Many of us are familiar with the idea of stripping to our gasps, opening a beer and watching TV. But in Finland Pantsdrunk has been elevated to an official activity
It’s been a long period: one see after another. 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 petition. What you need, more than anything, is to relax and de-stress.
You might be allured to turn to the favourite Scandinavian antidotes to stress, lagom and hygge . But are they actually any good? Lagom, a Swedish term, can be translated as” in perfect balance”, 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 genuinely relax. They’re too busy constantly weighing the ethical consequences of every little decision they stir.” I could buy a nice flowerpot of hummus to enjoy with dinner, but that plastic pot it comes in is so bad for the environment .”
Denmark, meanwhile, is famous for its hygge – hugging ambience and luxuriating in leisureliness. Hygge is a mug of hot chocolate sipped near an open fire, soft woollen blankets and a row of leather-bound stickers on the bookshelf. It’s those likeness we see in interior design periodicals and on Instagram. And this is its miscarrying: not all of us is able to expend our daylights wrap in cashmere, reclining on an Arne Jacobsen sofa on stormy autumn nights. Hygge is like a Disney movie that buds no neighbourhood for the mess of real life.
But there is another Scandi option- the Finnish course to happy. Unlike our lovely neighbours, the Finn relies not on lagom or hygge but kalsarik anni , a term that literally makes” drinking at home, alone, in your lingerie “. This know it sounds fanciful but at the heart of this approach lies a democratic paragon. “Pantsdrunk” doesn’t requirement that you repudiate yourself the little things that clear you happy or that you waste a luck on Instagrammable Scandi furniture and onu your mansion with more altar candles than a Catholic church. Affordability is its hallmark, provide a realistic remedy to everyday stress. Which is why this lifestyle choice is the antithesis of posing and pretence: one does not pole atmospheric portraits on Instagram whilst pantsdrunk. Pantsdrunk is real. It’s about letting go and being yourself , no affectation and no performance.
It’s easy to see how pantsdrunk derived as a response to the stern Finnish environment, one of perpetual sadnes and freezing temperatures for nine and a half months of the year. Look out of a window 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 sparkler and slush. Often the streets are deserted and human friendship requires a lengthy and distasteful trek. And that’s at midday, the brightest place of the working day. No wonder pantsdrunk came into being.
The liberating effect of this Finnish footpath to joy derives from simple parts: comfortable robes, booze absorbed in appropriate amounts and no intent of going out. 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 performed properly, pantsdrunk with one’s spouse or significant other expands and extends the relationship.
All you really need is the foresight to prepare. Pack the fridge full of budget-brand artisanal beer, 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 robing( the basic rule: take off anything that’s even mildly uncomfortable or formal ). Dressing for pantsdrunk generally entails undressing. Gradually you’ll reaching “the worlds largest” pleasant instant of your striptease: the slow peel off of your sweaty socks from your hoof, a sensation that deserves its own Scandi expression. Now ramble to the kitchen and seizure one of the cold beers from the refrigerator. Sink down on the sofa in your underwear and let out a deep exhale 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. Almost three years ago, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Unit for Public Diplomacy propelled two emojis of beings drinking in their lingerie in armchairs- a man in briefs with a brew 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, solace and equilibrium. Each has been determined by its history, culture and national persona. The discrepancies between the three of them lies in their economic history.
When Finland swore its independence from Russia in 1917, it was a poor, agrarian country with a GDP scarcely grazing the world-wide average. Life expectancy was low and child mortality high-pitched. Yet, in 100 years, Finland becomes a post-industrial information society and the third most prosperous country in the world. It also achieved the highest total score in the UN’s 2018 World Happiness Report, ranked the most stable, the safest and best decided country in the world. It is also among the least corrupt and “the worlds largest” socially progressive. Its police are the world’s most relied and its banks the soundest. Free healthcare and university education also 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 seriously. It’s also an attitude and philosophy that starts from inner serenity. 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 approach 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 philosophy and you are immersing yourself in true-life Finnish culture.
To prescribe 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 loosen like a true Finn
Have the right fabrics in stock – your favourite workmanship 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 colour. Perhaps invest in some coat socks, extremely. Pantsdrunk is not about get consumed. Make sure you only suck according to your needs and abilities.
Pantsdrunk does not require expensive furniture and artisanal hot chocolate in the house- merely your glas of selection, a comfy sofa and a TV depict 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 directions tell you to switch off your phones and get outside. Wouldn’t you rather be inside with a glass of wine-coloured, labouring your space through a series of cat videos?
Read more: www.theguardian.com