18 December 2016

Hygge?

While in Copenhagen last December I must admit to being incredibly impressed with the place. Because English seems to be a 2nd language in that city it was easy to navigate. Plus the public transportation (bus, train, and canal boats) seemed very sensibly run AND our Copenhagen card (bought for the maximum 5 days) made taking it free!

Lots of people were still riding bicycles to and from work even in chilly December! There were plenty of places to eat and drink at whatever your budget could afford and they all seemed very cozy. Of course, the Christmas lights and greenery everywhere enhanced the feeling. We spent our last night having a fantastic meal in a restaurant totally lit by candles!

All this is, apparently, a part of what makes up hygge...



But there's a darker side to hygge...

"Twinkly candles, cheery teapots, woolly socks and cushions: these are the domestic trappings needed this winter to create a cosy sense of Danish “hygge”. But if the prospect makes you nauseous, do not despair. There is a potent antidote available for an overdose of Scandinavian kitsch that is just as old as the original concept of “hygge”. The word “uhygge” describes the exact opposite of cosy: it is the name for the unsettling feeling that you are being watched from the forest. Perhaps by a troll or an evil witch."  - Trolls, killers, watchers in the woods: Danes chill to the dark side of hygge

You can listen to more about hygge and it's darker side below; although this perspective does not involve trolls...not in the folkloric sense anyway.

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