What is Hygge? It’s the happiest word in the world you’ve never heard of…
Hygge (pronounced hue-gah)
Hygge – A Danish word that is a feeling or mood that comes from taking a genuine pleasure in making ordinary, everyday things more meaningful, beautiful or special.
I use the term “Hygge” a lot, I frequently get asked – “What is Hygge Matthew?” It’s a tough word to explain but has a very powerful meaning. I picked it up from a Danish friend and on my frequent travels through Scandanavia. Here’s a great example of how it’s used..
Head to Google and enter “quality restaurant in Denmark” – you get around 9,600 results. Enter “Hygge restaurants in Denmark” and you get 88,900 results. It seems clear that the Danish are passionate about Hygge in all it’s forms. I just read about a Danish guy who’s local coffee shop served terrible coffee that tasted like fish! But he would still go there because of the comfortable chairs, warm fire and great people.
But, what is Hygge?
I came across Hygge, a year or so ago while watching a fantastic (UK) Channel 4 series called Scandimania. Having worked in Nordic countries for almost a decade now, I’ve always loved going back and could never quite put my finger on why!
Why I love Scandinavia, the very definition of Hygge…
- The landscape is stunning
- The people are just kind and beautiful
- Everyone is so helpful
- They have a great sense of humour
I have a great Danish friend who we call “The Great Dane” and when we go out for a drink he calls me “the mini beast” while screaming “Valhalla!” I just love his company and sense of humor, which always seems to have the entire pub in hysterical laughter!
All of these reasons, while compelling and wonderful, do not sum up the feeling of genuine happiness I get every time I visit this part of the world.
But what I feel the TV show revealed through interviews with locals, was the power of the outdoors, kindness and the simple pleasures. Eureka, that was it, it is the combination of the above and just sharing quality time with others, happiness…
So, I hope that when you’re asked “What is Hygge?” in the future you can happily answer. I honestly believe it’s the simple pleasures that bring the biggest joys. Good friends, great food, a roaring fire, getting outdoors and of course a nice cold beer! I like to think there’s a big slice of Hygge is every trip Momentum creates.