The Happiness of Art

Following the Art Scene in Bhutan by Aine Carey


They say that when you travel you experience new things that ultimately help you to find yourself, which is the goal of the artist and the mystic.

There is a series on BBS – 2 called NAZHO¬NEN EXPRESS that helps you achieve this goal without even leaving the familiar comfort of your living room. The goal of all great art is to inform, educate, entertain and inspire, this BBS series does all that but it also does something else that rarely happens on reality t.v., ittransforms and in very special instances it can heal.

The series is about a young Bhutanese man who has returned to Bhutan after 17 years abroad. As he explores the country he left as a child he discovers himself in the process and what it means to be “Bhutanese”.. I was watching this program with a family that spanned four genera¬tions and after the program was over an enlight¬ening and touching conversation took place. The seven year old asked his grandfather if the village that he came from was like the one on the show, the grandfather, a usually quiet man lit up at his grandchild’s interest and began to tell his grand-child about his life on the farm in the village. The conversation caught the attention of the boys father who had spent 10 years out of the country and I was a witness to a beautiful remembering and bonding experience which ended in the fam¬ily deciding to take a trip back to the village so the grandfather could show his grandchild (and his son) their “roots”.

That is exactly what this series does at a very critical time in Bhutan’s history; it returns one back to their roots and informs the way forward… and not only for the Bhutanese but also any world citizen, like myself, who longs to return to the wisdom of the natural world and integrate it with the knowledge of modernity. Now more than ever, both Bhutan and the world at large need to remember it’s traditional wisdom inherent in the simplicity of the land and the seasons, the basic necessities of life and the interdependence of all things.

This program creates a bridge over the grow¬ing gap between the ancient and the modern, the country and the city, the youth and the elders, the known and the unknown. In keeping with the tradition of great bridge builders in Bhu¬tan, the creators of NAZHOEN EXPRESS have made of this gap a beautiful tapestry that seam¬lessly joins the seemingly dualistic appearance ofthis and that into a holistic story of a culture; wise, strong, united and healthy in body, mind and spirit.

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