I attended the National Day celebrations here in Thimphu on Monday with Kuenga and Pasang. We were there way too early (because we didn’t know when the programme was supposed to start) but it worked out well in the end because we managed to get a first row seat with an unobstructed view of the proceedings at the Royal Bhutan Police (RBP) grounds.
The celebrations in Thimphu, while on a larger scale, shared similar items with the Fourth King’s birthday celebration. There were a couple of interesting items on the programme like “Three-Legged Race”, “Tarzan Swing”, “Pillow Fight”, etc, where members of the public were invited to participate. It brought a smile to my face, wondering if I will ever see the day where a “Three-Legged Race” would feature in the national day celebrations back home.
The biggest highlight of the day was that I met the King! Yup, the Fifth King Jigme Khesar Wangchuk worked the crowd during a break in the celebrations. Because we were sitting in the front row, he stopped by and gave me a pat on my arm and said “Nice to meet you.” Naturally, my brain froze at this unexpected attention and all I could muster was a weak “Nice to meet you too, sir.” And in the next split second, I realised my boo-boo. “SIR?!?! Why did I said sir?? It should have been ‘Your Majesty’. Duh!” Oh well, too late.
During the “Tashi Lebey”, the customary dance that rounds up all formal celebrations, I managed to see the Fourth and Fifth Kings, as well as the Queens. Trés cool. 🙂
Small photo set can be found here.
Happy 100th National Day Bhutan. May you and your citizens enjoy another 100 years of peace, growth and happiness!