According to COMMIT4FITNESS, Bhutan is a small landlocked country located in the Himalayan Mountains of South Asia, between India and China. It has a population of around 750,000 people and its capital city is Thimphu. Bhutan has a temperate climate with four distinct seasons – spring, summer, autumn and winter. The terrain consists mainly of high mountains and deep valleys with some plains in the south.
The official language of Bhutan is Dzongkha but there are also numerous local languages spoken throughout the country including Sharchop, Bumthangkha and Nepali. The culture of Bhutan has been shaped by its Buddhist heritage as well as its strong ties to India and Tibet. This can be seen in its traditional architecture which combines elements from all three cultures as well as it art which often reflects Buddhist themes or motifs.
According to aceinland, the nickname for Bhutan is “the land of the Thunder Dragon”. This nickname comes from the fact that Bhutan is home to one of the most famous mythical creatures in Asia – the Thunder Dragon or Druk. According to legend, Druk was sent down from heaven by Guru Rinpoche to protect Bhutan from evil forces, and this creature has become an important symbol for the people of Bhutan representing strength and wisdom. Additionally, Druk features prominently on the national flag further reinforcing this nickname.
Population of Bhutan
In 1995, the population of Bhutan was estimated to be around 1.2 million people. Most of the population was concentrated in the western and central regions with a smaller presence in the east. The majority of the population were ethnic Bhutanese who were mostly followers of Buddhism while there were also smaller populations of Hindus, Muslims and Christians present in the country.
According to allcitypopulation.com, the majority of the population lived in rural areas and engaged in subsistence farming as their main source of livelihood. This included growing crops such as rice, maize and wheat as well as raising livestock such as cows, goats and sheep. Most families lived in traditional two-story houses made from timber or stone which were built on stilts to protect against flooding during monsoon season.
At this time, Bhutan had a very young population with nearly half (47%) under the age of 15 years old while only 4% were over 65 years old. The life expectancy at birth was estimated to be around 57 years for men and 59 years for women due to high rates of infant mortality, malnutrition and a lack of access to healthcare services.
In terms of education, literacy rates among adults aged 15 and older were estimated to be around 48% for men and 24% for women at this time due to limited access to schools especially in rural areas. In addition, only 16% of men aged 20-24 had completed secondary school while only 6% had attended college or university compared to just 1% among women aged 20-24 who had completed secondary school or attended college/university during this period.
Overall, Bhutan’s population in 1995 was largely rural with a young demographic profile comprised mainly ethnic Bhutanese who followed Buddhism while also having small minorities from other religions present as well. In terms of education levels there was still much room for improvement due to limited access especially amongst women living in rural areas at this time.
Economy of Bhutan
In 1995, the economy of Bhutan was largely agricultural-based with subsistence farming as the main source of livelihood for most of its population. The majority of Bhutanese farmers grew crops such as rice, maize and wheat as well as raising livestock such as cows, goats and sheep. However, due to the rugged terrain of the country and limited access to markets, agricultural productivity was low.
In addition to agriculture, forestry had long been an important economic activity in Bhutan with timber extraction providing a significant source of income for local communities. Other natural resources that were tapped into during this period included hydropower which provided electricity to many households in rural areas as well as minerals such as copper and coal which were mined in small quantities.
The manufacturing sector also made a small contribution to the economy with most industries being concentrated in urban areas such as Thimphu and Paro where there were several small-scale textile mills producing woolen fabrics for the domestic market. In addition, there were some light manufacturing industries engaged in food processing, paper production and furniture making.
The tourism industry was still relatively undeveloped at this time due to Bhutan’s isolated location but there were some efforts underway to promote the country’s unique culture and natural beauty to international visitors. This included opening up several national parks such as Jigme Dorji National Park which had become popular among trekkers from abroad by 1995.
Overall, Bhutan’s economy was largely dominated by agriculture while forestry, hydropower and minerals extraction also provided some income for local communities during this period. Manufacturing activities had just begun while tourism was still at an early stage but with potential for future growth given its attractive cultural and natural attractions.
Foreign Policy of Bhutan
In 1995, Bhutan’s foreign policy was largely focused on maintaining good relations with its two immediate neighbors – India and China. Bhutan had a long-standing relationship with India which offered a range of economic and military assistance to the country. This included providing training to Bhutanese personnel in Indian military academies as well as assistance in areas such as health, education and infrastructure development.
Bhutan also maintained diplomatic relations with China since the early 1980s but there were still some issues to be resolved between the two countries such as their respective claims over certain border areas. Despite this, both countries were keen to maintain good relations with frequent exchanges of high-level visits taking place during this period.
In addition, Bhutan also sought to strengthen its ties with other countries in the region and beyond. This included establishing diplomatic missions in several Asian countries such as Bangladesh, Japan and South Korea as well as setting up embassies in European nations like Germany and France.
At an international level, Bhutan was a member of several multilateral organizations such as the United Nations (UN), World Bank (WB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF). It also participated actively in regional forums such as the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) which it had been a founding member of since 1985.
Overall, Bhutan’s foreign policy during this period was focused on maintaining good relations with its immediate neighbors while also seeking to further strengthen ties with other countries in the region and beyond through diplomatic missions and multilateral organizations.
Events Held in Bhutan
In 1995, Bhutan hosted a range of events and activities that showcased the country’s rich culture and natural beauty. In May, the annual Royal Highland Festival was held in Thimphu. This event featured a range of traditional Bhutanese activities such as archery, dance performances, and local food.
In August, the annual Tshechu Festival was celebrated in Paro. This festival is one of the most important religious celebrations in Bhutan and is marked by colorful masked dances and other traditional performances.
The same month also saw the opening of Bhutan’s first national park – Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Park – which covers an area of 4,349 square kilometers in north-central Bhutan. The park is home to a wide variety of wildlife including snow leopards, red pandas, tigers, marmots, and Himalayan black bears.
In October 1995, Bhutan hosted its first international film festival – the Thimphu International Film Festival (TIFF). This event showcased films from around the world as well as local productions from Bhutanese filmmakers. It was attended by several foreign dignitaries including India’s Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and China’s Vice President Hu Jintao.
Finally, in December 1995 a new constitution for Bhutan was adopted which established a democratic system based on a bicameral parliament with an executive branch led by the King who remained as Head of State but had limited powers over government policy-making decisions.
Overall, 1995 saw several important events that highlighted both Bhutan’s cultural heritage and its commitment to democracy and development through initiatives such as establishing its first national park and hosting its first international film festival.