Collage: Child in a corporate culture
(Art work on this blog is copyrighted.)
The first post didn’t dilly dally around, did it? It said that Ladino is the heart of Sephardic culture. But heavens, what does that even mean?
In rummaging around looking for a Ladino saying that might help convey some sense of the meaning that language carries, I ran across Sephardic Proverbs by Michael Castro. For him, language goes beyond mere words.
Proverbs …. articulated the unwritten laws of how to be and how to see, and represented the distilled wit and wisdom of Ladino, or Judezmo, the medieval Spanish with a dash of Turkish, Hebrew and other influences, spoken as the main language in Sephardic communities throughout the world until the devastation of the Holocaust.
So, what is it today that tells us “how to be and how to see” or that gives us “distilled wit and wisdom”? Commercials? Kids’ peers who though they are too young to have their identity or sense of morality screwed in yet, are full cool or snide remarks? And where did those cool and snide remarks come from? TV? Movies? Corporate T-shirts?
Who is defining Sephardic identity this way?
Michael Castro goes on to say that
Sephardic proverbs speak [in Ladino] with an ancient authority of the collective consciousness. Their particular perspectives subtly remind Sephardim, whether they come from communities in Greece, Turkey, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Europe, North or South America, of their identity. Their beauty, grace and worldly wisdom evoke a proud heritage in Spain and its golden age of poetry and philosophy.
Hard to get that from TV or on a T-shirt.