The Long Read: This times most overhyped direction is a healthful Danish concept of cosiness, used to sell everything from fluffy socks to vegan shepherds pie. But the form were buying is a British invention and the real thing is less cuddly than it seems
Inescapably and suddenly, Britain has been invaded by hygge . The Danish message, previously unknown to all but the most hardcore Scandophiles, is now the subject of an avalanche of books, the thousands of Identikit newspaper boasts, and endless department-store wintertime flaunts. Every story on the subject explains that the word refuses literal translation, before offering cosiness as a workable approximation its not exactly that, but preferably, a feeling of calm togetherness and the gratification of simple pleases, perhaps illuminated by the soothing flicker of candlelight.
Not the least of the absurdities of this fad, which you might also call a wildly overhyped trend, is that simply pronouncing it is practically impossible for British tongues. The first mention of hygge in any text where it sits so invitingly on the sheet, with its sequence of curvaceous descenders generally comes with a phonetic guidebook. This is in order to prevent readers from perpetrating the faux-pas of delivering higgy or huggy or, worse, hig. Hue-gah, hoo-gah, heurgh and hhyooguh are among the approximations offered in the( at least) nine journals on hygge produced this autumn.( The Sun, helpfully, advocates it is appropriate to rhyme with puma .)
The titles of these works, carefully calibrated for search-engine optimisation, are: Hygge: The Danish Art of Happiness; The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well; Hygge: A Gala of Simple Pleasures, Living the Danish Way; The Cozy Life: Rediscover the Joy of Simple Things Through the Danish Concept of Hygge; Hygge: The Complete Guide to Espousing the Danish Concept of Cosy and Simple Living; The Art of Hygge: How to Make Danish Cosiness Into Your Life; How to Hygge: the Secrets of Nordic Living; The Book of Hygge: The Danish Art of Living Well; Keep Calm and Hygge: A Guide to the Danish Art of Simple and Cosy Living.
It is the most impressing producing veer I can remember, in terms of the sheer number of entitles produced at the same era, Caroline Sanderson, who writes about non-fiction for the Bookseller magazine, told me. And so, inevitably, there is also a 10 th volume a charade. Its booklet was announced only 29 dates after the first of the straight books “re coming out”. Say Ja to Hygge: How to Find Your Special Cosy Place suggests that its most important term be declared huhhpg-ghuhrr. This is no longer the only reason when the charade is hard to distinguish from the capacities it is apparently spoofing.
Just as stylish is the thing that everyone knows about the French, the word hygge is required to be affixed, almost by rule, to any media tale about Denmark or, indeed, anything remotely Scandinavian, whether the subject is robes, furniture, cookery, walk, or working hours. The headlines are mostly absurd. Get Hygge With It! Hungry For Hygge! Ten Reason to Hygge It Will Make You Happier, Fitter and Slimmer! Give Your Home a Hygge! There is a New Statesman article designation The Hygge of Oasis: Why I Find This Band Strangely Comforting.
According to this now vast favourite literature, the creation of an atmosphere of hygge is aided by glgg ( reflected wine ), meatballs and cardamom buns. Certain activities and amusements, often implying candles, woollens, or nature, are also said to promote impressions of hygge. One of the less sophisticated volumes indicates projects for making winter bunting and a cup cosy, the latter to be fad from buttons, sequins and an old-time sock. Its advice to take up the hyggelig activity of cycling is accompanied by a motivational quote from that byword of existential equanimity, Sylvia Plath.
I have envisioned hygge used to sell cashmere cardigans, wine, wallpaper, vegan shepherds pie, hemming patterns, a skincare reach, teeny-tiny holiday reins for dachshunds, yoga retreats and a holiday in a shepherds shanty in Kent. The Royal and Derngate Theatre in Northampton has even opened a Bar Hygge craftsmanship beer and open sandwiches a speciality. Its difficult to pinpoint a definition for the Danish word hygge, exclaims the website. It sits somewhere between excitement and consolation, cosiness and affection, drawing the most of every moment, away from obsess. We wanted to borrow some of that and accompany it to Northampton.
Hygge has been rostered as a word of its first year by both the Collins and Oxford dictionaries alongside Brexit and Trumpism in the lexicographers annual public-relations rehearsal. Quiverings of a hygge backlash, seen in skits such as a Daily Mash piece entitled Hygge Is Byllshytte, acts exclusively to emphasise its ubiquity. The Eurosceptic Daily Telegraph extended an article is recommended that readers choose a bracingly British form of current trends brygge .
One morning in October, I moved around John Lewiss London flagship store with Philippa Prinsloo, its heads of state of designing: we extended our hands over fake-fur discards and hot-water bottles, appeared the nub of Scottish woollen blankets, admired hyggelig tableware that promoted sharing and simplicity. The topic of the homeware exhibitions was, she told, wintertime tendernes. Obliging sure things are ready to cosy down. An early adopter, the store first promoted hygge as a topic last-place autumn( we should have done it again this year, mentioned Prinsloo ). Will hygge last, I questioned her? Will it be more than a twinkling in the hope? Oh yes, surely. Beings truly crave it and needed here at the moment.
Hygge is catnip to social media: on Instagram there are almost 1.5 m #hygge uprights of falling leaves, container of pumpkin soup and newborns adorably wrapped in blankets. On Pinterest, there has been a year-on-year rise of 285% in hygge-themed trap. Interest is especially strong in Britain, according to a spokeswoman for the website, where it skyrocketed in September this year.