

the rituals, prayers, chants and festivals of the faith, and by caring for the physical

properties inherent in the religion. They also provide for the religious education of

younger generations through monastic training, Sanskrit literacy, and the molding of new

monks. Because Buddhism so intricately involved in the daily life of the people, in the

understanding of the history of Bhutan, and in its focus on the natural world, the

religion with all its trappings encourages the preservation of the society’s values and


A different program to preserve cultural values is the National Reorientation requirement.

All students who receive their education abroad must enroll in the Reorientation Institute

upon their return to Bhutan in order to be reminded of their nation’s cultural values

and to be updated on changes in the national goals and objectives. The Institute

also offers employment help to the returning students to help them rejoin the economy

more easily. The Reorientation Institute offers its seminars at least twice yearly for these

returning students.

Theworld’s conservation movement organizations have long recognized Bhutan’s

commitment to the third pillar, the conservation of the natural world. The strict

government control of mining and timbering, the ban on hunting or harming wild animals,

and Buddhism’s own integral tenets requiring respect and care for the natural world

all encourage the continuation of Bhutan’s natural beauty and unspoiled environment on

a daily basis. There is literally no air pollution to introduce toxins into the plant or animal

kingdoms. There are trucks, cars, scooters and rototillers requiring gasoline or diesel to

operate, but the population is so small and the numbers of these machines so

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