Scan Magazine, Issue 145, August 2022

Page 21

Scan Magazine





The Danish ethos in Sri Lanka From quiet coffee mornings to snuggling up with a book to summer nights spent with friends – how to explain hygge to foreigners. By Heidi Kokborg

I know, I know. You probably don’t want to hear the Danish word ‘hygge’ anymore. But bear with me. I promise I will try to put a new spin on the Danish ethos of cosy living. Being a native Dane I have never given much thought to hygge. It’s a culture, a way of life – and all I have ever known. Recently, I passed a hotel in Sri Lanka with my partner from New Zealand. A sign said ‘come inside for Danish hygge’. I tried – and failed – to explain the concept of hygge to him. But it got me thinking about what hygge truly means, and I realised that it is not just a concept. It is how Danish people live life. No matter where in the world I go, I bring hygge with me. Hygge is much more than hot chocolate, fuzzy blankets, candles and cashmere cardigans. It is a year-round philosophy.

Hygge is about slowing down just enough to live a rich, fulfilled life. It’s my quiet morning cup of coffee that I enjoy overlooking the mesmerising green landscape in Sri Lanka. It’s going to dinner with my friends and leaving my phone at home. It’s going to a jungle BBQ and watching the monkeys play. It’s curling up with a good book with a thunderstorm roaring outside, and drinking wine at a sidewalk café in

Copenhagen with my friends during those long, light Scandinavian summer nights. Heidi Kokborg is a journalist and health coach from Denmark. She runs her own online business and writes a column for Scan Magazine about health and wellness in Scandinavia.

A dance school worth crossing the border for Surrounded by fields and forests, a short drive from the border between Norway and Sweden, you will find the small town of Mysen. This rural town is home to a dance school with classes that rival those of any bigger city. Everyone is welcome, from fouryear-olds to adults. By Hanna Margrethe Enger |

Photo: Marius Kristoffersen

Norway’s popular dance school Indre Østfold Dans og Ballet draws pupils from all over the local area, as well as from across the Swedish border. A testament to its community impact, when the school nearly closed, one of the ‘dance dads’ Frank Tangen decided to save it. He bought the school, and ran it for the next ten years. In 2015, he got Selma Kristoffersen on board – an experienced dancer with a Bachelors in Jazz Dance with Pedagogy. “We teach ballet, jazz dance, hip-hop and contemporary,” Kristoffersen explains. “We also have classes just for boys, and a class called Girlstyle.”

Kristoffersen was the driving force behind the establishment of the school dance company in 2018, and took over management of the school in 2019. Today, she continues to teach, alongside the school’s great teaching staff, and also serves as the company’s artistic director. A junior company was added in 2022. Many types of dance are competitive, but here, the focus is on performing arts and having fun. The school is inclusive: at the end of each semester, all the dancers take part in a show. “We notice their motivation improves after the shows. They want to dance more and even try another dance

style,” says Kristoffersen. “The show is very important to many of our dancers.” Facebook: Indre-østfold-dans-ogballett-Mysen Instagram: indre_ostfold_dans_og_ballett

Dancers in tutu dresses, including one boy.

August 2022


Issue 145



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