The Happy Company
Happiness is easy to produce. If you make somebody happy, it will make you happy too!
Driven by this motto, dozens of ‘Happy Brigades’ throughout the Netherlands take to the streets. Their mission is simply to provide a joyful moment to strangers.
These are some examples of actions:
Waving Off Service
At the train station, travelers are received at the beginning of the platform and offered the opportunity of being waved off. Travelers sign up in a thick book, indicating at what time they leave, from which platform and why they want to be waved off. Finally, they can opt for small, medium or large. The small waving off service is just one or two people waving subtly. Medium means four or five people waving you off with much enthusiasm. The large service has a group of ten to fifteen people jumping up and down, waving with white handkerchiefs and running along with the train. Right at the last moment, they roll out a ‘Bye Bye’ banner as a surprise.
Passersbys are invited to get rid of their worries. They can write their sorrows on a slip of paper which is then put through the shredder or burnt in a torch. Other options are writing on gelatin which is then dissolved in water, or rice paper that is fed to a goat.
Private concerts for the lovesick
The Happy Brigade brings a band of musicians with them. In cafés, they approach people and ask them ”Do you know somebody near here who is lovesick?” Then they go and visit that person and provide a brief heartwarming concert.
A share-me-pastry is a piece of cake on a dish with two spoons. Passersbys are invited to enjoy their cake with somebody they haven’t met before.
How is the Happy Company organized?
The Happy Company has a very DIY setup. Anybody who wants to start a Happy Brigade can do so. The central organization provides promotional materials and a website showing stories of actions, ideas and action manuals. New participants are brought into contact with the coordinator of a Happy Brigade near them. Three times a year a national action takes place, in which many of the groups participate.