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TABLE OF CONTENTS A Very Short Introduction to This Issue … 2 Things That Are “Hygge” According To People Who Know Better Than Us … 2 Things That Are “Hygge” According To Instagram … 3 Things That Are “Hygge” According To Tumblr … 4 Finding Your “Hygge” Exercise … 5 Your Hygge Scandinoir Murder Mystery … 6

This is a ​free, non-commercial ​zine. The authors retain all rights to their work. The cover image is licensed under Creative Commons Zero (public domain.)

This issue includes works with​ no content warnings that we can think of.​ We are dealing with a concept/word from a culture we are not personally acquainted with, but we are doing this in a way that we think is respectful and fun. Thank you to all the readers, and please share this with your friends. Due to the absence of any submissions for this issue, this is a mini-zine composed entirely by us. Hope you enjoy it anyways! -- ​Emily Ruth Taylor and Ashlee B. (Editors)


A Very Short Introduction To This Issue Denmark is often rated as the happiest country on earth. It has a specific word in its dictionary, hygge (pronounced hYOOguh) that's been the subject of a lot of newspaper articles recently. It is often translated as "cozy," but it is more generally, "a feeling of well-being." Things that are hygge include -- wine and conversation with friends, snug coffee bars, reading by candlelight ... browse the Instagram tag if you want to see lots of pictures of tea and books. This is our reaction to this phenomenon: take it in the spirit of fun it was intended. Go hygge yourself, guys. -- Emily

Things That Are “Hygge” According To People Who Know Better Than Us “The best explanation of hygge I’ve encountered during three years in the land of Nord is: “the absence of anything annoying or emotionally overwhelming; taking pleasure from the presence of gentle, soothing things”. Candlelight is hygge (Danes burn more candles per head than anywhere in Europe, according to the European Candle Association). Bakeries are hygge. Dinner with friends is hygge.” -- Helen Russell, T ​ he Independent “Togetherness, relaxations, indulgence, presence and comfort. It all boils down to the pursuit of everyday happiness – the art of creating intimacy and cocoa by candlelight … Danes are aware of the decoupling between wealth and wellbeing. After our basic needs are met, more money doesn't lead to more happiness and, instead, Danes are good at focusing on what brings them a better quality of life.” - Meik Wiking, T ​ he Little Book of Hygge A possible English definition: “cosiness of the soul.” -- Anna Lea West, “Every country and family has their own version. It’s kind of a zen-like state. Think mindfulness 2.0. It’s about relishing the simple things in life, stepping back and noticing the things that matter, but instead of looking inwards as you’re encouraged to 2

in context of traditional mindfulness or meditation, it’s centred on looking outwards, restoring yourself socially and simple, everyday indulgences. It’s not concerned with perfection, it’s all about appreciation and living life well, but not necessarily by the book … In a way it’s a rejection of the whole ‘clean living’ movement. For instance you can really love the latest superfood, without the associated shunning of pleasure and enjoyment that tends to accompany wellness fads. When I was growing up we ate well, but I never remember being worried about the size of my thighs, and no one else around me seemed to be anxious about that kind of thing either. Hygge allows us to counter the craziness of the health, fashion and beauty industries especially- it’s very grounding.” -- Signe Johansen, ​How to Hygge: The Secret to Nordic Living “Picnics in the park, barbeques with friends, outdoor concerts, street festivals and bike rides can all be very hygge.” -- ​Denmark’s official tourism website “Hygge was never meant to be translated. It was meant to be felt.” -- ToveMaren Stakkestad

Things That Are “Hygge” According To Instagram ● Reading a book about Hygge while updating your blog and Instagram with pictures of you reading this book. ● A video of an adorable Danish child checking out his hairstyle on his mom’s phone. ● The table for a girl’s night out party being six feet long to accommodate all the friends that are coming. ● Scalloped potatoes. ● An underground pub in Northumberland. ● A minimalist Scandinavian office with lots of white space, a big knit blanket, and a funny Kate Moss picture. ● Danish/Mexican hybrid cuisine. ● Holding up a book about Hygge in front of some snowy trees. ● Cocktail hour on a vacation boat off Fiji. ● A farm by a lake, just as the sun is setting. ● Postcards. 3

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Buddha. Your son, an Italian chef, cooking you pancetta and fusili with wine sauce. Two mugs sitting next to an open fire. A fresh cinnamon donut. Candles and evergreen Christmas decorations. Whiskey in front of an open fire. A bunch of students having a potluck in Copenhagen. Candles from Ikea. Inside buckets from Ikea. Celebrating your twenty-fifth wedding anniversary at home with your spouse.

Things That Are “Hygge” According To Tumblr ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●

Looking out windows on rainy days. Decorating your bedroom with fairy lights. Eating four pieces of pumpkin bread in front of an open fire. The Japanese painter Hokusai. The word “chionophile,” which means ‘a person who loves cold weather and snow.’ Taking pictures of your white pillows as the sun comes up or goes down. Cool shadows. A bunch of Danish kids releasing balloons into the sky as they graduate kindergarten. Having two cakes for your birthday. The tea brand Yogilife. Watching the movie Paddington at home with your sister while eating candy. Pastries bigger than your hands. Opening your windows a crack so your ledge garden gets a little air and sunshine. Gifs of water. Gifs of rain. Gifs of candles. Gifs of tea being poured. Dogwood blossoms. Dogs that are so fluffy you can’t see their eyes. Seven cups of tea sitting on a table, all a different shade of brown. Stirring your hot chocolate with a peppermint stick. 4

● A mug that says “Hygge is a feeling you cannot translate.” Next to a tea light.

Finding Your “Hygge” Exercise What things make you happy? Of those things, which contribute to your actual well-being? This can be emotional, physical, mental, etc. The key is finding things that provide more than one sharp spike of feeling -- they make you feel better over the course of hours or days. This is your hygge. Go and do one tonight.


Your Hygge Scandinoir Murder Mystery Title Two of our favorite things to have come out of Scandinavia, combined!




January - The Cozy February - The Cuddly March - The Warm April - The Snug May - The Snuggly June - The Comfy July - The Homey August - The Soft September - The Mellow November - The Cherished December - The Loving

1 … Tea Light

Monday … Case

2 … Chocolate Pastry 3 … Bobble-top Hat 4 … Fireside

Tuesday … Affair

Wednesday … Crime

5 … Golden Retriever

Thursday … Mystery

7 … Whiteout

Saturday … Murder

6 … Postcard

Friday … Killing

8 … Handwoven Basket

Sunday … Investigation

9 … Family Restaurant 10 … Chocolate Wine 11 … Snowflake

12 … Oversized Jumper

13 … Handwritten Letter 14 … Hot Apple Cider 15 … Acoustic Guitar 16 … Mashed Potato 17 … Bookmark

18 … Handmade Sweater

19 … Ginger and Nutmeg 20 … Homecoming

21 … Coffee Grounds

22 … Spiced Hot Chocolate 23 … Camper Van

24 … Hard Apple Cider 25 … Scalloped Potato

26 … Cinnamon and Clove 27 … Birthday Party 28 … Home Library 29 … Hot Tea

30 … Potato and Cheese 31 … Handmade Scarf


The Riff Zine / 04 / Hygge