THE HAPPIEST PLACE ON EARTH…IS DENMARK

denmark happy

Move over, Disney World. I know being the “happiest place on earth” is basically your tagline, but you’ve got no seat in the United Nations, so technically your slogan is libel. However, I do have a constant love affair with your dear movies so I won’t file anything against you.

Every year the UN published its World Happiness Report, and in honor of celebrating World Happiness Day this week (by wallowing in my Millennial mid-college crisis and day-drinking), I might as well find some happiness in the happiest country in the world– Denmark. Yes, Denmark, the home of the most miserable, suicidal teenager himself, Hamlet. There is even a word in their language that embodies the Danish culture of coziness and happiness, called hygge. In the American culture, the closest phrase equivalent to hygge is probably supersize me. The spirit of hygge is incomprehensible to the American culture being that the best way we feel happy is when we’re sitting alone on a Sunday night watching the latest episode of whatever we paused last week on Netflix. Denmark, however, is all about the happiness of being together with friends and family and the warm feeling you get when you’re drunk.

The countries in Scandinavia are all about its people. In New York City, trying to cross an intersection in Manhattan is the jungle equivalent of fighting for your own life. If it’s DON’T WALK, you can totally walk but at other people’s risk. Scandinavians are all about the social responsibility. They don’t lock their bikes. If no one locks a bike in Brooklyn for five minutes, it would already be sold on EBay in ten minutes or become an interpretive art piece at the MoMa in ten seconds. Biking is a way of life in Copenhagen, which makes it no surprise that it is the #1 Smartest City in the World, according to Fast Company. So they’re energy efficient and have a low carbon footprint. I’d like to see your SAT scores some time, Denmark. Oh, the US still ranks lower than Denmark in education.

There is no shame in conversation in Denmark which means that “small talk,” is a chance for you to finally say your age, how much you earn, and what you really think about Miley Cyrus. That’s all according to the humorous tales from the Xenophobe’s Guide to the Danes. After recently coming back from Denmark, my mindset didn’t change but I may have been a bit angry at the Danish for being just so damn happy.

Denmark’s happy. Norway’s happy. Sweden’s happy. That’s it. They’re all just happy. They love each other and find nirvana from just being around other people. They don’t have anything else to worry about. Americans are all just finding happiness, whatever that word means. It’s basically why everyone comes to America, is to find happiness. That’s the point of the American Dream, right? Only to find out that you’re on your own and you’ve got to find your own way yourself and know where you’re going, Alice. Maybe that’s too heavy a subject. I’ll save it for small talk the next time I go back to a coffee shop in Copenhagen.

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WHAT I LOVED: THE F-WORD

Throughout the week, I spend a lot of time online and off to consume information and stories that fuel me for conversations with friends, essay topics, and simply to expand my frame of reference. Most times, 140 characters isn’t enough to share what I love, so every week I will share what I read, watched, or learned for all the world to see. It’s also my time to “get real” with y’all. Let’s be smarter together!

The F stands for Feminism, everybody.

1. “My Mademoiselle Summer”

I started reading this article from the New York Times over breakfast on Monday. Written by Meg Wolitzer, it’s a nostalgic and lovely piece about her time with Mademoiselle magazine. As an “aspiring journalist” (which seems like an oxymoron these days), the article was a sort of time capsule of women writers in the 70’s and earlier. I admire all the writers she referenced in the article, which made me want to pick up another Didion book.

2. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

Instead, I started reading The Bell Jar immediately afterwards. The only thing I knew about The Bell Jar before reading the article by Meg Wolitzer was its cover, as it is a common decorative fixture in Barnes & Noble. Five pages in, I have already highlighted almost every other line. It’s a roman-a-clef of Plath’s spiral into madness and insanity while working at a magazine publication. GIRLS meets Mad Men-ish?

TIP! If you don’t got the dough to buy a book, here’s a website where you can download thousands of ebooks, including The Bell Jar. Virtual. Heaven.

3. The Virgin Suicides

As a reward to finish off my productive Thursday, it only seems appropriate to watch some sort of feministically-charged film. Another episode of Sex and the City? I kid. Ironically, I watched The Virgin Suicides (based on the book by Jeffrey Eugenides) for the first time. Sofia Coppola is kinda sorta my film hero. Okay, she is my film hero. Capturing the horrors and tragedies that is adolescence and high school, The Virgin Suicides was signature Sofia Coppola with some scenes that looked like my daydreams in high school. Rainbows and slow motion unicorns, y’all! I can understand why Rookie can’t get enough writing about it.

That’s what I loved this week. Is this a good thing to do?

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P.S. What did you love this week?