Are you happy to live in Dhaka Bangladesh

: The happiest people in the world are said to live in Bangladesh - A Review: The Happy

The water is high, but not too much. Here and there there are green patches that can accommodate a hut, eight or ten people, two cows, three goats, and a papaya tree. High-voltage pylons and brickworks chimneys are lost in the wet. The city of Bandhar on the west bank of the Meghna is surrounded by a sea. But the water created transport routes, the brickworks can bring its stones to the market. And the farmer steers his narrow boat over the rice fields two meters below the surface of the water and throws out nets. So the bad has its good and Nayeem: "We are not very lucky, none of the children drowned, the hut is almost dry, even the animals are all there." He pulls his net into the boat. The fish from the field will feed the family today. There he is, one of the approximately 130 million Bangladeshis who astonish above all the rich but discontented part of the world with their persistent sense of happiness. Without any fabric softener Almost one hundred percent of the population of Bangladesh have the authors of a happiness study comparing 54 countries by the London School of Economics confirms that they are "very" or "fairly" happy. Bangladesh tops the world's happiness index. Germany came 42nd in the last quarter, followed by Switzerland and Canada. In Goethe's understanding, in order to choose an admirer of the western and eastern way of life, luck was the "goddess of living people". In order to gain their favor, one must "live and see people who strive very lively and enjoy very lively". That doesn't sound very luxurious or even more philosophical, in fact pretty practical. But why should Bangladesh, of all places, be one of the favorite places of the goddess of luck, a country that is regularly hit by floods and devastated by tropical cyclones, where the drinking water is contaminated by arsenic in the soil, where 86 percent of the population live below the poverty line, where the the highest population density in the world, where in the mass of people the freedom of the individual means so little? More recent European explorers saw, smelled, and felt the misery of Bangladesh and concluded, “This is no life.” But let's ask the skinny little woman in a torn sari who was sitting in the ruins of the ancient Buddhist monastery of Paharpur at sunset Squatting Northwest Bangladesh. Like her ancestors 1,000 years ago, she uses a sickle to cut grass and stuff it into a jute sack. When she speaks, some black tooth stubs will appear in her mouth. Mujahi Beggum is 40 years old, soon at the end of her life, if you can trust his eyes and the statistics on life expectancy. She collects the grass for her brother's two cows, whom she was admitted to when her husband abandoned her. That day was the saddest of her life, she says, because she could have had "more children with her husband." But she insists, “I'm fine, I eat twice a day.” Twice, that's not bad indeed. And she laughs so that the view of her tooth stumps is completely free. Neither Ms. Mujahi nor her 23-year-old son Musun have ever watched TV, they don't know what kind of luck fabric softeners for terry towels promise or what feeling of freedom a certain make of car conveys. If she had money, Ms. Mujahi would marry the son or have his night blindness treated. But unhappy? No no. She is "very, very happy", of course, she lives with a family and "under the great, wonderful sky". Her way of understanding happiness is as old as the shape of her sickle. Aristotle recommended a good, hard-working life as a recipe for happiness in the 4th century BC. The activist of modern happiness research, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, an anthropologist from Chicago, would also like Ms. Mujahi: He discovered the secret of happiness in "flowing", the flow experience. A person enters this state when he is intensely preoccupied with something that is neither too demanding nor too demanding for him and gives the feeling of being able to do something well. It explains, for example, the joy of driving, easy reading, computer games. Or on the sickle of grass in the quiet of an oriental evening. "You have to control your expectations" is Mohamed Jahangir's personal recipe for happiness. The 35-year-old university professor from Dhaka knows the London study and understands the result as a consequence of the widespread dissemination of his own opinion: "The people here are satisfied because they expect little from life. Those whose lives are focused on shelter, food and clothing are happy when he has that. "But in his neighborhood, in his apartment block inhabited by middle-class families, he observes the first signs of envy and competition that he did not know at all from his childhood. "Last year a neighbor bought a car. Small and dented, but everyone was talking about it. Now some people are going into debt to have a car." Will their happiness fade then? In any case, it does not increase when mass prosperity moves in. In the many surveys that the Allensbach Institute for Demoscopy has carried out on this topic since 1954, an almost constant proportion of 28 percent of those questioned always expressed happiness. In the global happiness study, too, only 25 percent considered money to be very important, while 59 percent of all respondents considered health to be the most important element of satisfaction, a harmonious and secure family life followed with 41 percent. A better bride Abu Taher will probably always be one of the lucky ones . The young man has everything you need for it. He is good to look at, has a kiosk where he sells sandals and rubber shoes, and can afford to spend the hot lunchtime in the "dreamland" of Nabab Geng. Nabab Geng is a market town in northern Bangladesh and its dreamland is a park with ponds and shady areas under trees. Abu Taher is a modern young man, downright revolutionary, because he questions a practice that has so far not been shaken in Bangladesh: "I want to choose my wife myself and she should be able to say if she wants." Families still usually arrange one today Marriage, the future partners let themselves be surprised. They submit to their prescribed happiness. But Abu Taher still wants to work, a larger shoe store, in which he will also sell better shoes. He calls this "improving your position". His goal is: "a better bride", which also means: one with lighter skin who, thanks to centuries of color selection within an eth-nie, will also come from a "better" family. He can do that and then he would be satisfied. He does not want a car, for example: "That is too much of a wish. You have to keep your wishes come true." This attitude seems very promising for long-term happiness. But where are the few confessing unfortunates in Bangladesh? Let's try a method developed by the opinion and happiness researcher Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann, who in 1973 in Leipzig suddenly asked herself: "How do I know that people are so unhappy here?" Assuming they were unhappy, of course, she stood on a bridge and looked for signs in their faces and noted: "The eyes are so tight. The lips are so tightly pressed. The corners of the mouth are drawn down. The elbows are so tight the body pressed. "No wonder that in 2000 a good-humored East Berlin woman had to defend herself unsuccessfully against the general suspicion of a recently immigrated Bonn diplomatic woman that she had suffered 30 years of desperate everyday life in the GDR. But perhaps a look in Bangladesh actually helps A little further. After a long search, a depressed looking girl is found. It is wrapped in a valuable sari embroidered with gold thread, the heavily ringed fingers clasp a glittering pocket, the fine sandals are evidently experiencing their first day. The enchantingly beautiful young girl doesn't speak, drops her eyes, but there is her husband. He married her only seven days earlier, and he is very fortunate to have such a treasure at 40, such a beauty. His family did a great job, he only saw his bride once before the wedding. After all, he's been in the US for twelve years, has worked hard, has a job. How lucky she is, she will go to the USA. Does she want that? Of course, says the man. She pulls the tip of her saree in front of her face. Is she happy? She nods. In the happiness study by the London School of Economics, Bangladesh takes first place.BLZ / MARITTA TKALEC Life can be so beautiful: For 70 pfennigs a day, knocking stones into split at 35 degrees in the shade.