>> Friday, May 11, 2007
Gezellig (in dutch) - cute, cozy, happy. Dutch language teachers always have a problem explaining this word to foreigners because there is no direct translation in the english language. It means a cozy atmosphere, but ALSO happy, warm, nice. They always struggle to try to explain what it means and why it's not JUST cozy, or JUST happy. They usually end up saying, well, there is just no good translation.... sorry....
Hmm... actually it's super EASY to translate this word! To all the Dutch teachers everywhere here is what you say: Well students, imagine this... it's RAINIG... not just the calm sprinkling rain, but STORMY rain, accompanied by WIND! DARK clouds moving fast in the SKY! ... it's COLD (never mind the fact that it's May) the tree tops are bending.... Now students, imagine that this has been going on for days... WEEKS!!! Now imagine calling up your favorite buds and getting together in town at a cute restaurant. Inside the candles are lit... nice hot food is served... some drinks... laughter! You actually feel happy and forget that outside the weather is re-enacting the War of the Worlds. That, students is the meaning of Gezellig.
Or if you're a lazy teacher, or get paid by the hour, you can simply say: Gezellig is a word used in Northern Europe and Scandinavia to describe the brief moments of ESCAPE you feel from the constant RAIN and COLD.
Here is a cute try from Wikipedia... again, trying to describe the feeling and not mentioning the fact that its a way to forget about the never ending rain and darkness.
Now to illustrate my point. Here are a few pics taken in a SUPER gezellig restaurant nearby in town. It's inside a villa, the restaurant is on the second floor and has very funky interior, there is a lounge on the first floor featuring cozy sofas and cushy bar stools.
Coming from New York, supposed center of the world, I am very impressed with the restaurants here. First of all the food is really delicious, and every single detail is really executed with great care! I thought perhaps it would be necessary to go to Amsterdam for nice restaurants, but we have been to many right here in the area and they have been a hit every time! The interiors are always very interesting and lots of candles!
I managed to snap these photos right before the restaurant filled up and I would feel all embarrassed. Fear not people, I plan to do a lot more of such investigative reporting as I now have a handy camera phone that I can use sneakyly!