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The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living

The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living

Автором Meik Wiking

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The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living

Автором Meik Wiking

оценки:
4/5 (52 оценки)
Длина:
248 pages
2 hours
Издатель:
Издано:
Jan 17, 2017
ISBN:
9780062658814
Формат:
Книге

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Примечание редактора

A way of life…

Hygge is a way of life in Denmark, comprised of intimate friendships, mindfulness, and lots of candles. Is it any surprise that a country that focuses so much on engineering lovely moments tends to be happier than others? Remember: When life gives you lemons, make a hyggelig glass of lemonade.

Описание

Written by Scribd Editors

It is time for you to embrace hygge (pronounced hoo-ga for those that are curious) and become a happier version of your current self. This definitive guide to the Danish philosophy of comfort, togetherness, and wellbeing is the key you've been searching for.

Have you ever wondered why, statistically, Danes are the happiest people in the world? According to Meik Wiking, the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, the answer is hygge. Roughly translated, hygge is a sense of comfort, togetherness, and well-being. Or, as Wiking explains, "Hygge is about an atmosphere and an experience. It is about being with the people we love. A feeling of home. A feeling that we are safe."

Basically, hygge is that sensation you experience when you are curled up on the couch, in your cozy socks under a blanket during a thunderstorm. It is the feeling you experience when you share comfort food and pleasant conversation with your loved ones at a candlelit table. Hygge is the warmth you feel from the light shining perfectly on a dreamy blue-sky day.

The Little Book of Hygge introduces you to this cornerstone of Danish life, and offers you tips and tricks to incorporate it into your own.
Издатель:
Издано:
Jan 17, 2017
ISBN:
9780062658814
Формат:
Книге

Также доступно как...

АудиокнигаКраткое содержание

Об авторе

Meik Wiking is CEO of the Happiness Research Institute, research associate for Denmark at the World Database of Happiness, and founding member of the Latin American Network for Wellbeing and Quality of Life Policies. He and his research have been featured in more than five hundred media outlets, including The Washington Post, BBC, Huffington Post, the Times (London), The Guardian, CBS, Monocle, the Atlantic, and PBS News Hour. He has spoken at TEDx, and his books have been translated into more than fifteen languages. He lives in Copenhagen, Denmark.


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The Little Book of Hygge - Meik Wiking

CHAPTER ONE

LIGHT

INSTANT HYGGE: CANDLES

No recipe for hygge is complete without candles. When Danes are asked what they most associate with hygge, an overwhelming 85 percent will mention candles.

The word for spoilsport in Danish is lyseslukker, which means the one who puts out the candles, and this is no coincidence. There is no faster way to get to hygge than to light a few candles or, as they are called in Danish, levende lys, or living lights. The American ambassador to Denmark, Rufus Gifford, said of the Danes’ love affair with candles: I mean, it is not just in the living room. It is everywhere. In your classrooms, in your boardrooms. As an American, you think, ‘Fire hazard!—how can you possibly have an open flame in your classroom?’ It is kind of an emotional happiness, an emotional coziness.

The American ambassador is onto something. According to the European Candle Association, Denmark burns more candles per head than anywhere in Europe. Each Dane burns around thirteen pounds of candle wax each year. To put this in context, each Dane consumes around six and a half pounds of bacon per year (yes, bacon consumption per capita is a standard metric in Denmark). The candle consumption is a European record. In fact, Denmark burns almost twice as much candle wax as the runner-up, Austria, with a little under seven pounds per year. However, scented candles are not a big thing. In fact, Asp-Holmblad, Denmark’s oldest producer of candles, doesn’t even include scented candles in their product range. Scented candles are considered artificial, and Danes prefer natural and organic products. In fact, Danes rank towards the top of the list in Europe when it comes to buying organic.

More than half of Danes light candles almost every day during autumn and winter, and only 4 percent say they never light candles, according to a survey by one of the major newspapers in Denmark. During December, the candle consumption soars to thrice as many, and this is also the time to witness the special candle that is to be burned only in the days leading up to Christmas, namely the kalenderlys—the advent candle. This candle is marked with twenty-four lines, one for each day in December before Christmas, turning it into the slowest countdown clock in the world.

Another special candle occasion is May 4, also known as lysfest, or light party. On this evening in 1945, the BBC broadcast that the German forces who had occupied Denmark since 1940 had surrendered. As in many countries during World War II, Denmark was subject to blackouts to prevent enemy aircraft from navigating by city lights. Today, Danes still celebrate the return of the light on this evening by putting candles in their windows.

Hyggelige as the Danes may be, there is one serious drawback to being crazy about candles: the soot. Studies show that lighting just one candle fills the air with more microparticles than traffic in a busy street.

A study undertaken by the Danish Building Research Institute showed that candles shed more particles indoors than either cigarettes or cooking. Despite Denmark being a highly regulated country, we have yet to see warning labels on candles. Nobody messes with the hygge fanatics. There is now a growing awareness among Danes of the importance of airing out a room after burning candles. Nevertheless, despite the health implications, Danes continue to consume candles in obscene quantities.

LAMPS

Lighting is not just about candles. Danes are obsessed by lighting in general. I once spent two hours walking around Rome with my girlfriend at the time to find a restaurant that had hyggelig lighting.

Danes select lamps carefully and place them strategically to create soothing pools of light. It is an art form, a science, and an industry. Some of the most beautifully designed lamps in the world come from the golden age of Danish design—for example, the lamps of Poul Henningsen, Arne Jacobsen, and Verner Panton. Visit a student on a shoestring budget and you may still encounter a $1,300 Verner Panton lamp in the corner of her hundred-square-foot flat.

The rule of thumb is: the lower the temperature of the light, the more hygge. A camera flash is around 5,500 Kelvin (K), fluorescent tubes are 5,000K, incandescent lamps 3,000K, while sunsets and wood and candle flames are about 1,800K. That is your hygge sweet spot.

The closest you will ever come to seeing vampires burned by daylight is by inviting a group of Danes for a hygge dinner and then placing them under a 5,000K fluorescent light tube. At first they will squint, trying to examine the torture device you have placed in the ceiling. Then, as dinner begins, observe how they move uncomfortably around in their chairs, compulsively scratching and trying to suppress twitches.

The obsession with lighting comes from the lack of contact with it in the natural world from October to March. During this time, the only resource Denmark has in abundance is darkness. Summers in Denmark are beautiful. When the first rays of light reach the country, Danes awaken from their hibernation and fall over themselves to find spots in the sun. I love summer in Denmark. It is my favorite time of the year. And if it wasn’t bad enough that winters are dark and cold and summers are short, Denmark also has 179 days of rain per year. Game of Thrones fans, think of the city of Winterfell.

That is why hygge has been refined to the level it has, and why it is seen as part of the national identity and culture in Denmark. Hygge is the antidote to the cold winter, the rainy days, and the duvet of darkness. So while you can have hygge all year round, it is during winter that it becomes not only a necessity but a survival strategy. That is why Danes have a reputation of being hygge fundamentalists and talk about it . . . a lot.

My favorite spot in my apartment in Copenhagen is the windowsill in the kitchen-dining area. It is wide enough to sit comfortably in and I’ve added pillows and blankets to make it a real hyggekrog (see the hygge dictionary in Chapter 2). The radiator underneath the windowsill makes it the perfect place to enjoy a cup of tea on a cold winter night. But what I like about it most is the warm amber glow issuing from every apartment across the courtyard. It’s a constantly changing mosaic of radiance as people leave and return home. In part, I owe this view to Poul Henningsen. Inevitably, a well-lit room in Denmark is likely to hold a lamp by the architect and designer all Danes know simply as PH.

He was to light fixtures what Edison was to the lightbulb. PH was, like most Danes today, obsessed with light. Some call him the world’s first lighting architect, as he devoted his career to exploring the importance of light for our well-being, aiming to develop a lamp that could spread light without subjecting people to a direct glare.

Poul Henningsen was born in 1894 and did not grow up with electric light but in the soft glow of petroleum lamps. These were his source of inspiration. His designs shape and refine the power of the electric light yet maintain the softness of the light of a petroleum lamp.

It doesn’t cost money to light a room correctly—but it does require culture. From the age of eighteen, when I began to experiment with light, I have been searching for harmony in lighting. Human beings are like children. As soon as they get new toys, they throw away their culture and the orgy starts. The electric light gave the possibility of wallowing in light.

When, in the evening, from the top of a tram car, you look into all the homes on the first floor, you shudder at how dismal people’s homes are. Furniture, style, carpets—everything in the home is unimportant, compared to the positioning of the lighting.

Poul Henningsen (1894–1967), On Light

THREE ICONIC DANISH LAMPS

THE PH LAMP

After a decade of experiments with lamps and lighting in his attic, Henningsen presented the first PH lamp in 1925. It gave a softer and more diffused light by using a series of layered shades to disperse the light yet conceal the lightbulb. In addition, to bring the harsh white light toward the red end of the spectrum, PH gave the inner side of one element of the shade a red colour. His biggest success was PH5, which has metal shades and was launched in 1958, but PH lamps have now been produced in over a thousand different designs. Many of these are not in production anymore, and the rarest lamps can go for more than $25,000 at auction.

LE KLINT

In 1943, the Klint family started producing lampshades with folding pleats, but in fact they had been designed four decades earlier by Peder Vilhelm Jensen-Klint, a Danish architect, for his own use, as he had designed a petroleum lamp and needed a shade. It became a family business, applying the skills in design, innovation, and business of the sons and daughters of Klint.

PANTON VP GLOBE

The Panton VP Globe

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Отзывы критиков

  • Sagittarius: New adventures await for you, so it's important to stay grounded, if not to a place, than to who you are. Home is where the heart is, and no matter where you go, it will benefit from hygge. It's a way of life in Denmark, comprised of intimate friendships, mindfulness, and lots of candles.

    Scribd Editors
  • In terms of self-help books, this one takes a different path, considering it is based on an entire country's determination to get through winter. The Little Book of Hygge is an interesting read that presents some fun, novel concepts to help you find your happiness. Is it life changing? Not by any means. We've all experiences Hygge one time or another, and the premise of this book is to seek more of it, which I'm sure we all want to do, but maybe don't have the time or resources to do. I enjoyed this book, don't get me wrong, but I feel that a lot of readers will realize they are already doing a lot of these practices in their lives. However, for the few treats and nuggets of information you glean, I'd say it is worth a read for sure.

    Scribd Editors

Отзывы читателей

  • (4/5)
    A Danish researcher on happiness describes the Danish concept of hygge: a safe coziness that permeates Danes' concept of a happy life.Wiking mostly restricts himself to survey data in bolstering his argument that happiness comes from a sense of safety, a liberal dose of unstressful social interaction, and close attention to one's physical surroundings.There is an interesting thread to untangle about the balance between maintaining close long-term relationships and being open-hearted to new people (Wiking calls social circles that are difficult to break into the dark side of hygge). Scandanavians are famously clannish (I imagine it's not poor form to say that as I'm Swedish on one of side of my family), but maintaining one's own close relationships is what fills one's own happiness well, so that one has something to offer people who are really in need of a hot drink and a warm heart. A Swede would call that 'lagom' and a Buddhist would call it the true kind of compassion that is born from a consistent meditation practice. Or in the words of Suze Orman - put your own oxygen mask on first, and then help others :)This looks like a short self-help book, but there's some real substance. I'm still thinking about it several weeks later, And I bought a few candle dishes.
  • (3/5)
    Cute. The main part of the book is all about 'cozy' and how to achieve it. I'm amazed that readers don't already know all the basics. The last part of the book does talk about the country's universal support system also contributing to a sense of well-being. Also a no-brainer, but it doesn't hurt to repeat that message.
  • (3/5)
    I now know what Hygge is. I also know a lot of other Danish words and how to pronounce them. This was a whole lot of book for what was basically covered in the first chapter. But there was the fun addition of recipes and cool graphics. I just think there was too much repetition and found myself skipping over a lot. Still, I do want to visit, sit in a cafe and partake of all the happiness...BTW, it's pronounced hue-gah
  • (4/5)
    Saw this come through processing at the library... I just really like it.
    My home is rather hygge, so it just resonated, and I like the size, the art...
    Sometimes a book is good for you because it is.
  • (4/5)
    Embrace the moment. Realise that life needs cozy moments, moments where you savour them (mindfullness anyone) and if you share them with others it can be a good thing. I think I may have knit a fair few hyggesokker.
  • (4/5)
    This was a great little book. It's one I'm going to give a really good effort to follow. Who doesn't want happiness in their lives and the principle behind Hygge (hoo-ga) appeals to me. Family, friends and the simple things are all central to hygge. They are all central to me.
  • (4/5)
    Hygge loosely translates as a sense of comfort, togetherness and well-being. The book is written by the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen which is fitting since the Danes seem to be the happiest people in the world. The author has identified 10 must haves that give you hygge. Basically, coziness, cuddling, candles, comfort, peace and harmony, a sense of home, being grateful and showing up in the present. It seems simple but not something easily achieved by most people. This is a tiny book that can be read in a couple of hours and immediately put this practice into your daily life.
  • (5/5)
    This is one of those books you catch yourself wanting to share with everyone, but at the same time keep it a delicious secret all your own. Every morning for the past week I made sure to only listen to this book while getting ready for my day. It was quite the boost I needed each day and it was with some reluctance that I forced myself to savor the reading. I wanted to listen to more! I didn't want Meik Wiking's motivation for living well, living the Danish Way, to stop. Hygge in no way feels overwhelming or impossible to achieve in my life. If anything it feels like many aspects have been in play in my life since I was a child. This so encouraged me and helped to silence doubts I'm dealing with from day to day. I am constantly sharing tidbits of the book with my Mum. "Hygge (pronounced Hoo-ga, though Meik is quick to point you shouldn't stress about the correct pronunciation) means we do..." The ideas are out there and they are coming home to roost! Cherish your family, cherish moments, simplify, relax, slow down!Can I read this again next week? Every week?
  • (4/5)
    The first half of this book was delightful. Full of ideas of how to bring more (for lack of a better English word) cozy into your life, it presents the case for living more simply and with more emphasis on social interactions and relationships. It also talks about cake. A lot. The problem lies in the fact that there was probably enough information for a nice long article, but it was stretched out into a book-length project. It got a bit tedious and repetitive in the last half. I bought this for kindle for $2. I definitely think I got my money's worth. However, with the formatting issues, I do think it would be more enjoyable (and more hygge) as a physical book. So, would I recommend it? Yes. With the understanding that it's a cute little book with some interesting information about attaining happiness, but a lot of it is just gimmick. 
  • (3/5)
    Sweet and sensible. It's relationships and experiences that are the core of hygge. A few designer lamps can't hurt. But not materialistic. The chapter on Denmark and the social contract is most interesting. I both read and listened to this book. Wiking is a pleasant reader as well.
  • (5/5)
    I love this book because it not only gives a great explanation of hygge but it gives you real ways to start implementing it in your own life. I think it’s a great, quick read for anyone looking for more ways to add peace and mindfulness to their lives.
  • (4/5)
    I wanted a short, fun book that I would be able to get through really quickly, and that’s exactly what I got. I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking to slow down for a moment and enjoy an easy read. I think this book is best enjoyed with a warm beverage, sitting in your comfiest chair, wrapped up in your coziest blanket. There isn’t a whole lot to say about this book other than I enjoyed listening to it and learned some interesting concepts that are found in the Danish culture (as well as some from other countries). It was really interesting to see how important the concept of Hygge is to the Danish and I was surprised that the “hygge-factor” was influential in choosing a restaurant and such. While I already enjoy some aspects of Hygge, I hope to implement some more into my life. It’s easy to forget how important the environment you are in can affect your mood, and this book does a good job reminding you that you need a happy space in your life.
  • (5/5)
    This book made me feel happy and encouraged me to embrace Hygg in my life!
  • (4/5)
    Aspects of a hygge way of being discussed in this book affirmed my own life and inspired me to adopt more hygge-ish practices.
  • (4/5)
    Are you looking for statistics to justify the stash of cozy blankets lurking in your closet? Or maybe your partner is looking for a reason behind that hunredth pair of socks your own. Either way, "The Little Book of Hygge" is here for you. Come follow a heartfelt Dane who is paid to explain happiness as it occurrs in the country that knows it best! Hygge and happiness are not the same thing but one often leads to the other so if you are wanting more of either this short, concise, beautifully illustrated book is exactly the right place to start.
  • (4/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    Best for: People looking for a little break, or need to be reminded that it’s okay to take one.In a nutshell: The head of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen offers some ideas for how to enjoy some quiet time.Line that sticks with me: “Basically, you want to think: How would a Viking squirrel furnish a living room?” (p 123)Why I chose it: Honestly, the book’s cover is adorable.Review: This is a surprisingly thick book looking at ways to incorporate the Danish concept of Hygge into life. After reading the book — which I definitely enjoyed — I think that the main idea is that we should seek to build more cosiness into our lives. Given that I live in Seattle, this is an infinitely appealing idea to me. I love curling up with a book. I love candles. I love being cozy.I’m not entirely sure if the book is necessary; do we need 280 pages to tell us that it feels good to snuggle up under a blanket with a cup of tea or cocoa in hand? Or to tell us that it’s nice to have better, softer lighting? Or that connecting on a personal level with our close friends and family is good? No. But it’s nice to be reminded of it, and the illustrations and photos are stunning. But seriously, the lighting ideas are fantastic. Also, I think I want to move to Copenhagen now.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (5/5)
    This book made me realize I must have a little Danish in me. An entire country that supports my way of living can only be s little slice of heaven, in my opinion. A warm, fuzzy little read. ?