Turkish-Sephardic Culture: History, Language, Music & Cuisine

The Turkish-Sephardic Culture is about the history, language, music and cuisine of the Turkish Jews, who were exiled from Spain by the Spanish Inquisition and arrived in the Ottoman Empire in 1492. During the 520 years that they lived in the Ottoman Empire and later on in the Turkish Republic, the Sephardic Jews, as they called themselves after the Hebrew word for “Spain” – “Sefarad”, were able to preserve most of the cultural elements and traditions they brought with them until the last few decades. This type of preservation is a very rare phenomenon especially in the language domain. In this course we will be examining the historical factors that made this rare phenomenon possible, the language called “Ladino” or “Judeo-Espanyol”, the religious traditions past and present, the music and the cuisine. Students will have to do a little research, read, sing songs and cook the delicious recipes in order to provide the class with feedback!

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