Hyggelig – You can feel it but you can’t translate it

In this article I want to present you wonderful Copenhagen and the Danish mentality. When you come to Denmark there’s one word you should know as you will hear it everywhere and each time: hyggelig. But what does it actually mean? If you look it up in a Danish dictionary you will find the translation comfortable. But it’s not as easy to translate as it might seem. There’s so much more behind this adjective. To be honest it describes the mentality and culture of the Danish people more than any other word. There were articles and even books published about hyggelig Denmark. Statistically Denmark is the most happy and confident nation in the world. Indeed Denmark is a very prosperous country and while I’m standing here in the famous Nyhavn on a cold and dark autumn day I must admit that the people are very warm-hearted and relaxed. Nobody is screaming, shouting or rushing as you might know it from other big cities. If you ask a Dane what hyggelig means you won’t get a proper answer. The Danes don’t discuss about what it means they only feel it. And they even don’t care about the wheather. If it’s sunny they go out for a trip on the sea with family or friends. If it’s cold and windy like on my trip here in Copenhagen they light a candle have some coffee and spend the time with friends in a warm and comfortable place even after a hard working day. The main thing is to find the balance in your daily life. Indeed the statistics say that Denmark is the nation which uses the most candles. And if you are in Copenhagen I can really recommend you some hyggelig cafés and the typical Danish marzipan cake or mazarintærte how the Danes call it. Denmark is a big marzipan nation along with Germany and the Anton Berg chocolate is a very popular gift and souvenir from your trip to Denmark. But there’s one thing which I don’t find hyggelig about wonderful Copenhagen. Crossing the street you really have to be careful as there are bikers everywhere. Copenhagen is even a bigger biker city than Amsterdam or Münster in Germany. However switch on a candle, have a cup of coffee and a peace of mazarintærte with friends and enjoy the hyggelig Danish way of life!


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