Thousands of people of all ages and abilities, gathered together in Changlimithang, Thimphu to celebrate the 60th Birth Anniversary of the Fourth Druk Gyalpo Jigme Singye Wangchuck.
To get the best seats in the house, most people started queuing up by 3 am in the morning on November 11 and the public entrance opened at 4:30 am. The stadium was packed to its full capacity in no time and people had to even be let in to sit on the grass.
Everyone came to celebrate the father of nation, the Fourth Druk Gyalpo. The Changlimithang stadium was decorated with the national flags, banners, flowers, and balloons. The smiles, laughter, cheers and applauses from the people filled the stadium. There were many people who travelled from faraway places to be a part of the special occasion.
“His Majesty fulfilled every need of the people, he never differentiated. He is the father of the nation,” a group of people told this paper.
Upon more interaction with the audience, 84- year-old, Damchoe Dem, said that she was seated in the stadium by 6 am, and she had also witnessed the show at the Clock Tower Square the evening before till 9 pm. She said that she did not want to miss the opportunity to see His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo as she is old and wanted to see him before her death.
“I pray for His Majesty’s long life and good health. He brought everything, like roads, water, medical services, bridges, and moreover he brought a peaceful life in Bhutanese society that we don’t face any difficulty in any ways,” she added.
Similarly, Damchoe Dorji, 76, said that he had come all the way from Chukha to get a chance to see His Majesty and witness the celebration. “I thank His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo for being such a wonderful leader, and I must say he is my one and only role model. I could have watched the celebration on television but I wanted to witness the Fourth King in person, and to want to pray for his long life,” he said.
A 45-year-old business woman, Pem Lham, said that the Fourth Druk Gyalpo has brought unprecedented peace and prosperity to the nation and people.
“Whatever we have today is all because of him, and I pray for his long life. We are more than lucky to have a leader like him,” she said.
A 32- year-old tourist guide, Jigme, said that His Majesty the Fourth King has given much love and care to the nation and people. He added the day is perfect to pray for the protection and safety of His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo.
Dechen Wangmo, 24, said she feels fortunate to see His Majesty in person, and to be blessed under his benevolent leadership. “I pray for his long life and may he live 1000s of years,” she said.
A 16-year-old nun, Tashi Yangzom, said, “I always pray for his long life and I consider myself a lucky person to be born under his leadership. I don’t know much, but what I have always known is that the Bhutanese citizens have the best leader in the world.”
Kunzang Jigme, 5 years old, said, “I adore my Fourth king and I love my King. I enjoyed the celebration and am very happy to see His Majesty today. Long live my King.”
To top the celebratory mood and enthusiasm, the news of the Royal Heir due in Losar from His Majesty the King filled the stadium with loud cheers and happiness and applause. Many people cried tears of happiness and said they are very happy to celebrate two special occasions at one time.
There was a similar celebratory environment in the other 19 Dzongkhags with people offering butter lamps in front of the image of His Majesty the Fourth King.