Molly Shattuck gets hygge

which sounds pretty wild, but in reality is probably the most fun you can have with your clothes on.Hygge  In fact, I’m sure she wants loads of hygge right now.

Untitled

this post is hygge.

The reason I mention this is that I have mentioned misunderstandings as an explanation for her current situation.   I think her saying she wanted to have a hygge weekend is in line with her going to the beach tweet, but could be taken the wrong way by someone who has no idea of the concept of hygge.

Hygge is not an easy word for non-Danes to pronounce: it sounds sort of like HYU-gah. It’s hard to translate as well. Hygge has no direct analogue in English, and related words like “coziness,” “togetherness” and “well-being” which only cover a fraction of its nebulous definition. Hygge can also be used as an adjective by converting it to “hyggeligt” (HYU-gah-lee).  The Lonely Planet Guide to Copenhagen has a whole page devoted to hygge.

Usually it is translated as “cosy” but hygge means much more than that. Hygge refers to a sense of friendly, warm companionship of a kind fostered when Danes gather together in groups of two or more, although you can actually hygge yourself if there is no one else around. The participants don’t even have to be friends (indeed, you might only just have met), but if the conversation flows — avoiding potentially divisive topics like politics and the best method to pickle herring — the bonhomie blossoms, toasts are raised before an open fire (or at the very least, some candles), you are probably coming close.

ours

a woman looking hygge.

Some hygge hashtags from twitter can give an idea of what people consider hygge to mean.  Here are some translated examples:

“Arrived at the cabin, sitting in front of the fireplace with a book and biscuits.” — @JohanneBoat

“Grandmother, grandfather, mother and father for coffee and cake in an hour.” — @NinaVindel

“Will spend as much as possible of my day off Friday under the blanket with books, magazines, movies and tea in gallons.” @LiseRoest

“Taking a coffee and a walk with someone from work.” — @ojholb

In fact, hygge isn’t sex and pink lingerie–it’s more like a Faroe Island sweater and jeans a la Sarah Lund. Sofie Gråbøl, who played Sarah Lund in the Forbrydelsen series, says these sweaters are very hygge (ref Patrick Kingsley’s How to Be Danish: A Journey to the Cultural Heart of Denmark).  “That sweater”, says Gråbøl, “was a sign of togetherness.”   Troels Hartmann would probably also say a clean, freshly pressed, blue Oxford shirt was hygge.

Going to the beach and getting comfy and cozy with your family on a bank holiday is hygge.  Despite the image of Scandanavia, it can also be very family friendly.

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: