I cannot speak for the Asian society, but I will speak for the Bhutanese community. Oh yes, I will defend those hundreds of Bhutanese who leave home every year to first world countries because of the dollar lure. Just as much as there are Bhutanese who go to school towards earning a degree in the United States, there are also uneducated Bhutanese who work their butt off for the dollars. But who am I to judge those Bhutanese who sell their cows, ancestral property, and give up their revered positions in civil society for their version of a,’ Better life.’ At the end of the day, even the patriot thinks twice as much about himself than he thinks about his country . There is no lack of dignity in working, even if that means coming from a country where peace and prosperity prevail, a fair and transparent government exist, and education is free.
It makes sense to say that a Jamaican leaves his/her country to work and live in the United States because Nigeria, today, like most African nations are not environments where a child can be brought up. Bhutan’s population is half of Tampa’s and for a population of that size, migrating to third world countries in hundreds is too high a figure.
In the movie, Travellers and Magicians the protagonist is a young, ambitious man working as a civil servant who is not content with where his life as an, ‘Ordinary,’ civil servant has headed. The protagonist plans to leave Bhutan for the United States. The protagonist represents the younger generation of Bhutanese society; he represents the attitude of most civil servants. The only difference is that, he does not have any children, and his options remained limited. In 2014, those, ‘ambitious,’ Bhutanese have options to work and live other than in the United States, such as Canada, Dubai, and Europe. “Staying in Bhutan demanded a lot of respect and qualification to get a job,” Says Deepu, in his late 20’s, working and living in Dubai. Leaving home for Deepu meant more than getting a job and being able to pay his bills, it meant; a new environment and a new beginning as Deepu was struggling with drug abuse. “Now much broader paths have opened for me where I can improve my skills in communication like never before,” said Deepu over an interview on Facebook.
Travellers and Magicians, one of the few ,’Revered,’ Bhutanese movie released almost a decade ago and, believe it or not unfortunately, Bhutan is experiencing the exact scenario portrayed in the movie like a scene foreshadowing in a short story.
I am not a parent, but I understand the importance in being able to get your child the best education, exposure, and the latest iPhone. However, please don’t waste this life as a Bhutanese by moping airports when you should visit one back and forth. Don’t waste your life as a Bhutanese looking after others children when your own child is growing up with out a mother. I also understand that not everybody is destined to become the next Jobs or Bieber. Thus, education is our only salvation, education may not prevent Bhutanese from leaving their country, BUT lack of education is definitely one of the main reasons why Bhutanese leave in the first place.
Bhutan is not only a small country but also a brand new country where the first female minister, first female bodybuilder, and things of that nature make headlines. Without having to calculate the annual GDP, we can say that most Bhutanese are content and that is a good thing. But we do not know how and where our country will stand in the future, right? May be we will discover more than hydro power and build friendships across oceans; we never know…However it is important to understand that one thing will always stay the same; our ,’Unique,’ culture, heritage, and tradition will always play a significant role in guarding our frontiers.
Wearing a kishuthara (Silk Bhutanese national dress), once in a year during losar does not mean preserving our unique culture. And when you visit Bhutan with your coach purse, iPhone 9, and an ‘American accent,’ make sure, you don’t prostylize the real heroes who stay home and work in the name of tsa wa sum.