What We Can Learn from the Nordic Countries

Posted on February 26 2020

What We Can Learn from the Nordic Countries



Some of us here in the United States count down the days until Spring, grit our teeth, and endure the winter months (particularly those of us in the North East region.) 

Take a second to reflect on our fellows up in the Nordic countries. They experience long and dark winters, often not seeing much more than a small glimmer of sunlight for weeks at a time.

Yet, they don't simply endure the winter months- they enjoy them! In today's blog post, I'm going to do my best to translate a few of the words that mean winter coziness up in Scandinavia.

Hygge


"Hygge," is a Danish word that describes the cozy and warm feeling you get during the winter months. Think of curling up with a book and a cup of cocoa by the fireplace next to your dog and your siblings.

It captures love, comfort, joy, and well-being. Hygge is part of Danish culture. It's also about close familial bonds and togetherness. Have you ever snuggled up next to someone you love and it warmed your heart? If so, you've experienced hygge!

I am picturing snuggling in my bed with warm, soft blankets. Denmark is one of the happiest, if not the happiest country in the world. They're thriving despite the dark days and chilly winds. Perhaps it has something to do with hygge? 

Koselig


This is a Norwegian word, similar to Hygge. In Norway, smiles are abundant in the winter season. From the skiing slopes, gorgeous mountains, to the restaurants and cafés, you'll be able to see everyone getting the most out of winter.

Like hygge, this word evokes a sense of snuggly coziness and warmth. In the same way that candles light up a room, your heart can light up when you see someone you love.

Think intimate connections, fire or candles illuminating the dimly lit restaurants, and comfort. Norway is definitely has a positive attitude when it comes to the winter season. 

Còsagach


Hey, wait a second- Scandinavia doesn't have exclusive rights to all things cozy! The Scots have something to say about winter comfort.

Scotland isn't exactly warm in the winter. In fact, it's freezing! Between the frigid temperatures and treacherous storms, it's safe to say that the Scots deal with a harsh winter.

Còsagach also brings to mind images of snuggling under blankets with a good book, close family members and a warm fire; however, it has other dimensions as well.

It means comfort, but you can find that comfort in more areas than your home. You can find it outside, in a pub, at a cafe, or anywhere in the world. You can find that coveted còsagach comfort anywhere. 

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Imagine if Americans adopted the cozy lifestyle of our northern European friends? Rather than clenching our fists when we walk outside, we may be snuggled up with our cat by the fireplace, gazing at our partner in a candle-lit restaurant, or sipping on hot chocolate with our mother and grandmother.

Many of us do these things already, but some of us have spring in the back of our minds the whole time (me!) Let's try to keep the spirit of the Nordic countries in mind this winter season. I bet we would be a bit happier. Rather than wait for spring to roll around, let's try to enjoy each moment.

We can all find comfort and warmth in one another, can't we? Stay warm (and cozy) out there! 

Annie Foley
Author
FNDN

P.S. If you're looking to enjoy the chilly outdoors from sunrise to sunset, you've got to make sure your hands are warm. Check out The FNDN G2 SnowPro Gloves

 

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