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Lagom: The Swedish Art of Balanced Living

Linnea Dunne

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Sweden, Prose: non-fiction, Society & culture: general, Cultural studies, Mind, Body, Spirit: thought & practice, Lifestyle & personal style guides

Discover the Swedish ethos of balanced living with LAGOM.

Lagom (pronounced 'lar-gom') has no equivalent in the English language but is loosely translated as 'not too little, not too much, just right'. It is widely believed that the word comes from the Viking term 'laget om', for when a mug of mead was passed around a circle and there was just enough for everyone to get a sip. But while the anecdote may hit the nail on the head, the true etymology of the word points to an old form of the word 'lag', which means 'law'.

Far from restrictive, lagom is a liberating concept, praising the idea that anything more that 'just enough' is a waste of time. Crucially it also comes with a selflessness and core belief of responsibility and common good. By living lagom you can live a happier and more balanced life, reduce your environmental impact, improve your work-life balance, free your home from clutter, enjoy good food the Swedish way, grow your own and learn to forage, and cherish the relationships with those you love.

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Linnea Dunne

Linnea Dunne was born and raised in Sweden, where she started her writing career as a columnist at the local newspaper aged 15. She left for Ireland a few years later and eventually moved to London, where she studied Creative Writing and Political Communications. She now lives in Dublin with her husband and two half-Swedish kids, trying to achieve that lagom balance against all odds.

Linnea's work on subjects ranging from motherhood to women's rights and media narratives has been published by (among others) the Irish Times, the Guardian and the Irish Independent, and she also works as Editor of Scan Magazine. The irony of the fact that she escaped her home country, never made it back, and now spends the majority of her day writing about Scandinavian culture, innovation and trends is lost on no one.

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