Do you even fjaka, bro?
Move over hygge, get lost self-care, and don't even think about conscious coupling. Fjaka is the coastal Croatian trend that is quickly becoming the next big lifestyle craze.
What exactly is fjaka (pronounce "fee-ah-ka"), you ask? Well, it's basically nothing. Or rather, the art of doing nothing. Intentionally, purposefully doing nothing, and locals up and down Croatia's Dalmatia coast have been perfecting it for generations.
Recently Croatia Week had a piece on how fjaka has been gaining popularity across the world, featured on the BBC and on the website of the Daily Mail. We noticed the phenomenon on our very first trip to Dalmatia back in 2016, although we didn't know the term at the time. To us it just seemed like everyone was just...well, lying around.
Fjaka is noticeable most in the summertime, when you can see Dalmatians of all stripes just laying on a park bench, sleeping on a beach towel, or sitting on a chair in front of their house for hours on end. They aren't reading, they aren't listening to music, they just...are.
Ask any Dalmatian and he or she will insist that fjaka is a necessary, nay integral, part of life. They claim its calming, restorative, and good for your health. Frankly, we agree.
In today's modern world doing nothing seems if not lazy then just downright irresponsible. Our lives are a never-ending series of work tasks, errands, soccer meetings, text messages, Facebook likes, Netflix binges...the list goes on. Taking some time out of your day or week to consciously opt out of the rat race and do nothing except exist in that exact moment seems revolutionary, almost dangerous.
This May we're making a lot of changes both in our personal and professional lives, and one thing we're going to adopt is the fjaka. We will take some time to sit and do nothing, whether that's on our bed staring up at the ceiling or on a park bench watching the world go by. We will shut off our phones and our alerts and our brains and take a few minutes to just be.
It's not meditation, it's not intentional living, its simply fjaka. Won't you join us?