Denmark is famous for being home to the happiest nation in the world.
If you ask me, I would say “hygge“. Hygge is probably the most appropriate word to define Danish culture and when trying to explain how come they’re so happy on such a rainy piece of land. Something hyggelig is something simple that makes you happy. It is not something fancy, it’s more about coziness and appreciating simple things. A boardgames’ night with your friends, a romantic evening at the light of a candle, cooking a good dinner with your loved ones.
It is nothing that other people don’t do. The only difference is that Danes give it slightly more importance. They’re not the happiest people in the world because they have the best country in the world. Many people moved here believing this, and ended up disappointed (I will write an article about that).
Actually, I’m not even sure Danes are the happiest people in the world. It is simply that many other people consider they would be happier if… In Denmark, people know how to appreciate what they have. They give it value, and consider that this is all they need to be happy.
Randomly, let’s take France. If you ask people how happy they are, on a scale from 0 to 10, they will most likely never give it a 10. This is French culture, and education. In France, at school, teachers barely ever give the best grade. They believe that nothing is perfect and that there is always room for improvement.
In Denmark, it is pretty frequent to get the maximal grade. They don’t believe something is perfect, but they do believe that they don’t need it to be perfect to be happy with it, and give it a 10 out of 10. Same applies at work and in everyday life.
Actually, if you are interested in Danish culture and would like to learn more, you can read The Little Book of Hygge (Meik Wiking). The author is the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen (no joke), so he knows what he is talking about! My boyfriend got me this book as a present when we moved to Copenhagen, and I just loved it.
For those of you who live in Denmark – what do you think of the culture? Do you try to follow the Danish lifestyle?
For the others, how is it in your country? Are people easily fulfilled or do they tend to consider themselves unhappy?