On the Scandinavian trail again, this time with Lillördag
The livings of life has perhaps never dawned on anyone in more certain and clearer terms than on Scandinavian folks. A world of immense magic, where happiness rules utmost, where even the most frigid of winters are no reason for worry, where existences dwell in an universe unique to their own, replete with such realisations of life that spin directly out of fables of ideal perfection, furthering forever the contentment of the soul and the bliss of the mind, through such utterly overwhelming interpretations of emotions that can otherwise only be felt and not expressed in utmost certainty, springing from the deepest recluses of the heart in an awareness that is met with an enthusiasm very personal, delighting in the attribution of something so exclusive to oneself a dimension that allows it to shape up as something universal, even when persisting in a certain degree of privacy, as an unique experience that appeals to the soul in its reciprocation, not however one that is returned but rather residing in a vibe that is shared, Scandinavia has its way with words that allows it to conjure up terms for every ardor you might have ever felt, no matter how unusual it might occur to you, no matter how far fetched it may strike at your consciousness as, morphing so well experiences into expressions that it feels as almost the perfect reflection of your innermost being. Hygge perhaps is the most popular wave of this magical artistry, summing up a bliss incomparable despite its commonplace encounter today, in fact so rampantly cited within and outside the limits of this world of the feel good warmths emanating from deep within that might lend you to think that hygge should have lost some comfort of its cosy basis by now, but surprisingly continuing with a flourish not any less embedded in the treacle of a sweet realisation, one that renders it more dear to you than what you anticipate, perhaps in assertion of the simplicity in which it prevails, as an ode to every good thing in life that does not need to be smacking of extravagant grandiose. Equally rested in the premises of such ‘mediocreness’, as contrasted to the overwhelming overflow of the coffers, is lagom, that refers to something in just the right amount, so much in balance that equates notions of perfection, more appropriately something that is a unique coming together of the ‘perfect- simple’, reinstating once again the secret behind the Scandinavian mode of existence as one forever rooted in what has always been a fuss free form of extravagance, rich no doubt but perceptible though in terms of minute joys of the beauties through which life continues, it’s about the immenseness of the experience rather than indulgence, that while might not lend a particularly gargantuan summary of exhilarated existence is perfect in its slow steeped revealing of the wonders that life comes to be most magically arousing in.
Not just singular experiences though, the aspects of profound truths that the Scandinavian existence partakes in are also more holistic takes on the ways life is meant to be lived through, in utmost appreciation of its nuanced joys. The prolific way of winter survival in this part of the world is one such experiential concept that manifests itself as Friluftsliv, surprising in the sheer daring of the premise on which it is based, one that beckons one and all to embrace the beauty- and the freezing cold of the outdoors, even while living through a wintry facade of biting chills, sub zero temps, knee deep snows that however never manages to translate beyond its physicality into something emotionally offsetting, all thanks to this notion of living in nature, grateful for all its bounties, whether in sun or in snow. More significantly, beyond dwelling in a state of identity resonating with the spirit of nature, friluftsliv also is as much about taking a break from the mundanity of routine lives, letting yourself wander along the trails of a natural world free from the bondages of the unnecessarily frenzied modern life, leading to the fostering of a connection with something wherein from emerges your identity, so that you can, for a while, live life in the true way it is meant to be lived.
Source: British Vogue
Somewhat related to this notion of living life in its essence, though in a dimension somewhat variegated in understanding, is another Scandinavian assertion of the good life. Specifically with a global pandemic in tow, raging an even more intense war in our effort to effectively eke out one another in continuation of the equally global human tendency to let our businesses dictate our lives, the toll that work has come to assert on the quality of lives we lead is there for everyone to see. Bearing the brunt across days, week after week as we trudge along through the hours of chaotic work, we find ourselves desperate in reaching out to the weekend, when we are finally allowed the liberty to unwind and relax, something we choose to do all so often in such terms as partying which means of course food and booze and dance and stuff. And then as the weekend slips away at the bat of an eyelid, leaving us once again at the threshold of something we view as burden but immerse ourselves in all through nonetheless, we find ourselves scrambling once again for the orgasmic pinnacle of the weekend in Saturdays, to have another shot at living life as we wish. Dealing therefore with the burnout self all through the long week is no less than a struggle, something the Swedes worked out a remedy for, by granting themselves the luxury of a tiny weekendesque break midway through the week. Referred to as Lillördag, meaning literally Little Saturday, is this concept that therefore dwells in the domain of the Wednesdays as a day exactly halfway through the five day long working week, celebrated in typical weekend manner of rejoical. Similar concepts are the dynamics of the work- leisure referendum in other countries of the region like in Denmark where the associated unwinding takes place as lille fredag or little Friday on Thursdays. More a European concept than a wholly Scandinavian one, this celebration of a little Saturday also takes place in Belgium and elsewhere in the world like in South Africa and certain regions of the United States, all the while dwelling on the central notion of living life through means of a midweek break, that even furthers the energy and zeal to go about this whole humdrum of inevitable daily existence.
In essence therefore, lillordag is no frilly event really. Just another day of good food and good booze, with friends and loved ones for company, as lively conversations spark up in fact a notion of the hygge trait as well, with some folks choosing to indulge elsewhere, like in their passions, either by themselves or with other folks for company, much like what fuels their enduring love for the weekend itself, this celebration of life, or rather taking a break from it, through means of observance of a little Saturday, comes across then as a very worthwhile reason for trudging along the work days of the week, with this little something to look forward to midway so crucial in reinstilling spirits within the worked out souls. Somewhat romantic in its nature of carefree charm, yet practical enough to endow folks with more vigour to take on life headlong, this version of the mini weekend however stems not from essentially indulgent premises. Derived from the piglördag, or the maids Saturday, referring to the weekday leave availed of by maids and servants at some time in history, since they had to work on the Saturdays, the tradition of the lillordag came to be a rather liberating mode of achieving work life balance for most Swedes and many Scandinavians, as their unexpected encounter with unwinding makes indeed for a refreshing restart to satiate the appetite for productivity. Like so many concepts of the ideal life derived from this expanse of region in geography, lillordag too is another of the Scandinavians mantras for living the ideal life, something they have been doing to perfection for years, forever emerging on the world domain as among the happiest countries with the most enigmatic of exuberant peoples to their acclaim.