The GNH Fair: Raising awareness on wellbeing and happiness

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In an effort to raise national awareness on the importance of wellbeing and happiness, the GNH Centre Bhutan initiated the first ever GNH Fair. The three day event was held from 11 to 13 November 2016.  The date is significant as 11th  November is both the birthday of the Fourth King His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck, the father of GNH as well as the National Happiness Day for Bhutan.

The three day event themed, “Celebrating Wellbeing and Happiness”, promoted meditation, yoga, dance, pranic healing, and other interactive activities to encourage a participatory audience to actually experience wellness and happiness.

Her Majesty Gyalyum Tshering Pem Wangchuck graced the event as the Chief Guest and was accompanied by the President of the GNHCB HRH Ashi Kezang Choden Wangchuck and members of the royal family. Her Majesty Gyalyum Tshering Pem Wangchuck inaugurated the fair and visited each stall to interact with various people.

In his opening statement, Dr. Saamdu Chetri, the Executive Director of the GNHCB stressed on the significance of the GNH values and its importance in today’s world. He also said the GNH Centre tries to cultivate seeds of happiness by learning to live with wisdom that consists of right thoughts and right understanding, with morality that consists of right speech, right action and right livelihood, and with mindfulness that consists of right meditation, right efforts and right concentration. Dr. Saamdu also stressed that on Bhutan’s National Happiness Day, we must commit to live with compassion and be the change we wish for.

The small effort of the GNHCB resulted in positive media coverage and attracted Bhutanese and visitors from various parts of the world. Several Ministers, Members of Parliament, international agency heads and Civil Society Organization (CSO) fraternity attended the event. It also promoted partnership with other CSOs by providing a platform for networking and collaboration.

The GNH Fair will be an annual event led by the GNHCB to persevere in promoting GNH values, transforming the self, experience mindfulness, encourage young Bhutanese  to embrace traditional values and most importantly to connect the Bhutanese population to Gross National Happiness as envisioned by His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck.