Happiness in different cultures

By on September 27, 2017

If you want to be happy, be.

Me and happiness

I do not remember how it actually came out into my mind, but the subject of happiness is extremely different for each country, for each culture. And I can say that this is a sure thing taking into consideration the fact that I traveled a lot, meeting a lot of new people from all over the world. Each culture has its own beliefs regarding happiness and this influence the overall acceptance of it in our lives. In order to have a proper overview, here are some differences and similarities that I have discovered during my travels and during my readings.

Photo by Jared Sluyter on Unsplash

About happiness

For psychologists, a happy person is characterized as someone who “has pleasant feelings most of the time, and feels satisfied with his/her life overall”. Most of us are happy when we have some private intimacy with us and our own passions or we travel or we just read something with pleasure, drink our favorite coffee, help someone, take an important exam or just launch your first blog. But what cultures say, in general?

Photo by Devaiah Mallangada Kalaiah on Unsplash

People from all over the world consider happiness as one of their most important personal goals. Moreover, a lot of national campaigns and movements have been launched for building happier societies. One interesting fact is that cross – cultural variations are happening also because of the culture’s degree of collectivism.  So, in collectivistic cultures where relationship harmony predicts subjective well-being, happiness is pursued in more socially engaging ways, compared to individualistic cultures, where the focus on the self is stronger and an important predictor of life satisfaction.

About cultures

Starting with America – To most Americans, happiness is an unrestrained human right and is commonly associated with positive experiences as well as personal achievements, enthusiasm and excitement.

On the other hand, the Japanese referred more to social harmony, the transient nature of happiness. Hong Kong Chinese define happiness through more low positive states such as calm and relaxation.

Photo by Loren Joseph on Unsplash

For the Greeks, working and studying are parts of life that produce happiness. Moreover, they are grateful for working and consider it being a bless.

In Switzerland, people don’t want their happiness to turn into another person’s anger, this is why they keep it at a level that make them feel among the happiest people in the world.

In Philippines, family is an important aspect, people feeling happy especially when it’s a family reunion. Maybe also because of the climate and social and political context, people appreciate more what they have and always seem to find humor in life.

Photo by Ariel Lustre on Unsplash

On your simple search on the internet you can find websites that help you to define and find happiness, like http://www.actionforhappiness.org/ . Or read more about happiness in other cultures here.

Leave Comment