His Majesty The King’s National Day Address is special because besides the celebration of our successes it is also about the path to and vision for the nation’s future.

 On December 17, Saturday, Bhutanese at home and abroad saw and felt the pulse of the nation through the words of His Majesty The King—it is the future we must look forward to and prepare for, but then our past achievements are also equally important to remind us of the fabric that binds us together and gives us the strength to forge ahead with great determination and valour.

At the heart of His Majesty’s address to the nation was that standing as one, together, is critically important. It was about unity in speech, thought, and action. And this message was driven home to the people through profound words that painted the picture of rapidly changing Bhutan and the precarious world order that is coming to the brink and actions that recognised the talents that often go unnoticed.

His Majesty The King put the ongoing transformation initiative in the clear perspective by awarding the Druk Thuksey Medal to Pawo Choyning Dorji, a young Bhutanese filmmaker to took Bhutan and Bhutanese creatively to the doorstep of the Academy Awards, better known as the Oscars. Pawo Choyning Dorji is perhaps the youngest Bhutanese in history to be recognised with the highest civilian award.

His Majesty said: “We have been working hard to bring about the transformational changes and improvements that we need to strengthen our governance and the economy. We are all doing this for our people, especially our youth, so that they can establish a secure, happy and prosperous future.”

The transformation initiative is about making our children productive and competitive; it’s about showing them opportunities and encouraging them to excel in every field. Young talents in space science and creative and entertainment sectors are already doing the nation proud. International awards and recognitions speak for themselves. But it is the fecund ground that we must give to such burgeoning talents which is more important. That’s why the transformation initiative and that’s why the recognition, because, in the long run, it’s about our national security, economy, and the well-being of our people.

 Bhutan is known across the world as a unique and happy country. It is unique because we give special priority to the preservation and promotion of our many cultures and traditions. Bhutanese are a happy people because we are at home with our own beliefs, ideals, and way of life. His Majesty The King’s message in a nutshell, therefore, was that while we must be strongly rooted in what makes us Bhutan and Bhutanese, we also nurture a future that will strengthen our economy and sovereignty.

In other words, the time has come to truly invest in young talents.