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 daylight: one meet after the other. You leave your office, happy the working day is finally over. You could head out, system until the early hours, but somehow it doesn’t petition. What you are required to, more than anything, is to relax and de-stress.
You might be seduced to turn to the favourite Scandinavian antidotes to stress, lagom and hygge . But are they really better now? Lagom, a Swedish text, can be translated as” in perfect match”, or “just right”. Where lagom predominates, 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 certainly relax. They’re too busy forever weighing the ethical consequences of every little decision they shape.” I could buy a nice flowerpot of hummus to enjoy with dinner, but that plastic flowerpot it comes in is so bad for the environmental issues .”
Denmark, meanwhile, is renowned 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 spines on the bookshelf. It’s those portraits we see in interior design publications and on Instagram. And this is its flunking: not all of us have the means to spend our daytimes wrapped in cashmere, reclining on an Arne Jacobsen sofa on stormy autumn evenings. Hygge is like a Disney movie that leaves no region 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 period that literally entails” drinking at home, alone, in your lingerie “. This know it sounds fanciful but at the heart of this approach lies a democratic ideology. “Pantsdrunk” doesn’t requisition that you disavow yourself the little things that realize you happy or that you expend a luck on Instagrammable Scandi furniture and loading your home 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 constituting and pretence: one does not berth atmospheric images on Instagram whilst pantsdrunk. Pantsdrunk is real. It’s about making go and being yourself , no affectation and no performance.
It’s easy to see how pantsdrunk derived as a response to the harsh Finnish surrounding, one of ceaseless gloom and freezing temperatures for nine and a half months of its first year. Look out of a space on a Finnish November day and much of the time it’s pitch dark and freezing, a lacerating sleet is falling and the sidewalks are crusted in frost and slush. Often the streets are deserted and human companionship requires a lengthy and nasty trek. And that’s at midday, the brightest phase of the working day. No wonder pantsdrunk came into being.
The liberating effect of this Finnish track to happiness derives from simple constituents: comfy invests, alcohol absorbed in suitable amounts and no intention 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 spouse or significant other expands and deepens the relationship.
All you really need is the foresight to prepare. Pack the fridge full of budget-brand artisanal brew, stock up on immerses, 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 layers of investing( the basic rule: take off anything that’s even mildly unpleasant or formal ). Dressing for pantsdrunk generally symbolizes undressing. Gradually you’ll contact the most enjoyable moment of your striptease: the slow peeling off of your sweaty socks from your paw, a sensation that deserves its own Scandi expression. Now saunter to the kitchen and grasp one of the cold beers 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 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 propelled two emojis of people boozing in their lingerie in armchairs- a mortal in briefs with a beer and the status of women 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 own history, culture and national persona. The discrepancies between the three of them lies in their financial history.
When Finland testified its independence from Russia in 1917, it was a poor, agrarian country with a GDP barely pasturing the global norm. 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 governed country in the world. It is likewise 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 too helps when it comes 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 gravely. It’s also working attitudes and philosophy that starts from inner treaty. 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 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 necessary. Follow this logic and you are immersing yourself in genuine Finnish culture.
To order a transcript 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-blue Finn
Have the right substances in stock – your favourite workmanship beer, crisps, hummus, cheese and cookies are all key weapons in the pantsdrunk arsenal.
Find your most comfortable underwear- the really holey ones where you’ve forgotten their original quality. Perhaps invest in some fleece socks, very. Pantsdrunk is not about getting 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- just your beverage of option, a comfy sofa and a TV display you’re happy to orgy watch.
It isn’t puritanical. Want to eat two whole sharing bags of crispies? Fine, go for it.
Lots of life-style veers tell you to switch off your phones and get outside. Wouldn’t you instead be inside with a glass of wine, labor your course through a series of cat videos?
Read more: www.theguardian.com