We decided to invite some of our neighbours for some advent’s “fika”. Two of them already had other plans but the other four could make it.
I had baked “lussekatter” (saffron buns), a saffron sponge cake as well as ginger snaps and some chocolate. We had some Swedish ”glögg” (mulled wine) from last years special as well as homemade ”glögg”.
We had a few nice hours together teaching them about “fika” in Sweden. “Fika” is often translated as “a coffee and cake break”, which is kind of correct, but really it is much more than that.
Fika is a concept, a state of mind, an attitude and an important part of Swedish culture. Many Swedes consider that it is almost essential to make time for fika every day. It means making time for friends and colleagues to share a cup of coffee (or tea) and a little something to eat.
Fika cannot be experienced at your desk by yourself. That would just be taking coffee and cake.
Fika is a ritual. Even the big companies stops for fika. All Swedes consider it important to make time to stop and socialise: to take a pause. It refreshes the brain and strengthens relationships. And it makes good business sense: firms have better teams and are more productive where fika is institutionalised.
Today I also got the cutest Christmas greeting from my friend Hester in the Netherlands.