I note with some incredulity that happiness (joy, elation) in some form is missing from the list of “basic” universal emotions, and even from the extended list of 9 or 10. Is happiness not considered a basic emotion? Did ancient Hindus not experience joy and hence not express it in dance? Or is happiness considered so trivial it isn’t worth classifying as an emotion–basic, depictable in dance, or otherwise?

K.A. Boriskin
Bellingham, Mass.

The Hindu concept of humor encompasses feelings of joy. The researchers argue that the word happiness imprecisely designates a set of positive emotions that may vary from culture to culture .–B. Bower