December 17, National Day

114th National Day of Bhutan

The historic 114th National Day celebrations at the ongoing Dubai Expo 2020 commenced from 15 December with the lively dance troupe from the Royal Academy of Performing Arts enthralling the crowds of visitors with enchanting songs and dances from BhutanвЂs medieval past.

Apart from the dazzling costumes that stole the show, the songs and dances, which included mask dances, which were performed for the first time in this part of the globe reverberated BhutanвЂs glorious past while also showcasing our rich cultural diversity much to the admiration of all visitors gathered at the event.

RAPA performers who left for the UAE on 10 December after three months of rigorous practice said they would travel to the World Expo in Dubai and showcase Bhutan to the world. On the penultimate day on 17 December, the National Day celebrations were graced by BhutanвЂs Ambassador to the State of Kuwait, H.E Chitem Tenzin and non-resident Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates. They were accompanied by H.E Sultan Mohammed Al Shamsi, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation for International Development Affairs.

The celebrations started with traditional dance performances that showcased the vibrant culture and tradition of Bhutan while also singing eulogies and praises to the Wangchuck Dynasty to mark the sacred occasion of the national day. The mask dance performance by the RAPA team was the highlight of the show as onlookers were enticed with the whirling display of multi-colored costumes accompanied by thunderous echoes of drum beats and out-of-this-world dance maneuvers.

The National Day festivities concluded on 18 with the screening of a Bhutanese award-winning movie by Pawo Chonying Dorji Lunana: Yak in the classroom to a select group of audience. In addition to the Bhutanese charm and allure that has already captured the hearts of thousands of visitors at the ongoing expo, the National Day celebrations from December 15 to 18 was yet another crown jewel that drew visitors in the thousands, and which left a lasting impression on everyone who partook in the events.

The Dubai Expo 2020 also marks BhutanвЂs entry into the global event for the very first time. However, despite being the first it never fell short of expectations as thousands have thronged the Bhutan Pavilion which, among others, showcases performing arts of Bhutan in the form of mask dances and folk songs and dances. The Bhutan Pavilion which is designed around the theme of Bhutanese culture and the philosophy of Gross National Happiness and is adorned with traditional Bhutanese motifs while the entire faГade bears traditional Bhutanese architectural style.

Expo organizers said the main faГade of the pavilion presents traditional Bhutanese structure while the other one is wrapped with pictures of landscapes and people capturing the essence of Bhutan, and giving visitors a true feel of Bhutan at the event.

Maha Al Gargawi, The Vice President of the International Participants of Dubai Expo 2020 had extended a special invitation for Bhutan to partake, saying she couldnвЂt imagine a World Expo being hosted in her country without Bhutanese participation. Prior to the commencement of the Expo, Mrs. Gargawi had said Bhutan has a lot to offer and showcase our unique culture and developmental philosophy of GNH, and sustainable policies in agriculture and tourism among others. The goodwill from the Dubai Expo was evident as Bhutan was provided a pavilion free of cost at her behest. The six-month global innovation fair is being held from October 2021 until March 2022. The expoвЂs theme is “Connecting Minds and Creating Future”, celebrating humanityвЂs resilience, creativity, culture, and innovation.

Source: Ministry of Economic Affairs

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