Happiness and Pain: Cross-Cultural and Cross-Linguistic Perspectives was held last week at ANU. The symposium brought together international scholars from diverse fields to discuss how the themes of ‘happiness’ and ‘pain’ vary across cultures, and epochs of history, and was considered a great success by those involved.
‘Happiness’ and ‘pain’ are themes that are commonly at the forefront of interdisciplinary debates across a range of areas including linguistics, anthropology, psychology, psychiatry, cultural and communication studies, as well as being central to practical areas such as nursing, counselling and palliative care.
This symposium addressed the very important question regarding the extent to which happiness and pain vary across cultures, the answers of which will increase our understanding of the differences in communicating fundamental human experiences.
The presenters at this symposium addressed this question from a range of linguistic and cultural perspectives, and discussed a number of different languages including English, French, Chinese, Japanese, Danish, Koromu (PNG) and Australian languages. The symposium presenters came from the US, Denmark and Australia, and an edited book will be produced as an outcome of this event.