Page 111 - MIGRATION

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MIGRATION, MEMORY, HERITAGE: SOCIO-CULTURAL
APPROACHES TO THE BULGARIAN-TURKISH BORDER
practical aims. I will mention only few of them.
2.1. Accepting and declaring
nestinari
as intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO and
a“brand”of the town of Tzarevo
There have never been any
nestinari
in the town, yet this fact gives the right to its official
representatives to hold the monopoly on the social conditions of its use. This is a symbolic power
which guarantees the right to nominate something as “being-or-not-being-
nestinari
”. In this way
nestinari
itself as a cultural “inheritance” loses its meaningful significance of a ritual
practice
and
turns into something “
to be used
”; something with which one can manipulate and which can
be manipulated. As a result from this neutralization, the essence of the ritual
nestinari
practice
(
modus operandi
) is transformed into a simple ritual, described by theoretical consciousness (
opus
operatum
). This practice becomes inheritance which is “made use of” and “taken advantage of”
by the speakers of the official discourse on
nestinari
– those who have the right to do so on the
basis of their position in the discursive space delineated by it, also on the basis of the fact that as a
result of occupying this position a specific discursive habitus is formed in them. This is what allows
them to make certain pronouncements about
nestinari qua
cultural heritage and at the same time
precludes other such pronouncements.
The tracing of strategies of this kind, employed by the agents of different institutional
and everyday practices, allows us to answer the question why
nestinari
is thought of as a cultural
practice, which can be managed and fromwhich one can gain – both personally (our case in point)
and institutionally – prestige.
19
2.2. Folklore and projects for trans-border cooperation
On the territory of Tzarevo municipality there are currently several projects along the lines
of trans-border cooperation with the Republic of Turkey, but they are all predominantly connected
with folklore groups and practices exchanges.
In relation to thiswe can again trace awhole
network
of actors – institutions and/or individual
agents who co-operate to retain “inheritance” through strategies of investing in the development
and popularization of the Strandja folklore and the traditional everyday rituals and culture of the
Strandja inheritors of Thracian Bulgarians.
Folklore troupes and ensembles are being founded – children’s, adolescents’, retirees’,
women’s, men’s – there are many variations in accordance with the talents present, selected not
only on the basis of whether they could perform the specific features of “Strandja ornamentation”,
but on the basis of whether they are “inheritors of Thracian Bulgarians”.
20
Their performances are
a stable feature in every important event in the town and its surrounding area, especially if it is
directly or indirectly related to the Thracian idea. Even if they haven’t heard about their great-great-
grandmothers, the young performers are coerced into internalizing, in parallel to the melody, the
19 This prestige, which is symbolic, may acquire a variety of other forms – for instance, winning in an institutional
project bid like the one the goal of which is to turn
nestinari
into a municipal brand with the entailing economic,
political, social, and individual benefits in the form of developing cultural tourism on a large scale.
20 See for further details the interviews with representatives of these ensembles and troupes at the archive of
IEFSEM.