The Ambassador of the Royal Bhutanese Embassy in Brussels, Pema Choden, attended the 20th anniversary celebration of the Bhutan Help Society (BHS) last week in Constance, Germany.
The formal event, from May 3 to 5, was opened with welcoming statements by Mr. Zeno Danner, Chief Administrative Officer of the District of Constance, and Dr. Wolfgang Pfeiffer, Honorary Consul of Bhutan in southern Germany, at the premises of the district headquarters.
Ambassador Pema Choden congratulated the BHS on its 20th anniversary and conveyed the good wishes of the Prime Minister, the government and the people of Bhutan. She expressed appreciation for the friendship and support of the Society and also presented an overview of Bhutan.
Presentations were made by Dr. Alexander Klaussner, President of BHS on ‘Sustainable Tourism in Bhutan – An Option for the Future’, and Mr. Louk Lennaerts, Founder of Bhutan Spirit Sanctuary, spoke on ‘The Spirit of travelling- a few thoughts about Bhutan’.
The afternoon ended with an engaging and interactive panel discussion moderated by Dr. Alexander Klaussner that explored ideas and opportunities for the future of Bhutan. The panel members consisted of Kutshab Pema Choden, Mr. LoukLennaerts, Ms. Diana Wolf-Dolgner, Founder/CEO, Market & Beyond (market intelligence strategic foresight) and Mr. Murali Nair, Senior Project Manager, Bertelsmann Foundation.
The event concluded with a painting exhibition by Mr. Ronald Bentz, founding member and current Vice Chairman of the BHS at the Dreispitz Sports and Culture Centre in the neighboring Swiss town of Kreuzlingen. The paintings celebrate Bhutan’s rich biodiversity and culture, and are inspired by Mr. Bentz’s travel to Bhutan for over 20 years. The exhibition will run for three weeks.
Trio Druk Yul, a cultural performance group from Bhutan, also performed Bhutanese songs and dance at the anniversary events.
According to the press release from the Royal Bhutanese Embassy in Brussels, the celebration brought together over 50 participants including members of the BHS, Bhutanese studying and working in southern Germany in fields such as medicine, healthcare and computer science, and members of other European Friendship Societies from Austria, Germany, Greece, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
Meanwhile, the BHS was established in 1996 by the Honorary Consul of Bhutan in southern Germany, Dr. Wolfgang Pfeiffer, a retired medical specialist, along with other like-minded philanthropic German friends. Since its founding, the Society has provided support to Bhutan in different areas with a focus on medical assistance.