Sunday, 19 February 2017
It seems like the word of 2016 - 'hygge' - doesn't appear to be going anywhere anytime soon, and I finally had to jump on Google and find out what it's all about. It took about three seconds for me to realise that this concept was awesome but it also screamed ME, in every single way.
In a way, hygge is sort of like 'coziness'. After reading more about it though, you realise that you can't exactly define hygge - hence why the Danish have a word for it - it's hard to translate! The first thing I had to get my head around though was the pronunciation. I was calling it something like 'hi' and then just a 'g' sound and then I watched this video and I was like...oh. I still feel like I can't pronounce it.
Of course, I had to buy a book about this hygge concept, which in itself is quite hygge of me - yes, you will probably see this word used a LOT in this post! I am definitely a big book person, I just love buying a new book, smelling it (weird), holding it, reading it outside in the sun or in bed on a rainy night. I purchased Hygge: The Danish Art Of Happiness by Marie Tourell Söderberg mostly because it looked pretty, but also because the photos inside looked so warm and cosy. Naturally.
I absolutely loved reading this book, it actually genuinely made me really happy reading it. You absolutely do NOT need a book to tell you what 'hygge' is - most of us already do it, we just haven't made up a word for it. I just loved reading the book because the Danish have truly made this concept part of their culture, and it has been like that for hundreds of years, and it's that that I found really interesting.
What I loved about this book was that it was mostly made up of other peoples stories. The author talked to so many different people about what hygge meant to them, and it was just really interesting to read about their stories and how they've spanned over so many different generations. The idea of hygge really works so well in Scandinavian countries because of the weather, first and foremost. With winters that leave them in the cold and dark for so much of the year, it became so important for them to make the most of that time and find a way to get through it by putting a positive spin on it. That's why hygge is about comfort and cosiness and the small things that make you happy. It's amazing, and it's no wonder Denmark is one of the happiest countries in the world!
Their sense of family, friends and community is strong and the book outlines the different ways in which they hygge - whether it be at home, at the pub or at work. It talks about their strong relationship with food (and the book has some really cute recipes I want to try out), traditions and the home, all of which are really important to me.
I've always wanted to visit the Scandinavia region, but this has just made me want to visit even more! Denmark is not only a beautiful country, but now I want to visit just to meet the locals, partake in their traditions and hygge big time. White Christmas, anyone?
This is what happens when you have a cat.
WHAT HYGGE MEANS TO ME
Whilst 'hygge' is obviously a Danish word, it does not mean that it is not happening all around the world. Most of us have been doing it all our lives without actually realising it was a 'thing', and I think most of us bloggers are even more comfortable with the concept!
I thought it would be interesting to talk about what it means to us, especially being that people here come from all over the world, and I would genuinely love to know what it means to YOU.
For me, hygge is:
- Drinking coffee in cosy coffee shops when it's cold outside.
- Curling up on a big, plush sofa on a rainy night with all the lights dimmed and a cup of tea. Probably watching a chick flick.
- Cold beers on sunny afternoons with friends.
- Waking up early on weekends and cooking a good breakfast and being able to relax in the morning.
- Candles, and lots of them.
- The big Christmas lunch with family, where we eat too much and then spend all afternoon napping.
- Sunset walks with a friend where the sun has gone down but it's still light.
- Sunday roasts. Need I say more?
- Soft furnishings. I don't like cold, sterile environments. Perfect, creaseless bed linens weird me out!
- Polar opposites - the first cold, rainy day of Winter and the first warm, sunny day of Summer.
It's definitely a word we are hearing a LOT of lately, and particularly in this post (I'm sorry) but I'm okay with that - it's better than seeing the word 'yasss' or 'how bow dah' all around the internet, am I right?
If this is the concept that's going to be the new thing, then I am all for it. Ready and waiting, tea in hand.
What does hygge mean to you?