Posts Tagged ‘danish’

Tea and Hygge

Photo: Valentyn Volkov /Alamy
Hygge is the word Danes use to express “coziness and comfortable conviviality.” Think good friend, fireside, warm socks, cup of tea.

Upton Tea Imports in Massachusetts leads off its quarterly newsletters with little stories about the joy of tea in different time periods and parts of the world. The latest story offers background on the art of getting cozy, which the Danes call hygge, and which often involves a nice, hot cup of tea.

Upton Tea writes, “Half of the world’s happiest countries are Nordic, all of which have a penchant for hygge. [As of this writing, Denmark is] at the top of the happiness list and, perhaps coincidentally, seems to have the greatest affinity for hygge.

“Michael Booth (The Almost Nearly Perfect People) goes so far as to  claim, ‘Danes prize it more than ambergris and stardust.’ Is hygge the secret sauce to happiness, or is it just something that appeals to countries with few daylight hours during long winter months? …

“Hygge can be described as the appreciation of simple pleasures, enjoyed in a comfortable and esthetic environment in the company of close friends.”

In an article on hygge published in the New Yorker magazine, adds Upton Tea, “Anna Altman states … ‘Danish doctors recommend “tea and hygge” as a cure for the common cold.’

“It’s possible to hygge alone, wrapped in a flannel blanket with a cup of tea, but the true expression of hygge is joining with loved ones in a relaxed and intimate atmosphere.”

Nice. Tea and hygge. We knew this would get around to tea eventually. For more about hygge, check out the New Yorker article, here, and The Year of Living Danishly. And for the rest of the Upton Tea article — plus the impressive catalog — click here.

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Erik’s sister and family are off on their five-month European sailing trip. The three children have homework to do during the first part of the trip, when they would ordinarily be in school. All five family members are contributing to a WordPress blog they call Burning Cloud. Four write their posts in English; the youngest sometimes writes in Danish. The entries are a lot of fun to read.

Here is the oldest child’s May 11 post:

this is a word for word conversation.

Klara : the first qustion is, why are we not moving

Klaus: because we are waiting for our gear to come back from the repair shop

Klara : the second question is: when are  we going to move?

Klaus: on Friday

Klara: the third question is: what is wrong with the motor?

Klaus: the gear is leaking a bit of oil.

Karl-Oscar: how will they fix the gear?

Klaus : it will be repaired in Køge  with some spare parts that are cominng form Gottenburg.

written by Axel.

Join the fun at Burning Cloud Blog. You can follow the route on maps the family posts periodically along with other entertaining pictures. (Don’t miss the photo of everyone making sushi on shipboard.)

Photo: School at sea.

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An organization that I follow on twitter called SmallerCitiesUnite! (@smallercitiesu) tweeted today about a design for an educational marine center in Malmö, Sweden. It caught my eye because I like marine centers and because two novels I read recently took place in Malmö: Murder at the Savoy, by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlööand Karl Ove Knausgaard’s Book 2, based on his life. (And of course, we have a Swedish connection in the family.)

Dezeen magazine reports, “Danish studio NORD Architects has released designs for a new Marine Educational Centre in Malmö, Sweden, comprising a 700-square-metre visitor centre with a large overhanging roof structure that covers an external aquatic learning environment. …

“The education centre will be set in 3,000 square metres of landscaping, including small ponds and planting that are intended to mimic an assortment of marine ecologies and create ‘an engaging learning landscape’ that allows visitors to have a hands-on experience of nature.

” ‘In the learning landscape, users will find floating laboratories on small removable pontoons, teaching signs on the seabed and underwater sea binoculars to name a few,’ said the studio.” More at Dezeen magazine, here.

Photo: NORD Architects

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I’ve been attending the annual Scandinavian Fair ever since Erik came into our lives. Although he has yet to be in town when it has taken place, it’s OK. He may not feel a need to be more Scandinavian than he already is.

The Scandinavian Fair is a real happening — “sui generis to a fault,” as the humorist S.J. Perelman might have said. Definitely the place to go if you have inadvertently run out of glögg.

Update 11/13/14: This year’s fair is Saturday, November 15, at Concord Carlisle High School, Walden Street, Concord, MA, starting at 10 a.m.

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