The initiative was undertaken by the Happiness Research Institute and opened this July in Copenhagen, Denmark.
No matter what your hopes and dreams are in life, there's one thing that everyone wants- Happiness. That's why we were left amazed after learning about a museum that is completely devoted to happiness. The initiative was undertaken by the Happiness Research Institute and the museum, which is a cozy 240-square-meter (2,585 square foot) space with a pastel-themed historic center, was quietly opened this July in Copenhagen, Denmark. Through this happiness project, the independent think-tank aims "to inform decision-makers of the causes and effects of human happiness, make subjective well-being part of the public policy debate, and improve quality of life for citizens across the world."
According to CNN, the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute Meik Wiking says the intention of creating the Happiness museum came after years of fielding requests from the public about visits to their respective monotonous office spaces. "I think people imagine that the Institute is like a magical place -- a room full of puppies or ice cream -- but we are just eight people sitting in front of computers looking at data," explained Wiking. "So we thought, why don't we create a place where people can experience happiness from different perspectives and give them an exhibition where they can become a little bit wiser around some of the questions we try to solve?"
So, why did they open the museum at this time of the year? Well, the initial plan was to open in earlier this year. Just as everything was nearly ready, the pandemic came along and closed international borders. This left Wilking with a big decision of whether or not to go ahead with the opening. "We thought, there might not be a lot of guests these days, but the world does need a little bit more happiness," he recalled. That's why open the museum's doors to the public while carefully putting strict Covid-19 protocols in place, like a one-way traffic system and a limited amount of guests (50) inside.
Since that day, the museum has been giving the visitors a tour of global happiness and making their guests aware of how the perception of it has changed over the course of history. This included what happiness meant to people in different regions and why a few countries reported more of it than others. What's more, they also have a set of questionnaires and interactive experiences that intends to give the guests "aha" moments while enhancing the Institute's ongoing research. Explaining this, Wiking said that trust toward political institutions and fellow citizens is a major factor that determines global happiness.
That's why some visitors may come across a wallet stuffed with cash. Apparently, the museum staff has been periodically placing this wallet on the floor for more than a month now and it's always returned to the reception with all its contents every time.
Many people have contributed to the museum by sending artifacts that represent joy for them. These contributions are now a huge part of the display, as they hope some items could help "contextualize what happiness" looks like for people living in different parts of the world.
"We might be Danish or Mexican or American or Chinese, but we are first and foremost people. It's the same things that drive happiness no matter where we're from, and I hope that people will see that in the exhibition," said Wiking. Speaking about one of his guests, he continued that the particular person once told him that he had always been a happy guy but he had never really understood the reason behind it before. "That, for us, was the best review we could get," he said.