This was a real good time that I spent with you all. Now I have dear friends all over the world and, even considering that I miss many things from my home and my culture, for sure I am going to miss all the things about you and your different and vibrant cultures.
But maybe I can leave something of my own culture with you all, something less exotic than big distances, massive cities, endless forests, curious and weird social habits, beautifull beaches and violent movies.
Some time ago british professional translators where asked to point out the 10 more difficult words to translate, considering all of the world languages. One of the ten (the number seven) was a portuguese one: saudade
Once a writer called Bastos Tigre said that this single word was reason enougth for the invention of the portuguese language.
The meanning of this word is what I really wanted to be able to share with you all. It is really hard, but I'll give it a try, translating random fragments from the Internet (no piracy, it is fair use, ok?)
Wikipedia will say that it is a: "word for a feeling of nostalgic longing for something or someone that one was fond of and which is lost. It often carries a fatalist tone and a repressed knowledge that the object of longing might really never return."
It is close, wiki, but it is not enough.
Some will say that it is the same as "I miss you", "tengo nostalgias de usted" or "je languis de toi", but none of this has really the same semantic content, that in one single word mixes the memory of loved ones, good times, the wish of seeing again, the pain of the abscence and a kind of subtle sense that the loved ones might not meet again.
The legend states that this word was coined during the navigations time, to represent the lonileness of the portuguese sailors in strange lands, away from their loved ones for many years, usually for their hole lifes. (It is just a legend, but I love it, so I'm keeping this version).
Saudade would define a certain melancoly caused by the remembering, one felling of being hurt by the abscence or by the desapearing of people, things, states or actions. It is also the point of view of those who where lef behind.
Fernando Pessoa, the great portuguese poet, used this word as the motoe of his people, as one emblematic feeling for the portugueses:
"Saudades, só os portugueses
Conseguem senti-las bem
Porque têm essa palavra
Para dizer que as têm"
I'm not skilled enough in english to translate this sonnet, but the meaning of it is something like:
"Saudades, only the portugueses
Can feel it for real
Once they have this word
To say they feel"
We, the brasilians, are a really lucky people on this complex and troubled little planet. Hundreds of nations and races mixed for centuries until we could be born and call ourselves a different new nation.
We are really young compared to you all, but we have a long and precious list of treasures, left on our guard by each one of our fathers trought our short history.
Amongst the many things we got as heritage there is this precious word - saudade - one shiny jewell on our inheritance that today seemed to me apropriated to share with all of you.
Thank you all for this incredible month. You rock!
And I'm gonna feel "saudades" of each one of you.