The nation celebrates the National Day today. It is the 109th National Day that we are celebrating.

And time has come for us all to reflect on the significance of the day once again. We should, because we are celebrating our 109th National Day in Trongsa, the womb of the Wangchuck Dynasty.

There was a time when the little communities of our Drukyul fought against each other and disunity almost broke the idea of oneness altogether. But we had the will to rise as a nation. That is when the heart and the soul of the nation converged at Pungthang Dewachenpoi Phodrang on December 17, 1907. This is why we celebrate this day as the most important day in our calendar every year.

We celebrate the day because we have come a long way as a nation under the wisdom and guidance of our farsighted Monarchs.

Since the first Five-Year-Plan, Bhutan embarked on many development initiatives. We have seen rapid growth in terms of education, economy, health and agriculture, among others.

But we have ever-greater dreams to achieve, guided by our overarching development philosophy of Gross National Happiness. We aspire for an ever-greener environment, ever-greener education and social development.

And this also has to be the right time when we have to think as a nation where we want to be from this day on, because the nation’s march to progress should be perennial and determined.

There are questions myriad, even so. Where does our economy stand today, for instance? And our social development? How are we dealing with the rising problem of youth unemployment and rural to urban migration? How do we draft our development policies and programmes? Do we see ourselves as one or lives apart?

These are the questions as we look to the future. But a brighter future we must all look to.

Bhutan’s dream is for achieving soft power. That means a proud and self-sufficient Bhutan. That also means a happy and peaceful Bhutan.

That’s our future, and that’s what we celebrate today.