Khue-Reyen

The term ‘nostalgia’ was in fact dreamt up in 1688 by a doctor called Johannes Hofer who was treating young Swiss mercenaries suffering from a strange set of symptoms. They wouldn’t eat, couldn’t summon the will to live and sometimes became dangerously ill with no apparent physical cause. They had fainting fits, high fevers and indigestion. After talking to the young men, Hofer realised they were simply ill for want of home. When he sent them back to the mountains, they invariably recovered.

Even earlier, Swiss soldiers were said to be so susceptible to nostalgia when they heard a particular Swiss milking song, ‘Khue-Reyen’, that its playing was punishable by death.”

Mary Wakefield in The Speccie

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