Being happy is probably what everyone wants in life but there's a country in Europe that actually loves being sad. Portugal is oftentimes called by many as a sad country because you rarely hear someone telling you to have a nice day or greet you with enthusiasm. No one actually about that, however, Portuguese people actually love that kind of feeling.
According to BBC, Portuguese people are very well-known for their culture of melancholy. In fact, you can see that kind of culture even in their history because Portugal gives so much honor to their moody poets.
The country is even ranked 93rd as the happiest country in the world out of 157 countries. If you try to think of it, it's a low ranking given the kind of country Portugal is. However, the people actually enjoy being sad and there's so much behind the sadness that they feel. Travel Pulse reported that Portugal actually takes pride in their culture of melancholy.
This love for sadness by the Portuguese people can only be described in one untranslatable word which is "saudade." There's no direct English translation for it and although the closest would be nostalgia but it's still quite different.
Saudade means a longing for something or someone that once gave so much happiness and bliss. It's really close to nostalgia but the former can also refer to things that haven't even happened yet.
The country really boasts of its culture of melancholy that one Portuguese chef even started a chocolate line named "Saudade."Well, if you try to think of it, it's actually a good name and it could best describe the bittersweet taste of the chocolate.
You could also see that kind of culture in other aspects like music. Portugal has a genre of music called fado whose tone and melody would best describe melancholy through music. The word literally means "destiny" or "fate."
Now, if ever you plan on travelling to Portugal, you might want to hide those gleaming smiles away. Try to blend in and experience the melancholic culture of the country.