Drum roll please, there’s a lot of noise over the other royal wedding of the year — this one in remote Bhutan, a country most know very little about. Writes the LA Times, “in sharp contrast to the nuptials of Britain’s Prince William and Catherine Middleton, there were no star-studded celebrities, self-important film stars, fidgeting foreign royals or a long wedding dress train to trip over.
The theme in Bhutan was “of the people,” and a tad controversial when the popular fifth “Dragon King” married a 21-year-old student, the daughter of an airline pilot.
As the LA Times expressed, “it’s hard to overstate the excitement that’s gripped the mountain kingdom since it was announced that Oxford graduate King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and commoner Jetsun Pema would wed.
Many had waited impatiently for the 31-year-old constitutional monarch to find a soul mate and get on with it. When he did, and word spread that he’d fallen for a brainy student he’d first met as a child, Bhutan’s people fell almost as much in love with her as had their king.
Times have changed, even in insular Bhutan. So it will be only one woman for this royal. King Wangchuck has pledged to love a single wife, in contrast to his father, who, in 1988, chose to tie the knot with four brides, all sisters. This week’s glowing groom is the son of his father’s third wife.
In keeping with centuries-old tradition, the rites were performed in a sacred monastery fortress in Punakha and included purification rituals, blessings, prayers and prostrations.
All this for a king who loves Elvis Presley, plays a mean game of basketball, sports long sideburns and slicked back hair and takes evening bike rides in the neighborhood.
The country is perhaps best known for embracing a “gross national happiness” index — a measure of people’s sense of well-being, environmental harmony and community ties — rather than the gross domestic product.
Bhutan’s rather halcyon image was tarnished somewhat, however, by a recent survey released by the National Statistics Bureau.
According to the Bhutan Business newspaper, the Bhutan Multiple Indicator Survey covering 15,000 households found that nearly 70% of women believed they deserved a beating if they argued with their partner, refused sex or neglected their children.
The survey also reportedly found that more than 1 in 4 women believed HIV/AIDS was transmitted supernaturally and that 1 in 5 children were involved in child labor.
Below is a different perspective and view on the world inside Bhutan as the parade and celebrations of this Royal Wedding take place around them.
F-G, really? C’mon girls. Get your hands on a PC and ping us on the web. We WILL support you from afar and afar doesn’t have to stay afar for long.. :-)