Thursday, July 22, 2010

The National Anthem of Bhutan

Druk tsendhen ("The Thunder Dragon Kingdom") is the national anthem of Bhutan.

Adopted in 1953, the music is by Aku Tongmi and the words are by Dasho Gyaldun Thinley. Tongmi was educated in India and was recently appointed leader of the military brass band when the need for an anthem rose at the occasion of a state visit from prime minister Nehru of India. His original score was inspired by the Indian and British anthems, as well as the Bhutanese folk tune Thri nyampa med pa pemai thri ("The Unchanging Lotus Throne"). The melody has twice undergone changes by Mr Tongmi's successors as band leaders.

The original lyrics were 12 lines, but was shortened to the present 6 lines version in 1964 by a secretary to the king. As the anthem is inspired by a folk tune, there is a choreography to it as well, originally directed by Mr. Tongmi.

Above is the self-adhesive record stamp of Bhutan which plays the national anthem, issued in 1973.