I had the good fortune to meet Cassidy, a student at Providence College. She was about to embark on a semester in Copenhagen, and I asked her to write a brief piece for me.
The creative city of Copenhagen is a wonderful place to live as a young adult. The brightly colored homes and man-made canals are just small elements of its unique beauty.
Its people are flowing with progressive ideas and altered thinking. Not only is all schooling free, but the government will actually pay for higher education. Although this demonstrates that the Danes are hardworking individuals, relaxation is a key part of their society.
Tucked in the winding cobblestone streets are crowded cafes. Small families and social teenagers drink their lattes and eat their flaky pastries while huddled around a candle lit flame. This exemplifies the Danish lifestyle trend of hygge.
Although there is no equivalent English world for hygge, it translates to something of coziness. You can feel it when around the dinner table with family or when you are nestled next to a fire with a book in hand. We have all felt this warm feeling, but the Danes integrate the concept into all aspects of society. It takes one away from the busy workday and allows focus on personal wholeness. Hygge promotes social equality and a feeling of togetherness: two foundations on which Denmark is built.
There is much to be learned from the Danish society. Whether it’s the free and developed health care or its environmentally friendly policies, the United States could benefit from these progressive ideas.
We all could use a little more hygge in our lives.