Living in the most emotional countries of the world

Perhaps the GDP serves as an indicator of the success of the state's economy, but it is still difficult to judge how people live there.

This is one of the reasons why in Bhutan, for example, they prefer to measure gross national happiness instead of gross domestic product.

To take into account the intangible factors that determine the characteristics of the life of the country and its people, the American organization Gallup, which specializes in research in the field of public opinion, regularly prepares a report on the level of emotionality in the countries of the world.

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The study, the authors of which study life in 148 countries, aims to establish how often their inhabitants experience positive or negative emotions in everyday life, and to identify countries where people often laugh - or resent.

Most of the world's most emotional countries are concentrated in Latin America, according to a recent study. In addition to them, the top ten includes Iraq, Cambodia and the Philippines.

We talked with the residents of these countries to find out how they live there, where any emotions - positive and negative - are heated to the limit.


In Bolivia, which ranks first in the survey, almost 60% of the population experience strong positive or negative emotions on a single day.

“People here are usually open, curious and friendly, ” says Pauline Kucharev. She is originally from Canada, but spent the whole last year in the city of Sucre.

At the same time, tourists do not visit the country so often, so many residents, especially in rural areas, feel shy when communicating with them.

Bolivia leads the list of the most emotional countries in the world (according to Gallup)

The relatively weak development of tourism in Bolivia (in contrast to neighboring Peru) is due to national pride.

Local residents are curious to look at foreigners, but "this does not mean that they are ready to automatically put tourists above themselves, " Kucharev explains.

As a result, a unique culture is created, faced with which tourists, having arrived in the country, often spend there not a few days, as planned, but weeks or even months.

This is especially noticeable in Sucre, one of the safest Bolivian cities, home to a small diaspora of foreigners (mainly British and German) who open bars, restaurants and language schools there.

During the academic year, this university town has a vibrant nightlife.

"Sucre is a colonial city with a European touch, so expats are pretty comfortable there, " Kucharev explains.


Tragic historical events did not pass without a trace for Cambodia: many residents of the country found the time of the bloody dictatorship of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge, when more than 20% of Cambodia's population was destroyed.

Even 40 years later, terrible images are still alive in the people's memory, and people are not always willing to share their experiences.

"Cambodians are very emotional people, but many of them, especially among the older generation, have learned to hide their true feelings, " says Kunila Keo, a Phnom Penh native and author of the Blue Lady Blog.

Despite the heavy psychological burden, the inhabitants of the country are very friendly and welcoming towards strangers.

“Wherever I am, everywhere I meet people who say they love Cambodia and Phnom Penh precisely because of the kindness and friendliness of Cambodians, ” says Keo.

She also notes that Cambodians smile very often, especially when compared to representatives of other nationalities.

Inspired Nomads blog author Carolina Borras, a Colombian-Canadian who lived in Siem Reap last year, agrees.

"Even when I refused services, for example, tuk-tuk drivers, they still smiled, " she says. "I managed to make friends among the locals precisely because of their openness."

She said that the locals were always ready to joke or invite her somewhere.

“We laughed and even hugged and danced in bars and clubs, ” she says. “It reminded me of my years in Colombia because that's how we used to have fun with my cousins. They are always full of energy and enthusiasm.”

Most foreigners settle in the capital, Phnom Penh, in the south-central part of the country, or join the tight expat diaspora in Siem Reap, 300 kilometers to the north.

Life in both cities is not very expensive, but the crime and accident rates on the roads are quite high.


The island nation is the only non-Hispanic country in the top five in the Gallup ranking.

“Filipino and Latin American cultures have a lot in common, ” explains Stephen de Guzman, who was born near Manila, north of the capital.

"After all, they were under Spanish rule for a long time, so in my opinion, in terms of emotionality, they correspond to each other."

The country and its culture are a unique blend of Eastern and Western civilization, and although the official languages ​​of the state are Filipino and English, you can often hear a wide variety of accents and speech interspersed with Spanish words on the streets.

Filipinos experience negative emotions deeply, but it is not always easy for them to express them or express them directly.

“Because of our emotionality, we usually hide our bad attitude towards people, things or events, ” explains Filipino-born Ulysis Kababan, who works at the RapidVisa visa agency in Cebu.

"We usually keep it to ourselves or, even worse, tell other people about him, spreading gossip. It seems to me that if a person is not inclined to chika-chika (gossip), then he is not a Filipino."

The local culture is based on love for family, hospitality and warmth. "People smile and are always friendly to most foreigners, especially expats, " says Kababan. Particularly popular with expats is the state's first capital, Cebu, located on the central islands, thanks to lively trade and proximity to beaches and mountains.


This Central American country has taken one of the top lines in the ranking, and the Portuguese blogger Zaru Quiroga, who now lives in the Guatemalan city of Antigua, is not at all surprising.

“The people of Guatemala are very welcoming and expressive, ” she says. And do not even hesitate to share intimate personal details with strangers.

"Once, while wandering around Antigua, I met a woman weaving canvases. At first she came up to me to try to sell something, but in less than half a minute she was already emotionally talking about herself, " recalls Quiroga.

"For five minutes I watched a whole range of emotions. She talked about how she almost came face to face with death and how her daughter had her first child, and at the same time said that there are days when life in Antigua seems to be a real blessing to her." ...

"To be honest, I cannot imagine that anywhere in the other part of the world I could have such a heartfelt and emotional conversation."

The emotionality of the national character is reflected in the bright colors of everyday life; according to Quiroga, jewelry and clothing are never quite simple.

The fabrics, cut of clothes and brightly painted houses confirm her words.

Foreigners, many of whom are remote work travelers and retirees, usually settle in the central city of Antigua, which is safer than the capital, also called Guatemala.

According to Quiroga, "Antigua is much more beautiful and safer, and it is also easy to navigate there, " although the capital is less than an hour's drive from there.


Of course, the level of emotionality in this country was influenced by world events - mainly from the negative side, but Iraq has a long history of emotional experiences.

“In 2009, even before all this devastation, I was in Syria and was surprised to learn that the Syrians call sad music“ Iraqi ”, because our music is almost always sad, ” says Wael al-Sallami, a native of the Iraqi city of Babylon, who currently developing software in Whibley, USA "Sadness is deeply rooted in our culture than happiness."

This manifests itself in mourning rituals, especially in the middle and southern parts of the country, where the majority of the Shiite population is concentrated.

The emotional background was also influenced by factors such as the rule of Saddam Hussein and foreign intervention.

Nevertheless, according to al-Sallah, the defining features of the Middle Eastern and Arab states are poetry and a wonderful sense of humor, and although Egypt is probably the leader in the latter, Iraq is one of the first places in the field of poetry.

Westerners moving to Iraq are better off settling in the part of the country where the Kurds live.

"The Kurds have their own regional government, and they manage to maintain a fairly high level of security, " explains al-Sallami. "And then, it is beautiful, very green and pleasant."