WEDDINGS AT THE SYNAGOGUE

Description: Șeli Natan Gaon recalls the marriage of his French cousin in Hatay and the strong religiosity of the Jews of that city. She also remembers the reaction of the groom's mother with regards to religious dress-code norms of Jews of Istanbul. Șeli illustrates this by describing a wedding in the Neve Salom Synagogue. She concludes by talking about the open-mindedness and modernity of Jews from Istanbul, especially among the younger generation.

Cite as: Las bódas en el kal – Weddings at the Synagogue; Șeli Natan Gaon, camera/ interview: Ioana Nechiti, transcription/ translation: Ioana Nechiti, Deyvi Papo, Imane Sghiouar, editor: Imane Sghiouar, retrieved from www.oeaw.ac.at/VLACH, ID-number: ladi1251TRV0008a.

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OUR DESTINY IS WRITTEN IN THE STARS

Description: Suzan Levi recalls one of the memorable chapters in her life. She documents her personal journey growing up as a young woman in the district of Balat; a woman who, at a very young age, was compelled to work to help support her family as her father was subjected to Wealth Tax. She also details the moments she got engaged and eventually married. She describes in detail the circumstances of her engagement and the wedding, the customs that were common at the time and the joy of having children. In this interview, Suzan Levy leads us on an incredible journey in the years between the 1930s and 1950s.

Cite as: De loz óčo a loz očénta – Our destiny is written in the stars; performer: Suzan Levi, camera/ interview: Ioana Aminian, transcription/ translation: Ioana Aminian, Izabela Apostol, Deyvi Papo, Imane Sghiouar, editor: Deyvi Papo, retrieved from www.oeaw.ac.at/VLACH, ID-number: ladi1251TRV0026a.

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THE STORY OF RACHEL

Description: In this videoclip, Forti Barokas discloses to us the inspiration for one of her theatre plays. Her grandmother used to tell her a story when she would not sleep or eat, a story inspired by the circumstances of her own life. She called it "The Story of Rachel". As a young girl, Rachel, an educated and refined young girl, was married to a merchant from Tekirdağ. There, her life changed completely. As a mother of five children, she was compelled to manage the household, take care of daily chores and help her husband produce wine. This is show her life continued until the day her eldest son managed to flee to Istanbul, where he went to school and worked. After a period of time, her son managed to bring his mum and his other siblings to Istanbul, enabling her to escape from her husband at a time when divorce was looked upon with deep shame. Forti remembered this "story" she had heard numerous times throughout her childhood and she eventually decided to base a theatre script around the story.

Cite as: La konsežíka de Rašél – The Story of Rachel; performer: Forti Barokas, camera/ interview: Ioana Aminian, transcription/ translation: Ioana Aminian, Deyvi Papo, Imane Sghiouar, editor: Deyvi Papo, retrieved from www.oeaw.ac.at/VLACH, ID-number: ladi1251TRV0025a.

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IZAK AND HIS TWO WIVES

Description: At the end of another extraordinary interview, Zelda once again takes our breath away with a marvellous, unique story about her grandfather, Izak and his two wives, Rachel and Zimbul. Izak had acquired a lot of wealth by the time he had reached old age. However, much to his chagrin, he and his wife had remained childless. One day, a friend advised him to marry a young Bulgarian refugee whose prospects in Turkey were grim. According to Zelda, marrying a second woman was something that very rarely happened among Jews. Harems were usually only heard of among the Muslim population. However, Izak's desire to have children finally persuaded him to marry this younger woman and before long she bore him three sons and two daughters. Zelda's narrative takes us into their shared life under the same roof, giving us an insight into the respect, love and care the two women, Rachel and Zimbul, bestowed upon one another. Their story has come to be held in high regard among younger generations. Zelda's actual name, Zümbül, was given to her as a way of honouring the memory of this union.

Cite as: Las dos mužéres de Izák– Izak and his two wives; performer: Zelda Natan, camera/  interview: Ioana Aminian, Deyvi Papo, transcription/ translation: Ioana Aminian, Deyvi Papo, Imane Sghiouar, editor: Deyvi Papo, retrieved from www.oeaw.ac.at/VLACH, ID-number: ladi1251TRV0028a.

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