Image: Clair Strong Interior Design
The Danish concept of hygge took the world by storm in 2016. Celebrating the cosy, joyful moments of every single day is a lifestyle we could all benefit from. Especially during winter.
But it’s not just the perpetually happy Danes who have embraced meaningful ways of living. There are cultures all around the world with their own lifestyle concepts. Here are three worth trying in 2017.
Wabi-sabi is a centuries-old Japanese aesthetic and spiritual concept. It is a celebration and acceptance of the imperfect, the worn, and the cracked. It is a way of living that encourages mindfulness and contemplation, rather than sheer consumption.
Wabi-sabi is the antithesis of excess and opulence, a shunning of perfection and symmetry. It prefers handmade to machine-made and natural materials to plastic. It has been most concisely described by author Taro Gold as, “the wisdom and beauty of imperfection.”
Lagom has been touted by many lifestyle magazines as the heir to the hygge throne, but the concepts are quite different. Lagom is all about contentment, about having ‘just enough’. It shares some similarities with wabi-sabi in that it is very modest, austere and simple. It encourages moderation; not too little, not too much.
From their fashion to their food, the Swedes embody this moderation concept. Their clothing is timeless, not trendy. Food is prepared with simple, natural ingredients and enjoyed modestly. And Scandi design – famous all over the world – focuses on simple, stylish and sustainable functionality.
In India, where resources can be extremely scarce, a spirit of innovation thrives. This is known as jugaad, which has no English translation but is essentially a ‘hack’.
It’s about finding unique, often frugal, fixes to all kinds of problems. It bends the rules, finds new uses for existing materials and is the ultimate expression of creativity. It reduces waste and cuts back on consumption all whilst fostering a distinct sense of satisfaction.
It’s even been adopted as a management technique by companies hoping to encourage creativity and lateral thinking in their employees.