Hoogye-dong is a fictional place in Seoul, “a neighborhood in which warm people gather and endure the harsh world together.” (More here). But could Hoogye-dong have also been inspired by Hygge, the Danish concept of happiness?
Hoogye? Hygge? I realise that this is why Hoogae looked and sounded familiar to me. I had seen a video where Oprah interviewed women in Copenhagen. They told her about this phenomenon.
Hygge is a Danish concept of happiness (pronounced as Hoo-ga). there’s even a research institute to promote it as a Danish cultural trait. It is variously described as:
a) A calm comfortable time with people you love, a complete absence of frustrations or anything emotionally overwhelming. Often enjoyed with good food and drinks, warm blankets and candlelight.
b. a deep sense of place and wellbeing; a feeling of friendship, warmth, contentment, and peace with your immediate surroundings.
c. the art of building a sanctuary and community, inviting closeness and paying attention to what makes us feel open hearted and alive…. to create wellbeing, connection and warmth.
Now I am not saying the writer used this concept in her work, but I was struck by the similarity. Does art imitate life? Did she adapt some of the ideas?
I mean, look at this picture:
Doesn’t it describe Ji An, Dong Hoon and the neighbourhood gang!! I might be stretching things… but some of the items in the manifesto sound a lot like what DH and JA were to one another…
– gratitude – all those “thank you’s”
-shelter – this is described in the poster below as “this is your tribe. this is a place of peace and security.”
Dong Hoon and Ji An drink and eat together, Dong Hoon and Ji An are grateful to one another, Dong Hoon and Ji An are one another’s shelter, Dong Hoon was most comfortable in this Hoogye place….. is this Hoogye their comfort?
Other Stories on Hoogye-dong on Give Me Slippers
Want to visit Hoogye-Dong? Check out this virtual tour taken by a My Ahjussi fan.