Date of Award
World Languages and Cultures
“We are all strangers in a strange land, longing for home, but not quite knowing what or where home is,” author Madeleine L’engle once wrote (L’engle 1993). The Portuguese language has a word for this feeling - saudade. Saudade is hard to describe in English, but it is often described as a feeling of longing, or nostalgia that is supposedly characteristic of the Brazilian temperament. Brazilian immigrants are familiar with this feeling. Though generally grateful for new opportunities, they often describe the saudades that they have for their terra amada, or “beloved homeland,” after coming to America. Saudades are not reserved for people with Portuguese ancestry, however. Anyone who has lived away from home, or traveled, or has simply grown up, has experienced saudades for people and experiences they have left behind. If we reflect on the things for which we feel saudades, we can understand what matters most to us, and this self-reflection helps build our self-identity. By reflecting on the saudades that we share with others, we can become more empathetic, generous, and kind to those who may be different than us.
The goal of this project is to increase empathy and focus on individual experiences of Brazilian immigrants in Cache Valley. Unfortunately, due to discrepancies in data and lack of understanding, the Brazilian population in America, and Utah in particular, is vastly underestimated and misunderstood. I interviewed four Brazilian immigrants living in Utah in the hopes of sharing their stories to help educate the public on the unique Latino community that we have in Utah. I compiled the interviews into a short radio piece on saudade to be aired on Utah Public Radio, in the hopes that increased knowledge will lead to increased empathy and understanding towards the Brazilian community and immigrants in general.
Clarkson-Heaps, Corinne, "Saudadades da Minha Terra Amada: Brazilian Immigrants in Utah" (2021). Undergraduate Honors Capstone Projects. 928.
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Departmental Honors Advisor