The Royal Academy

Celebrating His Majesty’s Birthday

On the 21st of February the Royal Academy family, including students, teachers, administration and staff, joined together to celebrate the birth anniversary of The Druk Gyalpo, King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck. On this wonderful occasion the students and teachers had prepared a programme celebrating the history and contributions of the Wangchuck Dynasty and wishing His Majesty a long and prosperous reign. The programme started early in the morning, with students and teachers dressed in their best gho and kira sharing a special breakfast. Following breakfast, all the attendants sat in silence around the campus for our daily Ngondro, or mindfulness time of 20 minutes. While students and teachers usually use this time for quieting the mind and focusing on breath, today all focused their prayers and good wishes on the health and longevity of His Majesty the King, Her Majesty the Gyeltsuen, and His Royal Highness the Gyalsey.

Following Ngondro the students and teachers proceeded into the dining hall in silence and arranged themselves around the choeshum, which held the Royal portrait. The programme began with singing the National Anthem. Two student volunteers and one teacher offered khadhara and Butter Lamp. One by one, each mentor teacher distributed a butter lamp and a stick of incense to their respective mentees, who then lit their lamps and waited in line to offer them in honour of His Majesty. When all students were back to their places, everyone joined in to offer zhabtoen for His Majesty’s long life.

After the formal ceremony concluded, students and teachers alike were delighted to watch the song and dances choreographed by students, and to hear speeches in both Dzongkha and English given by students. Immediately afterwards, the sound of rumbling buses filled the air. In excitement, the students and teachers boarded the buses for an afternoon excursion to Taktshang monastery.

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