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Bhutan

The small Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan is known for its development philosophy of Gross National Happiness, yogis performing ancient tantric rituals in remote mountain caves, and being the last nation on earth to introduce television. The landlocked country, about the size of Switzerland, has never been colonized but sits uneasily between China and India—each with more than a billion people. When China invaded Tibet in 1949, Bhutan chose to align with modern India in matters of defense, while retaining political independence. As the last Mahayana Buddhist kingdom, with a population estimated in 2018 of just 735,553, maintaining cultural autonomy has always been a priority and modern media technologies traditionally were rejected as an unwelcome foreign influence, though this began to change in the late 20th ...

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