Ahh this moment is so good … I’m flowing! I believe I was first introduced to Nuannaarpoq through “The Back Door Guide to Short-Term Job Adventures”
by Michael Landes. Below is a paraphrasing.
“How often do you find yourself taking extravagant pleasure in being alive? When hiking over the crest of a snowy ridge in the heart of a vast wilderness, the world seemingly unfolds in front of us. At once we can embrace endless miles of ridges, peaks, and valleys. An inner joy bubbles up within each one of us. Overtaken with the beauty of the moment, one of us spontaneously shouts out, nuannaarpoq!
Later passing through a mountain meadow, we come upon a patch of small wildflowers. Their crimson beauty shows us the first signs of summer after many days of traveling on snow. The group gasps in awe, and all that is heard is a subtle nuannaarpoq.
Is it possible to express the feelings of such special moments in words, mere words? Some people used to be skeptical, purists really, who felt the joy of the moment alone would suffice, that was until everyone learned of nuannaarpoq. Nuannaarpoq is an Alaskan Inuit expression. Those who live by this expression live with a deep respect for the natural world and have learned to appreciate and celebrate all the wonders of nature. They use the word nuannaarpoq to express their reverence and pleasure. Are you aware of such moments of extravagant pleasure? Do you share this with others? Nuannaarpoq is about awareness, about finding and celebrating beauty in the simple things in life. It is the key word for opening up eyes and creating an excitement for life. It is a way to express our celebration of the present moment and for expressing deep joy. Begin making this newfound awareness a daily part of your life and extend your joy to others. After all, excitement for life is contagious. Nuannaarpoq!
Nuannaarpoq: a particularly beautiful Inuit word meaning “taking an inordinate pleasure in being alive” or maybe “the extravagant pleasure of being alive”.
The first syllable is sounded with two vowels: noo’en; the double “a” in the second syllable represents a long ah sound; the last syllable is pronounced like “pock”, except with the “k” coming from ‘way back on the soft palate – the phonetic term would an unvoiced uvular plosive, if that’s any help. (Imagine a small tablet has stuck to the back of your soft palate in a public place. Now try to dislodge it discreetly; ie without sticking your fingers in your mouth or actively gagging. That’s the sound you’re after.)