Our most beautiful, and absolutely unique word is so full of feelings and soul - so brazilian... :)
Saudade (singular) or saudades (plural) is a Portuguese word that can be translated as "longing, yearning", which describes a deep emotional state of nostalgic longing for something or someone that one loves and which is apart. It often carries a repressed knowledge that the object of longing might never return.
Saudade has been described as a "vague and constant desire for something that does not and probably cannot exist ... a turning towards the past or towards the future" A stronger form of saudade may be felt towards people and things whose whereabouts are unknown, such as a lost lover, or a family member who has gone missing. It may also be translated as a deep longing or yearning for something which does not exist or is unattainable.
Saudade was once described as "the love that remains" or "the love that stays" after someone is gone. Saudade is the recollection of feelings, experiences, places or events that once brought excitement, pleasure, well-being, which now triggers the senses and makes one live again. It can be described as an emptiness, like someone (e.g., one's children, parents, sibling, grandparents, friends, pets) or something (e.g., places, things one used to do in childhood, or other activities performed in the past) should be there in a particular moment is missing, and the individual feels this absence. In Portuguese, 'tenho saudades tuas', translates as 'I have saudades of you' meaning 'I miss you', but carries a much stronger tone. In fact, one can have 'saudades' of someone whom one is with, but have some feeling of loss towards the past or the future.
Origins - PortugalThe word saudade was used in the Cancioneiro da Ajuda (13th-century), Cancioneiro do Vaticano and by poets of the time of by King Denis of Portugal. Some specialists say the word may have originated during the great Portuguese discoveries, giving meaning to the sadness felt about those who departed on journeys to unknown seas and disappeared in shipwrecks, died in battle, or simply never returned. Those who stayed behind—mostly women and children—suffered deeply in their absence; However, the Portuguese discoveries only started in 1415 and since the word has been found earlier this does not constitute a very good explanation. The Reconquista is also a plausible explanation.
The state of mind has subsequently become a "Portuguese way of life": a constant feeling of absence, the sadness of something that's missing, wishful longing for completeness or wholeness and the yearning for the return of that now gone, a desire for presence as opposed to absence—as it is said in Portuguese, a strong desire to "matar as saudades" (lit. to kill the saudades).
In the latter half of the 20th century, saudade became associated with the feeling of longing for one's homeland, as hundreds of thousands of Portuguese-speaking people left in search of better futures in South America, North America, and Western Europe. Besides the implications derived from an emigratory trend from the motherland, historically speaking saudade is the term associated with the decline of Portugal's role in world politics and trade. During the so-called 'Golden Age', synonymous with the era of discoveries, Portugal undeniably rose to the status of a world power, and its monarchy was one of the richest in Europe at the time. But with the rise of competition from other European nations, the country went both colonially and economically into a prolonged period of decay. This period of decline and resignation from the world's cultural stage marked the rise of saudade, aptly described by a sentence of its national anthem—'Levantai hoje de novo o esplendor de Portugal' (Let us once again lift up the splendour of Portugal).