Hygges all round

When modern life starts dragging you down, round up your best mates and chill out, Danish-style, says Luke Wilson

Hygges all round

Of all the myriad wellness fads doing the rounds at the moment, one fills us with such warmth (an inner glow, if you will) that we feel compelled to bring it into our lives.

Hygge is a Danish concept that epitomises a convivial gathering in a cosy environment, with everyone leaving all the cares of the world at the door.

Easier said than done, right? Well, not for the Danes it would seem. They even have an adjective, hyggelig, to describe a stress-free environment everyone can enjoy with their nearest and dearest without such distractions as smartphones or laptops.

Dr Jeppe Trolle Linnet, one of Denmark’s foremost authorities on the subject, believes that hygge is all about finding a safe haven – both in location and conversation. He describes the Danish interpretation of a “hyggelig” social gathering, for example, as one in which nobody discusses opposing opinions.

In Denmark, the lighting of candles is a ritual essential to hygge, with Christmas seen as the ultimate hyggelig time of year. So, how can you find hygge in Doha? Well, according to Dr Linnet, the answer could be in coal.

Linnet believes that a barbecue can bring you one step closer to achieving hygge, since the whole experience is shared, from preparation to enjoying the meal. He says that the entire physical spectacle of barbecuing, with the food as the object of conversation, is a scenario that can most certainly be described as hygge.

We are all part of a culture here that makes everyone want to barbecue at absolutely any time of the year, be it at your home, on the beach or at a social gathering. Creating that perfect atmosphere will take you one step closer to hygge.

So, next time you throw some prawns on the barbie, make sure there are enough to go around – and you share your recipe. Just leave the gossip at the door.

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