Democracy is a universal value based on the freely
expressed will of people to determine their own political, economic, social and
cultural systems and their full participation in all aspects of their
While democracies share common features, there is no
single model of democracy.
The 2013 International Day of Democracy was graciously
celebrated on 15th September in Paro College of Education
organized by the Institute for GNH studies, and Paro College of Education,
Royal University of Bhutan in collaboration with UNDP Bhutan. The theme of the
day was “Empowering Youth Voices and Participation”. Dasho Kuenzang
Wangdi, Chief Election Commissioner was the chief guest. The celebration was
also attended by Dasho (Dr.) Pema Thinley, vice chancellor of Royal University
of Bhutan, Christina Carlson, UN Resident Coordinator, Members of Parliament,
team from GNH Studies, other distinguish guests from various sectors, teachers
and students of Paro valley, and faculty members and student-teachers
from Paro College of Education.
The celebration began with marchang ceremony and opening
remarks by Dasho (Dr.) Pema Thinley, vice chancellor of Royal University
We also witnessed skirts, tribute songs and dances performed
by the students from Thimphu, team from Labsey-nenshey and teacher trainees of
Paro College of Education to mark the day graciously.
The subject of this year's theme -- Strengthening
Voices for Democracy- is essential for the long-term success of democracy. All
citizens in all nations need to fully understand their rights and
responsibilities, especially like a country like Bhutan that have recently moved to
democratic societies. Should understand questions such as, “Why should I vote?”, “How can I
influence my leaders?” “What can I reasonably expect from my elected
officials?” or “What are my constitutional rights?” need to be addressed
through civic institutions, in the free press and in classrooms. It is only
with educated citizens that a sustainable culture of democracy can appear.