Many of us are familiar with the idea of stripping to our breathes, opening a brew and watching Tv. But in Finland Pantsdrunk has been heightened to an official activity
It’s been a long epoch: one meeting after the other. You leave your office, glad the working day is finally over. You could head out, network until the early hours, but somehow it doesn’t request. What you need, more than anything, is to relax and de-stress.
You might be tempted to turn to the favourite Scandinavian antidotes to stress, lagom and hygge . But are they actually better now? Lagom, a Swedish word, can be translated as” in perfect offset”, 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 contemporary world. The difficulty with lagom lies with its emphasis on being a good person: a good person can never genuinely relax. They’re too busy incessantly weighing the ethical consequences of every little decision they construct.” I could buy a nice toilet of hummus to enjoy with dinner, but that plastic pot it comes in is so bad for the environmental issues .”
Denmark, meanwhile, is renowned for its hygge – cuddling ambience and revelling in leisureliness. Hygge is a mug of hot chocolate sipped near an open fire, soft woollen blankets and a row of leather-bound backbones on the bookshelf. It’s those personas we see in interior design periodicals and on Instagram. And this is its failing: not all of us have the means to spend our dates wrapped in cashmere, reclining on an Arne Jacobsen sofa on stormy autumn evenings. Hygge is like a Disney movie that leaves no lieu for the mess of real life.
But there is another Scandi option- the Finnish track to happy. Unlike our lovely neighbours, the Finn relies not on lagom or hygge but kalsarik anni , a word that literally entails” sucking at home, alone, in your underwear “. This may sound extravagant but at the heart of this approach lies a democratic principle. “Pantsdrunk” doesn’t demand that you repudiate yourself the little things that do you happy or that you invest a fortune on Instagrammable Scandi furniture and consignment 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 upright atmospheric personas on Instagram whilst pantsdrunk. Pantsdrunk is real. It’s about giving go and being yourself , no insincerity and no performance.
It’s easy to see how pantsdrunk evolved as a response to the coarse Finnish environ, one of perpetual gloomines and freezing temperatures for nine and a half months of the 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 intimacy requires a lengthy and disagreeable trek. And that’s at midday, the brightest detail of the working day. No wonder pantsdrunk came into being.
The liberating effect of this Finnish itinerary to gaiety derives from simple parts: comfy clothes, alcohol absorbed in proper sums and no aim 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 extends the relationship.
All you really need is the foresight to prepare. Pack the fridge full of budget-brand artisanal brew, stock up on dips, crisps 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 coatings of investing( the basic rule: take off anything that’s even mildly uncomfortable or formal ). Dressing for pantsdrunk generally signifies undressing. Gradually you’ll contact “the worlds largest” pleasant instant of your striptease: the slow peel off of your sweaty socks from your paw, a sensation that deserves its own Scandi expression. Now ramble to the kitchen and seizure one of the cold brews from the fridge. Sink down on the sofa in your underwear and let out a late rustle of relief.
If you’re questioning the complexity of this formula, then be borne in mind 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 launched two emojis of beings boozing in their lingerie in armchairs- a human in brief 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 shaped by its history, culture and national character. The difference between the three of them is currently in their financial history.
When Finland swore greater independence from Russia in 1917, it was a poor, agrarian country with a GDP barely grazing the world median. Life expectancy was low and child mortality high. Yet, in 100 years, Finland becomes a post-industrial information society and the third most prosperous country in the world. It too achieved the highest total score in the UN’s 2018 World Happiness Report, graded the most stable, the safest and best determined country in the world. It is likewise among the least corrupt and “the worlds largest” socially progressive. Its police are the world’s most trusted and its banks the soundest. Free healthcare and university education also helps when it is necessary to happiness.
Arguably, pantsdrunk is one more way to celebrate the importance of relaxation. Humorous as its approach is also available, 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 logic that starts from inner peace. You don’t even have to drink alcohol to achieve it – it’s about taking time out, gratifying 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 required. Follow this doctrine and you are immersing yourself in true-blue Finnish culture.
To ordering a simulate 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 true-blue Finn
Have the right textiles in stock – your favourite craftsmanship brew, crispies, hummus, cheese and biscuits are all key weapons in the pantsdrunk arsenal.
Find your most comfortable underwear- the really holey ones where you’ve forgotten their original emblazon. Perhaps invest in some woolen socks, too. Pantsdrunk is not about going wasted. Make sure you only booze according to your needs and abilities.
Pantsdrunk does not require expensive furniture and artisanal hot chocolate in the house- exactly your boozing of option, a comfy sofa and a TV show you’re happy to binge watch.
It isn’t puritan. Want to eat two whole sharing bags of crispies? Fine, go for it.
Lots of life-style trends tell you to switch off your phones and get outside. Wouldn’t you instead be inside with a glass of wine-colored, wielding your direction through a series of cat videos?
Read more: www.theguardian.com