Home > News > Regional
Saturday February 22, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Saturday February 22, 2014 MYT 8:10:21 AM
Long live the king: Bhutanese students participating in celebrations marking Wangchuck’s 34th birthday at the National stadium in Thimphu. — AFP
THIMPHU: The tiny Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan celebrated the birthday of its revered “Dragon King” in a swirl of colourful dances and traditional music.
As Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck turned 34, his subjects – whose number fewer than 750,000 – observed a national holiday in the mountainous kingdom, nestled between India and China.
In the capital Thimphu, hundreds of well-wishers danced and sang in honour of the Oxford-educated monarch, watched by thousands of spectators in the national dress, which is still required to be worn in schools and the workplace.
“We love our king because he is close to the people and he makes no distinction between his subjects, whether they are rich or poor,” said Bishnu Chhetri, a 37-year-old trader in Thimphu.
A military parade and a speech by Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay also marked the event, which the monarch himself did not attend.
The fifth Dragon King, whose picture is commonplace in homes across the country, came to the throne in 2006 after his father abdicated and agreed to cede absolute power to a parliamentary democracy.
Bhutan held its first elections in 2008 and is known for pursuing a unique economic development model of “Gross National Happiness”, which aims to balance spiritual and material wealth. — AFP
Tags / Keywords:
Bhutan celebrates birthday of 'Dragon King'
Temporary Thai truce on eve of king's birthday
Thai cops yield ahead of king’s B-day
Bhumibol appeals for stability
Death in the long grass: Myanmar's snake bite menace
A teatime treat
Canadians flock to Parliament Hill, site of attack on soldier
Brazil presidential campaign ends in slugfest over corruption
Bukit Beruntung landslide site declared stable, residents given green light to return home
War-weary Ukraine set to pick pro-Western parliament in election
A powerful agreement
What makes us age faster, or slower?
HTC One E8: One direction
Wenger hails 'super' Sanchez after Chilean sinks Sunderland
Copyright © 1995-2014 Star Publications (M) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)