While in Copenhagen I got introduced to a new term called Hygge – phonetically Hu-gah or Hew –ga. of Norwegian origin this word meant well-being, but the Danes promoted Hygge to such an extent that now it is popularly known as a Danish phenomenon! I was told that just as the word is difficult to pronounce properly, it is equally difficult to explain the real essence of hyggelig (adjective).
So my friend took me to a local bar called Retro in the heart of the city centre where a typical Hyggelig awaited me. Cosy, dimlit with candles, warm, relaxed, tranquil – that’s a typical hygge environment for you. Another attractive thing about this place (Retro) was that it was non-profit café cum bar run with the help of volunteers. They have doctors, lawyers, accountants & people from other professions volunteering to work for them in the evenings.
The Danish winters are quite cold, dark and sometimes rainy too. It is said that Hygge is what the Danes do to pull through the gloomy winters. The party season is high during winters to keep yourself cheerful when the sunlight is a distant dream. Everyone gets together in their homes, pull all furniture together, light as many candles or better still hearth, chat and dine in the cosy comforts totally secured from the cold and hard blowing biting wind outside.
Technically speaking Hygge doesn’t have to be restricted to winters alone. Such an environment can be created anytime around the year. Summers, monsoons…basically anytime during the year! All you need to do is to create an amiable atmosphere. It can be done at home or a beach café or by picnicking in a garden!
Keep all worries aside and relax. Keep the conversation light and healthy. Laugh. Laugh out loud. You can hygge all by yourself with a glass of wine and a good book to read. But, it is said that the real essence of hygge is experienced when you do it with your friends and loved ones.