Tuga and saudade – understanding of two countries



The Bulgarian word “tuga” or the Bulgaria feeling of tuga 

Tuga (тъга) – literally translated tuga means sorrow. Tuga is a strong feeling of sadness and grief.

Tuga is something special for us the Bulgarians and our tuga only we understand. When you are feeling “tujen” (тъжен) like we would say, you are humble. There is a power stronger than you which is preventing you from having what you want the most. It’s not you – when you are “tujen”, it’s mostly about circumstances. “The tuga” is mostly a feeling of being powerless, a feeling of defeat, which comes along with great sadness.

One of the greatest contemporary Bulgarian authors Georgi Gospodinov describes tuga the following way:

“A longing for something that hasn’t happened… a sudden realization that life is slipping away and that certain things will never happen to you, for a whole list of reasons—personal, geographical, political.”

Тъгата е много специално чувство. Трудно ми е да я опиша на друг език различен от българския. Думите не идват и не са подходящи, за да облекат чувство, което другите на познават, така както ние го познаваме.

Балканите кипят от страст. Това, което чувстваме излиза навън с гръм и трясък. Емоциите ни може да са колкото красиви, толкова и грозни.

Тъгата е тиха и спокойна. Когато сме тъжни, сме смирени. Нашата тъга е романтична и носи в себе си красота.


Saudade or the Portuguese soul 

Saudade – it describes a deep emotional state of nostalgic or profound melancholic longing for an absent something or someone that one loves. Moreover, it often carries a repressed knowledge that the object of longing may never return. 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, moved away, separated, or died.

The complexity of the Portuguese soul is remarkable. For the time I lived in Portugal I became to understand that Portuguese can’t simply just be sad or happy – there is always this great mixture of feelings inside of them.

Portugal = Saudade

Portugal will always give you saudade. If you don’t feel saudade after you leave, you haven’t actually felt Portugal.

I look at the photos and I feel both tuga and saudade: for all those moments in life that you will give everything to experience again, but no matter what you do, you will never have a chance to re-live them.

Винаги съм се питала – безкрайно щастливи ли сме, че може да изживеем определен момент само веднъж,

или сме безкрайно наказани

винаги да се връщаме към определени моменти от живота ни и да знаем, че никога няма да може да ги изживеем отново? …колкото и болезнено да искаме.

Сърцето често ме боли за тези мигове, които никога няма да имам отново, които никога няма да се повторят. Колкото съм щастлива, толкова съм и тъжна… Измислили сме го, тъга и saudade.



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