Celebration of the European Day of Languages 2020

Linguapax has joined the celebration of the European Day of Languages, which takes place every year on 26 September. This year it was done so by participating in the Jewish Film Festival 2020, which took place from 10 to 30 September at the Filmoteca de Catalunya. Prof. Emili Boix, professor of Sociolinguistics at the University of Barcelona and member of the Linguapax Board, presented the films Yiddish and In Search of Ladino, focusing, respectively, on Yiddish poetry and the Ladin language and culture, and also has spoken with philosopher and journalist Paula Kuffer. The event took place on Friday, 25 September, in the Sala Chomón of the Filmoteca de Catalunya. Prof. Emili Boix explains and assesses the situation of the two languages covered in the films:

The Jewish cultural and religious world has been, willingly or unwillingly, multilingual. But this multilingualism has not been a bed of roses. The two films (Yiddish and In Search of Ladino) screened at the Jewish Film Festival reflect the diminishing vitality of the two languages: On the one hand, Yiddish, characteristic of Ashkenazi Jews, from the medieval Rhineland and later spread by the Central and Eastern Europe; and on the other hand, Ladino, characteristic of the Sephardim, from the Jews of Sepharad (Al-Andalus), from where they had to go into exile in 1492. The two colloquial languages ​​were combined with the sacred language and ritual, Hebrew, which was eventually the language selected as the national language in the state of Israel. Yiddish and Ladino, moreover, were the “eliminated” languages ​​mainly in the concentration camps. On the occasion of the European Day of Languages, remembering them is a way of recognising an important part of the cultural legacy of our continent.

You can access the detailed information of the two films here: https://fcjbarcelona.org/en/project/in-search-of-ladino-yiddish-3/

(Photo courtesy of the Jewish Film Festival)

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