Feel Free To Contact Us
Where To Buy
Search For Our Products Near You
March 28 ,2018
A Lesson from the Danish Ambassador.
Danish happiness is based on the concept of hygge. There are many interpretations of what hygge is, but I believe the most appropriate is “melting the cold.” Danes value human interaction and conversation, no matter where they are or where they go. They love to spend time in conversation with others over a delicious meal or a coffee or beer. These casual, everyday moments melt away cold feelings and allow people to feel happiness. I go to Starbucks often, but in Japan, most Starbucks are full of small tables and counter seating, with each customer sitting alone staring at their smartphone, reading books or magazines, or even sleeping. People create boundaries, closing themselves in and almost never talking with others; that’s what you find in a Japanese Starbucks. This is not something you’d ever see in a Danish Starbucks, because even when you come in alone, the person sitting next to you will always strike up a conversation. I believe hygge is the relationship between people and the bonds that link them together̶the feeling of wanting to spend a relaxing time with anybody, no matter who they are. Danes want to share their happiness and riches with others. I believe this attitude stems from hygge.
Japan has all of the latest technology while retaining a lot of its ancient traditions, and the food there is great, too. If I were to explain this in terms of LEGO blocks, I might say that Japan has a full set of all the necessary blocks. But to assemble the blocks and create a better country, the people need to be more connected. So I urge you to adopt hygge into your lives. Don’t close yourselves up in your own little shells at Starbucks open up and talk with your neighbors. That’s what I feel Japan needs at this moment.
Perhaps the Japanese are too restrained, too regulated see this in the hierarchical relationships in companies and in disciplines like martial arts. This limits people’s potential, which perhaps prevents them from adopting a broader perspective of “what can I do for society?” Hygge is the opposite of that type of overdeveloped self-control.
In companies, for example, hygge allows people to forget about status and enjoy conversations. In Danish corporations, you will often see the president talking about his or her family with a receptionist, or people enjoying leisure activities together. I believe Japan would be an even better country if people were to relax some of their stoicism and become more open.
Danish ambassador to Japan. Born in Lolland, Denmark, in 1957. Graduate of the University of Copenhagen. Entered the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark in 1982. After serving in Belgium and France, he was appointed ambassador to Japan in 2005. In 2010, he was appointed ambassador to India. In August 2015, he was appointed as ambassador to Japan for a second term.