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Fika : Get Together, Drink Coffee & Bond

If you have never heard of the Swedish concept of FIKA, let me introduce you!  Fika is pronounced fee - ka. Fika is a Swedish word which has no proper English translation, but I like to think of it as: taking a break from work & enjoying a hot cup of tea or coffee with a friend (or a few), while chatting and enjoying a delicious pastry such as a cinnamon bun or cake. It's an important part of Swedish culture and Swedes in an office environment regularly take at least 2 Fika per day. Generally, a Fika will last between 15 minutes and 1 hour, but a weekend Fika with friends can go on for hours.   I’ve noticed Fika used as...

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Sauna Culture : Treat Your Skin

In Finland nearly 1 in 3 adults hit the sauna regularly.* *Harvard Health Publishing A traditional Finnish sauna is often a small room with wooden planks covering all surfaces from floor to ceiling.  Multi-tiered, built-in wooden benches surround a toasty wood burning stove and a basket of stones which heated from the stove, can be doused with water to increase humidity in the sauna. Birch branches sprinkled with water are called a sauna whisk - if you're in Finland, it's called a Vihta or Vasta (depending what region you're in). The sauna whisk is used to promote better circulation and relaxation, by tapping on your skin while in the sauna.  Since heat rises, choosing to sit on a higher-tiered bench would ensure...

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Hygge : All The Little Things

What is it about Hygge that makes us feel so good? Hygge defined: A quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being (regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture) - Oxford dictionary In the past couple years, Hygge (pronounced hoo-guh) has gained worldwide popularity. The Danish concept has been celebrated in The New Yorker, National Geographic, Time & Vogue - to name a few. Though some sceptics think it's nothing but a trend, Hygge has been an integral part of Danish culture for a long time.  Hygge is about being present and enjoying the moment and all those little things around us we often take for granted. There's a lot of mindfulness & gratitude...

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