At 0930 hrs today here in Thimphu, members of Parliament gathered in the courtyard of the Assembly Hall to receive His Majesty in the traditional chipdrel ceremony along with others. His Majesty has always graced the opening and closing ceremonies of the 1st Parliament. It has never failed to help us all feel a great sense of support from His Majesty and each time, helped us introspect and consequently, think deeper and wider.
His Majesty’s words of wisdom have always inspired us all to move forward during moments of testing and this morning and this morning’s Royal Address had a lot for all of us to reflect upon.
As a small landlocked nation, the only way for us to fulfill these is to carry out our duties through cooperation, sharing and consultation. I know that each ministry, government institution, parliamentary body or public agencies has its own mandate. Still, you must work together, not in competition. Henceforth, I ask all of you to establish the practice of meeting regularly, sitting face to face every now and then, so that you will always be in collaboration as you carry out your separate responsibilities. And all problems may be resolved without being allowed to fester and grow. Such shared effort will be in the true spirit of Gross National Happiness.
Many would have and will find many things to reflect on from the Royal Address but, sitting there I found myself hooked to these words. I remember this is not the first time and I can only imagine how much all of us need to work to start talking amongst ourselves and not act like complete ‘independents’ that we sometimes so unrealistically proclaim and aspire to become. I carry no doubt in my mind that everyone of us will try and that it is only a matter of time, but that is precisely why the sooner we move forward with this, the faster together we would have instituted not only ‘strong institutions’ to promote democracy but ‘talking institutions’ which will not leave us at loggerheads but help us discuss problems, identify issues and find solutions ourselves; this is a sustainable way of promoting a meaningful democracy for us, for Bhutan.
I present this in the order of how the proceedings unfolded today and in no way, reduces the significance of news of our beloved King’s wedding.
Excerpt from Royal Address today regarding the Royal Wedding
Today, at this auspicious gathering, I would like to make a short announcement to all the people of the 20 Dzongkhags.
As King, it is now time for me to marry. After much thought I have decided that the wedding shall be later this year.
Now, many will have their own idea of what a Queen should be like – that she should be uniquely beautiful, intelligent and graceful. I think with experience and time, one can grow into a dynamic person in any walk of life with the right effort. For the Queen, what is most important is that at all times, as an individual she must be a good human being, and as Queen, she must be unwavering in her commitment to serve the People and Country.
As my queen, I have found such a person and her name is Jetsun Pema. While she is young, she is warm and kind in heart and character. These qualities together with the wisdom that will come with age and experience will make her a great servant to the nation.
This union does not mean that I am starting my own family. From the very day I received the Dhar Ngay-Nga from the sacred Machhen, the people of the 20 Dzongkhags became my family. Such is the duty and privilege of all Kings of Bhutan. It is through this union, that I shall have a Queen who will support, and work with me, as I serve the People and Country.
The wedding will be in accordance with age-old tradition, to seek the blessings of our Guardian Deities. I ask the government not to make any plans for a grand celebration. The happiness of my beloved father and the blessings of our People will give me the greatest joy and happiness.
This great news at the opening of the 7th session of the 1st parliament will be yet another memorable piece of history that I will carry with me, along with hundreds others across the country who watched and listened to His Majesty speak. His Majesty has always loved all his people and the Bhutanese love our King and we are simply overjoyed now to know that we will have an equally adorable Queen, to be there beside our beloved King in shouldering this huge responsibility of a Monarch. It gives us immense happiness to know that in all his unrelenting efforts in fulfilling his role of a parent, sibling and friend to every Bhutanese, our Queen too will be there alongside.
I do not profess to have the best command over language nor the colorful flairs of a writer to be able to describe His Majesty’s words describing our future Queen befittingly but as a Bhutanese, like on numerous other occasions in the presence of His Majesty’s very down-to-earth conversations, I truly felt like a member of one big household discussing among the family a wedding. I guess this can only make us think deeper and the need to go beyond our simple but eccentric in more than one way of living. His Majesty continues to inspire us all, young and old and what was clear today once again, was the vitality of a ‘good heart’ (sem leyzhume).
I am sure if the festivities have not already begun on hearing the good news, it will soon begin across the country, in the little joys it would bring in discussing about the news in all Bhutanese homes, far and wide. I know I will too. This truly has been a day of great joy and will look forward to October with all my heart to see our beloved King with our Queen.