Saudade - Life with the Awareness of Impermanence

Saudade describes the Portuguese way of life par excellence. 2007 the Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations in Berlin chose 'Saudade' as the sixth of ten most beautiful words in the world. The term saudade claims no direct translation in English and is on the top ten list of "untranslatable words in the world."

According to Wikipedia, the concept of Saudade describes a 'deep emotional state of nostalgic or profound melancholic longing for an absent something or someone that one loves. ... It brings sad and happy feelings all together, sadness for missing and happiness for having experienced the feeling.' All the definitions and descriptions I have read are correct so far but they do not say it all. The approach by the music of Fado is also not possible for everyone. Many of my friends find this style of music much too emotional.

The Costa da Prata in Portugal became my second home during my time there. Although I was fascinated by the mentality of the Portuguese from the beginning, I was not into the Fado music a long time. It took a few years until I understood that fado is not merely an expression of nostalgic feelings or a celebration of world-weariness but the deep soul of the Portuguese. Saudade is a way of life, in which you are fully aware of impermanence.

In the course of his life every person makes the painful experience of loss. Nevertheless, the omnipresent impermanence of our own lives, our loved ones, our relationships, our culture is completely repressed in our society. We plan and we have expectations. If it is different, the suffering is great.

Impermanence is one of the essential doctrines in Buddhism. Because all things are impermanent, any attachment is futile and leads to suffering.

It seems to me that the Portuguese have understood this since a long time. Everything is transient: the great love, life stages, ownerships. Whenever we might wish it, impermanence is something we cannot change. We can sit back and let it happen. We can drink a glass of wine and celebrate life. Impermanence is simply a part of life and makes us more mature. Once you have understood this you live your life more intensely and passionately. Just more the Portuguese way...

... And now I would like to hear a Fado (o: