Is Hygge White?

recording March 20, 2021 16:24
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What does home mean to you?

Home is where my community is; it is where I am warm on a winter day; where my friends' art hangs on my walls; where feel safe and protected. It has a lot to do with an internal feeling of groundedness. You can only really feel at home in the world if you feel at home in your own skin. And that is hard to do in a country that tells you that you don't know how to hygge. Essentially, you don't know how to feel safe, warm, protected because you're not white.

What makes you feel at home?

I feel at home amongst many objects that are conventionally associated with white Danish culture - candles, hot chocolate, blankets, etc. But there's an element of irony, subversion, not quite permissable when I use them to create hygge. I've come to realize as I grow older that these objects and my Danishness, can co-exist with other kinds of identities. And that hygge is not an exclusively Danish thing but that Danes define it in a way that is exclusive. Everyone has ways of making themselves feel at ease and at home in the world. Besides Danes are not a homogenous group, even amongst the white.

What is your idea of hygge?

The Copenhagen that I know of isn't weighed down by the same sense of anxiety, insecurity, and precariousness due to a general material wealth. Certain people and groups, of course, are poor and have very few means, but in general, there's a sense of calmness. I always wondered why a people with so much material wealth were so narrow minded about other people's sense of hospitality and warmth: hygge comes in many forms but Danes have a very rigid understanding of what it means to be together in a way that is warm, in a way where you feel protected.