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更新時間:2019/5/11 9:39:58 來源:紐約時報中文網 作者:佚名

What to do when hygge no longer works
人生哲學︰快樂的丹麥人如何化解逆境

Danes, often hailed as some of the happiest people on Earth, love nothing more than to hygge. That could mean reading a book while snuggling in a blanket (likely made from wool from a sheep on the Faroe Islands, also part of Denmark), or a cosy night in with loved ones, laughing in the velvety candlelight with a cup of hot chocolate, gløgg (mulled wine) or coffee, depending on the time of day and year.

丹麥人常被譽為全世界最快樂的人,他們最喜歡的就是hygge(指舒適愜意的感覺),可以是舒舒服服蜷在毛毯里讀書(毛毯很可能是用丹麥法羅群島的羊毛做的),也可以是和摯愛一起享受悠閑的晚間時光,在柔和的燭光里喝著熱巧克力、熱紅酒或者咖啡縱情歡笑——這要看是什麼月份和時間。

But this picture is almost too idyllic. Too perfect. As a hygge-loving Dane, I can say for sure that even Danes have rainy days. So what do we do, then, when there isn’t any help to be had from these cosy accompaniments?

但這樣的畫面太過詩情畫意,太過完美。作為一個崇尚hygge的丹麥人,我可以很肯定地說,丹麥人也有不好過的日子。那麼,當這些愜意舒適的東西都于事無補時,我們怎麼辦呢?

We say the magical word: ‘pyt’ [‘pyd’]. Or press ‘pyt-knappen’ (the ‘pyt’ button).

Just like ‘hygge’, ‘pyt’ does not have a direct English translation. Some interpretations include ‘never mind’, ‘don’t worry’ or ‘forget about it’ but these expressions don’t convey the positive aspect of the word. ‘Pyt’ is used to express that you accept a situation is out of your control, and even though you might be annoyed or frustrated, you decide not to waste unnecessary energy on thinking more about it. You accept it and move on. ‘Pyt’ is also used to comfort other people and diffuse unfortunate situations.

和hygge一樣,pyt也沒法直接翻譯。有些說成是“別介意”、“別擔心”或者“算了吧”,但都沒有表達出它積極的一面。Pyt是說,你接受了自己無能為力的事實,就算生氣或者沮喪,也決定不再浪費不必要的精力去多想。接受現狀,開始新篇章。Pyt還可以用來安慰別人,舒緩不如意的境況。

‘Pyt’ is so beloved by Danes that in September 2018 it was chosen as the nation’s favourite word in a competition held by the Danish Library Association during the country’s annual ‘Library Week’. Interestingly, ‘hygge’ didn’t even make the winning shortlist.

Pyt很受丹麥人喜愛。2018年9月,丹麥圖書館協會在丹麥一年一度的圖書館周期間發起了一項評比, pyt當選為丹麥最受喜愛的單詞。有趣的是,hygge居然都沒入圍。

Steen Bording Andersen, president of the Danish Library Association, sees the win as a reflection of our stressful lives that Danes want to take it easy and relax. “I think it's a rebellion against a Danish cultural trait of being good at complaining and finding faults,” he explained. “It goes somewhat against the zeitgeist that ‘pyt’ was chosen. But it reminds us that things could be worse.”

協會主席安德森(Steen Bording Andersen)認為,pyt獲獎反映了丹麥人壓力繁重的生活——不想太緊張,想要放松一點。他解釋說︰“這是在對丹麥喜歡抱怨和挑毛病的文化特質做出反叛,pyt當選從某種意義上來說與這一時期丹麥的主流思想相悖。不過這提醒我們,情況可能還會更糟。”

The popularity of the word doesn’t surprise Chris MacDonald, physiologist, writer and public speaker who moved to Denmark from the US 20 years ago. In his fascinating article for Danish national newspaper Berlingske, What Denmark has taught me about happiness, he writes, “Pyt is one of my favourite words; it’s the most positive sound I have ever heard. And it has an enormous power when it comes to letting go of things we can’t change. There is so much relief in that word.”

麥克唐納(Chris MacDonald)對這個單詞的流行並不驚訝。麥克唐納是一位生理學家、作家兼公共演講人,20年前從美國移居丹麥。他曾在丹麥國家報紙《貝林時報》(Berlingske)上發表了一篇有趣的文章《丹麥教給我的快樂》(What Denmark has taught me about happiness),文中寫道︰“Pyt是我最喜歡的單詞之一,是我听過最積極向上的聲音。它蘊藏著一股巨大的力量——無力改變的事情就隨它去吧,當中飽含了寬慰與解脫。”

He came across ‘pyt’ when first learning Danish. “Danish is an exceptionally monotonous language. It’s like listening to a musician with a limited range. Then I started to notice this one word that stuck out; not only did it stick out from the Danish range, it also had a nice sound to it,” he said.

他是在剛開始學丹麥語時接觸到的pyt一詞。他說︰“丹麥語是一種極其單調乏味的語言,听起來就像是一個音域有限的音樂家在演奏。然後我注意到了這個與眾不同的單詞,它不僅在丹麥語中很特別,發音還很好听。”

It’s true that Danish will probably never be voted the world’s most romantic language due to its many hard and guttural sounds. However, the sound of ‘pyt’ is delicate and soft. During my interviews with MacDonald, we talked about how ‘pyt’ is usually used to show acceptance of a frustrating and unchangeable but not life-threatening or life-altering situation. Part of that is obviously the meaning of the word, but it’s also the feeling and atmosphere the sound of ‘pyt’ creates.

丹麥語有很多難發的喉音,可能永遠無法當選為世界上最浪漫的語言,但pyt的發音卻非常細膩輕柔。采訪麥克唐納時我們聊到,通常是如何用pyt來表現人們接受了那些令人沮喪卻又無法改變的境況,當然情況還不至于威脅生命或是改變人生。詞意當然是一個方面,但與單詞發音所創造的感情和氣氛也有關。

As Jonas Jensen, senior editor of Den Danske Ordbog (The Danish Dictionary) explained, “...within phonetics ‘i’ and ‘y’ are often considered lighter and more optimistic than the more rounded vocals such as ‘o’ and ‘u’… [Pyt] is a word that's nice to say.”

延森(Jonas Jensen)是《丹麥語詞典》(Den Danske Ordbog)的高級編輯,他表示︰“……在語音學里,相較于‘o’和‘u’這些更為圓潤的元音,‘i’和‘y’的發音要輕一些,感覺也更積極向上……pyt說起來很好听。”

But while the Danish language is full of linguistic valleys and mountains with Jensen even introducing me to the expression ‘Danish isn’t a language but a throat disease’ the same cannot be said of the country’s landscape. Denmark is probably one of the world’s most bicycle-friendly countries, due to its mostly flat terrain. However, no-one can prepare for freak accidents, which my family and I learnt from a British couple who decided to explore Jutland on their bikes more than 20 years ago.

盡管丹麥語在語言學上“山難水險障礙重重”,延森說有人甚至形容“丹麥語不是一種語言,而是一種喉嚨病”,但丹麥的風景可並非如此。丹麥可能是世界上最適合騎單車的國家之一,因為地勢大多平坦。但離奇的事故還是會發生,這是我和家人從一對英國夫婦那兒學到的,這對夫婦20多年前決定騎單車一探日德蘭半島(Jutland )。

Towards the end of their holiday, the wife fell off her bike and broke her collarbone. They happened to be outside a little town called Sønder Omme, about 20km from Billund (home to the original Legoland), and easily found the local surgery. The doctor on duty (my father) took the couple to hospital for treatment in the next town. As she was taken to X-ray and later patched up, my dad called my mum to say he'd be home later than usual. As he was explaining the situation, my mother suggested he invite them over for dinner. By the end of the day, not only had the British couple experienced free Danish healthcare and eaten with a local family, they’d also been introduced to the word ‘pyt’ and its ability to diffuse a tense situation.

假期接近尾聲時,妻子從單車上摔了下來,摔斷了鎖骨。他們當時在一個名為南奧默(Sønder Omme)的小鎮附近,距離比。illund,第一個樂高樂園就在這里)大約20公里,很快便找到了當地的外科醫生,值班醫生(我父親)把他們帶到了隔壁鎮上的醫院治療。那位妻子被帶去做X光檢查和接受處理時,我父親打電話給我母親說他今天要晚點回家,解釋了情況之後母親提議請這對夫婦到家里吃飯。最後,這對英國夫婦不僅體驗了免費的丹麥醫療,和當地人吃了飯,還知道了pyt這個詞,以及它舒緩緊張情況的本事。

I don’t remember what we ate, but knowing my unflappable mother and the short notice she was given, it was most likely leftovers put together in some pretty dishes, laid out on a tablecloth with matching napkins and crockery. When we were all sitting down, with food on our plates and red wine in our glasses, my father raised his glass for the traditional before-we-eat ‘skål’ (cheers). As the British man reached for his glass to join in, he knocked red wine all over the white tablecloth. There was silence. The wife turned to her husband with a look of profound displeasure, when whatever she was about to say was interrupted by my mother. “PYYYYT med det! (Don’t worry about that!) We’ll wash the tablecloth tomorrow,” she exclaimed. The rest of the evening was pure ‘hygge’, and the couple came over for dinner again a couple of days later. The power of ‘pyt’ had changed the atmosphere from potentially bleak to one of relief.

我不記得吃了什麼,但在這麼臨時的情況下,我那臨危不亂的母親很可能就是把剩菜剩飯擺在了漂亮的盤子里,放在桌布上,再搭配好餐巾紙和餐具。大家坐定,盤子里盛好了食物杯子里斟上了紅酒,我父親舉起酒杯,按照傳統禮儀在開動前先干一杯。英國男士伸手去拿酒,卻把酒杯撞倒了,紅酒全灑在了白色的桌布上。一陣沉默。他的妻子轉頭看著丈夫,一臉深深的不滿,但還沒等她開口我母親就把她打斷了。“PYYYYT med det!(別擔心。┤頤敲魈煲 醋啦寄。”她大聲說。之後的時光完全是在hygge中度過的,過了幾天這對夫婦又來我家吃了晚飯。是pyt的力量將可能出現的尷尬與不快變成了寬慰與釋懷。

The power of the word has been harnessed in other ways, too. It’s passed down to children at kindergarten and primary school through the introduction of a ‘pyt’ button. This is usually just a plastic lid with ‘PYT’ written on it, glued to a piece of cardboard and placed somewhere centrally in the classroom, to be used in situations where children feel upset about not coming first in a race or winning a game. Essentially, they learn from an early age that losing is OK, as this is also part of real life.

Pyt的力量也有其他使用方式。幼兒園和小學里安裝了pyt按鈕,孩子們也知道了這個詞。按鈕通常只是一個寫著pyt的塑料蓋,粘到硬紙板上放在教室中間。當孩子們因為沒在競賽中拿到第一,或者因為輸了比賽而傷心失落時就按下它,實質上是讓他們在很小的時候就認識到輸了也沒關系,輸也是現實生活的一部分。

Charlotte Sørensen, a head teacher at Søndervangskolen in the town of Hammel, Jutland, told me: “The ‘pyt’ button is genius. It doesn’t work for all children, but for some of them, it’s great. The action of pressing a physical button seems to help them clear their minds and move on.”

瑟倫森(Charlotte Sørensen)是日德蘭半島哈默爾鎮(Hammel)南德萬斯科倫學校(Søndervangskolen)的校長,她告訴我︰“這個按鈕簡直太神了。它並不是對所有孩子都有效,但對有些孩子很有用,這太棒了。真實按下這個按鈕似乎能夠幫助他們打點心智,開始新篇章。”

Visitors to Denmark can even buy their own version of the ‘pyt’ button in local shops. These red-and-white plastic buttons resemble the ones that contestants in TV game shows press when they have the right answer. Press it and you’ll hear the word ‘pyt’, reminding you to step back from the situation and refocus. I even received a ‘deluxe’ version for Christmas that had a recorded sentence of encouragement: ‘Take a deep breath. Everything is going to be alright’.

來丹麥的游客甚至可以在當地商店買到專屬的pyt按鈕。這些紅白相間的塑料按鈕就像電視游戲節目中選手知道正確答案後按的那種按鈕。一按就會听到pyt,提醒你從當下的情況中退後一步,重新集中精力。我甚至還在聖誕節收到了一個“豪華”版,它還錄了一句鼓勵的話︰“深呼吸,一切都會好起來的。”

The word seems especially appropriate in a country with incredibly unreliable weather. Over the years, I have been part of numerous last-minute changes of plans, when optimism once again took over reality. Picnics and barbecues have been moved inside, and beach trips turned into visits to indoor pools. Each time one or more ‘pyts’ have been uttered, deep breaths taken and a plan B drawn up.

在天氣極其不靠譜的國家,這個單詞似乎特別合適。這些年,我常常在最後時刻改變計劃,樂觀一次次戰勝現實。野餐和燒烤移到了室內,海灘旅行變成了室內游泳。每次都會念出一個或者好幾個pyt,做幾個深呼吸,新方案也想好了。

And I’ve learned that these alternative plans often end up being ‘hyggeligere’ (cosier) than the original ones.

而且我發現,這些替代方案常常都比最初的“hyggeligere”(更加愜意舒適)。

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