IS AUSTRIA A HAPPY COUNTRY? DEPENDS ON WHO YOU ASK…
Let’s ask the rest of the world: The United Nation’s World Happiness Report 2017, which ranks 155 countries by their happiness levels, ranks Austria at the top of the list, in 13th place – almost level with Norway, Denmark and Iceland, the long-time leaders of the ranking. And with the opinion that Austria is a very happy country, the United Nations are in the best of company.
After all, a popular saying has been used for centuries to describe the foundation of the Habsburg Empire: “Let others wage war, but thou, oh happy Austria, marry.” First of all, that is a lie since the Habsburgs drew their swords just as readily as their rivals for power did. And yet, “Tu felix Austria nube” gets to the heart of the matter: The Habsburgs did, in fact, obtain their Empire – upon which in its glory days the sun never set – through marriage and inheritance. Thus, the new and foreign does not have to be overpowered. Rather, you can embrace it, open up to it and build a relationship with it. All of this enriches us. That is what the saying means.
And after the darkest period has ended, we finally arrive in a republic where “Felix Austria” is not a political programme but a brand of food. Could this be a reason in itself for us to be happy?