Smiling Unhappy People from Bhutan | News | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice
Pin It

Smiling Unhappy People from Bhutan 

Quality of life and quality of the economy don't necessarily go hand in hand. Lest there be any doubt, keep in mind that the cleanup costs associated with the BP oil spill will actually add to the Gross National Product (GNP) of the United States in 2010. Talk about a flawed system of accounting.

It's one reason why a group of Vermonters is promoting an entirely different indicator for measuring the nation's actual "wealth."  As Andy Bromage reported for Seven Days in April, this week Champlain College is playing host to the first-ever national conference on the "Gross National Happiness Project," which proposes replacing the GNP with Gross National Happiness, or GNH. Based on a model officially adopted by Bhutan in 2008, GNH measures more human-oriented indicators of national wealth, such as the citizens' physical and psychological well-being, their use of time, level of education, quality of life, and so forth.

But this week's conference, which runs from June 1-3, features a keynote speaker who is making a lot of Bhutanese living in the United States, including the 500 or so Nepali refugees from Bhutan currently living in Burlington, very unhappy. Karma Tshiteem is secretary of Bhutan's Gross National Happiness Commission. As an official representative of the Bhutanese government, Tshiteem's presence has been described as a "slap in the face" to refugees who fled Bhutan under the fear of imprisonment, torture and death.

Allies of the local Bhutanese community are planning to protest his presence, starting at 8:15 tomorrow morning.

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

Tags: ,

Pin It

About The Author

Ken Picard

Ken Picard

Ken Picard has been a Seven Days staff writer since 2002. He has won numerous awards for his work, including the Vermont Press Association's 2005 Mavis Doyle award, a general excellence prize for reporters.

Comments (7)

Showing 1-7 of 7

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-7 of 7

Add a comment

Seven Days moderates comments in order to ensure a civil environment. Please treat the comments section as you would a town meeting, dinner party or classroom discussion. In other words, keep commenting classy! Read our guidelines...

Note: Comments are limited to 300 words.

Latest in News

Social Club

Like Seven Days contests and events? Join the club!

See an example of this newsletter...

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative

All content © 2018 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401
Website powered by Foundation