Have you ever read the page about Denmark on Wikipedia? You probably know that Denmark is consistently at the top of the charts as a great place to live – the people seem to be so happy. But why?
First, let’s see what Wikipedia has to say:
Denmark is considered to be one of the most economically and socially developed countries in the world. Danes enjoy a high standard of living and the country ranks highly in some metrics of national performance, including education, health care, protection of civil liberties, democratic governance, prosperity, and human development. The country ranks as having the world’s highest social mobility, a high level of income equality, is among the countries with the lowest perceived levels of corruption in the world, the eleventh-most developed in the world, has one of the world’s highest per capita incomes.
Now, if I told you that a great part of the happiness that exists in Denmark is a simple three-letter word, then perhaps you’d consider me to be crazy.
Yet back in 2018, Danes were asked to vote for their favourite word – and the clear winner was ‘pyt’, a word that doesn’t directly translate into the English language.
However, the meaning is a stress reliever that is part of the Danish culture. Imagine if you’d been brought up with it. Its meaning is nothing unusual – to them – and it translates into what I sometimes refer to as the ‘f*** it’ switch in my head.
You see, ‘pyt’ means ‘don’t worry about it’, don’t let it bother you’, ‘forget about it’, ‘it’s not important’ – or something along those lines.
This is a great attitude, isn’t it? The Danes don’t – to use an overworked American expression – ‘sweat the small stuff’. They appreciate that so many of life’s problems really don’t matter. The power of the word is to remind people that they should let go of things that they can’t change. Worrying about things that happened in the past is a great example.
WATCH AN AMERICAN AND A DANE IN CONVERSATION