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International Happiness Day

In 1972, the 4th King of Bhutan, Jigme Singye Wangchuck, famously decided to measure the progress of his country by the happiness of its population, rather than by its economic growth (or wealth). He called it GNH - Gross National Happiness. And as the boom and bust cycles of the western economy took their toll, the world began to pay attention.

Almost fifty years later, people are increasingly aware that how well we are really doing depends on far more ‘esoteric’ factors than simply money in the bank. And to raise – and keep – our awareness of this fact, there is now an international ‘Day of Happiness’.

On June 28th, 2012 and by the unanimous agreement of all 193 member states, the United Nations passed resolution 66/281:

"The General Assembly, ... Conscious that the pursuit of happiness is a fundamental human goal, ... Decides to proclaim 20 March the International Day of Happiness ..."

The world celebrated the first ever international ‘Day of Happiness’ on March 20th, 2013. It has been celebrated on that day ever since as a reminder and a message to governments and individuals alike.


Enrichment of the lived, human experience is what underpins the ‘happiness’ movement and, not coincidentally, what underpins the design philosophy of Studio William. You might say that we take happiness seriously, ever conscious of the contribution that food in general, and the experience of aesthetic dining in particular, can make to our lived experience. On top of that, we also feel passionate about giving back to the world in a positive way outside of dining rooms, which is where our contribution to ITF comes in – planting a little happiness back into the planet with every Studio William order over £200.

Because of this, we felt it only appropriate to reflect on this coming date in the calendar, which is timed to coincide with the Spring equinox, a time of new life and new promise.

This year, the theme of the international ‘Day of Happiness’ is ‘Share Happiness’. It asks each of us to consider what we can share that will enhance the lived experience of others.

This might be something as generous as sharing our time and our talents in a way that makes a positive difference to others, perhaps through volunteering or contributing our skills to a community or charity project. Or it might be something as simple and intimate as sharing a meal with family and friends or spending ‘quality’ time just playing with or telling stories to a bored child. The smallest of things can enhance someone’s lived experience and, in doing so, add to the sum of human happiness and, therefore, to the wellbeing of the world. Small things matter.

This is the reason why Studio William puts so much time and attention into the smallest details of our ranges, from design to delivery. The quiet pleasure someone obtains from holding a beautiful piece of cutlery, the sensual enjoyment of the weight and shape of a spoon, for example, these experiences come and go in a matter of moments.

But all our lives are really just a series of moments. The more of those moments that are filled with the sense of wellbeing which we recognize as happiness, the greater the universal ‘GNH’!

On March 20th this year, perhaps you will do something special to increase the happiness of those around you. (Not forgetting your own happiness in the process!). Here at Studio William, we will carry on doing what we do each and every day. Looking to add to the beauty and pleasure of those who use our products and beyond, to enhance the lived experience of those whose lives we touch if only just for a moment.

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