The Book of Human Emotions: From Ambiguphobia to Umpty - 154 Words from Around the World for How We Feel - Tiffany Watt Smith 2016
There is an emptiness after visitors depart. The walls echo. The space that felt so cramped while they were here now seems weirdly large. And though there is often relief, we can also be left with a muffled feeling—as if a fog has descended and everything seems rather pointless (see: APATHY).
The indigenous Baining people who live in the mountains of Papua New Guinea are so familiar with this experience that they name it awumbuk.* They believe that departing visitors shed a kind of heaviness when they leave, so as to travel lightly. This oppressive mist hovers for three days, creating a feeling of distraction and inertia and interfering with the family’s ability to tend to their home and crops. So once their guests have left, the Baining fill a bowl with water and leave it overnight to absorb the festering air. The next day, the family rises very early and ceremonially flings the water into the trees, whereupon ordinary life resumes.
See also: MELANCHOLY; GRIEF.