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Bhutan is the only country in the world to rank Gross National Happiness (GNH) above GDP. And now Denmark just got a whole museum devoted to the pursuit of happiness. Located in the basement of a late 18th-century building on the pastel-coloured historic Old Town of Copenhagen, the Happiness Museum was created with the goal of bringing literal happiness to people’s lives while reminding its visitors the value and need to feel good.
The project is led by Meik Wiking, author of the three international bestsellers The Little Book of Lykke, The Little Book of Hygge, and The Art of Making Memories.
Curated by the Happiness Research Institute, a think tank focusing on well-being and quality of life, the museum explores how happiness prevails in different things in our lives. The subject is examined across eight rooms from different perspectives.
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Interactive exhibits and installations encourage visitors to get involved with light therapy and thought experiments. One such exhibit is a wallet containing cash left in the middle of the floor via which the researchers talk about the 'lost' wallets on streets, and look at how many of these wallets were returned.
Other sections include the Science of Happiness, the History of Happiness, and what lies in store in the future. There’s even a section dedicated to smiling where visitors can study Mona Lisa’s face from different angles.
Another interesting section is the display of personal objects donated by people from around the world which help them relive the happy moments in their lives. The Geography of Happiness section showcases the World Happiness Report 2020 which highlights the importance of the environment in human happiness.
“Our hope is guests will leave a little wiser, a little happier and a little more motivated to make the world a better place," says Wiking. "The UN has put happiness on the agenda with the World Happiness Report, where Denmark is repeatedly ranked as one of the countries that are best for creating well-being, happiness, and quality of life. Therefore, we think that Denmark is an obvious home for a museum that focuses on how we create a better framework for good lives."
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