Untranslatable Words #33: gökotta - connecting with nature and ourselves

Hello peeps! @ailindigo here :)

We're now on the 33rd week of Untranslatable Words and for this ocasion we're once again going to Scandinavia, specifically to Sweden, a place known for their deep conection to nature and slow life; we're diving into a word that made me reflect on that aspect of this people.

This week's word is the swedish: gökotta.

Gif by Wordstuck


Even though I don't do it often, I got up earlier than usual today; it wasn't exactly gökotta but still felt kinda nice, it made me feel better about starting my day, so I was feeling somehow more enthusiastic. I think this is what gökotta is all about.

Gökotta refers to the act of getting up early specifically to go outside and listen to birdsong.

Getting up early is an activity commonly associated to succesful people like businessmen, intellectuals and even politicians; one popular Google search is "morning routine of successful people" which yields more than 130,000 results. All of these rutines might be different from each other but what they all have in common is what lies in gökotta. Gökotta isn't only about being connected with nature but also ourselves. *

Those who choose to get up early turn their mornings into a productivity ritual that generates a positive context for the rest of the day, and that is precisely what gökotta proposes. Its proposal is that the first hours or even minutes of the morning be dedicated to an activity for oneself; even if the activity does not involve leaving the house, the gökotta's invitation still stands: to connect with ourselves and our surroundings.

The gökotta concept has a basis in biology though. According to studies published by the American Sleep Foundation, our bodies respond to the morning light that works by activating our biological clock or circadian clock. This causes an increase in hormones that promote a state of alertness in our bodies, generating more and greater activity during those times of the day.

Swedish Youtuber Jonna Jinton - Wyseink

Hal Elrod, the author of The Miracle Morning, says that we should not underestimate the power of a miracle morning routine. In his book he states that of all the habits we can learn from successful and happy people, getting up early and having a productive morning routine is not just another one of those practices but the most important. Thus, gökotta is able to generate the context for the entire rest of the day, because even if everything that happens after those first few hours or minutes of the morning is out of our control and doesn't turn out as we had planned, at least we had a small portion of the day in which we were able to do something positive for ourselves.

As I told you before, nordic countries are known worldwide for their slow lifestyle, built on different customs and trends that promote contact with nature and with oneself; in this sense, gökotta promises to make you a healthier, more productive and happier person. The story behind the literal meaning of this word comes from a swedish tradition that consists of going out to the countryside on Ascension Day (May 30) to hear the cuckoo sing for the first time in the spring; and even some churches in the region even offer the mass outside so that parishioners can listen to the songs of the cuckoo. *

I think what I like the most about gökotta is that it not only brings physical benefits like improving the quality of your sleep but also that it allows you to prepare yourself bu just setting your alarm clock a couple of hours earlier and doing any practice that helps you achieve a certain level of wellness. It allows you to build your own ritual to start the day and have it good no matter what happens in the end. Even though I'm not a morning person, I must admit that today it was really nice to get up earlier and have a bit more time to prepare myself for the day as it all actually made it a good day. I think what gökotta provides is something that for an anxious person like me is totally priceless.

What do you think? Is gökotta part of your get up rutine? Please feel free to let me know what you think in the comments!

Thank you very much for passing by! And if you have an Untranslatable Word you'd like to suggest, please don't hesitate to do so! :)

Previous Untranslatable Words:
#1: Torschlusspanik#11: sankofa#21: xibipíío - how the Pirahã deconverted a Christian man
#2: Mono no aware#12: annus mirabilis#22: aduantas - rambling between two nuances
#3: Rasāsvāda#13: voorpret#23: Eh - Canada's proud politeness
#4: Cavoli riscaldati#14: pikit mata#24: Janteloven - the egalitarian nature of Nordic countries
#5: Nefelibata#15: ranorànilac#25: Dadirri - finding the answers by contemplating ourselves
#6: Sturmfrei#16: gagung#26: catalepsy - doubting my senses
#7: Jootha#17: gumusservi#27: kiasu - Singaporeans's survival instinct
#8: bilita mpash#18: yaourter#28: dustsceawung - We are stardust
#9: resfeber#19: nunchi#29: yoisho - encouragement and reminder of strength
#10: Vāde mēcum#20: flâneur#30: hyggelig - Denmark's way of creating intimacy in cozy sorroundings

#31: orenda - God as a power of nature's energy
#32: ishin-denshin - Japanese telepathy

This content is part of a new series to get more people interested on languages and how they, perception and culture are related!

Exclusively for the Hive Cross Culture Community, the community for language exchange and cross-cultural purposes.

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