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In times of strife and struggle, Russia has always placed its biggest trust in human resources. “We’re rich in minerals and minds,” goes an old saying. While the population of the world’s largest (by territory) nation has steadily declined since independence in 1991, recent years have marked a potential reversal of fortunes with 0.05% growth recorded in 2017. The government aims to prevent the dreaded brain drain, but it’s the creative industries that often are the most flexible to adapt to new challenges. Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Russia just took place in Moscow in October 13-17. Its Fashion Futurum program is an example of successful strategic support for emergent talent within a specific economic sector………
With Labor Day weekend past, the festivities of Burning Man now exist as memories for its temporary citizens. More than 70,000 people made their way to Black Rock City in the Nevada desert for the unique event this year. They were accompanied by incredible artwork and structures—adhering to the theme of I, Robot—designed by artists and architects from around the world. With the help of many volunteers, the larger-than-life pieces were a mixture of futurism and nostalgia, featuring strategically arranged shopping carts and characters from the Pac Man video game……..
Nordic countries like Finland and Norway may regularly come out on top of world happiness indexes for wellbeing year-on-year – but new research shows the happiness is far from universal.
A report authored by the Nordic Council of Ministers and the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen aims to provide a more nuanced picture of life in the Nordic nations – suggesting their reputations as utopias for happiness are masking significant problems for some parts of the population, especially young people.
It asked people to mark their satisfaction with life out of 10 – with people above a seven categorizedm as thriving, fives and sixes as struggling and anyone scoring below a four deemed to be suffering.
It found that in total 12.3% of people living in the Nordic region said they were struggling or suffering, with 13.5% of young people ranking themselves as such.
It found general health and mental health were both closely associated with happiness ratings – with unemployment, income and sociability also playing a role.
Mental Health As a Factor
Researchers found mental health to be one of the most significant barriers to subjective well-being.
Their data found these problems being reported by young people in particular.
It found that young women consistently reported feeling depressed more than young men did.
What Other Patterns Did it Find?
The authors say that in Nordic countries high incomes protected people against feeling they were suffering or struggling.
They also found that people were more than three times more likely to report a low score if they were unemployed, especially men, who were also more likely to report mental health problems when unemployed.
It said that research shows lack of social contact was a greater problem among Nordic men than women.
Other conclusions included:
Ethnic minorities living in Nordic countries were less happy
Very religious people were more likely to be happier
No difference was found between people living in the country and those in cities
Is It Really That Bad Then?
While the figures may seem stark, it is in isolation in some of the happiest – overall – countries on earth.
Although the report particularly focuses on Nordic countries, it does compare some of the data to that recorded elsewhere.
So while 3.9% of people in the Nordic region may report scores so low they are classed as “suffering” – that level is as high as 26.9% in Russia and 17% in France.
So the picture in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden does remain relatively rosy – just not as perfect as some may have painted.
Liana Aghajanian on the food traditions of Armenian-Americans: “Having lost property, cultural heritage, and identity in addition to the millions who were killed, food became the most transportable cultural marker that could be made tangible with the right ingredients, as Armenians were forced to migrate across the world.”