Countries don’t differ a lot in beautiful moments. The central themes (Nature, Love, Friendship, Leisure) play an important role in almost country. Friendship and love are in every country’s top five, and nature and leisure feature frequently in most countries.
But there are differences. In Turkey, friendship is mentioned twice as often as it is in Australia. Leisure has the highest percentage in Vietnam. I find it remarkable that achievements and sports are in the top five in Nepal. Australia and Nepal both have a high percentage of nature-related moments. This also could explain why these countries have relatively many beautiful moments about animals (six percent).
Cultural differences are mostly visible in the details. For example family is firmly in the top ten most important subjects and cultural differences are abundantly visible in the beautiful moments that come under this theme. In Singapore there are lots of family dinners drawn, because family is important and eating together doesn’t happen often. In Vietnam many students’ moments are about calling or visiting their parents. A re-conciliatory hug with a three-year-old in Norway demonstrates something about parenting style. The cultural importance of family is also apparent in the moment of Raoul, from the Philippines. He says: ‘I’m swimming to improve my health. I was always afraid to do a turn over under water, but last week I finally dared and managed.’ He pauses. ‘I’m sorry, it’s such a selfish moment. Happy moments are supposed to be with family.’ A westerner would never have apologized for a moment in which he is alone, especially when it’s a moments which indicates a personal victory. In this sense, beautiful moments give an insight into different cultures. And they show that people, wherever they are in the world, find each other important.