Happy International Day of Happiness! Celebrated yearly on March 20th since 2013, the premise was devised and brought to fruition by notable philanthropist Jayme Illien. Significantly, the chosen date coincides with the March equinox, a phenomenon experienced by everyone across the world.
Trinidad and Tobago was recently ranked as the happiest country in the Caribbean, 38th happiest overall globally, by the annual World Happiness Report for 2018. Whether or not you agree with that designation, given our current crime situation, we should still strive to appreciate the good things about living in T&T.
Yes, there are a lot of reasons to be happy living on our twin island. Let’s focus on the top 5.
Let’s not sugarcoat it, the taste and diversity of our local cuisine is unmatched anywhere else. Those of you who live abroad or who used to can attest to the misery of waking up in the morning and not having easy access to doubles. You could try to make it yourself, or even buy from a vendor in another country, but IT’S NOT THE SAME. Similarly, you can’t get your pelau or roti fix just the way you like it away from home. Something about our homegrown flavours cannot be replicated quite right on foreign soil.
The Beach is Right There
Okay, it is understandable that some of us get caught up with work and school. Living on an island becomes a matter-of-fact circumstance, something we forget to appreciate when life gets too hectic. But fortunately, we can just hop in our cars and drive no more than one hour to the nearest beach. One hour is a conservative estimate depending on where you live and what beach you choose. It’s still relatively easier for us to relax on the sand than someone in a larger or landlocked country.
Our Diverse Inhabitants
So obviously you know our society is a melting pot; a place where multiple ethnicities integrate into our unique Trinbagonian culture. You’ve probably taken this for granted. Take a trip to a nation with a less diverse population and the contrast is stark. Large, major cities aside, most areas of these countries do not enjoy the richness of mixed societies that we so frequently overlook as something to appreciate and enjoy. It’s sad to see narrow-minded citizens belittling each other over race, but the majority of us are decent people who understand that our differences are what make our nation special.
Our Beautiful Surroundings
You probably read that and immediately thought about the garbage-clogged drain in your area. That is unfortunate, because our natural surroundings are incredibly beautiful. Poui season is here and it’s hard to not feel a surge of happiness when the pink or yellow blossoms appear amidst the greenery. Not just pouis, Immortelle trees popping out in random bursts of flaming red or orange in the lush forests along our mountain ranges are a spectacular sight. The sheer variety of birds we wake up to every morning and encounter throughout our day would make most ornithologists jealous the world over. There is so much beauty to enjoy if we take the time to notice it. Look around outside and pay attention to the good sights that shine through the human-created eyesores.
Over the course of one year, you can go to your Muslim friend’s house for Eid, then later on to your Hindu friend’s house for Divali, and then to your Christian friend’s house for Christmas. This is also possible in other countries, but it’s such a normal experience for us that we don’t realise that some foreigners would marvel over this fact. And then between those holy days we get to participate in events for Carnival, Phagwa, Easter, Indian Arrival Day, Emancipation Day, Republic Day, Independence Day, and others. Yes, we have a lot of holidays, but it’s because we know how to have a good time.
Have a Great Day
T&T is by no means perfect or even particularly great to live in sometimes, but if we appreciate what we have then maybe we could work better together at preserving the good things and eliminating the bad things.
From everyone at Life In Trinidad, have a great International Day of Happiness everyone. We hope you find something to be happy about, not just today but always.