This is Randi Hacker with another Postcard from Abroad from the KU Centers for East Asian Studies and Global and International Studies.
A coffee break here in Sweden is a time to stop, leave work behind and connect with others. This is the fika tradition. Relax. It’s not a bad word. It’s a transposition of the syllables in the word for coffee – kaffe…fika. See? Fikas are pauses in the day, a time to savor the moment—with the help of coffee and a nice pastry of some sort. Swedish companies build fikas into the day because they’ve found that fikas are excellent for business. Not only are employees less stressed out when they take these regular breaks, but they are frequently better able to focus, more creative and more productive! In the USA, a coffee break at work consists of drinking a cup of Joe at your desk while sorting through your emails and fielding phone calls. Less a fika than an anti-fika, wouldn’t you say?
With thanks to Jennifer Duhamel for this text, from the KU Center for East Asian Studies, this is Randi Hacker. Wish you were here.