According to the dictionary at reference.com, Nostalgia means a wistful desire to return in thought or in fact to a former time in one’s life, to one’s home or homeland, or to one’s family and friends; a sentimental yearning for the happiness of a former place or time.
Why am I suddenly looking up this word in the dictionary? I was reminded by a very strange news article in Mumbai mirror titled, Cow fart cans offer ‘authentic smell of countryside’.
Tins filled with the air sucked out of an ageing wooden stable, straw lined and filled with gas producing cattle has become an instant hit after it went on sale in Germany.
Managers of the ‘Countryside air to go’ project say their clients are mainly country people who have moved to the city and want to be reminded of home.
The cans cost £5 a pop and can be ordered from the web site http://www.stallduft.de. One advert boasts: ‘Simply put your nose to the tin and peel back the lid for the authentic smell of the country’.
If this is not weird, what is? I have heard of people getting nostalgic listening to songs, looking at photos, seeing some sights, visiting places and smelling some pleasant smells. But I never imagined that someone will actually sell cans filled with cow farts to help people get nostalgic. Smart marketers recognize this need of people to be in the past and create products and services that can make people feel nostalgic.
Simple nostalgia is that state that tells you things were better, healthier, happier, more civilized, and more exciting then than they are now. Pure escapism.
Nostalgia can ease life’s transitions. The groups most inclined to feel nostalgia are adolescents, longing for socially simpler days; the aging, longing for lost youth and innocence; and anyone muddling through a life crisis, who tends to remember as “the good old days” any period not containing the current crisis. We escape the present and its unpleasantness by slipping into another time, another place. There is so much stress in modern life that the marketing of nostalgia has become big business.
The ultimate statement that describes nostalgia:
Nostalgia just isn’t what it used to be.
What makes you feel nostalgic? Please share…