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Koselig: A Norwegian philosophy that could make you love winter

Straight from Norway, this attitude is all about embracing a lifestyle that prioritizes comfort and socialising

Published: Oct 6, 2022 05:45:13 PM IST
Updated: Oct 6, 2022 05:56:13 PM IST

Koselig: A Norwegian philosophy that could make you love winter The concept of koselig can be translated by a feeling of comfort. The concept of koselig can be translated by a feeling of comfort. Image: Shutterstock

When temperatures start dropping and cloudy days become more frequent, many of us find that our desire to spend time outdoors drops alongside the thermostat. What if you adopted the koselig approach? Straight from Norway, this attitude is all about embracing a lifestyle that prioritizes comfort and socializing.

To understand the concept behind this word, which has no real equivalent in English, it must be broken down into two parts. "Kose," which does evoke the English word "cozy" and sounds similar, indeed means "a feeling of comfort." But it goes far beyond a warm blanket, however soft it may be. In fact, this term has become such an important part of the linguistic habits of Norwegians for expressing the fact that they had a good time or that they felt welcome at someone's home..  

Indeed, in English, the closest word that exists for a similar concept is "cozy" and its connotations of warmth. There is no koselig without a fire crackling in a fireplace—a key feature of most cottages. If you don't have a wood stove, candles will do. These small flames give off a soft, sometimes flickering, but comforting light in your space. Forget the ceiling light and its harsh white light and favor warm lighting..

The second meaning is that of the sensation of emotional warmth, experienced when we spend time with loved ones. The idea here is to share good moments with family members or friends. A world away from the desire to retreat into a solitary existence like a hibernating bear, koselig is about opening your door and welcoming the people you love into your home.

Koselig shares some characteristics with its Danish cousin, "hygge" (pronounced "hoo-guh"). Interiors should be uncluttered, pleasant, soothing and stress-free.  

The concept of koselig is also about staying connected to nature. To fully adopt this approach, don't think twice about putting on your coat and boots to go outside and brave the elements. It's proven that spending time in nature is good for your health, both physically and morally, and Norwegians adopted this habit even before such studies proved this. A good way to reduce the risk of seasonal affective disorder.

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