Helen Russell’s 2015 book, The Year of Living Danishly: Uncovering the Secrets of the World’s Happiest Country, has become something of a personal guide-book.
It is filled with classic British cynicism, wit and self-deprecation but it chronicles the author’s personal journey and transition to the world’s happiest nation. From her initial trepidations to her eventual embracing of the hygge (hoo-guh) life, for someone who wants to make a similar journey, it’s a cracking read.
What is it about the Danish life that is so godt?
- This notion of being the ‘Happiest Nation’ is official: the United Nations World Happiness Report is a genuine article and Denmark regularly features.
- The Danes’ work-life balance is ideal: in Denmark a normal work-week is 37 hours and employees benefit from five weeks of holiday a year (five!)
- That’s not to mention leisure time and hygge: the Danish, of all ages, professions and backgrounds regularly participate in sports and activities. This adheres to the ideal of ‘hygge’ a word for cosy social gatherings and intimate get-togethers with family and friends.
What’s not to like?
Other benefits include:
- Free healthcare
- Free education (including university)
- Genuinely helpful unemployment benefits that support people until they’re back on their feet. *
For being such a small country in terms of population, it’s film industry is pretty impressive too.
Bucket List Entries
#1 Vist Denmark.
2# Look for a research topic in Danish Universities.
3# Get hygge.
Tak for læsning.
*Danes pay more taxes as a result of their many social benefits (can’t have everything!)