4 February 18: Feeling hiraeth

Happy Sunday, folks. 

Don’t you just love those words that don’t have an English equivalent, like iktsuarpok which is Inuit for that sense of frustration and annoyance you feel when waiting for someone to show up? Then there’s gigil which is Filipino for having the urge to pinch or squeeze something that is irresistibly cute.

One of my childhood favourites, growing up in a London Welsh household, was hiraeth, which is a kind of longing for your homeland. Even though I’m a Londoner, being infused with all things Welsh as a kid (including holiday visits to our country cousins in verdant mid-Wales) means I get serious pangs for Wales that make me grab my heart (I remedy it by drinking out of my Welsh ladies drinking tea cup, bottom left, from Aberdovey).

I often wonder if this kind of connection lies deep within our DNA. Do you have hiraeth for anywhere, or a non-translatable word that you love?

Martha, The Colour File x


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