Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Interesting stuff...
As for Slovenia, suicide rate was always higher in Slovenia and Vojvodina (upper part of Serbia) than anywhere else in ex YU. This was interesting because these two areas were considered richest in the country.
Happiness does not seem to have too much to do with wealth (once when person has enough for existence). As I mentioned before my doctor visited Mongolia lately and he told me that he never saw poorer and more happy people as opposed to us here in Australia where we have so much and we are still so unhappy.
As for a cultural aspect of this, yes, I believe that it has it merits. But not so much trough educational system...If anything in ex YU I was raised in communist's unrealistic optimism and "trained" not to be able to see reality and compare. It did not stop us from being realistic and melancholic.
And I wouldn't even stick to a "nation" as such, either genetically or trough language etc. I always was under impression that for example Serbs from Bosnia are much tougher then Serbs from Serbia. Getting to know them better trough my husband's family I was surprise to see how they are able to take everything as a fact of life and continue to live almost untouched as opposed to us Serbs from Serbia where everything unexpected seems tragic to the point that it can ruin our lives.
Generally for unknown reason it seems that with more progress and wealth people seem to be more unhappy. Is it because we ask for too much (more and more) not just in material aspect of it? Is it because so called personal " freedom"  made us to selfish to consider others ? And while personal freedom seems to grow, our social freedom (well monitored as we learned recently) seems to be more and more limited.I do not know...
But sense of hopelessness is growing in western civilization...as if we reached peak and now we do not have anywhere else to go but down...and not just in material sense...

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Mon Dec 30th, 2013 at 09:15:23 PM EST
Progress times are prone to provoking delusions, wildly extrapolated dominating stories. And then, we do not know progress limits until we had hit them.

The Baltic states surged to leadership in suicides rates as well. Estonia is a similar "right" economic prosperity example, but labour wages and depression... not much different from Latvia, Lithuania. With the social environment changing swiftly in a particular direction, many just refuse to live by new brave rules.

by das monde on Tue Dec 31st, 2013 at 01:59:19 AM EST
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