After finding out about the happiest country on Earth earlier, I figured it’d be nice to know some of the local language and luckily for us, the Vanuatu tourism website has included enough to get anyone looking to visit around the town.
Today’s phrase is a Bislama word used in Vanuatu:
mi glad tumas – (me glad too much) I am very happy
Bislama is a Melanesian creole language and one of the official languages used in Vanuatu. For the most part it is a phonetic lingo and a mixture of words from English, French, and various North, Central, and South Vanuatu langs. There are 6,200 first language speakers and 128,000 additional language speakers. Check out the Wikipedia for additional background and historical facts regarding Bislama. To start learning some words and phrases right away go to the official tourism site for the tropical South Pacific island country.
For those of you unfamiliar with the reality TV series Survivor or have better things to do with your time than watch average folk battle it our for prizes and such by competing in gladiator type competitions, you may not be familiar Vanuatu. Perhaps, you’re fortunate enough to know about the group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean without the help of television and if you are you may also like to know that Vanuatu has ranked tops as the world’s happiest country. According to this Yahoo News piece, a study measuring people’s wellbeing and their impact on the environment has ranked Vanuatu at the top with Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, and Panama trailing close behind to complete the world’s top 5 happiest places to reside. Not really surprising if you ask me. Islands always come off as cheerful places to me and having been to Costa Rica myself, I could certainly see myself living there. As far as Vanuatu is concerned – I’d love to go there as much as I’d love to go to Somalia. Happiness is what you make it.
The Happy Planet Index is complied by the British New Economics Foundation (NEF) and also combines life satisfaction, life expectancy and environmental footprint to rank countries. Hopefully the results won’t drive herds of shutter-bug tourists to happy little Vanuatu or away from Zimbabwe, an African country my friend finds as one of the best, but ranks 178 on the list. The U.S. comes in at 150, Canada (111), France (129), Germany (81), Japan (95) and Russia (172).
What do you think? Agree or disagree? What do you consider the happiest place on Earth?