Greetings Hoogly lovers! Well, what a bizarre few weeks! With the majority of us stuck at home and ordered to stay distant from our friends and extended families, we’ve been forced to make quite a number of adjustments, both physically and mentally. This unprecedented phenomenon has led, no doubt, to many of us experiencing a wide range of emotions, some good, some bad, but in most cases shared by people all over the world who are—for perhaps the first time in human history—all in the same boat together. With this emotional journey in mind, I thought I’d explore some of the words other countries use to describe certain emotions, and the meanings behind them—drawn from Tiffany Watt Smith’s brilliant ‘The Book of Human Emotions.’ At a time when we are more separate than ever, it is comforting to discover what we have in common.
-Dolce Far Niente (Italy) This is the joy of doing nothing. This is quite apt for home-bound isolation, where it’s very easy to run out of things to occupy your time. Quite a few people, however, (if the internet is to be believed) have used their spare time very creatively, starting new projects, creating art and video content, or getting fit and healthy. Hygge aficionados, however, will tell you that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with doing proper zilch.
-Matutolypea. No-one quite knows where—or when—this word originated, but we are all familiar with it. Its name is a combination of the Roman goddess of dawn Mater Matuta, and the Greek for dejection, lype, giving us a compound, which means waking up in a foul, rotten mood.
-Ruinenlust (Germany) Feeling compelled to visit crumbling ruins and abandoned places. There is obviously an element of historical interest to this emotion, but sometimes, as the years pass, I think it’s comforting, now and again, to simply visit something that’s even older than we are…
-Oime (Japan) Feeling uncomfortable at owing someone a debt. I can vouch for this one; my best friend is always happy to sling me a fiver on Friday night—and happier still to watch me pat my pockets awkwardly on a Monday, before frog-marching me to the ATM.
-Nginyiwarrarringu (The Pintupi people of the deserts of Western Australia) This is a jolt of fear that makes a person jump up and look around, trying to discover the cause of their alarm. My greyhound does this regularly, especially in the dead of night, which sets off a chain reaction of jolts, starting with my wife, and then finally, with me. No wonder I wake up with Matutolypea.
-Kaukokaipuu (Finland) Combining kauko—faraway, and kaipuu—a yearning, this Finnish word translates as a craving for a distant land, or, perhaps, anywhere but your home. The pub will do.
-Iktsuarpok (Innuit) This is the restlessness we get when we’re expecting guests, sometimes compelling us to go outside to scan the horizon. A more contemporary reading of this may be the urge to refresh or check your phone for texts or emails. Either way, it’s a familiar, antsy and unsatisfied feeling.
-Gezelligheid (The Netherlands) This is Hygge’s cousin! Derived from the word for ‘friend’, it means both the feeling of being snug and cosy and surrounded by friends, as well as the emotional state of feeling ‘held’ and comforted. Throw in a nice cuppa and you’re on!
…And if you want a recommendation for that cuppa, then look no further than one of our most indulgent brews yet: White choc and chilli white tea! This luxurious Chinese concoction is both creamy and sweet, with cocoa shells and apple pieces complementing the elegant white tea, all underscored by the subtle and seductive warmth of chilli!
So, until next time: stay safe and boil the kettle!
Written by Chris Bedford