National Days are justifiably the most important day of national significance in the calendar of any country. Bhutan observes her National Day on December 17th and this year we are celebrating the 115th National Day.
Most of us are aware that it is a day that provides us the opportunity to express our gratitude to our ancestors, who left behind a priceless gift in the form of a strong and sovereign nation. While we commemorate past events, it is also an occasion for the formation of a collective consciousness, belongingness and to think about ways to chart our future. As we celebrate this significant day, we ought to reflect on unity, solidarity and peace between different sections of the society.
Further, as we cherish the past and the present, it is also a day where we should recap ourselves and think about our duties as citizens of the nation; one being the need and importance to remind our promising and young generation of the achievements of our ancestors, and to instill the Bhutanese values in their hearts – values that will continue to define what Bhutan is, what Bhutan would be and what she stands for.
All National Days are important and if we dig into the annals of Bhutan, we will see that during every National Day, messages that transcend the self; the visions of our monarchs, opportunities and challenges confronted are conveyed by our Kings to the people. This time too, we will hear the golden words of wisdom emanating from the Throne.
Additionally, due to the COVID 19 pandemic, Bhutan was deprived of the unique and symbolic opportunity, where our King interacts with the people; the prospect that every Bhutanese harbor in the depth of their hearts. This National Day, we will witness the Sovereign-Subject invaluable bond, a rare commodity at the brink of extinction in the world, but very much alive in Bhutan.
Further, it is a National Day that comes close on the heels of the unprecedented transformation instituted and implemented and Bhutan’s fight against the COVID 19 pandemic. As we were engaged in a bout, challenges were taken as opportunities and under a King, whose leadership has been acknowledged beyond Bhutan, important and effective programs, such as the Dessung Skilling Program was initiated. And during the 8th National Assembly session of the Third Parliament, the historic Gyalsuung Act was adopted, which will have mammoth positive impacts as Bhutan ushers into the future.
As can be seen, the National Day is significant in many ways. For an ordinary Bhutanese, the celebrations means proudly telling the world that we have a country, which has her national flag and national anthem. It means basking in the glory of our sovereignty. But as stated above, it also means reflecting on the nation’s future and accordingly playing our roles to give to our children what our parents gave us – a strong and sovereign Bhutan. It is a day to reaffirm our commitments to serve the country. And of all, the 115th National Day is an occasion, where every Bhutanese should reflect on the pains, concerns and sacrifices that His Majesty undergoes and makes, not just in the fight against the pandemic, but every moment.
It is His Majesty’s Day!