You may have wondered about the meaning of the common description of Gemütlichkeit that you can see on vacation home listings in Germany, Australia and Switzerland. The word cannot be easily explained or literally translated, but is often defined in English as pleasant, cozy or friendly. These descriptions, however, aren’t really accurate, as Gemütlichkeit is a concept that is far more than all of them combined. The word is somehow similar to the Danish concept of hygge, but isn’t always associated with home.
Roughly translated to English, Gemütlichkeit is the warmth or good cheer that everyone present in a room feels because they contribute to it. This feeling is not romantic, but is associated with the emotion you feel when you share a beer or explore something with friends, partners or family. It can be difficult to attain the situation with children as they aren’t usually able to quiet down and be mindful for a long time. The German Gemütlichkeit is a genuinely great feeling that occurs through warm interactions with others and grows with a sense of belongingness and well-being.
Unlike the German language, the word Gemütlichket isn’t straightforward, for the sole reason that it can be described in a plethora of mental states like mind, mood, feeling or psyche. Gemütlichkeit is having coffee with your friend in a cafe but definitely not about flopping down on the couch and watching a movie. Rather than being in a productive state, Gemütlichkeit is about consciously making time to be still and feel recharged and no more tired.
Gemütlichkeit is found in the mutual
The basic component of Gemütlichkeit is a sense of belongingness, instead of solitude. This doesn’t mean that Gemütlichkeit is about being with a number of people at a dinner party, but about spending time doing something that everyone agrees is a pleasant activity and truly enjoys.
A feeling much more profound that merely cozy
A gemütlichkeit situation surely has pleasantness, coziness or friendliness as the common elements. What makes the concept difficult to be translated into a language other than German is that even having anything more than these elements doesn’t necessarily add up to this concept. This situation is reached when people and good feelings unite to make an essential nothing.
Gemütlichkeit still remains a top desire of Germans, even though their lifestyle has changed a lot. This concept of an in-home feeling of sanctuary and belongingness is what keeps Germans warm and distinct from others.
Loved this abstract lifestyle concept? You’ll also like reading about the Finnish Sisu.