Hygge – might be a useful word

Not quite a word for taking pleasure in a group effort, but perhaps a pointer in the right direction.

From Americans don’t need more money to be happier—they need to be like Denmark in Quartz online magazine, 3/22/18 –  Marie Helweg-Larsen
Professor of Psychology, Dickinson College

Danes have a stable government, low levels of public corruption, and access to high-quality education and health care. The country does have the the highest taxes in the world, but the vast majority of Danes happily pay: They believe higher taxes can create a better society.

Perhaps most importantly, however, they value a cultural construct called “hygge” (pronounced hʊɡə).

Hygge is sometimes translated as “cozy,” but a better definition of hygge is “intentional intimacy,” which can happen when you have safe, balanced, and harmonious shared experiences.

A family might have a hygge evening that entails board games and treats, or friends might get together for a casual dinner with dimmed lighting, good food and easygoing fun. Spaces can also be described as hyggelige (“Your new house is so hyggeligt”) and a common way of telling a host thank you after a dinner is to say that it was hyggeligt (meaning, we had a good time).

In a highly individualized country like Denmark, hygge can promote egalitarianism and strengthen trust.

Nor is Denmark the only country that has a word for a concept similar to hygge—the Norwegians have koselig, the Swedes mysig, the Dutch gezenlligheid, and the Germans gemütlichkeit.

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