Hygge is a Danish term that was included in Oxford English Dictionary back in 2017. The English language is wider than the seas and oceans of the whole world and yet “hygge” has no direct translation in the English language. However, the word “cozy” comes close. Oxford English Dictionary defines hygge as:
“A quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.”
History of the term “hygge”
Hygge comes from “Hugga,” a sixteenth-century Norwegian term meaning “to console” or “to comfort.” Hygge is believed to be derived from hugga and has been associated with the feelings or concepts of gratitude, coziness, and relaxation. The word and the associated meanings are so popular in Denmark that it has become a part of Danish national culture.
Where does “hygge” stand now?
Hygge has been transported from a Scandinavian country to all across the globe and has become a very popular and familiar term nowadays. The term is so popular that it has become a source of inspiration for many pieces of literature including articles and books.
A brief explanation of hygge
Hygge is as difficult to explain as it is to pronounce (hyoo-ga). First of all, let’s try to understand it with a couple of examples. When we sit by the fire on a cold winter’s night, having a cup of hot cocoa in our hands, relaxing and enjoying the peacefulness of the night – that is hygge. When we sit with our family in a loving and cozy environment – that is also hygge. When we sit at a beach and enjoy the beauty of an ocean – that is also hygge.
You, just like anyone else, must have experienced hygge on multiple occasions, but probably didn’t even know it at the time. Let’s say that you’re sitting with your family and talking about the simple things in life, laughing, relaxing, and enjoying eachothers company, you are definitely experiencing hygge. When you hang out with your old friends, just to chill, forgetting about your worries, and simply enjoying those moments together, you’re definitely experiencing hygge.
So, we can surmise that hygge is a concept to celebrate and enjoy even the smallest joys of life. It is a term that connotes simplicity, comfort, unity, community, happiness, and so on. Hygge can also mean something different for everyone as it is a subjective term, and everyone has their own unique way of enjoying things in life.
Danes practice this concept throughout the year, enjoy life, and ever remaining happy. It is the courtesy of hygge culture that Denmark always remains among the happiest countries in the world. Danish culture itself reflects hygge as you see equality, fraternity, and well-being everywhere, and (in my opinion) every Danish person looks like they’re enjoying every second of his/her life. Hygge surely deserves some credit for that!
Even though hygge is a Danish term, the whole world can and should adopt it. It would be enjoyable and rejuvenating for all of us. Perhaps, the world needs hygge now more than ever before. Danes have shown the world what hygge can bring – happiness and coziness. Can we practice hygge? Definitely, we can and we should to make this world more beautiful than heaven.
How can I find out more about Hygge?
There are tons of different websites and books about Hygge. I personally know someone who practices hygge every single day. She actually has a section on her website about hygee. If you’d like to check it out, please click here.
I recommend two books to further your research on hygge. The first one, The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well, is a great read. It was written by Meik Wiking, who is the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen He goes into detail on what Hygge is and even gives examples of how to implement it in your own life.
The second book is called Hygge Habits, 42 Habits of a Happy Life Through Danish Hygge That Take Five Minutes or Less. The book title really explains exactly what this book is about – it details habits that you can incorporate into your life to start living well through hygge.
What do you think – Is Hygge worth exploring?