Page 137 - MIGRATION

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135
MIGRATION, MEMORY, HERITAGE: SOCIO-CULTURAL
APPROACHES TO THE BULGARIAN-TURKISH BORDER
during a meal. In Turkey, on the occasion of a village wedding, it is played on the
zurna
and drum,
or the clarinet, in place of a bagpipe. The introduction added by the bagpipe player was defined
as a shepherd’s melody: when the shepherd leads the sheep to water. Another recording turned
out to be a local Turkish folk song from Eastern Thrace, well-known even today. These Turkish
melodies have not become popular in Bulgaria, but they remained in the repertoire of musicians,
resettlers in Bulgaria, as an echo of the contact with another culture, as traces of cultural diversity.
A participant observation of the descendants of Thracian refugees in their organised
trips to the birthplaces of the forefathers in Eastern Thrace (nowadays in Turkey) highlighted
the importance of the local folk songs as part of the cultural assets carried over in the process
of migration. They were particularly emotional while singing, reciting or commenting on the
events in the texts of those songs, which were created in the former villages for an occasion, as
if the existing songs were irrefutable evidence that the village community existed. In one of the
villages (Yaylagöne, Keşan region), they danced a
horo
at the melody of a song made, according
to the handed down memory, after an actual event in that very village. In the phrase of one of the
descendants, “we have no history of this region, the unwritten history is the folklore we’ve got:
wonderful songs, customs and spirituality; these songs might be joyful but there were tears in the
eyes of our grandparents.”
The memory of the traditional musical culture of the refugees has been kept for nearly a
century by means of the folk groups of singers organised by the local Thracian societies. In the
times of encouraging the restored tradition by its presentation at folk fests of authentic folklore,
themusical culture of the refugees fromEastern andWesternThrace has been intentionally sought
out and performed in its original form. In the course of time, Stoin’s collection has proved an ever
so valuable and needed source of songs.
With the change of generations, the old-time style of performance is gradually dying
away and has been replaced predominantly by small choirs affiliated to the Thracian societies
and
chitalishta
(culture clubs), the repertoire of which includes less and less original samples of
songs from the birthplaces of the forefathers. The activities of these choirs is stimulated by their
taking part in the organised festive life of Thracian Bulgarians, in the annual national and regional
Thracian folk fests (“
Bogorodichna stupka
” at the Stara Zagora Mineral Baths, “The
Bozhura
Folk
Wreath” in Sredets, at Petrova niva, in Pomorie, Aheloy, Madzharovo, etc.), in musical contests for
a Thracian song (“Songs Dedicated to Captain Petko
Voivoda
” in Varna), on church holidays and at
celebrations in the two Bulgarian churches in Edirne, etc. Thus, the descendants of refugees from
Eastern andWesternThrace live with the memory and specificity of their local origin and with their
shared belonging to a community.
Turkish resettlers from Bulgaria
According to the data acquired while researching, the Turkish resettlers and some of the
descendants from earlier migration waves retain the local specificity of the music connected with
their place of origin in Bulgaria. A large part of the repertoire of an amateur singer from Edirne
comes from his father, a resettler from the Targovishte district from the early twentieth century.