Thai-Hong Kongese illustrator, actress, and influencer, Darisa Karnpoj or “Pahn,” better known as “Riety” traveled to Copenhagen, Denmark previously this year and learned to live like Danes for a couple of days by following the “Hygge” (Hoo-Ga) philosophy.
She had traveled for about forty days to many countries before arriving in the Nordic region. By chance, she came across the famous book, “The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way To Live Well” written by Meik Wiking at a bookstore in Copenhagen Airport and decided to get one.
“Hygge” originates from a Norwegian word meaning “well-being.” Wiking writes that “Hygge is about an atmosphere and experience, rather than about things. It is about being with the people we love. A feeling of home. A feeling that we are safe, that we are shielded from the world and allow ourselves to let our guards down.”
“If Japan has Ikigai and Zen,” said Pahn in her video, “Scandinavia has its Hygge.”
Residing at the Airbnb she rented, Pahn started out her challenge by creating “the nook” for herself to snuggle in a blanket, relax, and sip a hot drink. Next, to read more books was what she did.
Wiking’s book further explains how Danes are obsessed with candles and other lighting in general and this is related to how they find joy. According to a survey by one of the major newspapers in Denmark, “more than half of Danes light candles almost every day during autumn and winter,…” They also carefully design and select which types of lamps they will place in their home.
Pahn was excited to find one of the three iconic Danish lamps like “Le Klint Lamp” hanging at her accommodation. The other two kinds were the “Ph Lamp” and “Panton Vp Globe” which were commonly found in Danish houses.
Followingly, Pahn explored the Danish way of fashion to learn that for Danes, “casual is key.” She styled her outfit for the day with pieces that were both “stylish and monochrome,” and added some layers to keep herself warm and comfy.
“Being here made me feel like I could finally recharge due to the weather and the peacefulness the city gave out,” she said.
She later went out to wander around the city, stopped at antique shops, and could not help but expressing her admiration for how organized and clean Copenhagen is.
Pahn seemed to be happier as the day continued, taking a walk in nature and appreciating the coldness Thailand rarely experienced.
On her second day, she continued roaming around the city, enjoyed seeing various styles of architecture, walked along a river, and visited a bakery shop because another way to Hygge also covered food and drink.
Pahn went to one of the oldest bakeries in Denmark, “La Glace” and had some cake mans and other Danish pastry. She tried cooking a “cozy meal” at her Airbnb and simply taking time for herself.
“At the end of the day, I think I understand Hygge more. The heart of it is to create a safe space whether it’s at home or outside,” Pahn said, “I felt like I made the right decision to come to Copenhagen,” she added.
To follow Hygge philosophy is to shape a way to live happily in a peaceful environment, with ourselves, and others. Hence, all of us can try to add a little bit of peace into everyday life, having the Danish Hygge as the inspiration.
- “Non-Toxic Philosophy for Northern Europeans” on Riety YouTube
- “The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way To Live Well” by Meik Wiking