As the world dances to Happy, this website keeps track
From Aachen to Zurich, everyone’s Happy. The proof: over 936 videos (from 100 countries) posted on the world wide web, showing people from different races, ages and cultures dancing to Pharrell Williams’ infectious song. And trying to keep track of the variety is one website, We Are Happy From…
Pursuit of happiness
Started by Julie Fersing, 32, and Loïc Fontaine, 33—a French couple from Nantes, in the west of France—the site, which went live in January, has an interactive map that lets you browse videos by location. “Initially, Julie used to trawl the net, hunting for videos. But when the numbers grew, we gave our guests the option to ‘suggest’ a video, by selecting the city, country, and video link,” says Fontaine, who organised the Nantes’ Happy video recently. During the day, Fersing is an interior designer and Fontaine a web developer. But their free time and weekends are devoted to sorting and validating videos, and updating the map.
The couple receive around 20 to 40 videos a day. “The latest from India is two videos—from Kolkata (920th) and Mumbai (936th),” says Fontaine, adding that “the videos are true sociological, architectural and geographical studies and have made us want to go on a world tour.”
Though it’s tough for them to pick favourites (they believe “happiness should not be judged”), they did share five videos that resonated with them. “Dunkerque, in northern France, was the first one we found. Kampot, in Cambodia—performed by people with disabilities—was very touching. We loved Split, in Croatia, for their aesthetics and Tel Aviv, in Israel, for their staging. And all the Romanian videos—with a common thread of a suitcase—to show the relay of happiness across cities,” he concludes.
— Surya Praphulla Kumar