Developing World Tops Attitude Survey


In an article titled, Poor, Happy and Hopeful In The Times of India author, Sujata Dutta Sachdeva writes,

The world seems to be a happier place for people living in the developing world. Their incomes may be low and lives tough, but the mood is upbeat. They are more satisfied with their personal lives, incomes and national conditions as compared to the developed world. And, they are optimistic about the future as well.

Upon my return to the USA after spending a year in Asia I started calling the US, Canada, European countries, Austrailia and other “developed counties” the Undeveloped World. I began calling India and other so called “developing countries” the Developed World. My reasons for this reversal was a certain exhuberiance, wonder, joy, and livliness I found in the people there. I know it is risky to romanticize countries struggling with huge health, human rights, population, pollution and poverty issues but when the streets are filled with life and children late into the evening, and I return to a land where people seem to be compartmentalized, issolated and much less connected to the people around them I see a land that has not “developed” a comprehensive understanding of life and the bigger picture.


5 Responses to “Developing World Tops Attitude Survey”

  1. Megan Says:

    I totally disagree with the “Third World Romanticization” movement, ShankarWolf. We’ve talked about this before, you and I, and I just don’t agree with your perspective at all. The ” huge health, human rights, population, pollution and poverty issues” you reference are not to be taken lightly. As someone who spent a year living in Africa, and who also spent my daily life in a peaceful and lively community there, I still am able to recognize the enormous and crippling challenges of living in poverty. Your argument is dangerously close to equating poverty with happiness. Two separate issues…

  2. shankarwolf Says:

    Well, Miss Megan, I understand your perspective, but you did not respond to the article which stated that those living in the developing world are generally happier than those living in developed countries. What is your response to the article? which, by the way was written by a citizen of a very poor country.

  3. Megan Says:

    I can’t comment specifically on the article. I would imagine that an epidemiological study of happiness wpuld be a complex thing. Are people happier when they aren’t aware of the extreme injustice and inequities in the world due to lack of education, lack of resources, an oppressive government, or whatever factors might lead to their ignorance? There’s a pretty strong correlation between poverty and lack of education. Is it a lack of education that leads to happiness? If so, would you advocate for less education? Perhaps we would all be happier if we lived without knowledge of the true state of the world. I certainly would be.

  4. Divya Says:

    well i would like to add even though poverty, population explosions, human rights etc should not be taken lightly int he least bit. I would like to point out that people get through such conditions only by staying united, depending on each other, sharing, empathizing and so on. These could also be a reason for increased happiness. so poverty can be related to both lack of education and to such other factors. Like you said that could prove to be quite complex.
    About the article In my opinion a person whos been in england for a year and spend all her life in India the future generation of India is better off in common values(Keep in mind i am not talking about cultural differences like differences of opinion in religion or sex) but a general disregard for other people and so on. you should know my comparison is between the kids of the same backgrounds. again this is limited from the small fraction of information, people and experiences i have had.
    I would also like to add if i was ever given a choice i would definitely choose to be born in a poorer country just to be able to see life as i see it now and appreciate everything i have and will ever get (bad or good).

  5. shankarwolf Says:

    Divya, thank you for expressing your views. I find your comments very interesting. I am happy to have someone who grew up in India add their opinion to this topic. I find your last statement about prefering to grow up in a poorer country especially informative. However, I am wondering what your social-economic background/cast/relgion is? I assume you are middle to upper class, otherwise you would not be in England. Do you think, if you were among the poorest segement of Indian society you would still “choose” to be born into that position?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: