From Mani Stones to Twitter: Bhutan Creates a Unique Media Matrix for a 21st-Century Democracy

Bunty Avieson


The small Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan is adopting digital media in culturally specific ways. For this traditionally oral culture with little interest in newspapers, digital media such as Facebook and Twitter sit comfortably alongside more traditional forms of media such as mani stones and lama dancing. In this article I use Benedict Anderson’s theory of media for creating nationhood and an imagined political community as a prism to consider the media landscape that is developing in Bhutan. The unique media matrix that is emerging from all the modern media platforms available provides a fresh perspective from which to consider the baggage of print capitalism and to rethink notions of print literacy versus digital literacy.


: Bhutan, social media, Twitter, Facebook, Internet, mobile phones, digital literacy, oral culture

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