Nostalgia, which is derived from the Greek words nos (returning home) and algia (pain), refers to longing for the loss of the familiar (Kaplan, 1987). The loss of our connection to the familiar is a painful experience as such loss is connected to a fundamental loss, the loss of ourselves. By losing a connection to familiar people, objects, and places that continue to remain the same from the past to the future, we also lose the continuity within ourselves. And this discontinuity of our past, present, and future selves creates anxiety within us (Milligan, 2003). The painful experience that accompanies the loss of the familiar and the severe longing for the lost was originally viewed as a type of depression, which required psychiatric treatment. However, increasing mobility and changes in modern society have made nostalgia a more typical experience for many. Nostalgia is a relevant experience particularly for immigrants who live away from their homeland.
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Miyazawa, Kaoru. “The More She Longs for Home, the Farther Away it Appears: A Paradox of Nostalgia in a Fulani Immigrant Girl’s Life.” Journal of Curriculum Theorizing 28.1 (2012): 59-73.