Page 189 - MIGRATION

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MIGRATION, MEMORY, HERITAGE: SOCIO-CULTURAL
APPROACHES TO THE BULGARIAN-TURKISH BORDER
symbolic citizenship
which affords meaning and value and is vested with significance.
2.6.2. Family values
A further aspect our study looked into, among the social values and attitudes of the
‘inheritors’ of the first generation of migrants, is the
attitude towards parents
and
family
: marriage
and family are significant markers for ‘acknowledging’ and ‘recognizing’ their own identity. This
observation is confirmed by a number of interviews and conversations we conducted. An owner of
a firm specializing in legalizing citizenship documents of Bulgarian out-migrants in Kirdjali shared
with us that there was a growing tendency which might be called
‘wedding tourism’
among the
children of Bulgarian out-migrants (as well as of local Turks from Turkey) who visit the town so as
to ‘get’ a bride from Bulgaria. The wedding ceremonies are rather lavish, prolonged and double –
they are organized both in Bulgaria and in Turkey. A similar tendency is observed in the responses
to the standardized interviews. Young people’s decision to start a life together or to marry their
partner is positioned almost symmetrically on the two sides of the scale identifying their motives.
On the one hand, the decision depends on their income, on whether they are employed, on
their housing arrangements and health (i.e. economic indicators – an
external order of stimuli
);
on the other however, their decision depends in the same measure on the approval of parents
and on their financial and moral support (i.e. moral indicators – an
internal order of stimuli
). Here
we observe an interesting correlation whereby the ‘patriarchal’ moral and social attitudes (the
authority of the ‘family’man or woman) are countered by contemporary realities and possibilities
for social success in the context of the global financial crisis which influences labour markets and
the economic development of all the countries in the world.
2.6.3. Respect for parents
Turkish students firmly uphold the view that irrespective of who or what their parents are
they should always be loved and respected. They also unanimously maintain that “every person
should love their parents, even if they do not deserve it”. The responses measured on the scale
of characteristics children should acquire at home reveal that obedience and respect for parents
are two of the leading attitudes of young people. The ‘good attitude’ to the parents is not simply
stated and required, we may say that it has become an interiorized habit, and these dimensions
can be traced on a number of different levels.
This unconditional attitude as far as relations go is displayed only with regard to the closest
circle of relevant and significant Others: on thewhole respondents think that one cannot trustmost
people and that one has to be very careful when striking relationships; that most people take care
only of themselves and show little regard or concern for others. From an analytical perspective this
means that outside the family circle ‘the second generation’ does not easily form unconditional
and unquestioned social networks. In their capacity of successors of the ‘first generation’who had
to adapt in a completely different social environment and who had to rely only on themselves and
on the closest circle of social ‘associates’, our respondents ‘inherit’ from their parents the practical
‘truth’ that trust is not by definition unquestioned and has to be earned and agreed upon.