Members in the Media
From: BBC

What can Different Cultures Teach Us About Boredom?

In her book How Emotions Are Made, professor of psychology at Northeastern University Lisa Feldman Barrett‎ explains that emotions are not universal – there is no one experience of fear or happiness or anger that everyone shares. Instead, emotions are shaped by our cultural and social background, and sometimes the words we use to describe them.

Because of the subtle differences that our language makes in how we perceive emotions, it’s not trivial that the French word for boredom – ennui – evokes creative listlessness, while the German – langeweile, a compound of “long” and “time” – is more literal. In Russian-speaking countries, boredom is skuka, an onomatopoeic word for the sound a chicken makes. There’s also kukovat, the Russian for “cuckoo”, which means “to waste one’s time”. People take inspiration for words from the things around them.

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