NEW DELHI India
The ‘Frozen Culture’ countries of North
Europe top the list of the happiest countries of the world.
These countries have plenty of snow but do not see the sun
for most part of the year, writes Swami Anand Kul Bhushan.
And they are not famous for their song and dance.
Moreover, these people smile sparingly, if at all.
No wonder they are termed as having ‘Frozen Cultures’.
And yet they are the happiest, really!
Which are these countries?
Finland, Norway and Denmark.
These three top the recently released World Happiness
Report 2018 on 156 countries.
Sweden, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Ireland also
feature in the top ten.
Another ‘deep frozen’ country, Canada, is also among the
top ten while Australia and New Zealand make it to the top
These countries hold these top ten positions for the past
By the way, these countries are also among the most
And have high suicide rates.
No Tropical Counties
How come there is no tropical country among the top ten?
Why none of the so-called developing countries made it to
the top ten happiest nations?
Who says that just because a people are poor, they can’t
Why do the peoples in these countries escape the cold
weather to the warm, colourful tropical countries for their
Look at the beaches of Goa, Sri Lanka, Thailand,
Bali, Kenya, Mauritius, Jamaica, Rio, and other major
holiday destinations, and you will find people from
these happiest countries, and other western countries,
enjoying themselves; laughing, singing and dancing they
hardly do in their own countries.
Seems happiness comes with the sun.
And consider the tiny Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, the
only Utopia in this world today.
Its guiding principle is to satisfy the well-being and
collective happiness of its residents through an index of
measurable and attainable life goals, called Gross National
Their king claims that GNH is more important than GDP or
Gross Domestic Product.
This country of Nirvana ranks 97 in the happiness report;
don’t care about its pristine environment or its cultural
Because it doesn’t meet the norms.
The list is based on six key variables found to support
well-being: income, healthy life expectancy, social support,
freedom, trust and generosity.
Who decides these parameters?
A group of hard-nosed, social scientists and ‘experts’ at
the United Nations.
These parameters are debatable, especially trust and
Dragging Down Rich
Among the rich countries, USA slipped to 18th place, five
steps down from 2016. Britain comes in 19th.
The researchers cite obesity, depression and opioid
addiction as some of the factors dragging down rich
countries. UAE makes it at 20th position.
Despite its natural beauty, glorious wildlife and
vibrant indigenous culture, Kenya trails at 124 while
Uganda and Tanzania lag even further down at 135 and
Mauritius with its ‘sega’ dancing fares much better
at 67th position.
Terror ridden Pakistan comes at 75, as India drops
eleven placed to rank at 133 despite the year-round
carnival of festivals and ceremonies.
Nepal fares better at 101, Bangladesh at 115 while
Sri Lanka ranks 116 and war-ravaged Afghanistan, stands
In India, Delhi government announced to introduce
‘happiness classes’ in schools after news of some killings
and violence among students.
And which are countries at the bottom of the happiest
All in Sub-Saharan Africa: Tanzania (153), conflict
ridden Southern Sudan (154), Saharan nation Central African
Republic (155), and war-ravaged Burundi (156).
How to be Happy:
So, what is happiness and how can we be happy?
Osho says, "Whatever you are doing, do it happily.
"Don’t ask for happiness.
"Whatever may be happening, seek out where and how you
can find happiness.
"Even a dry crust of bread can give you happiness if you
know how to find it.
"If you know how to be happy, then even the shade from an
ordinary tree will put palaces to shame.