Hygge Encounters of the First Kind

I’ve heard all about ‘hygge’ even before I left the states, but was like eh that’s cute and never gave it much thought. Since being in Denmark, ‘hygge’ has been in constant conversations and I now get the hype. Hygge (pronounced ‘hooga’ ) roughly translates to ‘coziness’ but it is so much more than that. In essence, hygge means creating an inviting and warm atmosphere, enjoying the good things in life with wonderful  people. Fun Fact: the Oxford Dictionary shortlisted hygge as one of their Words of the Year 2016!

This past Thursday my Urban Livability class held a Potluck Dinner after class. One of my teachers, Josh, graciously hosted us in his office in Nørrebro. We all brought different food to the table and prepared the meal together while enjoying company. It is a wonderful experience to be able to get to know your teachers and classmates outside of the classroom. While we are only together for a short period of time, it is very special to be able build a sense of community.  Not only did I get to know everyone better, but I also learned more about Josh and Bettina’s professional work. If you didn’t know already, DIS teachers are not just academics. Most work professionally in the field they are teaching in, providing an important perspective and expertise.

Perhaps this title is a little misleading, I’ve experienced hygge before this past Thursday. I’ve visited many cozy cafes, shared meals with friends in my kollegium, and joked with Danish strangers. But, I think this potluck was very unique to the DIS experience and Danish hygge.


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