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Know Why Denmark Is Among The Happiest Countries In The World

World Happiness Report Denmark

According to the UN’s World Happiness Report, Denmark is one of the happiest countries in the world. The survey classified the happiness of around 155 countries of the world and Denmark for the last seven years have always found its name among the top three in that list.

So what exactly makes Denmark one of the happiest places in the world?

At the heart of Danish philosophy is empathy.  The schools in Denmark are teaching empathy as a mandatory subject in their curriculum.

In Danish Schools, an hour per week is dedicated to the lesson named “Klassen Tid”, designed for students aged between 6 and 16. Being a fundamental part of the curriculum, the hour spent on empathy is as important as Mathematics or English, if not more than them.

Denmark’s commitment to empathy and the resultant happiness of its people underscores the importance of empathetic practices in securing the well-being of the people and the need for other countries across the globe to emulate them.


Empathy- The Literal Meaning

Empathy helps one building relationships, prevent bullying and succeed at work. It can promote the growth of leaders, entrepreneurs and managers. “Empathic teenagers” are believed to be more successful because they are more inclined towards the completion of the goal as compared to their more narcissistic peers.


How Denmark Practises Empathy?

The students are asked to discuss their problems during “Klassen Tid”, the problems can be related to any aspect of their life. The whole class, along with the teacher, discusses and tries to work out a solution to the problem.

If there are no real problems to be discussed, children simply spend the time together relaxing and enjoying ‘Hygge’. ( A fundamental concept, that lies at the heart of Danish culture where one does things that make them feel cosy).

‘Hygge’ doesn’t have a formal definition, however, it can be called as “intentionally created intimacy”. In a country where it gets dark very early in the year, ‘Hygge’ is all about bringing light, warmth and friendship. It is all about creating a shared and intimate atmosphere.

With Amazon selling more than 900 books on ‘Hygge’ and over 3 million posts tagged #hygge on Instagram, ‘Hygge’ is no more a Danish-exclusive concept, making its presence felt global now.


What Do Experts Say?

American writer and psychologist Jessica Alexander, author of the book “The Danish Way of Parenting: What the Happiest People in the World Know About Raising Confident, Capable Kids”, with Danish psychotherapist Iben Sandahl, has conducted field research to understand how the Danish people teach empathy.

The primary way is teamwork, accounting for a total of 60% of tasks carried out at school. They always emphasise on the fact that one must not always look to excel over others. They are rather taught to be responsible and help those out, who perhaps are not equally gifted.

Collaborative learning is also at the core of the curriculum that focuses on bringing together children with a different set of strengths and weaknesses in order to make them help each other in class while working together on various projects.

This very method instils the feeling of caring for others in the children, sending a strong message that helping others out always leads to better results.


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