My mother with my daughter

My mother with my daughter


This photograph was taken in Bursa in the Statues Plaza.

The house where we lived when I was born was the same as the house I lived in when I went to Istanbul as a bride.  That neighborhood was called "La Juderia".  All of the Jews in Bursa lived on the same street.  On both sides of the hill full of trees were houses lined up.  Only Jews lived until the place we called Chatalfirin (Forkbakery).  We had 3 synagogues, Yirush, Mayor and Etz Hayim.  We were crowded, we were like siblings.  We would eat and play together with the daughters of the poor families who came to our house as helpers. 

The house we lived in was three stories.  Like the twin houses of today, we could go to the neighbor's house from the stairs in between.  The basement of this house where the ground floor was a grocery store, served almost like a refrigerator.  Every kind of document and food was kept there.  On the top floor, in the entrance which was called "kortijo", were the kitchen, bathroom and laundry. 

In those days traffic did not resemble today's mess, there were few motorized cars, and one horse-carriages were vehicles that were used (she used the ladino term "talika brijka" for the horse-carriage).  Obviously in a neighborhood where automobiles were seldom seen, even if there weren't playgrounds designed for children, the streets, the gardens were our play areas.  We grew up with this distinction, the orchards and gardens were ours.


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Janet Arguete