5 - Word Saudade Customs and Traditions Portugal

Fado and saudade are intertwined key ideas in Portuguese culture.

This untranslatable Portuguese term refers to the melancholic longing or yearning. A recurring theme in Portuguese and Brazilian literature, saudade evokes a sense of loneliness and incompleteness. Portuguese scholar Aubrey Bell attempts to distill this complex concept in his 1912 book In Portugal, describing saudade as “a vague and constant desire for something that does not and probably cannot exist, for something other than the present.” He continues to say that saudade is “not an active discontent or poignant sadness but an indolent dreaming wistfulness.” Saudade can more casually be used to say that you miss someone or something, even if you’ll see that person or thing in the near future. It differs from nostalgia in that one can feel saudade for something that might never have happened, whereas nostalgia is “a sentimental yearning for the happiness of a former place or time.”

This is one of the most sentimental words in the Portuguese language. This emotional Portuguese word  is unique used only in this language and contains a lot of sentiment and so much emotion! The story goes that this word appeared during the time of the discoveries in Brazil, when the Portuguese started to settle in faraway lands, missing their country, family and food… alas, they had saudades. It is one of the most common words used in songs, verses and artistic manifestations, given the sentimental strength it conveys and it is therefore a classic word used in the typical Portuguese fados. After visiting Portugal, we are sure that on your return home, you will feel saudades of this little corner by the sea.