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Friday October 20, 2017
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drawing of a steaming cup of hot chocolate

Hygge Anyone?

Ann Arborites warm up to Danish coziness.

by Eve Silberman

From the May, 2017 issue

Eager to learn why Denmark regularly lands in first or second place on the United Nations' "Happiness Index," Ann Arborites are snatching up books exploring hygge (pronounced "hoo-ga"), which Danish-born dental school prof Wenche Borgnakke translates as "a simple state of satisfaction and contentment."

Last month, about seventy people were on the library's waiting list for The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking. It explains how, for example, Danes create a cozy feeling during their country's long, dark winters by lighting candles, wearing warm socks, inviting friends over, and drinking hot chocolate by the fire.

Borgnakke says she observes hygge tenets when she and her husband host dinner parties at their home, candles and fresh flowers included. U-M grad student Emily Wilson, a Colorado transplant, blogs that after reading about hygge, she began making rich soups and listening to Icelandic music.

Though coziness is especially needed in the coldest months, Literati bookseller Jill Zimmerman points out that The Little Book of Hygge and the similarly titled The Book of Hygge continued to sell briskly this spring. By way of explanation, she cites a recent article in The Guardian which explored the hygge hoopla in light of Brits depressed by Brexit and Americans glum over Donald Trump. "My guess is that the whole idea of comfort and making yourself cozy is pretty appealing in the Trump era," she says.    (end of article)

[Originally published in May, 2017.]

 



 
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