Video: Ladino Day 2018 celebrates Sephardic folktales, language and culture

François Azar, wearing a cardigan, button0up shirt, and glasses, speaks at a podium, with the colorful front cover of "The Jewish Parrot" projected in the background

Author François Azar discusses Sephardic folktales during International Ladino Day 2018

In this year’s International Ladino Day celebration, Paris-based author François Azar discussed Jewish folktales of the Mediterranean and his two collections of Sephardic tales, “The Jewish Parrot” and “Bewitched by Solika,” and Seattle’s “Ladineros” Ladino-speaking group performed the humorous tale “The Jewish Parrot.”

Watch the entire Ladino Day program now:

Program for Ladino Day 2018

00:05 – Welcome by Devin Naar
13:15 – Introduction by François Azar
17:24 – Performance of “El Papagáyo Djudió” (“The Jewish Parrot”)
27:14 – Keynote: “Jewish Folktales of the Mediterranean” with François Azar
54:35 – Illustrations highlight: “The Jewish Parrot”

Watch just the Ladineros’ performance of “The Jewish Parrot”:

About Sephardic folktales

Judeo-Spanish tales transmit the wisdom and humor of Sephardic Jews, Jews who originated in the Iberian peninsula (present-day Spain) and settled all around the Mediterranean, particularly in the Balkans, Turkey and northern Morocco. Sephardic Jews adapted their neighbors’ tales and legends to their own culture, while also crafting original stories set in their new environments.

Tales were transmitted orally within families, providing entertainment, relief from everyday worries, and a way to laugh off human weaknesses. Through these tales, essential elements of Jewish (and Mediterranean) everyday life are transmitted in a lively, imaginative way.

Ladino Day is made possible through the generosity of the Lucie Benveniste Kavesh Endowed Fund for Sephardic Studies, and our 2018 event was cosponsored by Congregation Sephardic Bikur Holim, Congregation Ezra Bessaroth, Seattle Sephardic Network, the Departments of Spanish and Portuguese Studies, French and Italian Studies, and Linguistics; and the Turkish & Ottoman Studies Program in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations.

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Note: The opinions expressed by faculty and students in our publications reflect the views of the individual writer only and not those of the Stroum Center for Jewish Studies.


  1. Marlene Souriano-Vinikoor 1/25/2019 at 11:02 am - Reply

    Just a wonderful souvenir. I was privileged and happy to be part of the Ladineros and their performance. I appreciate the art work and English script provided, it made for a very thorough video. Thanks to everyone who produced this and worked on the program. It is truly a labor of love and attending the weekly class is a highlight of my week.

  2. Ike Azose 1/25/2019 at 3:50 pm - Reply

    After having worked on the script and working with the cast of characters for a few weeks, I was pleasantly surprised to see the actual video presentation. Great job, everyone.

  3. M Richard Leopold 1/27/2019 at 3:31 pm - Reply

    Thanks for sharing. ♥️

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