The Role of Judeo-Spanish in Sephardic identity

Mustanoğlu Alten, Aslı
This study focuses on understanding the reasons for the consciousness emerged towards Judeo-Spanish starting from the late seventies. This consciousness was followed by the establishment of several institutions, centers and even departments at Universities mainly in Israel, later in Turkey and all over the world aimed at maintenance of Judeo-Spanish by perceiving it as the unique medium of the continuance of the Sepahardic cultural heritage. The mentioned awareness towards Judeo-Spanish has become salient through the rise and the encouragement of the creative writing produced on distinct ethnic communication platforms by several Judeo-Spanish speakers composing of both native speakers and the generation raised by them, the youngest of whom was born around 1945. As a result of the analysis of three ethnic communication platforms which consist of Judeo-Spanish part of Şalom newspaper, Şalom’s entirely Judeo-Spanish supplement El Amaneser, and the on-line correspondence circle Ladinokomunita Yahoo Group, it is concluded that the activity based on recalling of memories regarding the past Sephardic life as a part of the recent creative writing activities in Judeo-Spanish present that the Jewish language is still internalized and represents ‘we’ in the eyes of the remaining speech community. It can be argued that through the cultivation of Judeo-Spanish on the ethnic communication platforms, Sephardic identities are strengthened and even reconstructed in some cases. It is concluded that the recent creative writing in the Jewish language is crucial both to preserve and archive the Sephardic cultural heritage embedded in the Jewish language for the next generations.
Citation Formats
A. Mustanoğlu Alten, “The Role of Judeo-Spanish in Sephardic identity,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2012.