Audio|De-gemuetlichkeit.ogg|"Gemütlichkeit" (pronounced|gəˈmyːtlɪçkaɪt) is a German
abstract nounthat has been adopted into English [cite book
title = Oxford dictionary of English| author = Soanes, C. and Stevenson, A. (ed.) | date= 2007| publisher = "
Oxford University Press"] . Its closest equivalent is the word "coziness"; however, rather than merely describing a place that is compact, well-heated and nicely furnished (a cosy room, a cosy flat), "Gemütlichkeit" connotes the notion of belonging, social acceptance, cheerfulness, the absence of anything hectic and the opportunity to spend quality time.
Queen Victoria is saidfact|date=November 2007 to have been one of the first to use the adjective "gemütlich" in English.
The word can be used in descriptions of holidays. [cite web
url = http://www.nysun.com/pf.php?id=5615&v=3325025911 | title = Recent Fiction
Benjamin Lytal| date= 2004-12-01 | publisher = " The New York Sun"
quote = Ms. Bielski's novel ["The Year is '42"] is quite good, a quick read that seems in sync with holiday "Gemutlichkeit" and holiday sadness.
accessdate = 2007-11-16] The communal connotations of "Gemütlichkeit" are also emphasized in some uses of the term. For example, one academicdescribed it as a tradition of "public festivity" (in the form of a "mixture of music, food, and drink"), which "promote [d] community solidarity."cite web
url = http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p105731_index.html | title = Paper presented at the annual meeting of the
American Studies Association
author = John Fairfield | date= 2006-10-05 | accessdate = 2007-11-16] The
Harlem Renaissancewas then cited as of how a sense of "Gemütlichkeit" arises from a "mix of music, art and politics in service of community consciousness."
A more narrow use of "Gemütlichkeit" can be found in reference to the economic policy makers and analysts in the United States involved in influencing the decisions of the board of the
Federal Reserve System. With respect to the "inflation dampening effects of globalization", a Georgia Southern Universityprofessor writes that interpreting certain U.S. economic trends could "spell an end of the Gemütlichkeit - a situation in which cheap labor and money abroad as well as ever-increasing productivity at home had permitted an uninterrupted spell of controlled growth in overall prices." [cite web
url = http://savannahnow.com/node/301323 | title = Rising costs of necessities signal an end of "Gemütlichkeit"| author =
Michael Reksulak| date= 2007-06-09 | publisher = " Savannah Morning News" | accessdate = 2007-11-16]
"Abandon all burden, ye who enter here."
The underlying concept is that social tensions and certain environments can cause stress, resulting in a feeling of alienation. Gemütlichkeit is an active way of preventing such negative influences by going to places and/or meeting with people that are regarded to be gemütlich. A gemütlich person again is one that takes part in this lifestyle and knows about the tensions he/she is able to cause, and thus tries to avoid these things actively. This way an agreement is established to make an "environmentally cosy" site (Heuriger, garden, cellar, backyard restaurant, living room...) "socially cosy".
One characteristic of a gemütlich situation is that one could blot out everything else (past, future, other places and absent people) and yet everything would be fine (an eternal "now and here"). Germans describe that as "leaving everything at the doorstep" (though a gemütlich place doesn't necessarily have to be inside a house).
imilar words in other languages
A similar word, "gezelligheid" (IPA|/ɣəzɛləɣhæɪt/), exists in Dutch. The Dutch "gezelligheid" however is always attached to a social situation (a "gezellige" person is somebody who likes to be among people and socializes well), whereas "Gemütlichkeit" can also be enjoyed alone.
There is also a Danish equivalent ("hygge"), which basically means the same.
In Russian, the word commonly translated as cosiness, "уют" IPA| [uˈjut] , carries almost identical connotations as the German word.
In Czech, 'pohoda' means cozy, ease, tranquility and well-being. A group of people may have 'pohoda' together.
References and footnotes
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