|A gezellige sfeer is created by the light of a theelichtje.|
To be gezellig is:
1. Having enjoyable company; experiencing a very friendly and pleasant ambiance.
2. An warm feel about surroundings; a sense of belonging; a cozy atmosphere.
3. The warm-hearted feeling felt when seeing something nice or pleasing.
There are so many ways to use the word gezellig. An object can be gezellig. A room can be gezellig. Friends can be gezellig. An evening out can be gezellig. A party can be gezellig... It might also be used sarcastically: “We're driving an hour and a half to Eindhoven to see my mother-in-law today... oh, how gezellig.” No matter how it's used, you will hear the Dutch say it often, and it's one of those words which is difficult to translate from Dutch to English because the word conveys a sense or a tone.
If you want to know how to pronounce gezellig, click here and listen to Marjolijn's version.
Gezellig was one of those things that I clung to whenever I got a bit sad or tired of the standard Dutch weather [it rains often in the Netherlands], but I also often tried to create a gezellig atmosphere at home for either myself or friends and loved ones for many happy occasions. For example, Friday and Saturday evenings meant the theelichtjes would be lit, hapjes [English: snacks] and drinks would be klaar [English: ready to go], and my company could enjoy kletsen [English: chatting] or televisie kijken [English: watching TV]. Now that I live in a climate which is prone to be more sunny and warm, I find myself almost instinctively looking for new ways to introduce gezellig. It's interesting to try to find it in my new surroundings because people generally celebrate together differently than they would in the Netherlands. In Australia, they note to me how “stiff” the Dutch seem to be, which makes sense when they're compared to the laid-back Aussie. Australians are more like Americans or Canadians, which makes adjusting far more easy for me, but it also makes me appreciate the styles I learned in the Netherlands because I notice more often those things around me that I might normally take for granted. I have been exposed to more in life than many of those around me down here, so I therefore see my having been exposed to the Dutch culture as a very good thing; very enriching and not “stiff” at all!
|Australia-shaped burgers on the barby.|
a gezellige sfeer here Down Under?
I combine things I enjoy from all of the cultures I've ever lived in, or else I simply embrace the pleasures in the culture around me. This could be even simply:
· Firing up the barby [barbecue] and invite friends over for bangers [sausages; Dutch: worsten] or banger sangers [sausage sandwiches; Dutch: worstenbroodjes].
· Going to the beach to relax or to play in the surf.
· Going to the park and have a picnic.
· Playing tourist and do a little bit of sightseeing.
· Shopping with a friend, especially in shops that are in an area of the city that I've never visited.
· Going to a party [birthdays here are celebrated generally how the Americans celebrate it].
· Enjoying an evening out.
· Meeting a friend for coffee or lunch at a café in a different area of town.
· Meeting up with friends in a pub for drinks after work.
· A weekend away up in the Blue Mountains or the Hunter Valley.
I'll be mostly offline for the month of April, as I'm going on a gezellig trip to visit friends who are getting married, plus much more. If you wish to leave a comment, please keep in mind that it might take me a few days to get to it. Thanks and ik wens jullie allemaal een fijne maand! [I wish you all a nice month!]