30 Apr

Past Lessons from the Vikings

In spite of our technological advancements, when we look back to the tribal cultures of the Scandinavian period, we can learn so much primal wisdom from these people who lived in awe of the unspoken rules of nature.

The Vikings from the Scandinavian period are one of the most well known indigenous tribes of history. They are popularly known for their distinctive voyages of plundering and pillaging. They were very prominent tribes who lived around the areas of central and northern Europe as well as the European Russia. When we look past their brutal and bloodthirsty battles, there is actually so much that we can learn from the early residents of the world.

1. CLEANLINESS

If you’re picturing a Viking walking around with the strong stench of sweat and blood after all the raiding and rowing, you might want to reconsider. Archaeological excavations and investigations have proven that these early tribes used razors, combs and even tweezers! They constructed it from the bones of animals. They also took a bath at least once in a week which is actually more than the neighbouring Europeans.

In a world of easy access to showers and electronic razors, what is our excuse?

2. SENSE OF PURPOSE

The Vikings gave a lot of importance to fate. They had the belief that every person was given a purpose in their life time – be it a mother, a fighter or a healer. They respected the individuality of each person and tattooed their own unique identities or other types of body art that included piercings, the carving of skin (ouch!), etc.

3. UNWAVERING LOYALTY

Do we stick by our friends, or significant others no matter what, regardless of the circumstances? Perhaps, but not to the extent of the Vikings.

the Vikings did not follow an organized form of battle discipline and tactics. However, they did great because of their unwavering loyalty. They always travelled in groups. So much so that they even pulled massive ships onto land just so that they can change rivers!

In an era of cut-throat competition in the corporate world, would you stand by your co-worker when he is facing opposition and misunderstanding from an intimidating board of Directors?

4. ENJOYING LIFE

The Vikings worked hard, but they also played just as hard.
When they were not hard at work in trading, raiding towns and villages, they played sports like skiing, blood sports and wrestling. They even had a skiing god called Ullr.

You’re always under pressure to make it big in our world but, it’s best to loosen up sometimes. Cut yourself some slack and reward yourself to some playtime before you work yourself out.

5. ELDER WISDOM

Gaining wisdom was a fundamental aspect of Viking life. It was passed down from one generation to another as they grew and accumulated over the passing years. Stories were narrated at gatherings and feasts, and the younger generation learned the customs and traditions of their tribe.

But could we claim to do the same today? So many elders are considered more of a burden, let alone a source of knowledge.  It would do us good to stop and absorb their knowledge – nothing beats the knowledge gained from generations of experience.

6. EMBRACING MORTALITY

The Vikings lived in an era of constant battles – raiding and conquering and they embraced death without fear. When leaders and war martyrs died, it was celebrated in big ways. They believed in the afterlife and death was just a passage to another world. Ship burial was a common tradition.

They laid the dead in a ship or boat and place grave offerings depending on the status he had on earth. How would it feel if we embraced death like the Vikings? Would it make us appreciate life even more?

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