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Mastering Dalmatian Fjaka

Fjaka is the latest self-help buzz word. It literally translates to ‘doing nothing’

Originating in Croatia and literally meaning, the art of ‘doing nothing’, it’s the latest self-care term doing the rounds on social media.

Anyone who has spent time on Croatia’s Dalmatian coast will know that the area is home to some fabulous traditions and interesting phenomenons. One of those phenomenons is Fjaka.

So, what is it? For those familiar with Mediterranean way of life, Spanish siesta would be the closest relative. Still, fjaka is a little bit wider term than just taking a break in the hottest part of a day. It’s hard to define it, so the best way is to use one old definition, almost scientific.

According to that interpretation, fjaka is a “psychophysical state of mind with aspiration for nothing”.  People living in a continental part of Croatia usually consider fjaka as a synonym for laziness.  In countries like India and elsewhere fjaka is being achieved through long-term starvation and meditation, in Dalmatia it is simply a gift from God.

To be truly engaging in Fjaka, you really have to be doing nothing. Like, literally nothing – ditch the TV, exercise, your to-do list and just relax.

Naturally, it’s impossible to be doing Fjaka all the time. But when was the last time you did nothing at all? When did you last sit still? Stop and rested for ten minutes with no distractions and obligations.

Believe it or not, fjaka was also a subject in some scientific papers. It sure deserves that, as important part of local mentality. It’s not a disease, after all, but “some kind of spiritual bliss”, as one writer said.

Sometimes we all need to indulge in doing nothing. It really will do wonders for your mental health.

It makes sense that Fjaka originated in Dalmatia. It’s often so hot there that the residents are literally forced to do nothing.

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