Saturday, January 22, 2011

Define homeless in Bhutan

Yesterday at a social engagement a gentleman got up in front of the group and began speaking of Bhutan. He'd been to Bhutan and he claims they have no homelessness, no hunger, and their governing body directs through a Buddhist philosophy for the good of all the peoples. My interest is piqued.

No hunger? How does one gauge that? I get hungry on the bus home from work each night. I know that doesn't count. But as soon as this gentleman said "They have no hunger." I began to wonder how does a census gauge that? And then the homeless issue. He said, "They have no homelessness." If one wants to sleep under the trees, does that count as homeless? Is homeless as a choice still homeless? Traveling monks are homeless, by choice. It seems the census there must not count that as "homeless". What are their definitions for the things we concern ourselves with over here?

None of this stops me from wanting to go. I'd like to visit Bhutan. And Nepal. I want to go there even more, now that I have heard these incredible claims (yes, as in not credible to my "western" way of thinking). I want to go there for myself and I'd like to see anything else that is on the way there and back. I can appreciate that they do things differently. I can appreciate that their core of beliefs necessarily makes the society look different to me. I want to see what they see. I think I'd like to go to Bhutan.


  1. If the photo is an indication, once you leave the house, you fall off the cliff, you die. And not one worries much about housing and food for the dead.

    It is rare that what sounds like a perfect third or other world society is actually all that perfect. But you never know. Go have a look and see for yourself. What an adventure at any rate

  2. Your theory, Juan, raises the questions of mortality rates, which of course, were never brought up in the talk. Hmmm, more information must be uncovered. I'm willing to make that trek and dig out the details. :)