Switch on Bhutan

Open house at the J-School today, prospective students swirling. Days like this, with all the enthusiasm, I am reminded why I wanted to come here.

Day was wrapped up with screening of some of the documentaries made in the TV/News departments over the past couple of years, one of which was “Switch on Bhutan” – Bhutan is a tiny country tucked into the Himalayas. A few years ago, its government decided to allow TV and Internet into the country, making it the last country on earth to get TV. A J-School student went there to document the schizophrenic process of TV’s introduction to the last virgin culture on earth. Whole families would greet cable installers with parties and tea. The one and only cable company received endless calls wanting them to account for the strange shows. Why are these grown men beating each other up without mercy? — explaining WWF to them was a challenge. But within 6 months, children were making play wrestling belts out of cardboard, honoring their new heroes. Old ladies complained that TV was so fun to watch they would forget their religious duty, forget to count prayer beads. Beautifully shot.

Music: Dreamt Of By Armadillos :: Noize1

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