Flanel blankets, fire places, woollen socks, candle lights, tea or hot chocolate, cuddling, having dinner with friends. How would you name this feeling in English? I would use ‘gezelligheid’ in Dutch, ‘cosiness’ perhaps?
Anyway, until today I didn’t believe there was a perfect term which includes it all. A while ago I told you about my love for Denmark. This love grew even more when I first noticed the word ‘hygge’. It represents an ‘intimate gathering with people you can relax with’, creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people. It’s a verb in Danish – you can hygge together!
It is seen in Denmark as part of the national identity and culture. Hygge is the antidote to the cold winter, the rainy days and the vast darkness. You can hygge all year, but in winter it becomes a survival strategy. No wonder that the Danish people are the happiest people in the world.
I think it is not a coincidence that currently, articles and even books are written about this Danish phenomenon. The desire to come together with family and friends is getting bigger and bigger in a world where in fact the opposite is happening with wars and conflicts.
Hygge has future growth potential, because this concept focuses on the good things in life. It is a strategy to improve our quality of life. We need to connect again, to accomplish – I won’t say world peace – more love and understanding. It reminded me of this beautiful quote:
“Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.” — Ryunosuke Satoro
Lesson learned: I’m going to enjoy this evening with pillows, blankets, candles and my family. And set up a Pinterest board with some hygge inspiration.
What is your favourite hygge thing to do?