Becoming “Aware”

I recently read a very interesting article from The New Yorker called The Glossary of Happiness by Emily Anthes. It came to my attention because of our interest in adapting and cultivating the Danish concept of Hygge (see Hygge). Or, perhaps more appropriate considering my Dutch extraction (among many other bloodlines) we should work toward gezellig, a little easier, and perhaps more fun to say. I learned this term, similar to hygge, from the article.

The article tells of The Positive Lexicography Project, Doctor Tim Lomas’s effort to catalog foreign terms for happiness related concepts that may have no direct English translation.

Visiting the project’s Web page, we found a lot to like! Many of the terms cataloged in the lexicography feel very applicable to our homestead life.

Besides Hygge, and other terms we’ve discussed here like Shinrin-Yoku and Waldeinsamkeit (see Shinrin-Yoku) we found:

Mерак (Serbian): pleasure derived from simple joys.

Sisu (Finnish): the psychological strength that allows a person to overcome extraordinary challenges, similar to grit or resilience.

Friluftsliv (Norwegian): living in tune with nature.

And, as we look out on our view, we especially appreciate:

Aware (Japanese): “the bittersweetness of a brief, fading moment of transcendent beauty.” I think it’s pronounced “Uh-WAHR-ay” (I wish the lexicon included phonetic pronunciation guides).

I hope to learn to pronounce all of these words correctly, and incorporate into my everyday speech. No doubt, they’ll start to pop up in the blog as well.

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