Thousands of Bhutanese will not wake up early fighting the December cold to gather today to celebrate the National Day. Many will also not gather in schools, dzongkhags and community to celebrate the day like in the past.
But with the nation embracing technology to mark the special occasion and everyone glued to their television sets to join in the virtual celebration, the spirit and enthusiasm for the day remain the least affected. The day would be as meaningful as ever.
The Covid-19 pandemic had helped Bhutanese explore a new way to celebrate the day to honour the ‘Past, Present and Future’. It will help family members, who will watch the same programme together think alike and talk about the significance of the day together.
The day will help every Bhutanese have a shared consciousness, as the significance of the day becomes even greater this year.
As we celebrate National Day every year, we turn the pages of history and remind ourselves the distinctiveness of Wangchuck dynasty legacy and appreciate their vision, sacrifices and commitments.
People are deeply conscious that His Majesty The King not only took the lead in protecting each and every Bhutanese from the global pandemic by travelling and meeting every Bhutanese in the high-risk areas but also adhered to the quarantine protocols.
As we listen to the Royal Address today, His Majesty will be in Punakha, in his noble initiative to take National Day celebration to different places to celebrate with the people every year.
Even during normal times, people gather in mass and wait to listen to His Majesty’s speech. Bureaucrats and public servants draw inspiration from His Majesty’s address, as they know His Majesty is fully aware of the needs and aspirations of the people. The difference this year is that people would wait for the guidance at homes from the sacred jewel of Bhutanese system.
Amidst the visual and aural spectacle, mobile phones will take over the traditional splendour of the celebration, as people will try their luck in the online lucky draw. Although many would not win the lottery or other online challenges, they will experience the online bonding, technology and problems associated with it.
Although Bhutanese embrace technology for the celebration, we will remain true custodians of our culture and tradition with national flags fluttering high and national anthem reverberating in every home.
Let us also make this an opportunity for our children to listen to grandparents about the significance of the day and the proud history of our great nation.