In Sweden, on Friday evenings, there is a special ritual that takes place. Jennie, a native and regular follower of this ritual, explains the meaning of this routine at the end of a long work week.
“There is a Swedish expression that completely has taken over TV-commercials, ads, magazines and people’s Facebook statuses around 4pm on Friday afternoon. Fredagsmys. Friday cosiness. This fredagsmys pretty much sums up everthing the Swedes want in a Friday night (fredagskväll) and I will make a brave statement here and claim that today, fredagsmys is more Swedish than a night out on the town getting stupidly drunk. Fredagsmys has become a movement and the number of supporters are massive.”
“So what is this fredagsmys then? It’s a modern and very easy ritual of celebrating the arrival of the weekend (helg) and the peace and quiet after a hard week (vecka). Bascially, all you need is comfortable clothes, fun food, lots of snacks, drinks of your choice and one or two must-not-miss-TV-programs. If you have someone or a few to share the fredagsmys with it’s even better, but I’m going to make another brave statement here and claim that fredagsmys have made it more legitimate to stay home on your own. “Thanks for asking, but no, tonight I’m just going to stay in and enjoy some Friday cosiness in front of the TV”. Not many will argue against, I promise you.”
“The expression fredagsmys has been around for many years, and by 2007 it was so adapted by the Swedes that it entered the dictionary. You can even find recipe books with specially designed fredagsmys food, and lately I have even seen people dressed in t-shirts saying “I (heart) fredagsmys”. Not to mention all the Facebook status updates about the awaiting fredagsmys and I lost count a long time ago of all the groups created for or against fredagsmys. Because just like all new movements, the fredagsmys has many opponents who happily would stay in and watch telly on a Friday night, but they would rather die than call it fredagsmys. The fredagsmys enemies (fiender). They are many and are increasing in number, but still, they are nowhere near the huge amount of true and cosy Swedes out there.”
“So, who or what is responsible for this wave of snacks, pizzas and cosiness that has hit Sweden so hard? Well to start with: the darkness and the cold. Swedes love going out and being out during the few month of light and sunshine we get every year. But when October is upon us, a sofa, an episode of “Swedish Idol” and a pizza delivery is all we need. Also, when times are bad, we tend to stay in more. Isn’t it clever to label a simple night in as something more of a ritual, a tradition, a festive occation?”
“Clever is the true word for it, indeed.”