Home Forum Happy Country?

Happy Country?


By Pooja Marwah

The idea of an entire country being labelled HAPPY, is enough to evoke a wide-toothed grin! Laughter is known to be contagious, especially if it is done – ‘Dil Kholke’. And, perhaps, one of the best known facts is that no one ever teaches you how to laugh, there is no proper way nor is there a decibel level attached to it.

You find something funny – You laugh. Period.

Now whether it erupts as giggles, grunts or even snorts, who really cares or judges? A laughing person is attractive, most definitely, to me. For in that laugh, the eyes light up, the stomach somersaults into twists and turns, the entire moment is light, funny and most importantly – Alive. We all have that one friend whose laugh is enough to crack us up instantaneously, without even knowing the reason. And that is the power of something so perfectly wonderful. A something that has no limits. A something that has no rules.

If an individual can have such a cascading effect, take a moment to visualise the impact an entire country could have! For the sixth year in a row, Finland tops the charts as The World’s Happiest Country! I suddenly have this insane urge to pack my bags and head straight to Helsinki. And of course, I have ‘Hotel it out’s’ dynamic portal to find the happiest accommodation there.

So, while, as individuals we are in a constant search for happiness, how does an entire country of 55.4 lakh people classify as happy? What is it that they are doing right? Is this happiness ranking perhaps biased towards a philosophy or a culture? No matter which religion we look at, Hinduism or Christianity; no matter which philosopher we read, Plato or Aristotle, the core of their scriptures put value, ethics and happiness on one plane! To be happy is a skill to acquire; a life skill if I may say so directly. Akin to the emphasis we put on our morals and values, joyousness is also inherent.

Finland tops the ladder because of one primary fact – lower income inequality! The difference between the highest earner and the lowest one is not a stark 10 million dollars! The economy thrives on growing together, it multiplies on industries like kindness, gratitude and empathy. Basic humaneness is of vital importance. Crime rates are effectively low. People spend time living their life, not going from one paycheck to the other! There is a Finnish proverb that I’d like to state here – Happiness is a place between too little and too much.

The World Happiness Report (yes, there is a publication that measures joy) proves that happiness is not just a state of mind but a way of life. It is something you do every day, as normal and mundane as your waking up and brushing routine, perhaps. It is a consciousness about who you are as a person. I am just a girl that thrives on the brighter side of the surface. The question is – Who are you?

(Pooja Poddar Marwah is an award winning author and Blogger. She writes an contemporary living and offers incisive reflections on the world around us. Her blog, Random Conversations is a go to guide to deal with the myraid stuggles we face each day.)