Gemütlichkeit, gezelligheid, hygge, koselig, mysig, call it what you will. I remember the first time a Dutch friend lectured me on the importance of Gezilligheid and its untranslatability into English; “You don’t have anything like it in English” was the statement. After lengthy explanations I was pretty certain it was simply translated as cosiness and it was pretty much a universal, rather then something uniquely Dutch. About 3 weeks passed before a similar conversation with a German friend occurred. Bavarian Gemütlichkeit. “You don’t have anything like it in English”, was the repeated phrase. I gave up trying to understand and resumed my default position: I’m British and there’s probably something wrong with me, which means I will fundamentally never understand. Being English, and thus beset by aggressive paranoia, this is amplified by a factor of about 6.
Slowly the Finns launched the first assault. Angry Birds. Nokia. Lordi. Or was it the Swedish smorgasbord of Abba, Ikea and Roxette. I forgot now who fired the first shots in the slow-building British obsession with all things Nordic. Then came the Danes. Having already softened us up with years of Hamlet, Lego and superior butter, they unleash Aqua, industrial production of TV murders (incidentally, did you know that “Killing” in Danish means “Kitten”?), Michelin-starred restaurants and now Hygge, a new and unique brand of happiness, ready boxed and only available in Denmark. They never mention the Danes are the world’s leading consumer of anti-depressants.
Luckily we now have the internet as an authority. Go and do a Google image search for “Hygge”. And then try the same for Gemütlichkeit, Gezelligheid or Cosiness. The answer is clear. Hygge, or whatever you want to call it, equals thick socks and a fire indianpharmall.com. Add to this any of the following; friends, alcohol and hot chocolate (and in Germany, sausages). Turns out it’s a basic human universal. We all like to be cosy. Looking to bring some joy into your life? Beware of inaccessible trends. Happiness is normally a lot closer to home and it’s often pub-shaped.
Author: Giles Poole