September 23, 2012: Amids thousands of spectators, Bhutan Day was celebrated at the Floraide 2012, the World Horticulture Exhibition at Venlo, Netherlands on Saturday 22 September coinciding with the blessed rainy day.
Lyonpo Dago Tshering, Special Envoy of the Prime Minister of Bhutan was the chief guest for the occasion. Attending the Bhutan Day were Ambassador Sonam Tshong ; Honorary Consul in the Netherlands; representatives and senior officials of the Dutch Foreign Ministry, the Floriade Commission, the Dutch flower bulb companies and the Bhutan+Partners organization; officials of Royal Bhutanese Embassy in Brussels and their families, Bhutanese delegation from Department of Horticulture and Druk Holding and Investments (DHI); and about 17 Bhutanese students in the Netherlands
and thousands of visitors to the Exposition.
The highlight of the celebration was the symbolic handing over of the ‘Queen of Bhutan’ tulip to Lyonpo Dago Tshering by Ms. Erica Terpstra, a former Dutch Minister, and well known TV personality on behalf of the people of the Netherlands. Upon receiving the tulip, Lyonpo stated that the tulip is indeed a beautiful flower of grace, warmth and radiance of Her Majesty the Queen of Bhutan and an appropriate symbol of friendship and cooperation between the peoples of the Kingdoms of The Netherlands and Bhutan.
The ‘Queen of Bhutan’ tulip is a specially cultivated tulip to commemorate the Royal Wedding in October 2011 through the initiative of Bhutan and Partners, a Dutch NGO dedicated to promoting friendship and cooperation with the Bhutanese people. The bulb itself was grown by a well known Dutch flower company called Fluwel, whose representatives were present at the launch yesterday.
Bhutan Day was observed with the hoisting of the national Flag of Bhutan and the National Anthem followed by welcome addresses by the Mayor and Commissioner General of Venlo and Lyonpo Dago Tshering. The programme ended with cultural performances by the Bhutanese students. Tulip bulbs of the ‘Queen of Bhutan’ were distributed to the distinguished guests and public audience as also pamphlets and
brochures on Bhutan.
Other significant programmes of the Bhutan Day included, two Panel discussions on Gross National Happiness and on Agriculture & Environment. Business-to-Business conferencing to intensify business relations and identify new business prospects. A Happiness Workshops for Children was also held. The Rotary Venlo and the Royal Bhutanese Embassy in Brussels jointly hosted a Lunch for about 300 prepared by the Bhutanese community and Valuas college.
Bhutan is one of the 42 countries participating in the Floriade – Sixth World Horticulture Exposition since 5 April 2012 until 6th October 2012. The Expo is held once in every 10 years in The Netherlands. The theme for Floriade 2012 is Living Nature and the five-sub-themes are Relax & Heal, green Engine, Education & Innovation, environment and World Show Stage.
The Floriade receives atleast 10,000 visitors every day and has so far been visited by over 2 million people mainly from Netherlands, Germany and Belgium. Netherlands is the leading horticultural nation in the world accounting for a large part of the booming global business in flowers and bulbs. Almost all the leading Dutch flower and bulb growers have a presence at the Floriade 2012 making it the ideal venue for developing trade and professional links. Many countries also use the Floriade to promote their tourism in the Dutch and German market.
A Bhutan Stand called the House of Happines at the Flora Villa exhibiting Bhutanese handicrafts, prayer wheels & flags, and other items to promote Bhutan was set up by a team of dedicated friends of Bhutan who managed to get support from a number of Dutch sponsors and volunteers.
- Press Release, Royal Bhutanese Embassy