Why Bhutan Takes Happiness So Seriously

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Karma Tshiteem, secretary of Gross National Happiness Commission for the nation of Bhutan, joins to talk about the recent report on world happiness, and how Bhutan's government promotes the metric.


Karma Tshiteem

Comments [14]


@Steven Manning, the Nepalis only came to Bhutan in the 19th century and already they wanted to split the country in half. They are not part of the happiness equation because they subtract from it. Bhutan encouraged inter-ethnic marriages between Nepalis and Bhutani and they allowed Nepali to be taught to all Nepali in school but still they rebelled. Give an Indo-European group a dime and they won't be happy until they take the whole dollar.

Apr. 03 2012 11:41 AM
Elle from Brooklyn

Did he just use Occupy Wall Street as evidence of consensus? He could hardly be further off the mark.

Apr. 03 2012 11:26 AM

Plenty of people in the US are seeking exactly this. The problem is that it's mostly being applied on an individual basis rather than being set as a national discourse and agenda -- especially with the common-sense clarity of the language Mr. Tshiteem is using.

Apr. 03 2012 11:25 AM
Laurie from Brooklyn

What Bhutan is doing is amazing! In the US, our culture focuses too much on material wealth and success, and not enough on our happiness and psychological well-being. Meditation classes in schools is such a great idea -- kids are drilled into a stressful, cramming, study and work ethic which is often detrimental to their health. Just as economic prosperity is, we need to make happiness one of our priorities and goals, and bring it into practice -- as something we teach out kids all throughout their education.

Apr. 03 2012 11:24 AM
Sophie from Poughkeepsie, NY

Andrea, how many "you knows" can you stick in a long winded question?

So difficult to listen to you.

Apr. 03 2012 11:24 AM

This man's ideas and how he's articulating them is utterly inspiring. Please do not jump to cynical conclusions about how this isn't possible in the US. Let's find ways to apply this here.

Apr. 03 2012 11:21 AM
art525 from Park Slope

Hey bernie- apparently the founding fathers agreed with Mr Tshitheem. After all they included the pursuit of happiness in the Constitution. I guess they thought it was inportant.

Apr. 03 2012 11:21 AM
Steven Manning from Brooklyn

Bhutan is far from a "happy nation" for the thousands of Bhutanese of Nepalese descent who have been driven from the country by a campaign of repression and discrimination. Since 2008, thousands of Bhutanese refugees who been living in refugee camps in Nepal and India have started to be resettled in the United States and Europe and their testimony about life in Bhutan is chilling. Bhutan has generated the highest number of refugees in the world proportionate to its size. Some Shangri-La!

Apr. 03 2012 11:21 AM
Dawn from brooklyn

This man makes to much sense.

He must be a communist or a terrorist or a socialist or .....

call Rep Paul Ryan he must know what they call a man like this...

Apr. 03 2012 11:19 AM

How are they measuring happiness, how often, and who (students, all citizens, etc.)?

Have they observed changes in happiness as a function of including meditation in the schools (data)?

J. Ryan Fuller

Apr. 03 2012 11:19 AM
James from nyc

Oh my god,

does this guy have security?

is he in NY?

He might get assasinated by the Koch Brothers.

Apr. 03 2012 11:15 AM
Danny from Gowanus, Brooklyn

I hope the delegate from Bhutan doesn't jaywalk while he is here. He would then possibly be subject to random strip search based on yesterday's Supreme Court decision.

How is the happiness of the citizens of Bhutan affected by their civil liberties? And what about U.S. citizens now?

Can you rectify the pursuit of happiness with yesterday's decision?

Apr. 03 2012 11:14 AM

Great idea to measure and teach happiness (in addition to GDP).

The Satisfaction With Life Scale is a very short (5 items) but psychometrically sound measure for happiness. It would be very easy to include it in the census or something like that.

J. Ryan Fuller

Apr. 03 2012 11:11 AM
bernie from bklyn

wow, i'm glad these global thinkers in that giant building are up to important work like this.....are you kidding me? is this real? this is why most people believe that the UN is a useless organization.

Apr. 03 2012 11:10 AM

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