Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Winter Solstice and The New Yorker on Hygge

Writes Anna Altman in The New Yorker <>:
[On the] Oxford Dictionaries’ 2016 “word of the year” shortlist was...: “hygge,” a Danish term defined as “a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.” ...  
Winter is the most hygge time of year. It is candles, nubby woolens, shearling slippers, woven textiles, pastries, blond wood, sheepskin rugs, lattes with milk-foam hearts, and a warm fireplace.... 
Like many of the best things from Scandinavia, hygge might seem, to some Americans, to come with a whiff of smugness. The term is often mentioned in the same paragraph that reminds us that Danes... are free to become “aware of the decoupling between wealth and wellbeing.” “After our basic needs are met, more money doesn’t lead to more happiness,” [Meik Wiking] told Elle UK. “Instead, Danes are good at focusing on what brings them a better quality of life.”... 
This vision of restrained pleasure harmonizes with a related Swedish concept, lagom, which... encourages modesty and teamwork and discourages extremes. It is related to fairness, the need for consensus, and equality.
All Original Photographs from Archives

Books mentioned in the article:
  • Louisa Thomsen Brits, “The Book of Hygge: The Danish Art of Contentment, Comfort, and Connection” <>
Swedish Family Members c1911 - Original Photograph from Archives