Hygge = Happy
It’s the second time I have heard that Danish people are amongst the happiest people of all.
In looking into this a little bit more, it seems like the Danes have a better work/life balance rhythm than the rest of us, which includes a factor called ‘hygge’. Apparently hygge is part of their DNA!
A general rule for office hours is between 7-4pm, or 5pm the latest. Seemingly, these work hours fit in with their limited hours of sunlight/daylight from autumn to winter, which they have taken on board as an overall guide. In 2012, ‘Shops closing hour’ was eased to extend shopping hours over the weekend, but until then the shops shut at noon on Saturday. Who remembers this bygone era here in Australia!
At home, the hygge factor completes the balance. It is pronounced like - hOOgah - . There must be some Danish guttural sound included but the essence of hygge is very nice indeed. The hygge way of life is a habit born out of their long dark winters but evolves and extends into summer to take in the outdoors a bit more.
So what is hygge time? It’s time to relax for a cosy, snug get together with family or friends. Slow cooked food, mulled wine, open fires, gentle music and candles by the dozen. According to the European Candle Association, Danes use the most candles per head than any other nation in Europe. These small get togethers are where people enjoy each other’s company and talk about the next hygge happening, be it during the week or weekend, for dinner or to help paint someone’s lounge or kitchen, with a meal to finish! How amazingly lovely!!
Being gracious is hygge too. Gracious to yourself in being creative and doing what you enjoy. It is also about being grateful. Being grateful is an inbuilt character for the Danes! The hygge moments in life along with gratitude are the major factors which regularly vote Denmark as one of the happiest nations in the world. Another important factor about hygge is that it is about the experience rather than ‘stuff’
“It turns out Luther Vandross was right: the best things in life really are free – or at least needn’t set you back more than the price of a few Ikea tea lights. “Danes have been proven to be less materialistic than other cultures – and we appreciate low-cost activities and the simple things in life, like having a coffee (fairtrade) and lighting some candles to create a cosy atmosphere,” says Meik Wiking, CEO The Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen.
Along with this I also discover that Copenhagen has been a Fairtrade city since 2009.
“Copenhagen is a fairtrade city; where everything is organic, fair trade and/or sustainable” visitdenmark.com
I feel totally happy and encouraged by this nation called Denmark. Their social conscience work/life ethic not only includes the ‘happy factor’, which I would call contentment for them personally, but they also seek the well-being of those who produce what they enjoy.
“Fair trade products make you richer in experience and provide understanding and insight into cultures of different nations in Africa, Asia and South America” fairtradedenmark
Lets take leaf out of their book and celebrate Fairtrade Fortnight ( may 7-22) hygge style, where this year the call is to "sit down for your cuppa and stand up for the farmer".
If you are hosting a 'Biggest Morning Tea" on Thursday May 26th, please do consider our fairtrade coffee, tea and chocolate for your special event. Use our organic fairtrade cocoa to bake your most delicious chocolate cake. It would certianly be a win-win for the 'happy' factor for sure.
Just remember in either gathering make sure you have the hygge factor to bring out happiness
Many Blessings to you.
Grant and Mignonne