August 8 – Independence Day for Bhutan

Posted on August 8, 2015

According to several sources, Bhutan is one of the few countries that has been independent throughout its entire history. (Nearby Nepal is another.)

Part of the reason for this is its location: Bhutan is located high in the Himalayan Mountains. It's a landlocked nation (that means that it doesn't have any coastline and doesn't touch any ocean or sea), and it borders on China to the north and India to the south, east, and west.

Even though Bhutan has always been independent, we still acknowledge today as “Independence Day” for Bhutan because Bhutan was able to keep its political independence from Britain by recognizing Britain as suzerain.

(That means that Britain had a little bit of control over Bhutan, but Bhutan was internally independent.)

And in 1947, after India became independent of Britain, kingdoms such as Bhutan were given the option to remain independent or to join the Indian Union. Bhutan, of course, chose independence. It was on this date in 1949 that India recognized its independence.

"Tiger's Nest" in summer - Bhutan

Here are some interesting facts about Bhutan:

  • Until recently, Bhutan was one of the most isolated countries in the world. Finally, in 1999, the government lifted its ban on TV and the internet.
Some social scientists have been interested
to study the effects of television on Bhutan,
since it is the last nation in the world to have TV.
  • The nation doesn't have things that most people in the world take for granted. For example, Bhutan is the only country in the world that bans the sale of tobacco. Also, there are no traffic lights, even in the capital city of Thimpu.
Instead of traffic lights, Bhutan has traffic
  • This is a country that takes keeping its environment beautiful very seriously! The constitution requires that at least 60% of the country must remain under forest cover at all times. Also, killing the highly endangered black-necked crane could get you thrown into jail for life!

To find out more about Bhutan, check out this earlier post.

Or just enjoy the beauties of Bhutan's landscapes, culture, and people:

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