I have a bit of a love hate relationship with winter.
I hate being cold. But I love the warm cosiness of being inside by the fire or wearing a cashmere sweater and thick woollen socks.
As such, lately I have become a little obsessed with the Danish concept of hygge which is ALL about creating that experience of warmth and safety, of comfort and home.
“Cocoa by candlelight” pretty much sums it up.
It is a concept that we don’t have a specific word for in English, but I think you know the feeling I mean.
Anyway, hygge got me thinking about the importance of language.
I have always had an inner sense of wanting more hygge in my life,
but now I have an actual word for it and a clear grasp of its meaning, I am creating it everywhere.
(Ask my sons, the three of us just ate dinner by candlelight last night on an ordinary, stay at home Sunday night —- and it was really nice – hygge!)
This one word is changing the way we live in our house.
Funny, huh? That words can change things like that – but they can.
Our language not only reflects the world we live in, but in large part creates it too.
The language and words we use shape our hopes and dreams for the future – create possibilities that we can strive for.
Without a word, it is difficult to grasp a concept.
There are countless examples of untranslatable (in English) words, that enrich the experience of the people who use them. Here are some fun ones.
From Norway – UTEPILS – to sit outside on a sunny day enjoying a beer
From Nambia – HANYAUKU – walking on your toes on warm sand
From Japan – TUSNDOKO – the constant act of buying books but never reading them
From the Inuit – IKTSUARPOK – the feeling of anticipation that leads you to look outside to see if someone is coming
and the very random BUSAT (from Sami) meaning a reindeer bull with a single, very large testicle (I challenge you to get that into your everyday vocabulary!)
As you can see, the words we use can limit or expand our thinking, colour our world and shape our behaviour.
They are important.
So firstly, we need to be cognisant of that fact. That we explain the world using words we know, and that perhaps there is a whole world out there that our language can’t describe.
And secondly, I think it is so important to expand your vocabulary – read, listen and learn.
You never know how a new word, concept or idea might just change your life.
What’s your new word for the week? – you can use mine if you like – and get some hygge on :)[/cs_text][x_line style=”border-top-color: rgb(47, 161, 205);border-top-width: 1px;”][cs_text]
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