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Happy?

I am working on a book about happiness, in the course of which I commissioned a couple short articles by people from different backgrounds.  They were asked the question, "who are the happiest people?"  Here is part of a piece of writing answering that question from the point of view of a Nigerian.  As you can see, the author notes that Nigerians are thought of as being happy.

"Nigerians have been referred to as the happiest people in the world, an irony given that almost two thirds of the population live under a dollar a day. Is there something in our culture that makes us live a happy life? I’ll leave that to the experts to decide. I will point out a deep belief in destiny, my people call it akalaka, and a certain willingness to accept that destiny. Perhaps this is where we draw strength and hope from. Perhaps it is from our ever willing and ever teeming legion of religious leaders promising us that tomorrow will be better and urging us to believe against all possible odds that our future will actually be better. I do know that a majority of Nigerians believe this and hold life sacrosanct (you’ll often hear, where there’s life there is hope) and this is why they can be happy.
Or perhaps it is like Fela, our greatest musician and the King of Afro Beats said, we are used to “suffering and smiling”, either way, a Nigerian will never commit suicide in the face of any problem. We continue to live our lives amid political and security upheavals, infrastructural decay and a host of other problems. We thrive on the hope that somehow, we can change our lot, but in the meantime, the only thing to do is to enjoy life and enjoy living. This is the happiness of Nigerians. But things are changing, my people say Echi Di Ime (Tomorrow is Pregnant), let us wait and see what she delivers."

Who do you think are the happiest people?



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