The Book of Human Emotions: From Ambiguphobia to Umpty - 154 Words from Around the World for How We Feel - Tiffany Watt Smith 2016
The Welsh word hiraeth (pronounced hir-aeth, with a rolled r, and the second syllable rising) describes a deeply felt connection to one’s homeland, and casts its woods and hills in an almost magical glow. But hiraeth is not a feeling of coziness or comfort. It is rather a yearning feeling, flecked with suspense, as if something is about to be lost and never recovered. Perhaps their long history of English occupation explains why the Welsh are so familiar with this combination of love for a homeland and sense of its vulnerability—the emotion now plays a key role in the rhetoric of Welshness, celebrated by its national poets and tourist brochures alike (see also: SAUDADE). Today, hiraeth is most commonly associated with émigrés, experienced most sharply on returning home—and knowing the time to leave again will come all too soon.
See also: HOMEFULNESS; HOMESICKNESS.