Eighteen-year-old Rinzin Jurmey from Bhutan decided to become a monk and student of Buddhism when he was eleven years old. While many of his peers in modern schools are more materialistic, Jurmey enjoys a contemplative lifestyle. Bhutan, a small nation which was cut off from the rest of the world until only a few decades ago, uses a Gross National Happiness Index rather than gross domestic product to measure economic and moral progress and promote Buddhist spiritual values. But tourism, technology, and globalization have had a major impact on the country. As Jurmey travels between his monastery, his 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.
New York metro area, THIRTEEN: Sunday, April 25, at 7:30 PM
National viewers, please check your local listings.