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MIGRATION, MEMORY, HERITAGE: SOCIO-CULTURAL
APPROACHES TO THE BULGARIAN-TURKISH BORDER
characteristic ornamentation and lyrics typical of the Strandja songs, their Thracian heritage.
21
Tourist cultural products
are being constructed, alongside products which contribute to the
development of cultural tourism in Tzarevo and the region. A
multifaceted festival culture
is
being developed.
22
In 2010 Tzarevo independently launched its first International Folklore Festival “
Strandja
moya, lyulchina
” [“My Strandja, my cradle”] which aims at becoming a powerful means for gaining
popularity
23
– of Tzarevo itself (something like a Tzarevo “brand”with regard to folklore), and of the
heritage of “Thracian Bulgarians”. In the way the festival was framed as a concept and announced in
public it was closely connected with the Thracian idea.
24
The reason for this was, on the one hand,
that its “godmother” Z. S. was an important individual actor in the network of agents, because she
combined two powerful positions in the discursive field related to inheritance. First, in her capacity
of a very famous folklore performer – being the first who “had sung this Strandja music”, she has
a dominating position in the filed of folklore. Second, in her capacity of an official in the currently
under construction museum of Tzarevo, she occupies a powerful position in the institutional
field which has the right to manage cultural heritage – folklore in particular. On the other hand,
the reason could also be sought along the lines of the Youth Thracian society which was behind
the organization of the festival – another powerful actor in the everyday life of the town since it
manages to involve a significant number of young people thanks to the activities of its president.
2.3. Ideological statements legitimizingthestrategies for takingadvantageofheritage
In this section I will only point out one example of how one can analyze the ideologies of
different discourses and/or discursive practices regarding Thracian heritage from the point of view
of practical logic.
The statement along the lines of “It is a matter of patriotic
duty
for every descendant to
claim his property!”on behalf of the vice-president of Thracian society in Varna aired on 04.01.2010
by Bulgarian National TV (BNT) on the occasion of the renewed debates regarding restoring
21 Coerced not only because one of the principles followed in the institutional selection procedure is for them
to be “inheritors” (even if this is not a requirement based on any official institutional norm, it is a requirement along
the lines of symbolic belonging), but also because by means of folklore there happen transmissions of cultural models
and practices, which gradually become practical schemata for classification, i.e. for the differentiation between“us” as
different from“them”.
22 This issue is discussed in more detail by Meglena Zlatkova in this volume. In her study on the “contradictions
of inheritance” of the two border towns – Tzarevo and Edirne – as “spaces of migration” she renders in detail the
particularities of town culture in Tzarevo (See Zlatkova 2012).
23 Here we should also mention the popular Festival of honeydew honey in Tzarevo. It advertises honeydew
honey as yet another “brand” of the town but is not related to the emphasis on Strandja folklore as a typical “Thracian
heritage” on which I dwell in this paragraph.
24 According to the data from the field observations in 2010. The situation is srikingly different in 2011 in view
of the local elections in the municipality. During the second edition of the festival “Strandja moya, lyulchina” the
connection with theThracian idea was not exploited at all. Officially, the festival was under the patronage of themayor
and commendations for its successful running were extended to the administration of the local community houses
and the municipality. In other words, insofar as the Thracian idea in itself does not suppose a particular “political hue”
and cannot be recruited to decisively consolidating the election results as a political resource, it disappears from the
frame of the Festival and it is no longer a“festival of the Thracians” (See the interviews from 2010 in the IEFEM archives)
but a “successor”of the Strandja folklore evenings for which Tzarevo was famous in the communist period (interviews
from 2011). Such everyday and/or official interpretations can, of course, vary significantly depending on the practical
aims to which this cultural practice is recruited.