Red Light / Green Light

Happiness

Once, not so long ago, the streets of Thimphu had a brief brush with traffic lights. Now, only vague recollections of the alien structures remain. Kunzang Choden illuminates the mystery of the missing traffic light.

Bows and Arrows

Happiness

"The bamboo that grows in India is growing behind your calves!" ring the war cries of village archers. Bhutanese men are famous for their devastating marksmanship and for their insults. Kunzang Choden explains how to intimidate your opponent.

Death Rites in Paradise

Happiness

Three weeks of vacation spent feeding the dead. In Bhutan, death rituals are more important than birthdays and they last 49x as long. Kunzang Choden counsels us through a difficult time.

Eye of the Beholder

Happiness

While Bhutanese billboards conform to a sober government-approved aesthetic, giant penises wink from doorways and sprawl across the walls. Kunzang Choden talks art in the age of Gross National Happiness.

Eco-Constitution

Back to Earth, Happiness, Ecology

“Eco-friendly” is a national attitude in Bhutan, where plastic bags are banned and individual households devote their free time to monitoring the forest. Kunzang Choden explains what magical spirits and past monarchs have to do with Mother Nature.

Animal Kingdom

Happiness, Animals

The Bhutanese national animal is so bizarre that scientists had to invent a whole new taxonomic category for it. But that’s not why zoos are banned and meat has to be imported. This week, guest blogger Kunzang Choden breaks down the cycle of life.