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One thing you must learn when coming to Denmark is the Danish feeling of hygge. An all-inclusive term difficult to translate, hyyge represents that warm, cozy feeling you get sitting around a wood fire in the midst of a winter storm. The Danes revel in this experience, and last night I experienced a very hygge dinner party.

After a day of lectures I head out to Gevning, a small town outside Roskilde. My good friends Lauren and Kaitlyn live here as does their neighbor Ava. The plan is dinner and a haircut, a trim I desperately need as I am beginning to resemble a Q-tip. As I arrive with my payment (a bottle of wine) I am surprised to find Ava’s host parents home. I thought this was just a student thing, but apparently it is more. Ca and Leonard, Lauren and Kaitlyn’s host parents, will come later and bring their son Simon. What a party!

We students started off doing the cooking, and Ava as the only decent cook in the kitchen surrounded by three goofs is a recipe for disaster (read fun). By the time we finish preparing everything we have lovingly teased each other and made quite the mess. By this point I am terribly hungry, and I am excited to sit down to eat. Ava rolls out dinner, a multi-course meal. There is an excellent bean casserole as the main dish, a salad, salsa and chips, and a still-baking pumpkin roll that fills the room with its luscious scent. Mmm, yummy! We toast with a glass of wine, and the feast begins.

Hygge may be difficult to translate but it is easily recognizable once it happens. As we sit around the table we joke and laugh. We cross cultures singing the Macarena, the Hokie-Pokie, and some traditional Danish song. I even embarrass myself by demonstrating the Hokie-Pokie dance and repeatedly singing God Bless America, but by this point I don’t care; the wine and champagne has ensured that.
Once again the crew (minus Peter, he missed out big time) has provided one of my best experiences in Denmark. I am reminded strongly of my family dinners back home and tomorrow I will find myself missing our wonderful game nights. But for now I am in heaven, and I hope the night never ends.

Sadly we have class in the morning, and after finishing up dinner we quickly clean up and Ava gives me a quick haircut. By this time it’s late, and since I’ve missed the most recent bus I decide to crash on Ava’s floor.

A successful night indeed!