Friday, May 29, 2015Friday, May 29, 2015

Bhutan celebrates 34th birthday of 'Dragon King'

Published on Feb 21, 2014 4:55 PM

THIMPHU, Bhutan (AFP) - The tiny Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan on Friday celebrated the birthday of its revered "Dragon King" in a swirl of colourful dances and traditional music.

As Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck turned 34, his subjects - who number fewer than 750,000 - observed a national holiday in the mountainous kingdom, nestled between India and China.

In the capital Thimphu, hundreds of well-wishers danced and sang in honour of the Oxford-educated monarch, watched by thousands of spectators in the national dress, which is still required to be worn in schools and the workplace.

"We love our king because he is close to the people and he makes no distinction between his subjects, whether they are rich or poor," said Mr Bishnu Chhetri, a 37-year-old trader in Thimphu.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!