The United Nations General Assembly, in a proclamation recognising the “relevance of happiness and well-being as universal goals,” adopted 20 March as the International Day of Happiness. Here are some events to mark the occasion that the Jewels of Happiness team were involved in:
Launch of The Jewels of Happiness Audiobook
An audiobook of The Jewels of Happiness was released on March 19th in a launch that took place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.
Over 500 United Nations ambassadors, delegates and staff, as well as members of NGOs, were present at the launch. “These sweet gems of wisdom by my dear friend Sri Chinmoy are timeless truths full of encouragement, love and goodness,” Nobel Peace Laureate, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, said in a video message. Renowned composer Philip Glass performed on the piano while Cathy Oerter, co-founder of Art of the Olympians and wife of legendary Olympian Al Oerter, and Ashrita Furman, holder of the most Guinness World Records, read from the book live.
More event pictures…
Happiness: A Visual Poem
This unique exhibit in Queens, New York, was sponsored by the United Nations SRC Society of Writers to celebrate the International Day of Happiness. It featured a number of unique exhibits on the focus of happiness.
- The poetry of Sri Chinmoy, author of The Jewels of Happiness, was combined with vivid photographic images, creating an interactive experience of the heart in which the viewer could become immersed.
- Artwork from the Kingdom of Bhutan, sponsor of the UN General Assembly Resolution, Happiness: towards a holistic approach to development. ((65-309-Happiness: towards a holistic approach to development, United Nations Documentation-Research Guide-Resolutions: General Assembly, 65th Session. Retrieved from http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/RES/65/309))
- This resolution recognised that “the gross domestic product indicator by nature was not designed to and does not adequately reflect the happiness and well-being of people in a country” and states “that the pursuit of happiness is a fundamental human goal.” The country of Bhutan has become very well known for being the first country to introduce the Gross National Happiness index to guide the development of their nation.
- A screening of the movie “Happy” – a documentary made by traveling around the world interviewing both experts and ordinary people to discover what makes people happy.
The exhibit also included a panel discussion, selected film screenings, children’s events and participatory opportunities.