Meik Wiking, the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute based in Denmark, recently returned to Malaysia. Last time he visited Southeast Asia, he toured the Danish embassies in Bangkok, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur on a ‘happiness round trip’, from the end of May to start June 2016.
“Working with happiness is a privilege. It’s the most interesting thing to study; why some people are happier than others,” he told Star2r, when he recently visited Malaysia.
In the the United Nations’ World Happiness Report 2016 Update, Denmark once again tops the list as the happiest country in the world. The report compares the life quality of 157 countries in the world and Denmark have been in the top since the list was published in 2012. Denmark is often associated with the term happiness, which is becoming a Danish super brand.
Wiking and the Happiness Research Institute is one of the facilitators behind the brand. The institute conduct scientific studies in relation to happiness, which it uses to ignite public debate. When asked, why Danes are so happy he replies:
“They feel that they get a lot out of paying into a common pool – an investment in quality of life for all and a tight-knitted social security nest. There’s free access to healthcare, generous unemployment benefits, trust towards political institutions, government and judiciary system because there’s an extremely low level of corruption.”
Wiking is definetely not the only one engaged in Denmark’s happiness. Earlier this summer, ScandAsia asked three Danish ambassadors, what they thought about happiness as a Danish super brand.
“International rankings are generally given a lot of attention in Malaysia. Which has no doubt fueled the media interest in why Denmark is ranked the happiest country. I was therefore not surprised when it came up again in a live TV-show that I was recently invited to take part in,” said Nicolai Ruge, the Danish Ambassador in Kuala Lumpur.
His colleague in Bangkok, Mikael Hemniti Winther, agrees.
“The stories about Denmark as the happiest nation is a very useful tool when branding Denmark and thereby draw attention to our products and our country as destination for tourism and investments. It’s a very conscious strategy for the Foreign Ministry and for the embassies around the world to link those things with the public diplomacy’s different instruments,” he said.
The Danish ambassador to Singapore, Berit Basse, also hope that Danish happiness will inspire the Singaporeans.
“As research has shown that 40 per cent of our well-being is determined by our daily activities, 50 per cent by our genes, and only 10 per cent by our circumstances, happiness is to a certain extent a matter of choice and mindset. Danish society has successfully enabled individuals to develop and flourish by fostering a culture and framework conditions that allow for influence and fulfilment in peoples’ personal and professional lives. I hope this can be of inspiration to Singapore.”
Read more about happiness as a Danish super brand in the article below:
Star2r (9 August, 2016)