Anonymous in Bhutan

Bhutan is a very small country. Living in Bhutan is unlike living anywhere.

My father was a NCO in the Royal Bhutan Army. I used to go to school in the same army truck as the son of the Colonel, my fathers boss. In class, I shared my desk with my best friend whose father was a Dzongda.

I am all grownup now, running a travel business. My best friend from School, the Dzongda’s son, works for one of the 4 banks. The Colonel’s son with whom I used to take the bus to school with, now works for a government organisation.

When I go to the bank, my friend is always there to help me. From free consultations, to getting a loan from his bank. I have benefited from the Colonel’s son. He has referred his friends abroad who want to visit Bhutan, to my travel business.

The other day I went to the census department to make citizenship ID for my uncle from the village who had lost his ID. The official in-charge was an old school mate. We chatted over a cup of tea. The whole affair was a breeze.

My father-in-law is a serving police officer. My daughter goes to a school run by my old high school teacher.

And once in a while, I am golfing buddies with the Prime Minister’s son.

Such is Bhutan. Everybody has a similar story.

A lot is being discussed these days about anonymity. Specially, anonymous comments on the social media.

I am one of those anonymous characters actively participating on the internet.

I dont want my banker friend to know that I think his bank’s services suck. I cannot pass comments about the Police Chief. He knows my wife’s family personally. I cannot pass comments about the Prime Minister. I enjoy my golf with his son.

But I am a concerned citizen. It bothers me when there is injustice in the society. I feel helpless to see corruption unfold right in front of my eyes.

I want my country to have an environment in which our children can grow up in a manner in which they can walk tall, and rub shoulders with anyone from anywhere in the world, on equal terms. I want my country to be the precious gem that it can be.

Therefore I wear a mask.


Contributed anonymously. Obviously.


This story from Sonam Pem

Sonam Pem has the distinction of being our very first author on Bhutanomics.


  1. There is no respect for Army’s wife in their own organization coz they are seen doing Watever their Boss wishes….