National Day – The moment for…

Undoubtedly, the National Day stands as the most significant occasion on a nation’s calendar, prompting celebrations across the country and beyond. However, is it merely a time for festivities? What lies beneath the surface, and what is the essence of this moment? While opinions may differ, to me, the National Day represents a time for several meaningful reflections.

Foremost, the National Day is a special moment to pay tribute to all our Kings of the past for securing our country’s security and sovereignty and enabling us to have our unique passport, amongst others. It is also the moment to offer our deepest gratitude to His Majesty the King, who continues to raise the bar of leadership in his sacred role as Father, Son, and Brother to all Bhutanese. Further, it is also the moment to offer our most sublime gratitude to Her Majesty, The Gyaltsuen for the exemplary roles played as Queen of the country and a steadfast companion to our most beloved King. It is also the moment to pray for the good health, joy and long life of Their Majesties.

It is the moment to do the same for His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo and Their Majesty the Queens. Their sacrifices and contributions and indelible imprint remain fresh in our collective memory.

It is also the moment to pay our tribute to His Holiness the Je Khenpo, Central Monastic Body, and other Rimpoches (Masters), including practitioners of the Dharma, who through their prayers and invocations ensure that peace prevails in Druk Yul. Additionally, these are the personalities who continue to strengthen our spiritual heritage.

It is also the moment to pay our respects to and pray for our ancestors, who not only sacrificed but also lost their lives in their responsibilities towards the country. Some fell while our roads were constructed; others while dispensing their duties in different ways.

It is also the moment to thank people like Ani Lhamo in the remote Kheng village of Mongaar, who refuses to budge from her house, continuing her agricultural works, while also looking after the village’s lhakhang. They are the true custodians of our culture. Similarly, it is the moment to thank our people, who are still engaged in the 13 traditional arts, thus ensuring continuity of our culture.

It is the moment to thank our armed forces and others, who live in remote areas without or with bare necessities, some guarding our frontiers, and others keeping an eye on the dangerous glaciers we have. Amongst them are civil servants, like teachers, health workers and others, who live far from the developed and digital areas, serving the country in different capacities.

It is the moment to thank some of our extraordinary citizens, who through sheer determination have made our country proud by excelling in different fields. For, these are the people who embolden and strengthen our soft power and inform those ignorant that there is a country called Bhutan, small in size but huge at heart.

It is the moment to take a journey down memory lane and reflect on the roles taken by our Kings in building, shaping, and emboldening Bhutan. The challenges of ensuring our sovereignty, and taking care of internal and external threats, while ensuring that the country continues to progress is not an easy task.

It is also a moment for self-assessment, of where one as an individual has reached, especially for the privileged ones holding important responsibilities in equally vital institutions. Through self-assessment, one would be able to tune oneself and thus become more effective in carrying out one’s roles.

It is the moment to forget one’s woes for a while and participate in what is the most important date of a nation’s calendar. In the midst of celebrations, the National Day provides an opportunity to momentarily set aside personal concerns and actively participate in the most pivotal date on the nation’s calendar. This participation can take diverse forms, from a few moments of prayer to the lighting of a butter lamp, symbolizing collective wishes for the well-being of the country, the King, and its people.

It is a moment to reaffirm our unwavering loyalty and dedication to serve the nation, King, and people—a pledge that finds its most fitting expression on the National Day.