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Bhutan is the last standing Buddhist Kingdom in the World and, until recently, has much of their culture since the 17th century by avoiding globalization and staying isolated from the world. Bhutan only allows a certain number of foreigners into the country each year, and the two hundred dollars a day that must be paid by every traveler is a deterrent for many. Internet, television, and western dress were banned from the country up until ten years ago. But over the past ten years globalization has begun to change in Bhutan, but things remain balanced.
Bhutan is the only country in the world that has a ‘GNH.’ You may think GNH is just another based term with no real life application, but it refers to “Gross National Happiness.” The process of measuring GNH began when Bhutan opened up to globalization. It measures people’s quality of life, and makes sure that “material and spiritual development happen together.” Bhutan has done an amazing job of finding this balance. Bhutan has continually been ranked as the happiest country in all of Asia, and the eighth Happiest Country in the world according to Business Week. In 2007, Bhutan had the second fastest growing GDP in the world, at the same time as their environment and cultural identity.
Bhutan is the only Buddhist Kingdom in the world; Mahayana Buddhism is the official religion of Bhutan. Over two thirds of the people are Buddhist, and Buddhism is supported by the government both politically and economically. The government gives to Buddhist monasteries, shrines, monks and other Buddhist programs.