Danish Concept of "Hygge": What is it?
What is "hygge" and why has it gained popularity in smart, trendy circles?
"Hygge" is pronounced "hoo-guh" and is an amorphous concept that cannot be captured in a single English word because it relates to a mood or aura. The dictionary definition is: A quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being (regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture). This word ranked as one of the Oxford Dictionary's top words of the year in 2016 and some six books on the topic were published in 2017 alone.
Hygge is actually a Norwegian word that crept into the Danish language. It may well be a cliche because we hear it so often, but Danes are considered one of the happiest people on earth along with their Scandinavian cousins. Cheerfulness and positivity are at the heart of this lovely way of looking at life despite harsh weather conditions that render the landscape gray ffor much of any year. Hygge is an inner light; an inner joyfulness delivered by simple things or actions.
Imagine the feeling of coming home to a room filled with candles, a warm throw and a perfect cup of coffee; perhaps the touch of soft, wool socks or a divine cashmere scarf. Or picture a hot sauna with friends and the cool shower that follows afterwards. Think what it feels like to open a front door and embrace the soft warm after a chilly walk home. Simplicity is at the heart of this idea which is why those who have become jaded by gross commercialism and constant bombardment by social media find it so attractive.
If you live in a studio or micro-unit you can grab onto some of the miniature pleasures and if your home is lavish and grand, incorporate some numerous soothing elements. As we embrace the Spring, think of things that transcend surroundings:
What do you think of practicing these awarenesses in your own home?