My father was an attaché in Addis Ababa for two years in my childhood, long before the Communist revolution. I think that the quoted portions of "jp"'s observations may be applicable worldwide -- if there's any place left without television!jp said:. . . . it[']s difficult to understand what poverty, or insecurity, or illness and corruption mean to people who according to our western eyes "live in hell". I lived out in south india for a while. People were remarkably optimistic and overall seemed very happy to me. Religion played a huge part in their lives . . . . Family and religion were important in a way I wasn't used to. . . .
Happiness can be as simple as low expectations, optimism and an absence of TV telling you how bad things are on an hourly basis.
Happiness is just a perspective on life.