Wednesday, 3 December 2014

The Art of "Hygge"


I stumbled upon a great little article the other week all about how the Danes, who spend a lot of their time with snow on the ground and the sun setting before 4pm, are one of the happiest groups of people in the world. And apparently what they attribute this to is a culture centred around "hygge". Here's what it means according to A Xenophobe's Guide to Danes:

"A love of or need for hygge is an important part of the Danish psyche. Hygge is usually inadequately translated as "coziness." This is too simplistic: coziness relates to physical surroundings — a jersey can be cozy, or a warm bed — whereas hygge has more to do with people's behavior towards each other. It is the art of creating intimacy: a sense of comradeship, conviviality, and contentment rolled into one.
Friends meeting in the street might say that it has been hyggeligt to see each other, and someone who is fun to be with can be called a hyggelig fyr, when he would hardly be described as a "cozy fellow." The truly emotive depth of the word hyggelig is best captured by considering its opposite, uhyggeligt, which means anything from cheerless through sinister to downright shocking and grisly.
To have a hyggelig time is social nirvana in Denmark. Candlelight is used to encourage ahyggelig atmosphere. In fact, the Danes are mad about candles and use them everywhere, both in public places like cafes, bars, restaurants and offices, and in the home. The dim lighting helps to soften the clean, uncluttered surfaces and uncompromising white walls that are typical features of Danish living rooms. Everyone's ideal is to have a Christiania kakkelovn (antique stove) or an open fireplace and feel the warmth from its hyggelige glow.
Achieving hygge generally involves being with friends and family, and eating and drinking. Older Danes are horrified to hear of youngsters who hygger themselves alone on the sofa with a rented video and family-size bag of sweets." 
Isn't that great? I feel hygge perfectly sums up what I want my life to feel like, and it got me thinking, what things in my life would be apart of this hygge thing?
  • knitting on the couch
  • playing cards by the fire with family
  • making food and having friends over, eating on pillows on the floor
  • long walks and long talks
  • tea in big mugs
  • reading stories before bed
  • hikes in the woods
  • writing letters and sending them in the mail
  • candles
What about you, do you like this idea of Hygge as much as I do? What kinds of things do it for you? 

Photo by Joakim Eskildsen 

1 comment:

  1. I love this! I totally agree with this sentiment for living life.

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...