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Derived from the Swedish phrase Lagom 'ar bast', meaning ''the right amount is best; in moderation, in balance,'' lagom is a deeply held philosophy closely tied to the Swedish cultural and social ideology of fairness and equality. Lagom is believed to have begun with Viking culture: at gatherings, when a bowl of mead was passed around in a circle, it was important that everyone sipped ''just enough'' or their ''fair share'' so there was enough to be enjoyed by all.Deeply ingrained in the Swedish psyche, lagom is about enjoying balance in every aspect of life -- from work and leisure to family and food and everything in between. Experienced bakers know by touch when dough they're kneading is lagom -- not too moist and not too dry. At the office, professionals who work hard -- but not to the detriment of other aspects of their lives -- are following the ideal of lagom.

About the Author

Niki Brantmark

Niki Brantmark is the founder and curator of the award winning daily interior design blog My Scandinavian Home, which was inspired by her move to Sweden from London over ten years ago. Myscandinavianhome.com is extremely popular, having received over 18 million hits and averaging around 550,000 page views per month from readers all over the world. Modern Pastoral is her first book. Niki lives with her family in Malmo, Sweden.

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