Daniel Santos


Saudade is a Portuguese word that has no direct English translation, and no direct translation in any other languages, as long as I'm aware of it.

Anyway, saudade is often described as a melancholic longing or nostalgia for something or someone that is absent. Saudade carries a complex emotional weight, capturing a blend of sadness, yearning, and appreciation.

At its core, saudade reflects a bittersweet sentiment — a wistful remembrance of past experiences, relationships, or moments that can hardly, or never, be fully recaptured. Saudade is this feeling which encompasses a desire to reconnect with something that is now lost or unreachable, even if sometimes just temporarily, but, more often than not, for good, whether it be a person, a place, or a time.

The word is deeply rooted in Portuguese and Brazilian culture, where it is seen as a quintessential part of the national psyche. Saudade can evoke feelings of loss, but also a profound sense of gratitude and reverence for the memories and experiences that have shaped one's life.

Unlike mere nostalgia, saudade often carries an element of hope — a belief that the longed-for person or thing will return, or that the cherished memory will somehow be restored. This blend of melancholy and optimism is what gives saudade its unique and complex emotional resonance.

I'm glad I can feel saudade. Currently the ones I miss the most, therefore are the objects of my saudades, are my grandma, who left us in 2012; and my son, currently studying abroad, in Japan.