On Location Swedish – 10 May 2013

130510-ailieHej där! Well, the snow has melted…which means, combined with a lot of rain, the Fyrisån (Fyris River which runs through Uppsala) has started flooding quite dramatically! There were people kayaking down it the other day, which certainly didn’t look like it was for the faint-hearted. That said, throwing yourself down the river in unsuitable boats seems to be something of an Uppsala tradition (that and throwing bikes into the river), and marks the start of a kind of spring fever.  The end of this month is Walpurgis Night, more commonly known in Uppsala as Valborg or Sista April, essentially a huge party which takes places throughout the whole of Uppsala… but expect more on that later!

You may remember my first post was about the great Swedish habit of fika. Well, this week’s post is about another such “habit”, which shocked me that I hadn’t already written about – fredagsmys (partly because the word itself is one of these amazingly cute Swedish words that just fits perfectly to what it describes). Fredagsmys is essentially the act of snuggling up somewhere on a Friday – att mysa meaning, “To snuggle, cuddle, cozy up”, with fredagsmys translating literally then as “Cosy Friday”…which I think is definitely something I will be bringing back with me to Edinburgh after summer!

A fredagsmys is really just a way of relaxing at the end of the week, more often than not at home, although whether or not it is a solo activity is up to you. It  could be watching “How I Met Your Mother” (with Swedish subtitles, of course) on the sofa with your flatmates eating smågodis (sweeties, often from the Pick-and-Mix sections which exist in every Swedish supermarket); cosying with a good book into one’s favourite fåtöljen (armchair); or even having a few close friends round for a chilled out dinner. Naturally, not everyone is always a fan of fredagsmys, preferring to go out and party, and you know generally Friday nights are good party nights – but sometimes it is nice just to take a break from the busy week, grab a blanket (filt), a DVD and some cookies, just for good measure, and snuggle down with someone you like. When the country that gave us IKEA, Volvo and ABBA has this as an integral part of both their weeks and their culture, you’ve got to think they’re doing something right. And so, as this post comes out on a Friday, I hope it’s inspired you to go mysa someone! Hej då!

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