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Thursday, January 19, 2017

Why Dane are always so happy

Why Dane are always so happy

Danes get little sunlight and pay extraordinarily high taxes, yet they are some of the happiest people in the world, said Nic Ulmi. Their secret, as we now know thanks to a flurry of books on the subject, is hygge (pronounced HOO-guh), loosely defined as the happiness that comes from snuggling with friends in candlelight, eating candies.

Denmark burns through more candles than any other European nation, and Danes each eat about 18 pounds of sugar a year, double the European average. But how did they get this way? After all, other Northern European countries also have long, dark winters, conducive to hunkering down under warm blankets by the fireside.

The secret lies in Danish history. The Danes’ empire crumbled in the 19th century, and they lost control of land in Germany, Iceland, Sweden, and Norway. Rather than bemoaning their diminished status, Danes decided to embrace it and “identify with simplicity.” Their defeat “was not deplored as a loss, but celebrated as a gain.” Delight in simple pleasures is now a national trait, indeed, it’s a source of patriotic pride. Hygge is “the feeling that one is safe, sheltered from the world.” After a rough 2016, perhaps we can all learn from the Danes in the future.

Nice Ulmi

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