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More On What I Will be Doing in Bhutan

From July to December 2009, the Royal Institute of Management in Thimphu, Bhutan will be hosting me as the first American Fulbright scholar to the country of Bhutan. In 1990, the Royal Institute of Management was granted a Royal Charter. The Royal Institute of Management is currently the only Bhutan management institute primarily involved in training and supporting the civil service of Bhutan. (This is also my area of expertise--public policy and public administration.) The Royal Institute of Management also engages in training, research and consulting.

Much more about the Royal Institute of Management can be found here: http://www.rim.edu.bt/

While in residence at the Royal Institute of Management I will be in the university's Department of Management Development. Starting on August 8, 2009 and ending about mid-September I will be teaching approximately 45 graduate classes on the topic “Development Theory & Practice.” From mid-September until the end of December, I will conduct research on Bhutanese national tobacco policy and administration, assist in on-going research efforts, and provide input on curriculum development. My research on national tobacco policy will be coordinated with the Royal Government of Bhutan’s Office of Economic Affairs and other Bhutanese government agencies.

Quite an interesting schedule, I think. And I will definitely be hitting the ground running as soon as I arrive. From about June 29-July 3, 2009 I will be involved in an intensive seminar on Bhutanese culture and cuisine (much more about this later as we plan to take many trips and post pictures!), functional Dzongkha (Bhutan’s native language) and Bhutanese society and government.

Posted by mgivel 13:32 Archived in Bhutan Comments (2)

Literature and Film

As you might imagine, once we learned we were indeed going to Bhutan, we wanted to learn everything we could about Bhutan and its religion and culture. Smithsonian Magazine had a recent feature about Bhutan, http://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/da-bhutan.html and the country had just been a part of the 2008 Smithsonian Folklife Festival and a topic of discussion on the Diane Rehm Show on NPR. One of the books recommended on her show was "Bhutan, Himalayan Mountain Kingdom" by Francoise Pommaret. We also found an excellent list of books on the website of the Bhutan Foundation http://bhutanfound.org/?page_id=13 (scroll down to "Books" and click on "HERE"). One book about Buddhism I enjoyed was "Entering the Stream, An Introduction to the Buddha and his Teachings" edited by Samuel Bercholz and Sherab Chodson Kohn. Finally, I heartily recommend "The Geography of Bliss, One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World" by Eric Weiner. Even though only one chapter concerns Bhutan, it was a pleasure to read.

We also found a few delightful movies! I really loved "Travelers and Magicians," about a young Bhutanese bureaucrat posted to what he considers a small village backwater and a trip he makes to the capital. The same Bhutanese director made "The Cup", about Tibetan monks in a monastery in northern India who want to watch the soccer world cup tournament. "Little Buddha" intertwines an account of the life of Buddha with a story about three children who may be the reincarnation of a beloved lama. The opening scenes and last quarter of the movie were set in and filmed at the beautiful Paro dzong in Bhutan. "Dzongs" are fortresses, historically built by lamas. Many dzongs are now museums or government buildings, but many remain monasteries, like the one in Paro.

Posted by rsherry 19:46 Archived in Bhutan Comments (0)

Disclaimer

I just wanted to let you know that this travel blog is not an official U.S. Department of State website or blog and the views and information presented are our own and do not represent the U.S. Fulbright Program, Council for the International Exchange of Scholars, or the U.S. Department of State.

Posted by mgivel 20:51 Comments (0)

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