Thailand celebrates UN’s International Day of Happiness

Photo courtesy of The Nation

Thailand is basking in the glow of happiness as it marks the International Day of Happiness, a celebration initiated by the United Nations on March 20 (today).

This year, the nation has every reason to rejoice as it ascends two places in the global happiness index, landing at an impressive 58th spot, though trailing behind regional counterparts like Singapore, the Philippines, and Vietnam within ASEAN.

The genesis of the International Day of Happiness stems from a United Nations assembly on July 12, 2012, drawing inspiration from Bhutan’s unique concept of Gross National Happiness (GNH). Bhutan, renowned as the world’s happiest nation, evaluates national prosperity and social success through a holistic lens, prioritising overall well-being over material wealth.

At the core of this observance lies the UN’s dual mission: to foster widespread celebration of happiness and to underscore its significance as a fundamental human pursuit. Central to this ethos is the advocacy for policies that nurture happiness on a societal scale, aligning seamlessly with the UN’s broader agenda of global welfare and sustainable development.

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In its pursuit of happiness, the UN advocates for a multifaceted approach that encompasses economic progress, social cohesion, and environmental stewardship. Surveys conducted by the organisation gauge happiness levels across nations, considering a myriad of factors including income, employment, social relationships, health, and political freedom.

According to the latest World Happiness Report of 2024, Thailand has witnessed a surge in happiness over the past year, clinching the 58th position globally, up from 60th last year, and ranking fourth within ASEAN, trailing behind Singapore, the Philippines, and Vietnam.

While established happiness leaders like Finland and Denmark maintain their stronghold in the top rankings, emerging trends suggest a shifting landscape, with Eastern European nations like the Czech Republic, Lithuania, and Slovenia making notable strides towards greater well-being, reported The Nation.

Experts contend that cultivating strong social bonds and nurturing positive emotions are pivotal for individual and collective happiness. A sunny disposition not only enriches daily life but also correlates with improved health outcomes, reinforcing the importance of spreading joy and kindness, particularly in times of adversity.

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Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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