THE POOREST COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD
BEAUTY PAGEANTS like Miss Universe, Miss International, Miss World, Miss Earth familiarize us with names of countries with their fairest entries. Countries like Peru, Venezuela, Columbia, Cuba, Morocco, Bolivia, Indonesia, Egypt, Guatemala, Paraguay, El Salvador, Iraq, Thailand and of course, The Philippines. They almost have the monopoly of beautiful women in the planet.
These countries were also featured in the list of Graphiq and UN World Factbook as the poorest countries in the world. Beauty it seems is never a factor of economics after all. It may be accidental or administrative, geographical or racial, phenomenal or merely a flash in the pan. One may be underprivileged or cash poor but that does not make the person unattractive. Beauty as it were could not be factored as a collective asset except for the glory it brings to wherever the winner came from and the bright future of the person herself but never on the economic lifeblood of her nation. Beauty is indeed very personal.
Even in Greek mythology, the fairest goddess at times are routed in the beauty department my mortals. Psyche, daughter of a mortal King, was virtually worshipped by her Kingdom and in faraway turfs for her beauty more than the goddess of beauty, Aphrodite or Venus, herself. Aphrodite in her revenge sent her son, Cupid to destroy the mortal girl, only for the immortal son to be smitten by the beauty of the subject. The gods and goddesses of Olympus had no more power to overthrow the mortal beauty but would rather surrender to declare Psyche as one of the goddesses too. In effect, the incident started the awarding of winners in what could have been the first Miss Universe pageantry in ancient times.
To be in league with the poorest means to be engaged with other countries which we may not be familiar with. That is right. After browsing through the list of poorest countries and to a certain extent, discovering the places where beautiful women spring forth, I have learned also that there are countries that existed which I have never known. I was an ignoramus for a long time not to have known that there are countries like Cabo Verde, Vanuatu, Swagiland, Tavalu, Guyana, Herzegovina, Namibia, Azerbaijan, Montenegro, Turkmenistan. For me they sounded more like an expression of anger or some kind of a comic label. I have never been as international as what my graduate degree has earned (for International Diplomacy). Well, I never heard anyone winning the pageantry coming from those countries since their respective contestant never placed at all. But of course that does not mean that there are no beautiful women in those countries. Beauty is very subjective and it is one virtue which can never be relegated in the realm of objectivity.
Let’s forget beauty and go back to the poorest thing. Philosophically, to be poor is a matter of choice. Politically however, it is the weakness of governing bodies. There are rich countries, they who are considered advanced or referred to as First World. And there are poor countries which are pooled into a batch called Third World.
It is not only the quality of life that defines the difference; it is also the manner of living. In First World countries like USA, Japan, Singapore, Australia, Europe it is technology, high definition technology that carries the day for its citizens. In Third world countries, it is more manual and unsophisticated.
To a large extent, economics play a dramatic role in the country’s index of material happiness. Countries which are governed properly and economically advanced are the happiest. These are Denmark, Australia, Canada, Switzerland, New Zealand, Norway, Iceland, Finland, Netherlands and Sweden, to name the top 10. Economic prosperity however is not correlated with emotional happiness. There is more suicide in Japan than in Cambodia. More serial crimes in USA than Jordan. The Philippines, a developing country, is high on the list of happiest people not because they are prosperous but because they love music. Filipinos believe that life without music is a mistake.
Whatever. To be poor is archaic in a world that transcends the meaning of happiness. But to be poorest is something else.