rick filosofeert

elitair, elegant, arrogant, sinds 14 mei 1977


Bhutan is as you might know a little country in the Himalaya. The Bhutanese call it the land of the Thunder Dragon. Last month for the first time ever, there were general elections. The Bhutanese don't measure their succes in a Gross National Product, but in the Gross National Happiness. Both competing parties pledged to support this. Last year they had a mock election to train the people. They understood better than the American government that democracy isn't just about elections..

But why I am telling you this. In 1998, I participated at the United Nations International Student Conference of Amsterdam, Unisca. For the first time ever, there were students from Bhutan, family of the King. We talked with them a lot. They were supposed to be the next leaders. They were representing Nepal, but luckily Bhutan's path to democracy has been less rocky. We dutch students were allocated a country, and I was ambassador and delegation leader for Israel. As It was the week Dana International won the Eurovision song contest, I appeared one day in a dress.

For the Bhutanese this was a world shock, and they reported back how many new impressions they got, being in Europe. The homeland was satisfied and started to send more students and people abroad, to see how democracy worked.

It might have been just a tiny element, but still, when I heard that Bhutan had completed it's transformation.

Interview with Rick about Unisca (In Dutch)