make us a hygge
May 6, 2010 Leave a comment
According to Wikipedia,
One of the fundamental aspects of Danish culture is “hygge”, which, although translated as “coziness” is more akin to “tranquility”. Hygge is a complete absence of anything annoying, irritating, or emotionally overwhelming, and the presence of and pleasure from comforting, gentle, and soothing things. Hygge is often associated with family and close friends.
Hygge [ˈhyɡə] is a noun. The corresponding adjective is hyggelig [‘hygəli].
You don’t have to be in Denmark to experience hygge and hyggelig things, but it helps a lot. Hygge is:
- having a candlelit dinner (breakfast, lunch, tea and so on. In their pursuit of hygge, Danes burn more candles per capita than any other nation.)
- sitting outside the log cabin in the long summer evening (and having a blanket nearby in case it gets too chilly)
- sitting inside the log cabin in the long winter evening, cuddling up in front of a roaring fire
- enjoying good music in a cozy location with friends, or maybe just having a chat
- staying late in bed without feeling guilty about it
and things of that nature generally.
Since there’s no exact English translation, I suggest the English speakers adopt hygge, both word and lifestyle. That will do us all a lot of good. (The German equivalent, Gemütlichkeit, does not sound near as hyggelig as hygge. Maybe it is not an equivalent then.)
Which reminds me, next visit to IKEA to buy a few boxes of tealights.