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International Day of Happiness – are people in Poland happy? Posted by on Mar 20, 2018 in Culture

March 20th is an International Day of Happiness! It is an amazing movement for a happier world! The International Day of Happiness (Międzynarodowy Dzień Szczęścia) is celebrated worldwide every March 20th and was conceptualized and founded by philanthropist, activist, statesman, and prominent United Nations special advisor Jayme Illien to inspire, mobilize, and advance the global happiness movement.

“This International Day of Happiness is more than just a fun celebration, it also remind us all that the world is a better place when we connect with and care about the people around us”
— Dr Mark Williamson (March 2015)

“It’s really inspiring to see so many people sharing photos of what really makes them happy. In a world where we’re bombarded with fake images of happiness in the adverts and the media, these more authentic pictures remind us that the best things in life aren’t material things. ”
— Huffington Post (March 2014)

“International Day of Happiness has struck a chord. There were celebrations all over the world: meditation in Bhutan, happy flash mobs in London, laughter yoga in Hong Kong and screenings of the film Happy in coffee shops all over the world. The day had a trending hashtag on twitter and its own website dayofhappiness.net”
— USA Today (March 2013)

So how happy are people in Poland? I have to say that really happy! I have a unique perceptive on life in Poland. I think I can see this better than a native Pole in some ways as I have something to compare it with. I spent 24 years of my life in Poland and 14 in US so far…

My two happy girls! Image by Kasia

Despite the fact that Poles love to complain and and argue that things are wrong, the reality I think most of them in their hearts know how beautiful of a country it is. They really appreciate the beauty of their country and respect the customs! They are grateful for an great, full of amazing history, country to live in. People are closer to their families than here in USA. They may not make as much money as Americans, but they love to spend their time with family in the beautiful outdoors, at family gatherings. No money will replace the quality of time with your fiends and family. I didn’t own a car until I moved here to USA. Did I miss it in Poland? Not really? I enjoyed public transportation and traveling on a bus or train with my friends! I guess Poles have a good excuse for this one – you have to be 18 years old to get your driver’s license, although even when you are 18, 80% of the kids can not afford a car (cars are definitely more expensive in Europe than here in USA). I remember purchasing my first car here in USA for $500.00!!! And no, I was not ashamed (It was white Oldsmobile 88, with a scraped roof!). I was actually proud to own my own car! It took me everywhere and it served the purpose!

It may be just my perspective, but I feel more relaxed in Poland… It’s not all about money there, I know that I’m not a “spring chicken” and times have changed since I was in high school, but I do not remember kids hanging out at the mall! We were by the river, on the playground, reading books and playing games. When I visit Poland, I spend time with my family. I find time to travel and look for uniques gifts and souvenirs. I make sure to reconnect with my friends from high school and college…and all of the sudden I feel happier!

We all would love to have big, beautiful house. Nice car and money…but in the end that’s not what is most important in life. Poles find strength in the hardest time no matter what. They find  a way to make everything better in a most simple way I ever experienced. It seems like people are more relaxed there and everything is moving in a slower pace…I think that the history played a great role in the characters of Polish people…they always had to work hard to accomplish something and enjoy the little thins…and I think they still do. I definitely do not intend to hurt anyone! I know that there are plenty of people like this here in USA.

Don’t get me wrong, they are bad and unhappy people in Poland too! However, in my perspective, Poles are what I would describe a “gentle, happy, family people”.

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About the Author: Kasia

My name is Kasia Scontsas. I grew near Lublin, Poland and moved to Warsaw to study International Business. I have passion for languages: any languages! Currently I live in New Hampshire. I enjoy skiing, kayaking, biking and paddle boarding. My husband speaks a little Polish, but our daughters are fluent in it! I wanted to make sure that they can communicate with their Polish relatives in our native language. Teaching them Polish since they were born was the best thing I could have given them! I have been writing about learning Polish language and culture for Transparent Language’s Polish Blog since 2010.


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