BUDDHISM, BHUTAN AND ME
Directed by Rinzin Jurmey (Bhutan)
Eighteen-year-old Rinzin Jurmey from Bhutan decided to become a monk and student of Buddhist cosmology when he was eleven years old. Unlike many of his peers who attend modern schools and are more materialistic, Jurmey enjoys a contemplative lifestyle.
The small nation of Bhutan was cut off from the rest of the world until only a few decades ago. Rather than gross domestic product, the country uses a Gross National Happiness Index to measure economic and moral progress and promote Buddhist spiritual values. But tourism, technology, and globalization have had a major impact on Bhutan. As Jurmey travels between his monastery, mountain village, and the city, he meets with hip hop dancers, video game enthusiasts, and sports fans, seeking to understand the intersection of tradition and pop culture.
With guidance from cinematographer Cat Papadimitriou, Jurmey documents the ways in which he – and his country – are striving to preserve ancient practices while embracing modernity.
“I believe we should be careful how we progress and develop as a nation. It can only be achieved by committing ourselves to preserving our ideals, values and traditions. I want the world to understand Bhutan on a deeper context than just as a tourist destination.”
– Rinzin Jurmey
“It’s somewhat unusual that a teenager has a hard time talking about themselves, so helping Rinzin tell this story was uniquely challenging. That this film is set in a Buddhist country with someone like Rinzin makes it unlike any other film I have been a part of, and I’m so excited to share it with the world.”
– Cat Papadimitriou
“It’s been an incredible opportunity to work with BYkids and to contribute to Rinzin’s story. Bhutan is a fascinating and beautiful country, and documenting Rinzin’s spiritual discovery has been a deeply moving and rewarding experience.”
– Chris Rizzo