Knocking their Scandi neighbours off the top of the happiness index, Norwegians put their joyful outlook down to shared experiences, the great outdoors – and lots of country cabins
This week five million Norwegians woke to happy news. Their country now comes top in the World Happiness Report, having leapfrogged several countries. We celebrated our official happiness with an extra piece of brown cheese on our breakfast bread. Best of all, we’re above Sweden, the neighbour we love to beat in skiing, football – and euphoria. And we’ve knocked Denmark, three-time world champion, into second place. How did we do it?
I have visited every country in the world so ought to be in a position to look at my countrymen and women from the inside and out. Norway and Denmark share the word and concept of hygge – making a cosy, convivial atmosphere. Both nations cherish sharing activities with friends and family. For us, it’s skiing in the mountains of Hemsedal, hiking by the fjords and picking berries in the forests. But the Danes lack both peaks and fjords.