Question on support to local content development

Questioned raised to the Hon’ble Minister Home and Cultural Affairs

Local content generation and culture

Raised by Gasa Thuemi Sangay Khandu

After a hugely popular Ap Bokto animation was publicly released, children as far and remote as Laya and Lunana, hum, sing and mimic the characters. The love for a Bhutanese cartoon character is evident in how almost any parent knows Ap Bokto. There is no dearth of Bhutanese stories. Bhutanese have decent technological ability and enough creativity to make good, local and meaningful films for children. There is a critical need to encourage and support such and other categories of film makers for young Bhutanese.
In promoting our national language, we have expressed difficulty in terms of reading and writing by blaming school system, teachers, curriculum and the experts. In most cases, this is possibly happening because of the inadequacy of our own content generation in multimedia. Dominance by foreign content and its effects on society has been discussed several times. Culture is the fabric of our national identity, and language is the loudest and most active part of our culture.

Therefore, the National Council would like to know the policies, plans and programs of the Royal Government in supporting greater local content generation especially for young Bhutanese.

Response:
The Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs does not have specific programs that support such concerns of improving the reading and writing of national language among the younger generation. However, when it comes to films and film-makers, the Department of Culture facilitates the Bhutan Film Association by providing Nu.1.00 million every year to host the Film Award ceremony. During this ceremony, the film that promotes culture and national language, is provided with cash prize in recognition of their effort in promoting Dzongkha language.
Furthermore, the MoHCA has initiated to propose for additional fund under the Department of Culture to be approved by the Government from next fiscal year onwards to support three best films that promote tradition and culture.
The Government has also recently instituted the Art Endowment Fund to support endeavors among the public working towards promoting culture in diverse areas.
Besides the above programs, the requirement to protect and promote culture is ingrained in almost all the programs carried out by the Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs.
Over the years, given the concerted efforts of the Royal Government aimed at promoting Bhutanese tradition and culture, the Bhutanese music, cinemas, TV serials and reality shows have rapidly blossomed and significantly contributed towards the promotion and growing popularity of our national language and culture.

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About Sangay Khandu

Sangay Khandu is a Member of Parliament, serving his 2nd term representing the people of Gasa Dzongkhag to the National Council.
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