Dan­ish book on pur­suit of hap­pi­ness now out in Chi­nese

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - BOOKS LIFE - By YANG YANG yangyangs@chi­nadaily.com.cn PHOTOS PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY Contact the writer at mei­jia@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Ja­panese self-help writer Ya­mashita Hideko’s books on dan­shari were pop­u­lar in China in the past. The con­cept en­cour­ages peo­ple to get rid of junk, both phys­i­cal and men­tal.

“But af­ter clear­ing up your house and your heart, you have to fill your soul with some­thing, oth­er­wise you will feel empty inside,” says Li Jingyuan, deputy editor-inchief of Citic Pub­lish­ing Group. “So that’s why we have pub­lished the Chi­nese ver­sion of The Lit­tle Book of Hygge: Dan­ish Se­crets to Happy Liv­ing.”

The Chi­nese ver­sion was printed in May.

“Many Chi­nese live busy lives, with a lot of daily pres­sure. They don’t feel happy,” Li says.

Maybe by read­ing this book to learn about why De­mark has topped the list of the hap­pi­est coun­tries in the world, as an­nounced by the United Na­tions for four con­sec­u­tive years, Chi­nese peo­ple can also get the se­cret of hygge, Li said at the book launch cer­e­mony at the Dan­ish em­bassy in Bei­jing on Tues­day. TheLit­tleBookofHygge:Dan­ishSe­cret­stoHap­pyLiv­ing

In re­cent years, with the pop­u­lar­ity of books about Dan­ish hygge, such as The Book of Hygge and The Year of Liv­ing Dan­ishly: Un­cov­er­ing the Se­crets of the World’s Hap­pi­est Coun­try, hygge has be­come a trendy life­style phi­los­o­phy to pur­sue hap­pi­ness, just like dan­shari sev­eral years ago.

“The rea­son why there is so much global in­ter­est in hygee, Den­mark and happi- ness these years is be­cause of the global feel­ing that a lot of coun­tries have got richer with­out their peo­ple get­ting happy. So, peo­ple are look­ing for inspiration from suc­cess­ful cases. More and more peo­ple are look­ing into Den­mark for inspiration for qual­ity life,” says Meik Wik­ing, the author of The Lit­tle Book of Hygge, via video from Copen­hagen at the book launch.

Although dic­tio­nary pub­lisher Collins listed the word hygge among its top 10 words of last year, and the Ox­ford English Dic­tio­nary has in­cluded it as an en­try, there is still not an English or Chi­nese coun­ter­part that can ex­press the mean­ing ac­cu­rately.

Hygge, a noun, an ad­jec­tive or a verb in Dan­ish, means “cozy in­ti­macy” that one shares with one’s fam­ily and friends. hygge

In the book, Wik­ing, who is also the chief ex­ec­u­tive of the Hap­pi­ness Re­search In­sti­tute in Copen­hagen, gives a typ­i­cal hygge oc­ca­sion: He and his friends were spend­ing a week­end in an old cabin one win­ter. It was the short­est day of the year. Af­ter a long walk out­side, they ar­rived at the cabin, put on warm sweaters and sat near the fire­place, each hold­ing a cup of hot drink, and talked un­til ev­ery­one fell asleep. The si­lence was en­hanced by the sounds of bub­bling beef stew and crack­ling fire­wood.

If the weather out­side turned worse, with the wind howl­ing and the rain pour­ing, it would have been a more hygge time for them, he writes in the book.

Hygge, Wik­ing says, in­di­cates a kind of at­mos­phere and ex­pe­ri­ence — hang­ing out with loved ones and feel­ing a sense of be­long­ing.

“(The life­style of hygge) is the pur­suit of hap­pi­ness, some­thing in­ex­pen­sive and ac­ces­si­ble,” he says via video.

Wik­ing gives 10 key words to de­scribe hygge: at­mos­phere (dim the lights), pres­ence (turn off the phones and be at­ten­tive), plea­sure (cof­fee, chocolate, cake or candy), equal­ity (share tasks), grat­i­tude, har­mony (it’s not a com­pe­ti­tion, so no need to brag), com­fort (it’s all about re­lax­ation), truce (talk about pol­i­tics an­other day), to­geth­er­ness and shel­ter.

“The best pre­dic­tor of whether we are happy or not is our so­cial re­la­tion­ships,” Wik­ing writes.

Those with high-qual­ity so­cial re­la­tion­ships tend to be the hap­pi­est, he says.

was printed in May. The life­style con­cept of is

The Chi­nese edi­tion of gain­ing pop­u­lar­ity among Chi­nese read­ers.

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