The other day I was watching a YouTube clip and to my amazement, I heard, “the Dutch have this concept called gezelligheid.”
I almost fell out of my chair. I am Dutch and to hear an American vlogger try to say a word in my language was awesome.
I dug around a bit on Google and as it turns out, many more English speaking people use the word, usually in conjunction with Hygge.
I have grown up with people saying after a family event, “oh it was so gezellig!”
It is a completely untranslatable word. Cozy companionship comes close. Add to that some nostalgia and simple pleasures and you come close to the right translation.
To me, gezelligheid is having tea together with someone I love, chatting in a lazy way, sitting in a cozy room, nice and warm. Gezelligheid is after dinner hanging on the sofa talking about the weather or something else non-impactful.
Gezelligheid is having tea with fresh baked cookies in a room that smells of them.
Gezelligheid is laughing about daft jokes, and playing board games.
Gezelligheid is simplicity.
And, contrary to what everyone else says, I happen to think I can have gezelligheid on my own too.
Having some tea, curled up with a book I love and a cat somewhere in easy reach so I can play with their fur, that is gezellig!
Add to that some soft music and a warm snuggly blanket and I am in heaven.
But the most perfect evenings are those where I hang out with my husband and we play games or watch something together, talking, laughing and teasing.
Those evenings are the pinnacle of gezelligheid to me.