Ticket to Happiness

Just how happy are we? The scores for well-being may vary from one country to the next but the path to happiness is the same all over the world: family is important and so too are friends at home and at work. KLM took a look at the ingredients for happiness in six different countries.

In Malaysia, people like to take the time to socialize. They get together after work to drink and eat at one of the many Mamak stalls. There are various different cultures in Malaysia but everyone believes contact with family and friends plays a big part in happiness. In Nigeria happiness revolves mainly around family. Nigerians are happy if they can take good care of their family and share their lives with family and friends. In Curaçao it is not much different. The people of the former Netherlands Antilles are very family-minded. They support and look after each other and show their appreciation to their relatives. Family, friends and good health, seem to be the key ingredients for happiness.

In Brazilian society, family is also very important. It is perfectly normal for men of 30 to be still living with their parents. They don’t leave their parental home until they get married. In Germany, however, a shift seems to be taking place. In the old days, different generations all lived under the same roof. Family is still very important today but happiness depends more on a mix of family, friends, work and things they do for themselves. In the United States it’s more or less the same. For Americans, happiness is the sense of belonging, being relevant and financially independent. But religion can also be a key factor in some cultures, for example in Nigeria. In this West African country there is a close link between religion and happiness. Voluntary or charity work, like distributing food to underprivileged people, can make people happier. The same goes for Curaçao and many other countries. And so it seems that health, family and religion contribute more to happiness than material things.

What is the key to happiness worldwide? Aristotle once said ‘Happiness depends on ourselves’. Do you agree? And is there a similarity between happiness and luck? We wonder what happiness means in your country, and in your life. What makes you happy? Family and friends? Your brand-new car? Or your new-born puppy? We would like to know.

Corporate Communications