“Es como llevar naranjas a … Sefarad” Tales of Ladino from the Bulgarian Sephardic Community

“Es como llevar naranjas a … Sefarad” — Tales of Ladino from the Bulgarian Sephardic Community
Leah Davcheva & Richard Fay

Invited Guest lecture at the University of Cordoba, Spain, Friday 15th April.


Abstract: In this talk, we provide an account of our multilingual, collaborative and narrative research project and also present our interculturally-framed analysis of these Tales of Ladino. Much intercultural communication discussion speaks of the dynamism of, and impetus for, intercultural communication, and it emphasises the processes of globalisation and internationalisation, as well as the transnational flows of people, ideas and products. Such discussion also focuses on the interculturality arising as migration of all kinds creates increasingly multicultural contexts. However, through these Ladino-focused stories, we can explore the interculturality of earlier times and note that there is nothing new about cultural complexity and the identity-work needed when living in diverse societies and living through times of danger and oppression as well as of community and intimacy.

Tales of Ladino – In this multilingual, narrative project, often elderly members of the Bulgarian Sephardic Jewish community speak about their heritage language and what it means to them. This endangered language holds a special place in their affections, and they make great efforts to maintain their connections with it and the cultural-world it voices. In our research, we invited fourteen members of this Bulgarian Sephardic community to tell us the stories of their experiences of Ladino and what it meant, and means, for them.


  • Susan Dawson

    WOW! That is amazing news.

  • Richard Fay

    Have just heard that the Casa Sefarad (a museum celebrating the contribution of Sephardic Jews to Spanish and Cordoban culture before the expulsions of the late c15th) have offered to exhibit maybe 20 old manuscripts in Ladino alongside the lecture that Leah and I will be giving in the beautiful Faculty of Letters in Cordoba. This is indeed an honour.