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Restoration on Wangduechhoeling Palace to begin

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Her Majesty the Queen Mother Gyalyum Tshering Pem Wangchuck launched the restoration of the Wangduechhoeing Palace on the morning of 29 March 2015 dedicated to the Fourth King Jigme Singye Wangchuck’s 60th birth anniversary in a traditional ceremony. His Excellency the Prime Minister Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay accompanied Gyalyum during the event.

The Wangduechhoeling Palace was built by Gongsar Jigme Namgyel and is the first largest structure to be built as a residential manor and not a fortress. It bears a special and important place in history as it significantly marks an era of peace and stability in the country that has continued to this day. The palace also marks the birthplace of monarchy in Bhutan.

This project is undertaken by the Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs with financial and technical support from the Bhutan Foundation and will be implemented by the Department of Culture in coordination with the Bumthang District. The documentation and planning for the entire palace complex was completed in August 2014, which was made possible with support from the U. S. Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation (India) and the Bhutan Foundation.

In the following months, a project site office will be set up and the consolidation of the Lingkha Lhakhang (temple), an ancillary structure within the palace complex, will commence. Next year, restoration work will begin on the main palace structure and the five Chukhor Mani (water prayer wheels). The restoration of the Utse (central tower) and the establishment of a museum will be undertaken in following phases. The entire project is estimated at over $ four million.

Join the Bhutan Foundation at the 2015 Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital

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The Bhutan Foundation invites all to join us for the 2015 Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital on Saturday, March 21, 2015 at 2PM. Three films will be screened during the festival and all three filmmakers will be present to discuss the films after the screenings.  Please find below short descriptions of each film and we hope that you will join us to learn more about Bhutan.

The Red Door (Bhutan, 2014, 15 min.) The Red Door follows the metaphorical journey of a Bhutanese man during the various phases of his life. Tashi Gyeltshen comes to terms with his cousin’s suicide in this minimal, but meaningful tale. If reincarnation exists, death is a new start. Directed by Tashi Gyeltshen.

Boy of Good Waste (Bhutan, 2005, 22 min.) The film looks at a young, self-employed waste collector. Featuring real, raw footage that showsBhutanese ways of life, the boy is making effort to clean his town, paying neighbors for scraps that otherwise lie in their yards. Directed by Dechen Roder.

Made in Bhutan (Bhutan, 2013, 33 min.) Made in Bhutan is a documentary portraying this recent emergence of entrepreneurship. In 2012, pro-bono director Hirondelle Chatelard travelled the kingdom with a Bhutanesefilm crew meeting and interviewing entrepreneurs and key individuals. Directed by Hirondelle Chatelard.

This program on Bhutan will be introduced by Tshewang Wangchuk, Executive Director of the Bhutan Foundation with opening remarks by Ambassador Kunzang C. Namgyel, Bhutan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations. Discussion with filmmakers Hirondelle Chatelard, Dechen Roder and Tashi Gyeltshen will follow screening.

Thanks to the Asian Cultural Council and the Rubin Foundation for their support of this program.

To find out more about the program click here.

Bhutan Foundation Celebrates Bhutanese Losar (New Year) in San Francisco!

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On March 5, 2015 the Bhutan Foundation celebrated the Bhutanese Losar in San Francisco. This is the second annual event organized by the Bhutan Foundation in celebration of our accomplishments in Bhutan and looking forward to a successful year ahead for Bhutan. We celebrated the accomplishments of one of our local partners, the Loden Foundation, by screening a film, Made in Bhutan, that tells the story of how the Loden Foundation is encouraging a spirit of entrepreneurship in Bhutan’s youth. With growing youth unemployment in the country, the Loden Foundation provides a unique opportunity for youth throughout the country to make their own stories a success.

Through these events, the Bhutan Foundation hopes to increase the awareness of Bhutan throughout the United States and especially to celebrate the work of our local partners in Bhutan like the Loden Foundation. The Bhutan Foundation continues to support the Loden Foundation’s Entrepreneurship Program.

The Bhutan Foundation will also be showing Made in Bhutan at one of the biggest environmental film festivals in the United States, the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital, on March 21st, 2015 at 2PM in the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art, Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Auditorium. To learn more about the Bhutan program at the festival click here.