My Romanian Roots

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After years of denial, my heart opened to embrace my Romanian roots.

I was born in Bucharest, and immigrated with my family to Israel, when I was three years old. Having endeavored, as a child, to be as Israeli as can be, I attempted to “forget” what little Romanian I knew. This was not an easy task in a household where my parents spoke Romanian to each other (though conversed with my brother and I in Hebrew). My grandparents, having immigrated at an older age, never learned any Hebrew. They spoke to us children only in Romanian, we answered only in Hebrew, and we got by…

When my book ‘A Diva’s Guide to Getting Your Period’ was translated into Romanian, my heart opened to my roots in a way it never did before. I was always a Lover of Language, and opening up to a new language, one that was deeply buried in me, opened the flood gates!

Words, expressions, sentences, and sentiments begun to rush into my consciousness. It became clear that my dormant Romanian language was eager to pour out, and the little girl I once were — was eager to express herself in her original Mother’s Tongue. This is how my first Tri-Lingual poem was born. 

It was my honor to offer this poem as my greeting for the UNIFERO Conference(International Union of Romanian Women) which took place in July 2021 in Busteni, Romania.

A Tri-Lingual poem, by definition, is meant to be heard. You can hear it on the video in this page. Yet for the sake of those of you who understand all three languages (Hebrew, Romanian, and English), and for the visual effect of seeing three languages interwoven on a page, here is the poem’s text. Enjoy!

Roots/ Rădăcini/ שׁוֹרָשִׁים
A Tri-Lingual poem by DeAnna L’am

(English, Romanian, Hebrew)

לוֹחֲשִׁים אֵלַי
מִן הָאֲדָמָה
my roots whisper
îmi șoptesc rădăcinile
din pământ
mă întorc înăuntru
și sunt
אַחַת מֵהֶן
now, and then
mă cântă înapoi
my ancestors
call me to deploy
my soul,
אֲנִי רוֹקֶדֶת אֶת מְחוֹל
weaving generations of
blood and bone
שׁוֹזֶרֶת, עַד אַחְרוֹן
generații de sânge:
אֶת מַעְגָּלִי אִימוֹתָי
אֶת שִׁיר אֲבוֹתַי
danseaza cu mine
וּבְאַחַת, הִנֵה
we are one!

~ August 2020

And for those of you who may not be familiar with all three languages, here is an English adaptation of the spirit of the poem. It lacks the rhythm, rhyme, and tapestry of the original, but it offers a sense…

Roots/ Rădăcini/ שׁוֹרָשִׁים
From the original Tri-Lingual poem by DeAnna L’am

My roots whisper
From the Earth
Like breath
I return inward
And I am
One of them.
Now and then
My ancestors
Sing me back,
Call me to deploy
My soul
To dance generations
Of blood and bone,
I weave epochs:
My mothers’ circles
My father’s song,
Dance with me
At once it’s done:
We are One

~ August 2020

I invite you to read my blog:
Peace with My Past
Click HERE

10 Responses

  1. Thank you for this, for the absolute depth of meaning I find in your poem. The poem is beautiful and wonderful. I felt your soul reading it.

  2. מאוד מאוד יפה… עכשיו מצפה לממליגה ויציאה בשירת ” הו רומניה רומניה רומניה” של האנדרוס סיסטרז…
    שמחה לשמוע על תהליך ההנשמה של מקורותיך!

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