Thursday, October 26, 2006

Happiness Index

I am yet to come across a Philippine national- Filipino- who is grumpy, gloomy and cribbing about life. I am not aware the reason behind it – they are neither affluent nor spiritual – a common benchmark for happiness. He or she may be it maid, waitress, nurse, salesman, worker, physician or technician – all of them portray tremendous zeal to savour the life. They enjoy food, drinks, clothes, movies, music and above all chatting. Its rare to see a Filipino sitting quietly in one corner reading a book or complaining about job satisfaction or economic hardship. Very often, they would be seen huddled, chatting ,drinking, laughing and if alone – humming and singing. They appear to live for TODAY, work to live, NEVER live to work.

I felt this could be true with Philippine Expatriates in Middle East – who are outnumbered by their Asian expatriates. Often minorities cling to ecahother and remain contented but Filipino are the happiest all over including in their own country. But what surprised me is that they are not ranked at the top of ‘happy ladder’. They are still languishing at seventh position two rungs below Mexico and the United States. I would love to be in Mexico or meet Mexican to compare them with Philippines. Does Spanish inheritance have something to do with this?

Researchers claim that “the most important sources of personal happiness are close ties to friends and family, wide political freedom, high income and a narrow gap between rich and poor.” Other than close ties with friends and family, Philippine and Mexican may not match other benchmarks.

Denmark makes the happiest place on earth with Danes being the happiest people (Is it something to do with zero censorship?). The Danes scored a 7.69 on a 10-point scale. Following Denmark are the Netherlands (7.49), Norway (7.45) and Luxembourg (7.30). The US scored 7.29, Mexico garnered 7.18 and the Philippines 7.03. Other countries on the list of 21 are Brazil and Ireland (6.96), Belgium (6.91), the United Kingdom (6.88), Germany (6.59), France (5.98), Japan (5.88), South Korea (5.79), Italy (5.78), Portugal (5.58) and Greece (5.54). I wonder how Caribbean countries missed out.

What would be the India’s score ? Would it go beyond 2.00 ? But within India, I am sure Goan would take away the honors followed by people from mountains (pahadi’s). ‘Marathi manus’ perhaps be struggling in fractional figures.


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