“You have to focus on the simple things if you want to be happy”. That is the mantra of Arianna Usai - the 30-year-old, illustrator and author of the book “Hygge”. Its pages hold the secrets from the happiest people in the world, the Danes.
While at secondary school, Arianna spent a year in Denmark, as aguest of a family with a 10-month-old baby. “This country’s culture is part of me,” she explains, “because, during my stay, I learnt the language, I got involved in the parents’ and child’s daily life, and I shared their chill out time”.At the time, the Danish education model and hygge - a lifestyle based on the enjoyment of simple things, the warmth of the family and close relationships - had not earned the success that they enjoy today. “Seeing the interest there is these days for the approach I experienced first-hand, I realised that it was the right time for this kind of book. So, I devised a recipe book, illustrated with drawings of three animal families: wolves, rabbits and mice”. The book brings together fifteen simple recipes, aimed specifically at parents and children, with the method description and a list of ingredients to use. The Danish secret of happiness suggests that we should read a good book in front of the fireplace, watch a film together with the family, sitting on the sofa with popcorn or enjoy a long, relaxing bath.
“The focus is not so much on what you do, but how you do it. The Danes create a real ritual around the most apparently banal things. And they spend a large part of their time on affection and on people dear to them”. Arianna remembers that in the Danish familyhome there was a charming picture with the caption: “Happiness is a choice”. Arianna’s recipe book advises on a simple way to achieve it.
The story has been written Serena Berardi, writer.