I just returned from a trip to Sweden. Have been to Malmö, Lund and Helsingborg there including a short visit to Copenhagen as I flew via CPH airport.
One thing repeatedly crossed my way during this trip which resumes the attitude and way of life of the Swedish people quite quite well: It is the term “lagom”.
And as if there were no coincidences in life exactly this term was reflected in the leading article of the LH in-flight magazine on my return flight:
” The untranslatable term roughly means: don’t take too much, be satisfied with what you have. Lagom is being in balance, and it has become a universally applicable hard to be literally translated.
Legend has it that the Vikings wanted to take as little as possible with them on their voyages, so everyone drank from one cup. Each would drink only as much as he needed, leaving enough for the others: It was to be sufficient for laget om – the entire group. This spawned an unwritten law that is deeply embedded in the Swedish psyche. The weather can be lagom, as can milk in your coffee or traffic. Lagom also explains the Scandinavians’ pared back furnishing style.”
My opinion is that this century old attitude is more than prevailing today. One of my favorite quotes is: “”Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed” by Mahatma Ghandi.
Those Swedes are a really nice nation up there in the north. In the meantime I can also speak some Swedish (for me it’s almost a mix of German and English) and I definitively will come back. Apart from Stockholm and Malmö I am still missing to visit Gothenburg where one can also find lots of nice corners to be discovered. Hejda Sverige!