The Kingdom of Bhutan is an incredible and unique nation. Not only is it one of the few nations still left in the world that are entirely sovereign and independent, but it has also enshrined “Gross National Happiness” within its constitution as a measurable value for its citizens’ quality of life. It was only in 1999 that the country officially adopted the GNH index—and since then, Bhutanese citizens have worked to make sure their GDP remains balanced with their spiritual and mental well-being.
In order to ensure this balance, Bhutan has kept itself largely isolated from globalization; television only appeared in the 2000s and it became the first country to ever ban the sale of cigarettes. But do these policies equate to true happiness? To find out, viewers can watch a documentary all about Gross National Happiness: Living in Bhutan. The documentary tells stories of real people living in Bhutan and how they strive for a life full of contentment amidst a backdrop of majestic Himalayan mountains and ancient Buddhist monasteries.
Living in Bhutan paints an honest picture of both tranquility and struggles faced by inhabitants as they strive for meaningful lives. Through interviews with locals, authentic footage, and beautiful nature cinematography, viewers will gain insight into what makes life worth living for Bhutan’s 750,000 inhabitants: their universal appreciation for culture, natural beauty, spirituality, education, family ties, community horizons—and perhaps most importantly—the joys of living simply.
So if you’re curious about what gross national happiness looks like in practice—or just want to be inspired by stories of people striving for transcendence and true contentment—then Living in Bhutan is certainly worth watching!