Bhutan to coronate new king Wangchuck

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Thimphu, Nov 5: The tiny Himalayan kingdom Bhutan will witnes the coronation of their new king Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck on Wednesday, Nov 5.

At the stroke of 0831 hrs on Wednesday, Nov 5 at Thimphu, the Coronation of South Asia's last king will begin, formally announcing the ''Change'', which has also been the driving force behind the US Presidential election. The US may get its first black president, but this kingdom, which has given more importance to Gross National happiness(GNP) then the crisis of Wall street, is already in the seventh heaven ready to witness the coronation after 34 years.

The ceremony will take place in the Golden Throne Room at Tashichhodzong in the presence of the members of the royal family, including Lyonchhen Jigmi Y Thinley, the Prime Minister of Bhutan and other Bhutanese leaders.

President of India Pratibha Patil, Ms Sonia Gandhi and her family, who are friends of the royal family along with other dignitaries will also be attending the ceremony.

The new king father, Jigmeye Singye Wangchuk was one of the rare monarch who not only encouraged active democracy but also oversaw a long tedious training of democracy to the whole populace of the country and then voluntarily handed over the power to the democratically elected government early this year whereas just across the border Nepal saw a bitter and bloody transition to democracy.

It is part of a process of cautious and calibrated modernisation driven by 52-year-old Jigme Singye Wangchuck, who abdicated the throne two years ago after forcing his reluctant and largely adoring subjects to accept democracy.

As part of the coronation ceremony, the new king will be offered ''Gyalse Na-duen'' (seven precious objects of the Universal Emperor) for worldly and spiritual mastery, inexhaustible speed, strength, love, wisdom, and power by His Holiness, the Je Khenpo, as an offering of empowerment.

The new king will also receive Tashi Zegye (eight auspicious elements) that symbolise wisdom, long life, concentration, mindfulness, understanding, purity, right action and speech. His Majesty will then receive Mendrey, the objects of Ku (body), Soong (speech), Thuk (mind), Yonten (qualities) and Thrinley (deeds) from representatives of the dratshang, government and people.

After the ceremony, members of the royal family, the Je Khenpo, the Prime Minister and all the dignitaries at the Royal Throne room will offer thridar (felicitation scarf) to the king.

The new king will then attend other ceremony at the Dratshang Kuenra, where the Je Khenpo will offer the Raven Crown with the chanting of the Coronation sutra.

The ceremony will be attended by Truelkus and Lams, more than 30 ambassadors representing the international community, and senior government officials, who will all offer the thridar to His Majesty.

About 20,000 people are expected to offer the thridar to His Majesty at the Tendrey Thang in the afternoon.

Six representatives of the Bhutanese society will offer the new king the symbols of traditional Medrey, Ku, Soong, Thuk, Yonten and Thrinley.

The last Coronation Bhutan saw was nearly 35 years ago in 1974, when the Fourth King, His Majesty Jigme Singey Wangchuk was crowned at the age of 17.

With his formal coronation, the 28-year-old Oxford-educated Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck becomes the world's youngest reigning monarch.


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