Kuensel editorial from the 19 December issue titled “From vision to reality” sums up what all of us felt about the 2007 National Day:
It was a moment that carried the weight of Bhutanese history. On the morning of December 17, 2007, exactly 100 years after Gongsar Ugyen Wangchuck began the reign of the Wangchuck dynasty, the fourth Druk Gyalpo, His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck, and His Majesty the King, Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuck, bowed to each other, their Royal Scarves lowered in the traditional gesture of respect.
The father had achieved his destiny. The son was beginning his.
It was the first public appearance by His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck, who announced his abdication on December 14, 2006. His Majesty’s deference to a new King symbolised the spirit of change as the kingdom begins celebrating the centenary of Bhutan’s Monarchy.
There are some emotions that cannot be expressed in words, not even with tears. But His Majesty King Jigme Khesar conveyed the profound appreciation of the Bhutanese people to his father, our King, with grace and conviction in a sacred pledge before he himself addressed the nation.
In His Majesty’s own words, it was a pledge, on behalf of all Bhutanese people, to safeguard the kingdom for future generations. We are committed to the creation of a just and compassionate society based on the vision of Gross National Happiness.
Thus National Day 2007 became the start of a new era, an era of responsibility.
It is a time when we are poised for unprecedented change. It is a time when many of us are reflecting on our own responsibilities in this evolution. It is a time when we are confused and concerned, excited and hopeful. And we understand that these are the emotions that we must translate into dreams and from which we need to draw our strength.
National Day was celebrated around the country by the senior-most officials, serving in the government today, who represent continuity through change. Then there were the presidents and other leaders of the two political parties who are seeking new destinies. There were the Bhutanese youth who are the future. And there were the people whom we must serve.
If December 17, 2007, brought a precious century of Bhutanese history to a climactic end, it promises to be the start of another special period of our experience as a nation.
We consider ourselves fortunate to be Bhutanese because of the quality of the nation that we inherited from our forefathers. When His Majesty the King stood on the royal podium, before the entire nation, and bowed to his father, it symbolized the sacred responsibility of every Bhutanese man, woman, and child to ensure that future generations of Bhutanese people will also feel fortunate to be Bhutanese.
His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck unfurled a vision. His Majesty Jigme Khesar will make this vision a reality. And we will all be a part of this extraordinary experience.
History is a pattern of timeless moments
The picture of the 2 Druk Gyalpos greeting each other was taken by Pema Tshering (Tintin), a very talented young man and a friend.