Victor Baruh and Ada Evtimova

Victor Baruh and Ada Evtimova

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This is a picture of my granddaughter Ada Evtimova and me, taken in the 1980s in Sofia. My granddaughter, Ada Evtimova is 21 years old now and studies at the University of National and World Economy. She accepts the Jewish traditions willingly and with great interest. Both my children, Valeri and Shelly grew up without being educated in the Jewish traditions - it's a pity that I didn't instill them in my family. Maybe my ideas from those times had influenced this decision. Valeri graduated from Sofia Technical University with a degree in refrigerator engineering, and Shelly graduated from Sofia University in Bulgarian philology. 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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Victor Baruh