Tag Archives: gnh

Happiness and Human Rights in Shangri-La

In the early 1990s, Indra was forced to flee her home country of Bhutan after her father had been imprisoned and tortured. “In prison they hung my father upside down and beat him. Then they hung him over chili smoke,” she explained. “After that they ordered him to leave the country with all his family. That very night myself and my family left our house and our country empty handed. There were many tears.” Soon thereafter, Indra and her family found themselves living in a refugee camp in neighboring Nepal. More than 80,000 people endured the same fate as Indra when the Bhutanese government forcibly expelled ethnic Nepalis in an act of ethnic cleansing. The resulting refugee crisis has gone largely unnoticed internationally while much greater focus has been placed on the Bhutanese government’s efforts to achieve Gross National Happiness in this tiny Himalayan kingdom that has been labeled the world’s last Shangri-La.

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