It is not news anymore, the whole country is now buzzing with the announcement of His Majesty to wed in October. It is happy, happy news indeed, and although we are still months away from the occasion, the excitement everyone feels is palpable.
I was in the media gallery yesterday, and had the fortune of watching His Majesty make the wonderful announcement, and hidden from view of the formal proceedings of the parliament, we were free to express our excitement, as we watched those in the hall flash grins even as they resisted breaking out into cheers.
I was also very fortunate to have graduated from college in May 2008, which meant that I could witness the coronation celebrations in the country that year in November. It was an amazing time to be a Bhutanese, and to be in Bhutan. A lot of my friends were still abroad then, and I was truly sorry that they missed this momentous occasion.
I don’t know if people who weren’t here really understand what it was all about. Maybe it just sounds like a big national celebration- well, it was a big national celebration, but it was also much more.
It was a time for everyone in the country to step out of their homes and join a big party. Everyone was out, attending events, or simply enjoying the vehicle free streets, acknowledging everyone else, friends and strangers with smiles and solidarity. There were a record number of people in the national dress, proud and beautiful people in their finest.
It was more than the coronation of a king- It was a time for everyone to celebrate their identity, their history and legacy, and their dreams and hopes for a promising future. Maybe all those people who were part of the celebrations didn’t express their feelings in so many words, but everyone felt it.
No one was alone, everyone was part of a bigger whole, and they knew. It was a magical time, and I believe that it brought everyone closer to one another and to everything that we have- our country, our kings and our shared memories.
That is why I am excited that we have another national celebration to look forward to this year. Perhaps it will not be in the same scale as the coronation celebrations, and I know His Majesty expressed his wish that the celebrations not be grand.
But I know it will be as big as the coronations in the soul. The joy evoked in the hearts of the people will be the same, and that is what makes an event grand, not the money spent on it. It will be a good time to be in Bhutan, and I am glad that some of my friends who missed the coronation will be able to witness the Royal Wedding. They deserve to share in the memory of a national celebration that lets us appreciate who we are.