Bonjour Arguete’s Wedding

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  • Photo taken in:
    Istanbul
    Country name at time of photo:
    Turkey
    Country name today:
    Turkey

This is a picture of my brother-in-law Bonjour's wedding.  It was taken when I, my mother-in-law and Bonjour were entering the synagogue.  The little girl next to us is my daughter.  My father-in-law was deceased when Bonjour was married, I held the thallis.

Yomtov Bonjur Arguete  was the apple of the family's eye.  He was married to Keti Frankfort.  Keti was a German Jew.  Her father owned a bank.  He did not know Judeo Spanish, when this language was conversed within the family, his face became sullen.  The Frankfort family was an aristocratic family.  Komo se dize vuantes blankaz (How do you say this-white gloves.  It is a saying indicating you were speaking to someone from the upper crust, i.e. you need to have white gloves to be able to address them).  I would be amazed when I went to their house.  Starched white table cloths, starched napkins.  I would be face to face with a different world view.

My husband's mother's maiden name was Ancel.  Lucy Arguete's story is quite interesting.  When my mother-in-law was in her first marriage, it was the time for the flu epidemic.  This epidemic was called the Spanish flu.  This epidemic was in the news in the newspapers too.  Her husband died on the night of the wedding before they could even have any relationship.  Lucy became a widow with her wedding gown, as a virgin maiden.  This flu that was called the Spanish flu, is considered an epidemic historically.  A high fever and sudden death were the typical symptoms of this illness.  Lucy Arguete lived through such a tragedy on the night of her wedding to her husband.

Lucy turned her back to life with this disappointment.  She went to visit her relatives in Ortakoy.  In reality the reason they called her to Ortakoy was to introduce her to my father-in-law Anri Arguete.  At the time, a widow had to be very careful about the steps she took.  Lucy, in reality, was a very optimistic and luminous woman.  She loved giving out presents.  That is why her purse was always full of candy and chocolates.  When children saw her, they always approached her.  This woman who was of short stature, who put her long gray hair up in a bun on her neck, agreed to marry my father-in-law Anri Arguete who was a widower with one child, with the mentality of those days.  Anri Arguete had lost his wife in Ortakoy.  He was a very religious, quiet and inoffensive person.  There was an age difference with Lucy.  Along with the age difference, there was a cultural difference and a difference in life style.  Lucy was a modern person who liked to go out, to spend money, to strengthen her dialogue with people.  My father-in-law Anri on the other hand, was an introverted person who was lost among religious books, who spent his life within religious books.  There were differences from their family structures.  Lucy had an aptitude for western cultures, due to her siblings and her connections outside the country.  Anri on the other hand, was a good person, and that was it.

My husband's family,at first was very wealthy.  His father Albert Arguete's nickname was "Golden Bee".  They had a haberdashery store in Ortakoy.  My father-in-law was born in Ortakoy.  That store was the one with the most variety at the time.  But I was not around for the times of wealth. Yo me topi en la aniyud (I was around for the poverty).  Wealth Tax erased all of this wealth.  My father-in-law did not have a single experience with the police in his life.  Police officers came to his store during the Wealth Tax.  He fell ill with that stress and died in 1946.        

Interview details

Interviewee: Janet Arguete
Interviewer:
Feride Petilon
Month of interview:
August
Year of interview:
2006
Istanbul, Turkey

KEY PERSON

Janet Arguete
Jewish name:
Camila
Year of birth:
1924
City of birth:
Bursa
Country name at time of birth:
Turkey
Occupation
after WW II:
Housewife
Family names
  • Previous family name: 
    Sages
    Year of changing: 
    1946
    Reason for changing: 
    Marriage

Other Person

Lucy Arguete
Decade of birth:
1900
Country name at time of birth:
The Ottoman Empire
Year of death:
1970
City of death:
Istanbul
Country of death:
Turkey
Died:
after WW II
  • Previous family name: 
    Ancel
    Reason for changing: 
    Marriage
    Decade of changing: 
    1910

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