What a Weekend Looks Like Inside One of the World’s Happiest CountriesNone By Matt Alesevich
Denmark is consistently ranked by the World Happiness Report as one of the world's happiest countries. It was ranked #1 for four years in a row, and as of 2017, is currently ranked second after Norway.
The happiness ranking, assembled via results of a global Gallup poll, has left social scientists brooding over everything from genetic predispositions to government welfare initiatives in an attempt to find out what’s in Denmark’s sociological secret sauce.
According to some Danes however, the secret to happiness lies in simplicity and needn’t be overanalyzed. One of these Danes is Line Hoff, co-founder of Laesk, a kombucha tea brewery in the heart of Copenhagen. Line says one simple way anybody anywhere can get a taste of Danish-flavored happiness is by emulating the typical Danish spring weekend.
So what exactly does such a weekend entail? We hit the streets of Copenhagen, the capital of happiness, to pick Line’s brain for a weekend and see for ourselves. Here’s how it went down.
Turning to weekend mode while the sun is high in the sky, the laptops go down and the music (tunes from 80s Danish band, Rocazino) goes up at Laesk’s brewery in bustling central Copenhagen. Calls are made, chairs get moved onto the sidewalk and friends, family and strangers stop by for a bit of merrymaking.
It’s key to wrap up Friday early (if you can, of course). Even my parents leave work early on Friday. It’s important to leave some time and energy to do something meaningful—you don’t want to just come home and crash and burn.
The chairs come inside. One group leaves for the movies, another couple heads to dinner and whoever remains is invited to Line’s apartment for dinner. At Line’s, she cooks while her guests watch Alle Mod 1, Denmark’s participate-from-home interactive TV game show. During dinner, there’s talk about seemingly everything but work.
Friends. Family. Coworkers. We don’t really make strict lines here. People are really good at mixing. There are spontaneous drop-ins—it’s not as if this hangout is for one specific group of friends.
After a full 8 hours unplugged from work and plugged into her social network, Line shows everyone out and calls it a night. Even though it’s still Friday, it no longer feels like a weekday.