Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Ladino Comes Alive in the Song Stylings of Mor Karbasi


Ladino, or Judeo-Spanish, was the language of the Sephardic Jews, similar to the way Yiddish was the language of the Eastern European Jews. It is influenced heavily by Hebrew and Aramaic, but also Arabic, Turkish, and to a lesser extent Greek and other languages where Sephardic exiles settled around the world, primarily throughout the Ottoman Empire.

Like many other Jewish languages, Judeo-Spanish is in danger of language extinction. Most native speakers are elderly, many of them having emigrated to Israel where the language was not transmitted to their children or grandchildren. However, it is experiencing a minor revival among Sephardic communities, especially in music.

Mor Karbasi, a second generation Israeli, is keeping Ladino alive in her singing performances and popular recordings. Her haunting melodies are based on the songs she learned from her grandfather, who grew up in Morocco and now lives in Nazareth.

In this video, Karbasi sings La Hija de la Primavera (The Daughter of Spring) in Ladino. Just below, we're sharing a short interview with Karbasi, in which she talks about her love for Israel and her Jewish identity, her roots in Morocco, the origins of Ladino, and how she and her mother write the words and music of piyutim (liturgical poems based on religious texts) that she sings in Ladino. Enjoy!

(A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS:  THE VIDEO MAY NOT BE VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY ON SOME COMPUTERS AND TABLETS.  YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO.) 




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