Bhutan Celebrates The Birth Of A New Prince By Planting 108,000 Trees

Much of the world is advancing faster and faster with each passing year.

Much of the world is advancing faster and faster with each passing year. One of the consequences of this sudden progress is the forgetting of old traditions. But Bhutan, a Buddhist kingdom, hasn’t forgotten its roots.

In March of 2016, King Khesar and Queen Jetson of Bhutan celebrated the birth of their first born child. The country celebrated with them with some 82,000 households participating in a nationwide tree planting of more than 108,000 trees.

Other volunteers also contributed 26,000 more trees.

If you’re like me, you’re probably thinking “why 108,000?” Many religions, including Buddhism, see the number 108 as being sacred, and by planting 108,000 trees, each tree symbolized a prayer and a wish for the new Prince as well as the kingdom as a whole.

“Each sapling encapsulates a prayer and a wish from the person who planted it to His Royal Highness the Prince so that just like the bountiful tree, the Prince also grows up healthy, strong, wise and compassionate,” says Tenzin Lekphell.

Across the world, we see forests being consumed without much thought to meet our appetite for lumber and agriculture, so seeing a nation so deeply committed to forestry is encouraging.

What’s most moving to me is that the people of Bhutan aren’t answering a rallying cry to save a planet in distress. Their actions came from a deep well of hope, joy, and happiness. They each did a small action that would contribute to the well-being of a new prince as well as future generations of people.

It makes sense that they would have this attitude. Bhutan is considered one of the happiest nations on Earth according to the World Happiness Index.

Of course, Bhutan has made some aggressive strides in the fight against deforestation. Their constitution mandates that 60% of their land must remain forested. Currently, 70% of Bhutan is forested. It also plants to go 100% organic and produce no greenhouse gases by 2020.

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