Exciting news for all you hygge lovers; Finding Hygge, a film documenting the journey to discover the real meaning of hygge, is coming in 2018!
In the film we will get to know a varied selection of people including author Meik Wiking, chef Paul Cunningham, journalist Signe Wenneberg and the owners of Hygge Life Alexandra & Koen, while learning what hygge really means to them. I had a chat with the Associate Producer, Grant Michael, who told me a bit more about the film and his thoughts on this popular Scandinavian way of life.
Q1 // How did the journey of Finding Hygge begin?
The journey of Finding Hygge really began when our Director, Rocky Walls, and Executive producer Zach Downs spent some time in Copenhagen in 2016. They were intrigued and inspired by the pace of life and apparent cultural differences between the way Danes and Americans live. Coincidently, this is the 10th anniversary of the production company and to celebrate we wanted to take on a longer-form film that would have a positive impact on the world. One thing lead to another and we started on our journey to find hygge.
Q2 // What are the main cultural differences you discovered between America and Denmark when it comes to quality of life and happiness?
During production of the film, we travelled around Denmark with twenty crew members. My guess is that each of us would point out different cultural differences that we noticed. For me, there were two things that stood out when comparing the two cultures. First, in Denmark it seems that taking care of those who are less fortunate is much more of a priority than in America. Most people seemed to be happy to pay high tax rates in order to ensure that the standard of living is high across the board. This has some obvious positive effects on society as a whole. On a more personal level, I found Danes to be very good at slowing down and appreciating the relationships and moments that make life special.
Q3 // What do you think Americans, or people outside of Scandinavia in general, can learn from the hygge approach to life?
Meik Wiking has this great quote in our film where he describes the world discovering Hygge by saying “what we’ve done is given people a word to describe things they have already been doing and helped them appreciate it in a new way.” By learning what hygge is, you are able to recognize the moments, environmental factors, and lifestyles that are more hygge – and work towards having more of it!
Q4 // Why do you think hygge has become such a big trend?
There were some especially polarizing global events in 2016 that drove many people to seek out things and lifestyle changes that would help deal with stress and unhappiness. Many saw hygge as a means to that end. Unfortunately, most people didn’t look any farther than putting on fuzzy socks and lighting candles. The aspects of hygge that help bring about lasting happiness go a bit deeper.
Q5 // What is the relationship between hygge and happiness, do you think Denmark is such a happy place because of hygge?
One of the major questions in the film is “will hygge make me happier?” I don’t want to give to much away but I’ll say that there are many aspects of hygge that certainly lead to a happier, more fulfilled life. At the same time, there are a few traditional aspects of hygge which may not.
Q6 // Hygge is a word that is difficult to describe, and everyone has their own personal meaning. What is hygge to you?
Gratefulness is the word that has come to mind the most for me along this journey. Being grateful for the things that I have and learning to appreciate the seemingly small things in life like the time I share with family and friends is such an important piece of hygge to me.
Q7 // What can people expect from the film? What do you hope the audience will learn from it?
Our crew went into this project wanting to make a film that would have a positive impact on the world. Our search for the meaning of hygge and how it impacts Danish culture and the everyday lives of Danes was born out of genuine curiosity. This film represents those things. Our hope is that people who watch this film will understand Hygge better and will ultimately come to their own conclusions and inspiration. We will show them the ways Danish natives have embraced Hygge as part of their national identity and what that means for their society and daily life.
I am so happy to be sharing a little exclusive teaser here on the blog with you below. In the clip we meet Meik Wiking, the CEO of The Happiness Research Institute and author of The Little Book of Hygge, a guide to the Danish philosophy of comfort, togetherness, and well-being. To Meik, hygge is all about savoring simple pleasures and preserving happiness. Meik writes in his book, “hygge may help us to be grateful for the everyday because it is all about savoring simple pleasures. Hygge is making the most of the moment, but hygge is also a way of planning for and preserving happiness.”
Hygge is about enjoying life’s simple pleasures, but it is so much more than just candles & cozy blankets. I am very excited to watch this Finding Hygge next year and get an even more in-dept understanding of the concept. The teaser is already giving me goosebumps! Will you be watching it? I would love to hear what you think.
Find more information about the film and watch the trailer here.
// Photo credit: 12 Stars Media