Page 186 - MIGRATION

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MIGRATION, MEMORY, HERITAGE: SOCIO-CULTURAL
APPROACHES TO THE BULGARIAN-TURKISH BORDER
which we already discussed here. That which differentiates the students of medicine from the rest
is the particular nature of their field of choice which requires not only linguistic competence but
also cultural such since they are to practice in Bulgarian hospitals. Bearing in mind that they are
children of out-migrants born after 1989, they arrive to study here as foreigners and face all the
problems which foreign students have in the process of adapting to a new environment. What
distinguishes them however is the social network of relatives which, in their words, helps them
but at the same time exercises control on the one hand, and offers the opportunity to enjoy the
same rights as Bulgarian students on the other.
This is the place to identify one of the
contradictions of inheritance
for these young people
– the social expectations are that they knowmore than the other foreign students – their lecturers
demand more of them, the patients in hospitals change their attitude to them when they realize
they are children of out-migrants toTurkey and start addressing them in Bulgarian even when they
are enrolled in programs which use English as a medium of instruction. The everyday actuation of
the dual citizenship status is accompanied by education in a foreign culture which the successors
possess as inherited cultural capital from their parents but which is not part of their own life
experience. This particular type of ‘return’ to the foreign culture runs parallel to socialization in the
culture at the age of professional training, to the establishment of social networks of acquaintances
and friends and to the process of getting to know the ‘inherited’ from their parents social capital
in Bulgaria.
From this viewpoint, it is of particular interest to follow the case of the
returns of these
students to Turkey as part of programmes for student mobility
, when they go to their country
as Bulgarian citizens.
15
Overall, the responses received in this instance are similar to the responses given by many
students, irrespective of the country they study in. Being representatives of the generation of
mobile youth and the new ‘network’ people, our informants respond just like their peers to the
questions related to their future. What is more interesting in this group is that they formally
have two starting points – Turkey and Bulgaria and that they can make a choice from a double
perspective, making use of advantages and disadvantages of living on the other side of the border.
For the purposes of our study, it was important to us to compare the attitudes of Turkish
students in Bulgaria to those of their peers from the University of Thrace in Edirne in relation to the
images they have of Bulgaria and Bulgarians. To paraphrase this slightly, to pose the question of
whether the children of out-migrants share the same stereotypical knowledgewhich is manifested
with most of the Turkish students or whether they know Bulgaria better. To this aim we included
in our survey questions in which the students were placed in a position of a tour guide and were
asked to choose the places in Edirne which they link to Bulgaria on the one hand, and, on the
other, those they would take Bulgarian tourists to.
15 This particular form of liminality is discussed from a socio-analytical perspective by Stoyka Penkova (See
Penkova 2011a).