In Sweden they call it “lagom” and in Denmark they do “hygge”
The Netherlands is at the sixth place on the list of the happiest countries in the world. The United Nations has proclaimed the Danes as the happiest people on Earth.
Just imagine, it is a cold and a grey winter day. It is four o’clock in the afternoon and it’s getting dark already. Maybe it starts to snow gently too. You want nothing else but to stay inside with a cup of hot tea and a book next to the fireplace. When a few friends come along with a bottle of cherry gløgg and cinnamon biscuits, you put some candles on. Imagine now that all that is happening in Denmark, where the winters are cold, long and dark and you are inside for a large part of the day.
“Hygge” has no direct translation, it means cosiness, intimacy and warmth. The word comes from Old Norse, the language of the Vikings and describes the feeling of finding a shelter after a long day in the freezing cold. Hygge is related to the English ‘hug’ and presupposes the presence of other people.
As the Danes worship “hugge”, the Swedes have come up with “lagom”.
There is really no direct translation of “lagom”, but we can describe it as a balance. Good enough, not too much and not too little, or just right. The word is considered by the Swedish as the secret to a happy life. This life philosophy can be seen in all aspects of life in Sweden. From cooking and eating to fashion, design, work and private life. Lagom is the “Fika”, the coffee break that is sacred to the Swedish and is meant as a moment for balance and rest during your working day. Lagom means also wearing of comfortable and functional clothing. The Swedish find Lagom in separating work and private life and introducing a 6-hour working day, where employees appear to work more efficiently and creatively.