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HET ZWEEDSE GEHEIM VOOR HET GOEDE LEVEN VERSCH I 10 AUG JNT USTUS 2017

‘NA HET DEENSE HYGGE (GEZELLIGHEID) IS LAGOM UIT ZWEDEN EEN TREND: NIET TE VEEL EN NIET TE WEINIG. HOE KUN JE GEMATIGDER LEVEN IN DIE ZEE VAN ALLEDAAGSE VERLEIDINGEN?’ NRC HANDELSBLAD


THINGS TO PONDER

THE SWEDISH RESTRAINT Better to be silent Because lagom is measured differently by than speak ill everyone, it also has some unattractive qualities that some people feel impedes — Swedish Proverb on their personal lifestyle instead of enhancing and enriching their lives as the word originally was intended to do. Its dire virtues of neutrality, restraint, and conformity that stem from moderation have often been perceived as an undue and rather austere burden to bear.That lagom can stifle creativity and ambition. That this avoidance of extremes keeps us in happy bubbles of complacency that never challenge us to try new things, test, fail, and grow. On a basic level, we see lagom as the opposite of excess. So, any gesture or emotion that seems out of place within a group setting is often frowned upon…silently. This is what I call “The Silence of the Swedes” and as the old saying goes, it is better to be silent than to speak ill. To admonish quietly than to also fall victim to the very same act that drew one’s admonition. Many travellers to Sweden often marvel at the country’s physical beauty – from lush countryside dotted with cute monopoly-sized red cottages from its capital city Stockholm which stunningly spreads across 14 islands. Yet many have also come away perplexed by some of its societal rules when it comes to interacting with strangers in public spaces like buses, subways, and on the street. A certain quietness that is often misconstrued as indifference or out-right coldness that could be taken personally if we end up on its receiving end. But that thread which emotionally weaves this fabric of silence around us is lagom.

Maybe the ultimate lesson for us here is to learn how to listen more and speak less?

There are so many opportunities and details we miss when we dominate conversations and take up space. This doesn’t mean deferring to others, but rather, giving them their own space to shine as well.

Maybe we learn to respect each other more when we pause to listen to each other?

Could the envy we feel for others stem from the fact that we see them operating closer to their ideal lagom state when we could be focusing on finding our own balance?

Maybe we should cease to operate from a mentality of scarcity and move from an emotional space where there is enough to go around?

When it comes to our emotions and feelings, we must accept and come to terms with our needs and not be ashamed of them. That will drive us closer to emotional contentment.

Is stating the obvious in conversations really necessary or could that time be spent talking about more meaningful things that enrich and teach?

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INTRODUCTION + USAGE

Na ons grote succes met Meik Wikings Hygge (17.500 exemplaren verkocht) brengen wij nu met trots hét boek over de nieuwste Scandi-trend: lagom Vind de balans die precies goed voor je is met lagom, de Zweedse way of life O.a. NRC Handelsblad, Knack en Het Laatste Nieuws schreven al over het fenomeen lagom

Each person forges his own happiness — Swedish Proverb

Did you know Sweden has a rather telling nickname? It is called “Landet lagom (The Land of Lagom)” by Swedes themselves because lagom has fundamentally been accepted as the way of life in the country. To live like a Swede means to adopt cultural elements of lagom in various aspects of our lives. When it comes to tempering our emotions, lagom takes on the shape of moderation without extravagance. And to begin to understand the Swedish psyche is to take a closer look at the word and examine just how deeply it permeates all facets of life – from culture, fashion, and daily life, to business, relationships, and society in general.

A step back in time

The most popularly-held belief surrounding the true origins of lagom is that this mindset of being a team player and taking your fair share was bestowed and passed on from generation to generation through the Vikings. It is said that communal horns filled with mead – a honey-fermented alcoholic beverage – was passed around as everyone sat around fires after a hard day’s work or pillage. Each one was supposed to sip their own share in moderation so everyone else could also get a fair gulp. I imagine a Viking not adhering to that rule of conduct met a not-so-teamlike demise. This is when lagom began taking on its different personas – symbolizing moderation, not too much, not too little, just right. Sweden’s historically Lutheran Christian values have also added puritan layers over time to lagom to denote modesty, harmony, and being social keepers of our brothers and sisters by ensuring everyone is treated fairly. Historically, this strive for fairness and equality ultimately became the core thread in Sweden’s political DNA as a social welfare state where moderation, sharing of wealth by fair taxation, and equality is legislatively enforced and promoted among citizens. So, over time, what we witness today as the collective Swedish mindset is shaped by how we should exist within communities as well as how we should live our own lives in a way that doesn’t negatively impact or inconvenience others.

But first, we need to understand how lagom was born, when it surfaced culturally, and when it began seeping into and permeating the Swedish mind. In the early 1600s, the word “lag” which means “law” in Swedish started appearing in text and its plural form at the time was “lagom”. No one can really pinpoint the exact moment lagom entered the collective Swedish consciousness but many say its roots anchored in community can be traced back to the Vikings between the 8th and 11th centuries. The word “lagom” itself has also been accepted as a shortened version of the phrase “laget om” which translates to “around the team.”

If you asked the average Swede on the street when was the last time their country went to war, they might respond with “Never?”.

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A look at the present


LAGOM

D E Z W E E D S E WAY O F L I F E

‘Lagom är bäst’ is een bekend Zweeds spreekwoord, wat zoiets betekent als ‘De juiste hoeveelheid is het beste’. Lagom vat de Zweedse psyche perfect samen en is een van de redenen waarom Zweden een van de gelukkigste landen ter wereld is, met een gezonde privé-werkbalans en een hoge levensstandaard. Lagom is een manier van leven die harmonie bevordert. Het draait om eerlijkheid, gematigdheid en tevreden zijn met wat je hebt in het leven. Het gaat niet om te veel of te weinig van iets hebben, maar om een algeheel gevoel van tevredenheid. Vol inzichten en met prachtige foto’s: deze waardevolle lifestylegids zal je helpen om kleine, eenvoudige veranderingen aan te brengen in je dagelijkse bestaan – of dat nu je dieet, financiën, werk of je vrije tijd betreft – zodat je leven gelukkiger en evenwichtiger wordt.

‘DE SCANDINAVIËRS KENNEN DE KUNST VAN HET LEVEN.’ – KNACK

Auteur Lola A. Åkerström

MARKETINGCAMPAGNE Samenwerking met influencers Uitgebreide publiciteitscampagne

Titel Lagom Verschijnt 10 augustus 2017 Prijs € 15,00 ISBN

978 94 005 0907 8

Uitvoering geplakt gebonden, mat met spotvernis Formaat 12,6 x 17,6 mm

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Omvang ca. 192 pag., geïllustreerd NUR

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Lola A. Åkerström is een prijswinnende fotograaf, spreker en journalist. Ze schrijft artikelen voor onder meer de BBC, The Guardian, Lonely Planet, Travel + Leisure en National Geographic Traveler. Lola is ook eindredacteur van Slow Travel Stockholm, een online magazine over de Zweedse hoofdstad. Ze woont met haar man en twee kinderen in Stockholm, en blogt op www.lolaakinmade.com.

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Lagom - Lola A. Åkerström  

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