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Is ‘Fugu’ The Hygge Of 2020?

If social media is anything to go by, it just might be

First, we had Hygge, the Danish philosophy inciting us to get cosy.

Then Kalsarikännit came along and encouraged us to drink wine in our underwear, alone at home (which we definitely did).

Not long afterwards, Niksen, the Dutch art of doing nothing appeared and asked us to do, well, nothing. 

And in 2020? We have ‘fugu’, a Chinese cultural trend that, whether you realise it or not, you’re probably already following. 

As for what fugu is exactly? Read on.

What Is Fugu?

According to travel magazine Suitcase, fugu is less a ‘philosophy’ (although it appears to manifest that way), and more a description for a “subculture of millennials who are reviving historical traditions”.

While fugu has been around in China for quite some time, in the western world, the phrase is relatively unknown (in fact, if you Google it, you’re more likely to be greeted by information about a deadly Japanese fish… yikes).

On the more extreme end, fugu is seeing some Chinese millennials leave the city for the provinces, swap their expensive cars for mules, and trade cafés for food they’ve farmed themselves according to traditional practices. 

But this idea of farm-to-table living and ‘creating from scratch’ isn’t confined to China, and if anything, quarantine, in particular, has caused many of us to explore fugu in our own ways.

What Does Fugu Look Like For Most Of Us?

Although most us aren’t abandoning our urban homes for country living, a lot of us have taken to doing things the old-fashioned way, particularly in the lead-up to and during quarantine.

For many of us, fugu looks like planting kitchen gardens to grow our own herbs, cultivating indoor plants, making sourdough from scratch, knitting or sewing our own clothes, and pickling our own vegetables, among other things.

The common thread? All of them offer a sense of returning to our pre-technology roots (although there is a sense of irony if said activities are being posted on social media).

Why Is Fugu Becoming Popular?

The quiet yet increasing domination of fugu could be put down to our bid for a wholesome, more connected and self-sufficient life.

Moreover, the ongoing climate crisis and coronavirus pandemic have arguably increased our desire to return to a slower lifestyle, one that is equal parts eco-conscious and can serve us in times of hardship.

And while the western millennial version may be miles away from its Chinese origins, it seems we’re all looking for one thing: a simpler, happier life.

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