Page 138 - MIGRATION

Basic HTML Version

136
MIGRATION, MEMORY, HERITAGE: SOCIO-CULTURAL
APPROACHES TO THE BULGARIAN-TURKISH BORDER
These are songs characteristic of Rumelia, which the resettlers have taken to Turkey and by means
of this local repertoire they distinguish themselves from the resettlers from other parts of the
Balkan Peninsula. Several interviews with the singer Şeref Balkan at the time of fieldwork trips to
Edirne secured valuable information in terms of music: a comparison and characteristic traits of
the folk music from Rumelia, musical differences in chosen regions of Turkey, singing situations,
repertoire, epic cycles of songs in the Turkish folklore, music theory of
makams
, folk and classical
Turkish songs. This wide-ranging musical knowledge is the result of long-term accumulation and
contacts with musicians. Nevertheless, the singer has a preference for the music from Rumelia,
which he interprets as local in the space of European Turkey and the Balkan Peninsula.
Any attempt to sum up research is based on repetitiveness of principles and models in
a variety of individual cases. Although the “saturation threshold” has not been reached in the
fieldwork research on the cultural accumulation of music and the ways of expressing it among
the target group migrant communities, the tendency to preserve Bulgarian folklore and music
as a form of cultural communication has become obvious. Our interlocutors are mostly people
formed in the context of towns, who have received their education and culture in Bulgaria. The
connection with Bulgaria finds an expression in some of their musical preferences.
In the opinion of residents of Edirne, the Turks, resettlers from the north-eastern parts
of Bulgaria, are more attached to their traditions when compared to other resettlers’ groups in
town. They wear traditional costumes at weddings, and dance
horo
at celebrations as in Bulgaria.
The story of the wedding of a young man from Targovishte, a resettler in Istanbul, to a girl from
Karadeniz (the Black-sea region) confirms the understandingof the two families that there are great
differences between them. They call this marriage a “mixed marriage” and they have arguments
and disagreements about the wedding ritual. At the wedding, the guests from the Black-sea region
observed passively the
horo
dances that the family of the bridegroom took part in:
Paydushko
horo (Paytush)
and
Elenino horo
, accompanied by the recordings of Bulgarian folk music. Other
accounts disclose that even before the resettlement of the Bulgarian Turks (especially those from
the north-eastern parts of Bulgaria), they were interested in, enjoyed and even appropriated the
Bulgarianmusic and dances. A grandson recalls that his grandmother at the village lovedwatching
folk programmes on television and even at the time of the renaming policy, when she expressed
her negative attitude towards the Bulgarian authorities, she would seek out what was good and
balanced out her discontent with the opinion that “Bulgarians have very good folk music.”
A resettler in Edirne and an intellectual explained that he had not been interested in
Bulgarian folk music while in Bulgaria but after resettling in Turkey he started listening to and
purchasing on his trips the albums of Valia Balkanska, the Kushlevi sisters, and was generally eager
to find out who the famous and appreciated singers were. Our interlocutor had an interest in
Bulgarian books he had brought with him at the time of resettling from Bulgaria, and he had
acquired a collection of favourite Bulgarian films and CDs. This was one of the ways for him to
maintain his spiritual connectedness with Bulgarian culture.
At the fieldwork in Edirne and Istanbul we gathered reports that the resettlers visiting the
cafes in their residential areas expressed an interest in Bulgarian television channels and recordings