A question I’ve been asked an awful lot of times when travelling around the world is what the danish word “Hygge” means. I’ve never really been able to give those people a good explanation or tranlation – until now. I stumbled upon another website which gives a quite accurate definition of the word “hygge”. Please enjoy.
“Hygge” is a Danish phenomenon! It is as important to the Danes as “chic” is to the French, as “angst” is to the Swedes and as “cool” (as in “Cool Britannia”) is to the English. It is often inadequately translated as “cosiness”. But it is much more. And it is actually the one thing which helps us to comprehend the true spirit of the Danes. Danes exist essentially in two states of being: they are either extremely reserved OR they are very “hyggelige” – and they can visibly move from one state to the other by consuming large quantities of beer! There is no better way to loosen up a rather formal Danish business meeting than by placing a few bottles of beer on the table (and for maximum-hygge – a case of beer should be stored under the table for later.) I think that “Hygge” is an art, and I would define it as the Art of Creating Intimacy . Of course, some nationalities are easily and unrestrainedly intimate – like the Italians – or not at all – like the Germans. But the Danes succeed in “creating” intimacy in the same way as they create furniture. Basic, uncomplicated, unexaggerated, and yet, however simple – somehow it always works! Hygge consists of the four C’s – comradeship, conviviality, cosinessand – most important of all – Carlsberg.
The original document can be found here.