Tag Archives: beyond the sky and the earth

NY Times: “Bhutan is no Shangri-La”

A strong piece today in the NY Times op-ed section today about Bhutan’s refugee situation will bring widespread attention to an issue I write about in Radio Shangri-la that’s been ongoing for over 20 years. 

I’ve tried hard to get mainstream media to write about or talk about the refugees, particularly as they’ve resettled in the US, and particularly as debates have swirled in this country over immigration*, but to no avail.

To be sure, it’s a complex issue and my hope has long been that as the refugees integrate into US culture (as they have by the tens of thousands in the last few years) and their stories get heard that Bhutan will at the least open up a dialogue.

 *The issue stems back to a time when there were more porous borders around Bhutan and people of Nepali origin were brought in to help built modern Bhutan.  As their numbers grew, fears grew that Bhutan’s cultural heritage (not to mention control of Bhutan by “pure” Bhutanese) would dissolve.  Please refer to the final chapter of the paperback edition of Radio Shangri-La, Jamie Zeppa’s Beyond the Sky and the Earth and Hutt’s Unbecoming Citizens for more thoughtful distillations of the situation.

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“Just walk into that cloud:” Books and films about Bhutan

ImageI’m not eager to advance the clock, but I do hope when I’m a very old woman, Radio Shangri-la will still pique the interest of people curious about the birth of the information age in Bhutan.

Since we’ve got time for that: Here’s a new story on the website Popmatters that rounds up books and films about Bhutan–some of the usual suspects, and some that aren’t.  I’m honored to be included.

And of course you can find more in the bibliography of Radio Shangri-La, which I’ve got posted online.  Lots of self-published tomes on the “land of happiness” have appeared since my book came out two years ago.  A couple other books by established publishers, too.  Before recently, there wasn’t a huge body of work about the Kingdom–and much of it was very, very old.

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