A CONTRARIAN VIEW OF DANISH HAPPINESS. I came across the Law of Jante in a book review by Kyle Smith in the New York Post of THE ALMOST NEARLY PERFECT PEOPLE: Behind the Myth of the Scandinavian Utopia. The book is by Michael Booth, who is married to a Danish lady and has lived in Denmark for almost ten years. The book is intended to stir up controversy. In the Guardian, I found an article by Booth which takes some shots at Scandinavia and some amusing rebuttals by Scandinavians here. I was most interested in Booth’s explanation of why Danes are the happiest people in the world. I posted here on the theory which I still find most convincing: “the Danish are happier than people in other developed nations because they have low expectations”. Kyle Smith writes: “’Are you happy?’ means different things in different cultures. In Japan, for instance, answering ‘Yes’ seems like boasting, Booth points out. Whereas in Denmark, it’s considered “shameful to be unhappy….”

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