Days 155 and 156 — How Swedes Deal with Winter

The “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” movie was shot last winter in Sweden. The American Director, David Fincher, wondered how the hell Swedes survive the dark long winters. We were talking about this the other night and Mariette told me how it all works.

“There is an art to “winter living” here. It is truly a way of living and really a mind-set. It´s like you go out and really expose yourself to the rain, wind and until you freeze like hell. And while you are outdoors you think about all the wonderful things you are going to do when you get back indoors. Like: light candles, take a warm bath, drink hot chocolate, read a good novel, drink glögg by the open fireplace, bake or cook something delicious, get under the down-covers with your little dog, etc. There must be many hundreds of these things you do indoors to contrast the cold and darkness outdoors. And the thing is that without the darkness, cold storms and wicked weather these indoors activities would not be as cozy. The best time for these activities is when the rain beats on the window or the snowstorm is howling outside and when you have been out there, experiencing it! There is a Swedish word called “mysa”. There is no english translation for it that we know of. The best way to translate it would be to do really, really cozy things. Yes, the Swedes do get really tired of the darkness, rain and snow and they usually take at least one annual trip to sunny locations a year. However, they still hold a place in their hearts for these warm, cozy nights in front of the fireplace when the storms are howling outside.”

Case in point: the Jul-Lotta singalong show was on TV again tonight. Swedes were happily sitting in the cold and, tonight, the rain, singing along. Sweden has hundreds of Christmas songs says Mariette. Tonight there was an American singer named Chris Medina on the show who sang some songs and then watched in amazement was Swedes of all ages happily sang through the rain.

There is something wonderfully crazy about these people.




4 thoughts on “Days 155 and 156 — How Swedes Deal with Winter

  1. That’s it! Mysa. I know exactly what you mean. Winter in MN was like that when I was a kid. The contrast between the extreme winter weather outside and the lovely coziness of inside afterwards, the drink the food the warm beds was wonderful to experience. If you’ve ever read the Little House on the Prarie series, she talks much about that very thing. I think that’s why even to this day I enjoy the winter so much, despite the rain and wind and lower temps. Thanks for sharing this Dan and Mariette!

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