Happiness and art are similar in the sense that they are both subjective. But, we would never find happiness hanging on the walls of a museum. That would be crazy, right? Well, we have got news for you. Copenhagen opened a happiness museum last July, and it’s bringing smiles on everyone’s faces.
The Happiness Museum is the brainchild of the Happiness Research Institute. They are an independent organization that explores why there’s a discrepancy in happiness between different societies. They released a statement saying that they wanted happiness to be a major deciding factor in world politics. They aim to help decision-makers make policies that are driven at making people happy.
Meik Wiking, the CEO of the organization, joked that people think of their office as some magical place. Talking with CNN, he clarified that the organization’s office consisted of a few people simply analyzing data.
He revealed that the idea for The Happiness Museum came after multiple people requested to visit their office. He said that if people really were curious about happiness, why not show it to them. And this is how the project came into existence.
Wiking further said that they wanted to give people a global perspective of the notion of happiness. The museum also shares many insights that the organization deals with daily.
The Happiness Museum Opens Amidst The COVID-19 Pandemic
The Happiness Museum opened its doors amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on 14th July 2020. The museum is 2,585 square feet. More importantly, they opened the place up while observing strict pandemic guidelines. The museum takes in a maximum of 50 visitors at a time. The installations include the historical growth of the notion of happiness. They also explain how different cultures across the globe perceive happiness.
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Furthermore, several artifacts that hang in the museum have been donated by people across the world. They include things that represent happiness to them.
Staff members from The Happiness Museum have also conducted a series of experiments with the visitors. They periodically place a cash-filled wallet on the museum floor. The outcome has always been the same. Wiking reported that people always returned the wallet, along with the cash, to the reception. Wiking said that they conducted the same experiment for over a month.
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Monthly reflection: 1 month of sharing happiness The Happiness Museum has been open for one month! Since opening we have: – Welcomed over 600 guests, young and old, who have joined us to learn more about the good life. – Seen people wearing our tote bags (and huge smiles) around Copenhagen after their visit. – Spread the word in English, Danish and German. – Learned what happiness means to all of you, and heard your happiest memories. What a month! We look forward to see how much happiness the next month will hold.
Wiking further said in the CNN interview that the one thing that unites everyone is the human species. He said that happiness drives everyone, regardless of one’s nationality or race. And he hoped people would understand this.
Wiking has also authored The Little Book Of Hygge: The Danish Way To Live Well, an international bestseller. He further added that historically, people have persevered through many tough times. He said that people will overcome these trying times of COVID-19.
Although happiness seems to have depleted from many of our lives, we must remember Wiking’s wise words.
The Happiness Museum is also the first museum in the world that is solely dedicated to the concept of happiness.
Image Credit: The Happiness Museum