We Are Happy

We sing “We Are Happy” at the beginning of every All Around This World class, changing the salutation to match the featured country of the week wherever we are around the globe. When we sing it as an African hello song to welcome kids to our class in our African season, the song “comes home.” That’s because All Around This World’s “We Are Happy” is actually a mashup of two songs the Abayudaya of Uganda sing to greet important visitors to Nabugoye Hill, which is a small area a few miles outside of the Eastern Ugandan city of Mbale. The Abayudya of Uganda are a small community of about 500 Luganda-speaking Bagandans who have been practicing Judaism for over 80 years. Abayudaya community leaders Rabbi Gershom Sizomu and his brother JJ Keki wrote the two greeting songs and led the community in singing them for me when Jay first visited in late 1999.

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