Letters from the dorm: It's spring, let's hit the park!

Letters from the dorm: It's spring, let's hit the park!

The warm sun and the budding flowers indicate that *drum roll, please* ... spring has officially arrived in Copenhagen! Finally, we can go to the park! Although local students told me that July and August are the best months to be out and about, I am already thrilled about bidding goodbye to the harsh Danish winter. 

In a wonderful contrast to the dark winter afternoons when everyone stayed in the canteen for a hot cup of coffee, you see students in fashionable sunglasses scattered all over the benches, pavements and grassy areas, soaking up every available sunbeam. Some sit in groups, having a drink and sharing jokes, some do their reading, and some just chill and enjoy the sun, doing virtually nothing at all. 

Though I originally wanted to get some work done, I decided I shouldn't miss the good weather. So I joined a group of students at Faelledparken after school, and ended up relaxing by the lake having a happy chat with new friends. 

The Danish government has tried to integrate nature into the city's urban life so that parks and lakes are within reach for people even in the busiest areas. In fact, King's Garden is a two-minute walk from my campus in the city centre. 

Unlike the outdoor spaces in Hong Kong, the parks in Copenhagen are thriving with activity. 

People of every age bike, jog, read, stroll with their pets, or play frisbee  in the afternoons. These are essential activities to the Danes. 

This kind of laid-back lifestyle leads to one of the most important words in Danish vocabulary: hygge, which basically means well-being and creating a warm atmosphere with good people. 

One of the things I learned from the Danes is to be grateful for the smallest things. They embrace life in its simplest yet fullest form, and this is perhaps one of the reasons why they are the happiest people on Earth. 

Theodora Yu is an exchange student at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark


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