Suddenly, the world has discovered Fika.
The world lives the Fika revolution, as it once lived the Abba revolution!
And yet, for Sweden, Fika is the most normal thing in the world.
In their book Fika: the Swedish art of having a coffee, Anna Bronnes and Johanna Kindvall describe the concept of Fika as it is understood in this wonderful Scandinavian country:
“As a verb and noun at the same time, the concept of Fika is simple. It is the moment in which one takes a break, often with a cup of coffee, but possibly also with tea, and finds a sweet pastry to accompany it. You can practice it alone or with friends. You can practice it at home, in a park or at work. But the essential thing is to practice it, finding the time to take a break: that’s what Fika is all about.”
Hold on, but that’s nothing new! you must be saying…
Doesn’t Southern Europe take time off to indulge in a lovely siesta?
Or to share one or two tapas with colleagues in the evening?
What about Britain’s “time for a tea” version?
Or Australia’s “let’s have a cuppa” time?
You’re absolutely right.
A lot of countries make a point to stop for tea in the afternoon?
However, the difference with the concept of Fika is that it doesn’t only refer to a mandatory stop during the day.
As in so many other countries.
Fika is a philosophy.
A state of mind
The Swedes plan their day around Fika.
Bosses offer their employees the opportunity to take a break or two a day to relax and replenish their energy.
Because that’s exactly what Fika is all about:
Fika is slowing down
Fika decelerates the day’s hectic speed.
Fika is a time to sit and contemplate the events of the day.
Unlike the quick stop we make in most countries to give ourselves a caffeine boost, with Fika time stands still.
The moment is truly savoured.
When you partake of Fika, you don’t sit at a bar and leave in a hurry in two minutes.
You won’t even think about involving your laptop or mobile in the process.
Fika is a respite.
When you Fika you sit in front of another person, look him/her in the eye, and carry out a conversation.
And, yes, Fika tends to involve a sweet pastry.
But that’s totally up to you.
What really matters is that you have a chance to enjoy the moment.
If you’re going to get stressed about the calories (as I would) every time you have the traditional Kanelbullar or cinnamon roll, you’re not going to enjoy the moment.
And, therefore, you won’t be doing Fika properly.
What if you’re travelling?
You Fika all the same!
You take a thermos with coffee and some pastyy or snack and you take time for Fika wherever you can.
Because Fika is a lifestyle.
A habit that we should all try to integrate into our lives.
Don’t you think?
Call it what you want.
Fika or otherwise.
Practice it wherever you want: at home or anywhere in the world.
But, give yourself a license to stop, taste and enjoy.
That’s our kind of philosophy at Nomad@50!
So how about that? Shall we Fika for a while?
BTW Thank you Sweden for Fika, for ABBA y for all the wonderfully fun inventions you bring to our lives!