We all are in constant search for that one path, that guiding light, which can set us to this ever-elusive path of happiness.  And who better to look up to, when the pearls of wisdom are shared by none other than Meik Wiking who runs the Happiness Research Institute and is the CEO of this wonderful organization which is based out of Copenhagen, Denmark.

Even before approaching the topic of the book he has authored, reminiscing over his job brings a smile on my face.  I am literally grinning ear to ear. The prospect of making a living just by researching on ways to be happy stirs countless thoughts on what a wonderful time he must be having. Not surprisingly, this beautiful country in Scandinavia which Meik calls home – Denmark – has been often acknowledged as one of the happiest countries in the world.

Meik is committed to finding out what makes people happy and has concluded that ‘Hygge’ is the magic ingredient that makes the Danes happy.

Hygge is a Danish word which doesn’t have an exact translation in English but can be loosely translated to ‘fun’ or ‘cosiness’. It is pronounced as ‘hooga’ or ‘hue-guh’ in Danish.

“You know hygge when you feel it. It is when you are cuddled up on a sofa with a loved one or sharing comfort food with your closest friends. It is those crisp blue mornings when the light through your window is just right.”

These words are from the book titled “The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well” which Meik has authored.  In his own words,  “Hygge has been translated as everything from the art of creating intimacy to cosiness of the soul to taking pleasure from the presence of soothing things. My personal favourite is cocoa by candlelight…”

 But the fact is that there is no equivalent word in any other language that can truly capture the essence of this beautiful way of life called Hygge. You will need to read this elegant compilation which comes across as a combination of a self-help book, a researched piece of work on Hygge, a recipe book, a guide to Danish decoration including lights and furniture or as a coffee-book.  Whichever way you look at it, it’s a very easy read and serves the purpose of making you feel warm inside.

It’s a different take to what you usually find in books around this topic, where experts typically take you more towards introspection, karma, meditation to name a few. Here, the author takes you on a journey that shows how some basic indulgences and a well etched way of life that the Danes are used to, which can bring in some welcome freshness of perspective towards attaining happiness.

While it may sound materialistic at the beginning, especially for those accustomed to the eastern ways of attaining happiness, the author does take you through these paths to finally explain the five dimensions of Hygge which make perfect sense. These dimensions are related to the five human senses.

This is a great book for a ringside view of the Danish ‘Hygge’ way of life and also to understand the perspective of happiness through Meik’s experienced eyes. This makes for an effortless read and you can sail through at length or go through the various chapters independently. And yes, this book looks good on the bookshelf and adds to the happiness by the décor value as well once you have absorbed the words of wisdom. Hygge it is… And don’t worry about how to get the pronunciation right!


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