A hippie (or hippy) is a member of a subculture that was originally a youth movement that emerged in the United States during the mid-1960s and spread to other countries around the world. The word ‘hippie’ came from hipster, and was initially used to describe beatniks who had moved into New York City’s Greenwich Village and San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district. The origins of the terms hip and hep are uncertain, although by the 1940s both had become part of African American jive slang and meant “sophisticated; currently fashionable; fully up-to-date”. The Beats adopted the term hip, and early hippies inherited the language and counter-cultural values of the Beat Generation.

The Beat Generation was a group of authors whose literature explored and influenced American culture in the post-World War II era. The bulk of their work was published and popularized throughout the 1950s. Central elements of “Beat” culture are: rejection of standard narrative values, the spiritual quest, exploration of American and Eastern religions, rejection of materialism, explicit portrayals of the human condition, and liberation through experimentation!