a1 University of NSW Australia. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
This article considers the measures being taken in Bhutan to support the cultural practices and traditions of weaving as Bhutan rapidly moves to modernize. Woven cloth is one of a number of artisan practices in Bhutan that contribute to a unique body of intangible cultural heritage, and a distinctive and instantly recognizable Bhutanese identity. Cloth and cloth production have come to have significant influence on the cultural, socioeconomic and political, as well as the ceremonial and religious life of the people of Bhutan. However with modernization and an increasingly global outlook, many socioeconomic transformations are taking place, challenging traditional cultural practices to remain relevant and viable to younger generations. Bhutan offers a unique case study as a country engaging only relatively recently with globalization after a long history of cultural isolation. Bhutan also offers up a unique policy response to modernization, its Gross National Happiness (GNH) measure, which attempts to embody a strong social, cultural, and environmental imperative within the development process. This article will analyze the various measures taking place to maintain cultural identity and cultural practices within the context of development policy and practice, and will link this discussion to measures and approaches taking place at an international level by agencies such as UNESCO.