Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Hopes and prayers for Japan

On March 11, 2012, His Majesty the King organised a prayer ceremony to mark the first anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake. The prayer ceremony was conducted in Changangkha Lhakhang - a 12th century temple and one of the most sacred places in Thimphu valley. 

The prayer ceremony was attended by JOCV volunteers and JICA experts working in Bhutan and by members of Japanese community and JICA Alumni in Bhutan.

A minute of silence was also observed at 11.46am - the time when earthquake struck the north-east coast of Japan on March 11, 2011.

In a letter to the Emperor of Japan, His Majesty the King expressed confidence that Japan would rise stronger from any adversity. “It was humbling for me to confirm this in the eyes of thousands of people I came across as I traveled briefly, yet intensively, through Japan last year.”

His Majesty the King, Her Majesty Queen and the prime minister lighting butter lamps. Tom Nitta of JICA waits in the background

Monk leads Japanese people at the butter lamp ceremony

His Majesty the King leads the prayers joined by Her Majesty Queen Jetsun and Prime Minister Jigmi Thinley and the Japanese community in Bhutan

His Majesty meeting the Japanese volunteers and experts working in Bhutan

His Majesty organised tea and snacks for the guests after the prayer ceremony