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Reviving Hygge for COVID-19

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Around 2016, the concept of hygge exploded in American culture. Pronounced HOO-ga, this Danish term translates most concisely into “coziness,” but it has also been described as “a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being” and “the absence of anything unpleasant.” Several years ago, hygge was suddenly everywhere: It was the topic of at least eight books, a documentary film, a design shop, and more.

Mention this phenomenon to a Dane, and you will likely be met with a look of amused bewilderment. Hygge is so embedded in Danish culture that it’s difficult for Danes to understand the fascination.

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