16 Feb How to Say Hůga

Here are the ways we typically hear hůga pronounced:

hygge

And here’s the best part: every one of those pronunciations is just fine by us. Instead of debating differences, we’d rather spend our time enjoying good food, good company, and good conversation.

One of our favorite conversation topics is the meaning of hůga. The closest we can come to it in one English word is “coziness,” but that doesn’t quite capture the emotional aspect.

Hůga is celebration. Hůga is a heart in rhythm with the world. Hůga—more than mere happiness—is deep joy over the rightness of things. Whether that thing is a birthday gathering, a reunion with dear friends, a momentary change in the weather during a long walk alone, a late-night bonfire on the beach, or simply a break from the routine, where there is celebration, joy, and connection, there is hůga.

That concept is so beautiful, so big—big enough to allow for any way you want to pronounce it. The reason there’s even a question about how to say it is that small ring above the “u.” That ring is there for two reasons:

Symbolically

huga_pronunciation_circlesymbolism

Hůga encircles us.

As we enter into it, the demands, pressures, and concerns of life are made to wait. Hůga slows the second hand, giving us the time needed to truly live, to tend to what matters. We’re less human when we rush, less human when we don’t connect, less human when we don’t make memories. So, with good food, good drink, good friends, and good time, we gather round and hůga.

Culturally

In the process of naming our company, we wanted to make sure that the name captured the reasons we came together to create these bars in the first place: bringing people together through good food and good traditions.

As we researched this concept, we came upon the Danish word hyggeligt (commonly shortened to hygge), which translates, roughly, to cozy moments borne of good food enjoyed with good people. Here’s a description from the Lonely Planet guide to Copenhagen:

Usually it is translated as “cosy” but hygge means much more than that. Hygge refers to a sense of friendly, warm companionship of a kind fostered when Danes gather together in groups of two or more, although you can actually hygge yourself if there is no one else around. The participants don’t even have to be friends (indeed, you might only just have met), but if the conversation flows — avoiding potentially divisive topics like politics and the best method to pickle herring — the bonhomie blossoms, toasts are raised before an open fire (or at the very least, some candles), you are probably coming close.

This is what we cherish in life. This is what we’ve translated into the (variously pronounced!) name Hůga and what we’ve attempted to capture in our bars, which are inspired by hůga moments from different places and times in our lives.

We found some great videos (below) that help explain hůga, but we’d love even more to hear how you define a hůga moment (and how you pronounce it)! Please share what hůga means to you on our Facebook page or by posting to Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter with #HugaMoment!