- Hardcover: 144 pages
- Publisher: White Lion Publishing (24 October 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1781318026
- ISBN-13: 978-1781318027
- Product Dimensions: 17.1 x 1.3 x 22.2 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 426 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 48,534 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Happiness Passport: A world tour of joyful living in 50 words Hardcover – 24 Oct 2018
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About the Author
Yelena Bryksenkova was born in St Petersburg, Russia, grew up in Cleveland, and studied illustration at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore and the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague, Czech Republic. Now, Yelena works as a freelance illustrator and fine artist for clients such as Anthropologie, Apartment Therapy, Chronicle Books, Flow Magazine, The New York Times, and Urban Outfitters. Her small pen and acryla gouache paintings are inspired by her love of home and the comfort of everyday objects, as well as more magical, mysterious and melancholy themes. Yelena has 49k followers on Instagram, and her Etsy shop has received 21,767 favourites.
From the Publisher
The happiness passport
A world tour of joyful living in 50 words
Our world is made up of many thousands of languages and dialects, spoken in almost two hundred countries by countless communities made up of billions of individuals. As this global population becomes increasingly interconnected, we grow ever more fascinated by the ‘untranslatable’ nature of words that hide in the cultural corners of our planet. Each expresses – with poignancy and precision – an intriguing idea unique to the place it calls home.
In joyfully compiling this compendium of words, I have done my utmost to accurately and respectfully represent those chosen. However, given that these many languages and cultures are not my own, I anticipate that I may not have achieved this flawlessly in every case. I hope that the generous reader will forgive me any inadvertent errors, and will enjoy the book as it has been intended: a celebration of the many manifestations of happiness to be found around our globe.
CWTCH kʊtʃ | noun | Welsh 1. a cupboard or cubbyhole 2. a cuddle or hug
Next time you offer (or are offered) a cuddle, think about the sheltered and protected space that is brought to life by this most ordinary of gestures – a space where all of us can find sustenance, reassurance and happiness any time it is needed.
- Chapter one Home & Environment
- Chapter two Community & Relationships
- Chapter three Character & Soul
- Chapter four Joy & Spirituality
- Chapter five Balance & Calm
A Few Choice Words from The Happiness Passport: A world tour of joyful living in 50 words
VERSTEHEN | noun | German 1. understanding 2. (Sociology) deeply empathic understanding of the behaviour of others, or putting yourself in another’s shoes
A great deal of human unhappiness arises when we fail to ‘see eye to eye’, or we misunderstand each other. If only there was a rational and well thought-out method of comprehending the behaviour of others … Well, funnily enough, there is – verstehen – and trust the ever-practical German people to have been the ones to come up with it. This is not simply understanding from a distance, but evokes the English expression that we put ourselves in another’s shoes: we attempt to see someone’s behaviour from their own perspective.
UBUNTU | noun | Nguni Bantu 1. a common bond of unanimity between all people
None of us successfully become individuals capable of feeling true happiness without one very important ingredient: other people. Our early survival is entirely dependent upon the compassion, support and communication of caring others. Our identities, and even our very lives are, quite literally, given to us by others. Enter a word, therefore, that both clarifies and celebrates the significance of this human reciprocity, originating in the South African Bantu languages of Zulu and Xhosa: ubuntu.
AJURNAMAT | expression | Inuit (Inuktitut) 1. calm acceptance when something cannot be helped or is out of one’s control
A great many of our less-than-happy moments arise when we frantically attempt to control something that is beyond our power to change. In the influential ‘Serenity Prayer’ – a short and well-known mantra often used in rehabilitation programmes – we ask to be granted the serenity to accept the things we cannot control, the courage to change what we can and the wisdom to know the difference. This illustrates a profoundly simple yet challenging philosophy to live by – and one that can often mean the difference between our happiness and unhappiness.
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Therefore, I approached The Happiness Passport by Megan C. Hayes with a lot of curiosity, but also keen to learn new words. Although it makes the world tour in just 50 words, there are enough new insights into languages to win you more than a life. The words chosen are mostly words of yearning, expressing familiarity, intimacy and happiness. Words deeply rooted into the culture telling in just a few letters unique ancient stories full of hidden meanings to the non-native speaker. Take, for instance the Russian prostor which means yearning for wide plains. Or the Innuit unikkaagatigunniq, which reflects 'the power of storytelling and the role of stories in the communal ways of being'. I've also learned on this occasion two English words: petrichor - 'a noun that describes the pleasantly earthy smell of rain after a long period of dry, warm weather' and psithurism - 'the sound of wind whispering through the trees'. And I was reminded of an old Hungarian expression: 'Ugy szép az élet, hazajlik', meaning approximatively: 'Life is beautiful if it is happening'.
Of course there are many more than 50 words to catch the spirit of the world, as the number of spoken languages and dialects in the world is impressively high, but this small level approach open up your eyes to search in your own native language(s) about those words that are impossible to substitute.
The illustrations, the work of Yelena Bryksenova are nostalgic, romantic pastels that inspire to meditate about life, worlds and its making in words.
Disclaimer: Book offered by the publisher in exchange for an honest review
The Happiness Passport is organized into sections. They include chapters on the following:
Home and Environment
Community and Relationships
Joy and Spirituality
Balance and Calm
As I began to read, I was bookmarking and underlining so I could share with you. I was starting to have no un-bookmarked pages so that had to stop! Instead I will say that many countries and cultures are represented in the book. Some terms will be familiar to you like “hygge.” Others you will not have heard of. I can tell you that each word and write up will make you think about your life and what you value.
This book is enhanced by what I found to be very calm and lovely muted color illustrations. I recommend that you take a look at this one. It is a perfect antidote to the frenetic holiday season.
Many thanks to NetGalley and Quarto for this one.
Fasten your seat belts! We are on a world tour exploring happiness with the help of this joyful book!
It is based on a unique concept. The author, Megan Hayes, is taking us on a world tour where she explores fifty different words that countries use to evoke feelings of happiness. It is based on a lot of research on how different cultures use specific words to promote feelings of contentment and wellbeing.
One word that you probably all know is the famous hygge (the practice of creating cozy and congenial environments that promote emotional well-being). The author has even included two words from my own country, Greece! The words are: meraki (to do something with soul or from the heart) and kefi (high spirits, merriment, love of life).
The illustrations of the book are absolutely beautiful by the talented Yelena Bryksenkova and the book is structured in 5 chapters: Home and Environment, Community and Relationships, Character and Soul, Joy and Spirituality, Balance and Calm.
One of my favourite words was the Swedish Gokotta which means to rise at dawn in order to go outside and hear the first birdsong. Doesn’t it bring you feelings of contentment just by thinking about it?
This book would be perfect for your coffee table and it would make a wonderful gift for you or a friend.
Five themed (i.e. joy, home, and soul) chapters that cover meaningful words in global languages. As evidenced by the cover, I am mesmerized by the diverse, colorful, pastel-backdropped, papercut art design and, although some of the words are familiar and repeatable (like hygge, bon vivant, whimsy, verstehen, and lagom), all of them are genuinely meaningful, cohesive, complex, and encapsulating.
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