How People Express Their Happiness in 10 Different Cultures
Happiness is an emotion that all people want to feel in their everyday lives and in many cases, a person’s culture can play an important part in how they express it. Celebrating a happy moment can vary from country to country and these unique cultural traditions can be quite interesting to experience for any foreigner.
There are many ways to express your happiness depends on where you’re from and each way is individual and unique to the country it comes from. Here are some unique words you can learn in order to express happiness in 10 different languages from all around the world.
1. Sweden – Glädje
The word for happiness in Swedish is probably one of those words which just put a smile on your face no matter what goes on in your everyday life. In Swedish, the word being used to express happiness is actually quite simple. You can easily use it yourself whenever you’re feeling down and remind yourself that you can find some glädje even in the darkest of days. It’s truly not surprising how Sweden is one of the happiest countries in Europe.
2. Serbia – Nazdravlje
Serbian is one of those languages that, along with Swedish have quite a few words which are difficult to pronounce. The word they use the most when they are happy is Nazdravlje, and it translates to “to health". This word is used in many different occasions, but it is always present in celebrations and reminds the Serbs that health and happiness go hand in hand.
3. The Netherlands – Blijdschap
This word is bound to bring you happiness as long as you are able to pronounce it. You will be surprised to know that it is not pronounced as “blinds chap" even though this is probably everyone’s first thought, but actually “bleye shup" and it is here to represent joy and gladness. A country like this, full of work opportunities, less working hours and freedom regarding people’s rights is bound to bring a lot of Blijdschap to its residents.
4. Spain – Felicidad
One of the words that will possibly stick out to many people from the very famous Christmas song Feliz Navidad is this lovely Spanish word for happiness. Spanish-speaking countries are full of unique places to see and with Spain being one of the most beautiful countries in Europe, you can easily figure out why this word is a part of the everyday lives of natives.
5. Italy- Contentezza
Compared to Northern countries like Iceland and Sweden which offer a plethora of difficult-to-pronounce words, Italy is here to offer a word which you will truly enjoy using – Contentezza. Not only will you be able to practice that Italian accent everyone does on the internet, but you will also be able to remind yourself to stay happy in one of the most beautiful languages.
6. Iceland- Hamingja
There are many reasons why this word can bring you happiness, even if you’re not a native speaker. First of all, you might really like ham, and this word might simply remind you of it. Apart from that though, you will be happy to know that this word represents an Icelandic spirit which represents luck. This truly helps you understand why the Icelanders chose to use this word to express their happiness.
7. Greece – Opa
Greece is known all around the world for its celebrations and the warm hospitality of the people. The number one word that expresses happiness is the word Opa. This word can be used in many occasions when dancing traditional dances, clinking glasses, or wishing others well. In any occasion, it plays an important part in the Greek culture and always makes an appearance when plates are being smashed on the dance floor.
8. France – Bonheur
The French certainly always have a way to make everything sound truly beautiful and unique. French is also one of those languages, along with Italian, that everyone tries to imitate and most of the time simply fails. Bonheur is a word that will possibly be pronounced in a much more sensual way that it is supposed to, but it will still make you happy trying to pronounce it.
9. German – Glück
While many people learning German might tell you that Glück stands for luck, a native speaker will let you know that this is a word that can mean anything from happiness to blessedness. In any case, this is a word that plays an important role in the German language, and it’s always present when a happy event takes place.
10. Finland – Onnellisuus
The word for happiness in Finnish is simply one that won’t slip your mind. Not only is it long, but it also has three letters which repeat themselves and everyone knows that this number is a lucky one. Onnellisuus reminds the Finnish to stay happy, and you would be surprised to know that there are truly many books written in Finnish with this word included in their titles.
Happiness can be presented in many ways
Every country from all around the world has a different way in which the natives express their happiness. From traditional annual town festivals to simple gatherings, the people always have ways to show how they’re feeling and share their happiness with the people they care about.
Each word mentioned above is unique to each country and it can teach you a lot about that country’s traditions and beliefs. No matter where you’re from in the world, your country definitely has taught you a special way to express and celebrate a happy event. So, which word do you think of first when a happy moment comes to mind?
Kristin Savage nourishes, sparks and empowers using the magic of a word. She does her voodoo regularly on the Pick Writers blog and occasionally contributes to other educational platforms. Along with pursuing her degree in Creative Writing, Kristin was gaining experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in marketing strategy for publishers and authors.