By Shannon Lane @shannonroselane

A BUDDHIST kingdom nestled amongst the intimidating mountains of the Himalayas knows the secret to eternal happiness

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The local people are dedicated to wearing their traditional garments

Bhutan is known as the World’s Happiest Country, and offers a valuable lesson to the rest of the globe.

Since 1972 Bhutan opposed the western monetary measurement, Gross Domestic Product, and began measuring their economic growth by the Gross National Happiness of their country.

Tshechus are grand events where people dance, receive blessings and socialise

GNH takes into account sustainability, conservation, cultural values and good governance. It's assumed that happiness is achieved once there is a balance between material longings and spiritual values.

The construction of the elaborate buildings did not require any architects or engineers

Photographer Massimo Rumi visited the spiritual country in April 2015 to discover the key to ultimate happiness.

He said: “In the Western world we care too much about material things. We want the latest iPhone or the fastest car. The moment we cannot afford those things we cause ourselves unneeded stress
and unhappiness.

People watch the festivals in their finest clothes eating home cooked food

“In Bhutan, they have managed to balance their material possessions and their spirituality and that just makes them happier. They are just happy to be alive.

“With this approach in life, and being surrounded by untouched wilderness, the people of Bhutan are very content with their life.”

The photographer said: "Simple happiness is what I found in Bhutan"

To protect their delicate state of mind and environment, the royal government of Bhutan has enforced laws that tourists must be either guests of the government, or travellers on approved programs.

As their economic growth continues to accelerate, the people are dedicated to conserving their ancient culture, through their clothing and activities.

The people of Bhutan are cautious about preserving their peaceful way of life
Bhutan promotes modern education and traditional monastic education

Both men and women wear traditional, unique garments, which have evolved over thousands of years, whilst their everlasting Buddhist faith is reflected throughout festivals, elaborate monasteries and their education.

The masked dances are based on stories from as long ago as the 8th Century

The photographer said: “Buddhism has a lot to say about happiness. It does recognize that a certain degree of wealth is essential to live a happy life, but at the same time it stresses the importance of living an ethical and moral life to reach genuine happiness.

Approximately 60% of Bhutan's land and environment is protected

“Peace and harmony is what I found in Bhutan and it’s the richness of its simplicity that really surprised me.”