Many of us are familiar with the idea of stripping to our throbs, opening a beer and watching TV. But in Finland Pantsdrunk has been heightened to an official activity
It’s been a long epoch: one fit after the other. You leave your office, happy the working day is finally over. You could head out, network until the early hours, but somehow it doesn’t appeal. What you need, more than anything, is to relax and de-stress.
You might be invited to turn to the favourite Scandinavian antidotes to stress, lagom and hygge . But are they certainly any good? Lagom, a Swedish text, can be translated as” in perfect poise”, or “just right”. Where lagom reigns, all is as it should be. Proportion is maintained: there’s neither too much nor too little … which is where the problem lies. Although lagom encapsulates nearly all aspects of a well-lived life, its puritanism isn’t compatible with the realities of the modern world. The trouble with lagom lies with its emphasis on being a good person: a good person can never actually relax. They’re too busy forever weighing the ethical consequences of every little decision they stimulate.” I could buy a nice flowerpot of hummus to enjoy with dinner, but that plastic container it comes in is so bad for the environmental issues .”
Denmark, meanwhile, is well known for its hygge – espousing ambience and luxuriating in leisureliness. Hygge is a mug of hot chocolate sipped near an open fire, soft woollen coverings and a sequence of leather-bound stickers on the bookshelf. It’s those images we see in interior design publications and on Instagram. And this is its neglecting: not all of us have the means to spend our daylights wrap in cashmere, reclining on an Arne Jacobsen sofa on tempestuou autumn nights. Hygge is like a Disney movie that leaves no residence for the mess of real life.
But there is another Scandi option- the Finnish direction to happy. Unlike our lovely neighbours, the Finn relies not on lagom or hygge but kalsarik anni , a word that literally intends” boozing at home, alone, in your lingerie “. This know it sounds extravagant but at the heart of this approach lies a democratic principle. “Pantsdrunk” doesn’t require that you disavow yourself the little things that move you happy or that you invest a fate on Instagrammable Scandi furniture and quantity your house with more altar candles than a Catholic church. Affordability is its hallmark, offering a realistic remedy to everyday stress. Which is why this lifestyle choice is the antithesis of posing and pretence: one does not post atmospheric personas on Instagram whilst pantsdrunk. Pantsdrunk is real. It’s about letting go and being yourself , no insincerity and no performance.
It’s easy to see how pantsdrunk advanced as a response to the harsh Finnish environment, one of ceaseless gloomines and icing temperatures for nine and a half months of its first year. Look out of a opening on a Finnish November day and much of the time it’s pitch dark and freezing, a lacerating sleet is falling and the pavements are crusted in frost and slush. Often the streets are deserted and human companionship requires a lengthy and distressing trek. And that’s at midday, the brightest phase of the day. No wonder pantsdrunk came into being.
The liberating effect of this Finnish track to prosperity derives from simple components: cozy clothes, booze imbibed in proper sums and no purpose of going to go. That’s not to say that pantsdrunk needs to be a solo activity. It can also be enjoyed with a good friend, housemate or perhaps a relative. When practised properly, pantsdrunk with one’s marriage or significant other expands and redoubles the relationship.
All you really need is the foresight to prepare. Pack the fridge full of budget-brand artisanal brew, stock up on dips, crispies and chocolate- and make sure you have the latest mental drama ready to watch on Netflix. When you get home, immediately strip off your outer mantles of clothing( the basic rule: take off anything that’s even mildly unpleasant or formal ). Dressing for pantsdrunk generally entails undressing. Gradually you’ll reach “the worlds largest” enjoyable minute of your striptease: the slow peel off of your sweaty socks from your feet, a sensation that deserves its own Scandi expression. Now saunter to the kitchen and grab one of the cold beers from the fridge. Sink down on the sofa in your underwear and let out a deep rustle of relief.
If you’re questioning the complexity of this formula, then consider the fact that pantsdrunk is not just Finnish folklore or a self-care phenomenon; it’s also official foreign policy. Nearly three years ago, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Unit for Public Diplomacy launched two emojis of people boozing in their underwear in armchairs- a man in brief with a beer and a woman with a glass of red wine- to represent Finnish culture.
As a lifestyle choice, pantsdrunk is not in conflict with lagom and hygge. They all spring from the same Nordic origins and are the same ultimate objective: optimal peace of mind, consolation and equilibrium. Each has been influenced by its own history, culture and national reputation. The difference between the three of them lies in their financial history.
When Finland proclaimed greater independence from Russia in 1917, it was a poor, agrarian nation with a GDP barely pasturing the global average. Life expectancy was low and child mortality high. Yet, in 100 years, Finland has become a post-industrial learning society and the third most prosperous country in the nations of the world. It too attained the highest total score in the UN’s 2018 World Happiness Report, graded the most stable, the safest and best determined person in the nations of the world. It is also among the least debased and “the worlds largest” socially progressive. Its police are the world’s most trusted and its banks the soundest. Free healthcare and university education too facilitates when it is necessary to happiness.
Arguably, pantsdrunk is one more way to celebrate the importance of relaxation. Funny as its approach may be, it is very much part of a serious commitment to self-care- even if it’s frivolous, we take it severely. It’s also an attitude and philosophy that starts from inner peace. You don’t even have to drink alcohol to achieve it – it’s about taking time out, indulging in a little of what you enjoy and being authentic. Ultimately, the Finnish approaching is closer to mindfulness than it is to the Nordic notions of hygge and lagom. A real pantsdrunk pro knows how to be his or her laid-back self, regardless of the circumstances- no styled Scandi interior compelled. Follow this ideology and you are immersing yourself in true-life Finnish culture.
To guild a photocopy of Pantsdrunk : The Finnish Art of Drinking at Home. Alone. In Your Underwear by Miska Rantanen,( Square Peg, PS9. 99 ) for PS8. 59, go to guardianbookshop.com
How to tighten like a genuine Finn
Have the claim cloths in stock – your favourite ship beer, crispies, hummus, cheese and biscuits are all key artilleries in the pantsdrunk arsenal.
Find your most comfortable underwear- the really holey ones where you’ve forgotten their original colouring. Perhaps invest in some woolen socks, extremely. Pantsdrunk is not about get consumed. Make sure you merely drink according to your needs and abilities.
Pantsdrunk does not require expensive furniture and artisanal hot chocolate in the house- simply your booze of pick, a comfy sofa and a Tv demo you’re happy to binge watch.
It isn’t puritanical. Want to eat two whole sharing bags of crispies? Fine, go for it.
Lots of life veers tell you to switch off your phones and get outside. Wouldn’t you rather be inside with a glass of wine, running your channel through a series of cat videos?
Read more: www.theguardian.com