Ester Baruh and Ada Evtimova

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This is a photo of my wife, Ester Baruh, nee Asher and my granddaugher, Ada Evtimova, my daughter Shelly's daughter. She is 21 years old now and studies at the University of National and World Economy in Sofia. She accepts the Jewish traditions willingly and with great interest. My children don't speak Ladino and I'm sorry for that because in my family as well as in my wife's family they used to talk in Ladino and many people knew Ivrit at that time. I know Ladino from the conversations that I listened to as a child in my family - my parents took me to weddings, to requiems, to visit some friends of theirs and gradually I learned it. It's a conserved Spanish similar to the Bulgarian in the speech of the people in the Rhodope mountains where some ancient Bulgarian words are preserved. Once in the holiday house of the UBW [Union of the Bulgarian Writers] near Varna I came across a Spanish writer who had come to Bulgaria for an international meeting of writers. One day he was standing by the sea and I said to him, 'Espanoles en la mar' [Spaniards by the sea] - it is a radio program for fishermen in Spain. Then we met in the bar and had a talk and after he went back to Spain he wrote an anecdote of our conversations in ABC newspaper and in the meanwhile he also wrote, 'That man talked to me in Cervantes's language'. The reason for this is that while we were talking about my youth I said, 'Mi mansevez'. 'Mansevez', he said, is a word out of use nowadays. Now they say juventud.'

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Interviewee

Victor Baruh