Cozy Cabin Culture
During the last two years of my stay in Norway, I have been to a cabin twice as to date of writing. Never did I imagine I will get the chance to do so. I consider the culture strange enough for me to try. Nevertheless, I tried and somehow I got to understand what this summer cultural phenomenon is all about. In this blogpost, I will try to give a glimpse what it is according to how I perceive it.
Time for family and friends.
When one is invited to a cabin, it could be exclusive to a certain group or a way to know others more through groups of close friends. One gets to mingle to anyone using neutral topics, like vacation, food and funny memorable experiences. Those topics form the tip of the iceberg.. As the time goes, people get to share more and more, such that people, who had a good initial conversations could somehow talk about certain common friends and some family matters.
It is therefore important to remember the three rules in chatting. First, talk most about neutral topics. Never start with serious matters right away or anything about religion or political issues. That is never a good way to start a conversation. Secondly, be courteous to ask anything with the person besides you or near you. There will be small groups to be formed later on, but it is crucial one shows warmth by knowing, who the person next to you. And lastly, it is a must one establishes kinship to the person, who invited everyone. Perhaps, you could say, "I am the friend of a friend of the brother of the person who invited us." I think from there, a conversation will start.
Time for pleasure.
Food is shared. However, one must expect that food served is good with wine or alcohol. It is divided with a starter, main course, dessert and after-snacks such as grilled food. One could ofcourse bring food to share with others, as well as drinks to share. The concept is to stimulate lengthy conversations while everyone is eating and drinking. Usually, when the main course is served, everyone is seated in a long table, but other than that, one could eat as much as he or she could until the food is empty. One rule perhaps is applicable here, that is, invite others to eat and drink more. So just ask.
There are also other activities, one can do in the cabin. One could participate in household chores after mealtime, do bored games or perhaps walk around the cabin area. If the cabin is situated on the mountain, go hiking; but if there is a body of water near, one could either swim, or watch others swim and enjoy the sun and the environment. The best rule with regards to these activities is to do them in groups, not as a solitary thing. It is therefore almost prohibited to stare on mobile phones or electronic gadgets for a long time. The time is for others present there, rather than those who are only reachable through the phone.
Time for solace and reflection.
One could ofcourse choose to sleep in the cabin, or go home if it is not far from home. However, the concept of cozy cabins is to create an environment away from the usual busy routines or from home. It is a sort of pause in one's life, when one is allowed to forget everything serious and monotonous. The best description of the culture is living here and now. It is a sort of reflecting whether one is really happy at that moment in one's life, regardless of the past and the future. It is a way to enjoy life today, without being anxious about anything not present there.
It also provides time for oneself. To see life in an egoistic perspective is something one must do sometimes. It helps evaluate that in life, one has three lives: sleeping life, social life and personal life. There should be a balance of these three to achieve real happiness. Thinking of work as a way to advance one's career therefore is useless without sleep and being with others importabt to us. Thus, inside cabins, one gets to experience these three lives in harmony. Be with friends while having a time for oneself and get the opportunity to rest and sleep. This is no doubt the cozy cabin's culture's advantage!