Psst! Need some culture?

One of the pitfalls of being a jetsetter is the constant effort that must be made to discover, adopt, and discard current trends before the hoi polloi barge in. Having cycled through exotic ‘spiritualisms‘, the new trend for the glitterati over the past few years is to adopt ‘concepts‘ from other cultures. One fairly obvious reason could be that the level of personal commitment (ranging from simply a form of interior design to undemanding lifestyle choices) is far lower.

The Danish concept of Hygge [] is the art of enjoying simple pleasures associated with the feeling of being cosy. Hygge has been defined thus : “the warm glow of a candle, wrapping yourself in a duvet watching the flames of a brazier, snuggling down with a mid-winter book, these are all hygge.”

Hygge was overtaken by Lagom [] from Sweden which has been defined as finding just the right amount of anything and is more of a lifestyle choice as it encourages sustainability, environmental awareness and balance.

The Dutch concept of Gezelligheid [] is a blend of simple pleasures, cosiness, togetherness and contentedness.

While each concept is genuine enough in its respective country of origin, it hasn’t taken long for marketing vultures to get into the act. Scotland’s tourism body VisitScotland have invented their own international concept called “Còsagach” which they claim is an old Scottish word for feeling snug, sheltered and warm. They tried to shill it as a “top trend” for 2018 but the attempt ran into foul Scottish weather with native Gaelic speakers ridiculing the invented concept.

My personal opinion is that ones own culture should be satisfying enough for oneself.

I do empathise, however, with some aspects of Japanese culture like the understated elegance and wear-induced patina of Wabi-sabi, the perspective of Ikigai that a home should mostly have objects that have special meaning to the owner, and the amazing twist of Kintsugi, where repairs make the broken object more valuable and desirable.


Ahh, the feeling of bliss that comes from sipping noon-chai in the hamaam, with your legs tucked into your pheran over a kangri, thereby insulating yourself from the freezing temperatures while the snow piles up relentlessly outside your window. Maybe Kashmir Tourism should come up with a marketing term for the concept 🙂

Take that Hygge!