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Ethnologia Balkanica (Ethnologia Balkanica), issue: 12 / 2008, pages: 1­4, on

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Region, Regional Identity
and Regionalism in
Southeastern Europe
Part 2
Edited by
Klaus Roth and Vesna Vučinić-Nešković

Ethnologia Balkanica
Journal for Southeast European Anthropology
Zeitschrift für die Anthropologie Südosteuropas
Journal d’ethnologie du sud-est européen
Volume 12/2008


ISSN 1111–0411
Copyright ©2008 InASEA, LIT Verlag Dr. W. Hopf Berlin
Printed in Germany
Editor-in-chief: Prof. Dr. Klaus Roth
Co-editor: Prof. Dr. Vesna Vučinić-Nešković, Belgrade
Editorial Board: Milena Benovska-Săbkova (Bulgaria), Keith Brown (USA), Ulf Brunnbauer (Germany), Jasna
Čapo-Žmegač (Croatia), Nicolae Constantinescu (Romania), Albert Doja (France), Christian Giordano (Switzerland), Robert Hayden (USA), Deema Kaneff (Germany), Karl Kaser (Austria), Jutta Lauth Bacas (Greece),
Damiana Otoiu (Romania), François Ruegg (Switzerland), Stephanie Schwandner-Sievers (England).
Editorial assistant: Tomislav Helebrant (Munich)
The journal is published by the International Association for Southeast European Anthropology (InASEA). It
publishes articles by members of InASEA as well as by non-members. All articles are anonymously reviewed.
Languages of publication: English, French, German
Contributions must be supplied with a short abstract in English.
Cover: A variety of traditional dishes from southeastern Serbia presented at the Sixth Festival “Golden Hands”
(Šesti sabor “Zlatne ruke”), held at the Monastery of St. Prohor Pčinski, Southeastern Serbia, in September
1992. (Photo by Ivana Masniković-Antić).
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ISBN 978-3-643-10107-5
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Ethnologia Balkanica 12 (2008)



Region and Cultural Production
Aleksandra Marković, Amsterdam
Goran Bregović, the Balkan Music Composer


Evgenia Krăsteva-Blagoeva, Sofia
Tasting the Balkans: Food and Identity


Nikolai Vukov, Miglena Ivanova, Sofia
Food Labels, Meal Specialties, and Regional Identities:
The Case of Bulgaria


Danijela Velimirović, Belgrade
Region, Identity and Cultural Production: Yugoslav Fashion in the
“National Style”


Alexey Pamporov, Sofia
The Regional and the Subgroup Features of the Kinship Terminology of
Roma/Gypsies in Bulgaria


Constructing and Deconstructing Regional Identities
Eckehard Pistrick, Halle
Migration Memories in the Borderlands: The Constructions of Regional
Identity and Memory in Zagoria (Southern Albania) through
Place and Sound


Simona Adam, Timişoara
The Construction of Banat Regional Identity through
Life-Story Interviews


Melinda Dincă, Laurenţiu Ţîru, Timişoara
Regional and Ethnic Identity in the Rural Area
of Timiş County, Romania




Mirjana Pavlović, Belgrade
Regional Identity: The Serbs in Timişoara


Sanja Zlatanović, Belgrade
The Literary Opus of Bora Stanković and the Construction of
Local Identity


Karolina Bielenin-Lenczowska, Warsaw
The Construction of Identity in a Multiethnic Community: A Case
Study on the Torbeši of Centar Župa Commune, Western Macedonia


Nevena Dimova, Sofia
Identity of the Nation(s), Identity of the State: Politics and Ethnicity in
the Republic of Macedonia, 1990–2000


Petko Hristov, Sofia
Trans-border Exchange of Seasonal Workers in the Central Regions of
the Balkans (19th – 20th Century)


Planning in Metropolitan Regions
Dora Alexa-Morcov, Bucarest
Les jeux de la construction d’une région métropolitaine dans la
Roumanie après le 1989: Le cas de la zone métropolitaine de Bucarest


Tamara Maričić, Jasna Petrić, Belgrade
Physical Expansion and Subregional Disparities in the Growing
Metropolitan Region of Belgrade


Addresses of authors and editors


Instructions to Authors


. pages: 5­7. issue: 12 / on www.  Editorial «Editorial» by Klaus Roth Source: Ethnologia Balkanica (Ethnologia Balkanica).

Very often. the German Science Foun­dation ­and the West Uni­versity of Timi­şoara. Klaus Roth. editor-in-chief Munich. can become palpable. presents the second part of a selection of papers of the 4th InASEA conference which took place in Timişoara. ethnic. It was the goal of the conference. They can produce culture and they can. February 2009 . as the extreme disparities between metropolitan and rural regions or the quarrel about the name of the crossborder region of Macedonia indicate. religious or even professional identification. political. and above all cultural processes – processes in which the regional policies of the European Union play a more and more decisive role. both the physical and the symbolic regions continue to be. Hopefully the present volume will help to elucidate some of the questions arising from this fact. the journal of the International Association for Southeast European Anthropology (InASEA). The contributions to this second volume focus equally on tangible and intangible dimensions of the region. Romania. at the same time. and as a mental construct laden with symbolic meaning and emotion.Ethnologia Balkanica 12 (2008) Editorial This volume of Ethnologia Balkanica. or of politically motivated ethnic border-drawing. visible. In any case. We are very grateful to all of them and extend our thanks to the authors of the papers and particularly to the reviewers. the conference attracted more than 150 paper presenters. regions are constructions of those who inhabit them. The papers demonstrate that regions. representing the region both as a territorial unit that can be perceived with one’s senses. 2007. Both volumes present papers which analyse aspects of the regional dimensions of social. It was organised by Mircea Alexiu and Atalia Ştefanescu from the West University of Timişoara and received the financial support of the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research. and regional identities in Southeast Europe in view of the fact that the awareness of “region” and regional belonging as well as the regional cooperation and political or cultural decentralisation are of in­creasing relevance in Southeast Europe. be products of culture – and of deliberate spatial planning from “above”. regionalism. be it the entire Balkan Peninsula or be it a small area in the Rhodope Mountains. and it is the goal of the two volumes. With its topic “Region. to promote the ethno­logical study of region. and Region­alism in South­eastern Europe”. and audible. a very relevant issue in Southeast Europe. serving purposes of spatial. though. Regional Identity. on 24–27 May.

Auf jeden Fall haben physische wie auch symbolische Regionen. und es ist das Ziel der beiden Bände.Access via CEEOL NL Germany 6 Editorial Dieser Band der Ethnologia Balkanica. politischer und vor allem kultureller Prozesse analysieren – Prozesse. das mit symbolischer Bedeutung und Emotion geladen ist. einige der sich hieraus ergebenden Fragen zu klären. so dass sie die Region als eine mit den Sinnen erfassbare territoriale Einheit ebenso wie auch als mentales Kon­ strukt behandeln. dass Regio­nen. die ethno­logische Erforschung der Region. Der vorliegende Band kann hoffentlich dazu beitragen.–27. stattfand. regionale Identität und Region­alismus in Südosteuropa“ zog sie mehr als 150 aktive Teilnehmer an. Es war das Ziel der Konferenz. Klaus Roth. Mit ihrem Thema „Region. und zwar vor dem Hintergrund der Tatsache. die verschiedene Aspekte der regionalen Dimensionen sozialer. Sie wurde von Mircea Alexiu und Atalia Ştefanescu an der West Universität von Timişoara organisiert und erhielt finanzielle Unterstützung von der Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research. des Regionalismus und der regionalen Identitäten in Südosteuropa voranzutreiben. Rumänien. Mai 2007 in Timişoara. sichtbar und hörbar werden können. Sehr oft sind Regionen jedoch Konstruktionen ihrer Bewohner und dienen deren räumlicher. der Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft und der West Uni­versität von Timi­şoara. religiöser oder sogar beruflicher Identifikation oder aber der politisch motivierten ethnischen Grenzziehung. Die Beiträge dieses zweiten Bandes behandeln gleichermaßen die materiellen und immateriellen Dimensionen der Region. präsentiert den zweiten Teil einer Auswahl von Vorträgen der 4. dass dort das Bewusstsein für Region und regionale Zugehörigkeit ebenso wie auch die regionale Kooperation und die politische wie kulturelle Dezentralisierung wachsende Bedeutung haben. Februar 2009 . sei es die gesamte Balkanhalbinsel oder sei es ein kleines Gebiet in den Rhodopen. Wir sind ihnen allen zu Dank verpflichtet und möchten zudem allen Autoren sowie insbesondere den Rezensenten danken. Sie können Kultur produzieren und sie können gleichzeitig Produkte der Kultur – und der Raumplanung von “oben” sein. Die Artikel zeigen. fühlbar. Beide Bände enthalten Beiträge. bei denen die Regionalpolitik der Europäischen Union eine immer entscheidendere Rolle spielt. ethnischer. in Südosteuropa eine überaus große Bedeutung. Herausgeber München. wie etwa die extremen Disparitäten zwischen großstädtischen und ländlichen Regionen sowie der Streit über den Namen der grenzüberschreitenden Region Mazedonien zeigen. InASEA Konferenz. der Zeitschrift der International Association for Southeast European Anthropology (InASEA). die vom 24.

qu’il s’agisse de la péninsule des Balkans toute entière ou d’une petite aire géographique dans le massif montagneux des Rhodopes. Très souvent cependant. Elles servent d’identification spatiale. Regional Identity. Les deux volumes présentent des contributions qui analysent les aspects des dimensions régionales des processus sociaux. est de promouvoir l’étude ethnologique de la région. rédacteur en chef Munich. Roumanie. Avec sa thématique portant sur « Region. politiques et surtout culturels – processus dans lesquels les politiques régionales de l’Union Européenne jouent un rôle de plus en plus décisif. Les contributions démontrent que les régions. visibles et audibles. ethnique. de la Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft et de la West University de Timişoara. et le but des deux volumes. Elles peuvent produire de la culture et en même temps être des produits de la culture – et d’une planification spatiale délibérée. Nous leur sommes très reconnaissants et nos remerciements vont aux auteurs des contributions et plus en particulier à ceux qui en ont fait la relecture. comme le démontrent les disparités extrêmes entre les régions rurales et métropolitaines ou la querelle à propos du nom de la Macédoine. présente le deuxième volet d’une sélection de contributions de la 4ème conférence de l’InASEA qui a eu lieu à Timişoara. les régions physiques aussi bien que les régions symboliques continuent d’être. du 24 au 27 mai 2007. chargée de significations symboliques et d’émotion. religieuse ou même professionnelle ou à dessiner des frontières ethniques pour des motifs politiques. Espérons que le présent volume aidera à élucider quelques unes des questions surgissant à ce propos ! Klaus Roth. février 2009 . Elle a été organisée par Mircea Alexiu et Atalia Ştefanescu de la West University de Timişoara et a bénéficié du support financier de la Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research. région à cheval sur la frontière. Celle-ci peut être perçue à la fois avec sa propre sensibilité et en tant que construction mentale. et représentent la région en tant qu’unité territoriale. les régions sont le résultat des constructions de ceux qui les habitent. Dans tous les cas. and Regionalism in Southeastern Europe ». Les contributions de ce deuxième volume portent autant sur les dimensions tangibles qu’intangibles de la région. du régionalisme et des identités régionales en Europe du Sud-Est du fait que la conscience de la « région » et de l’appartenance régionale tout comme la coopération régionale et la décentralisation politique ou culturelle prennent une importance grandissante en Europe du Sud-Est. la conférence a donné lieu à plus de 150 présentations. la revue de l’Association internationale pour l’anthropologie du sud-est européen (InASEA).Editorial 7 Ce volume de Ethnologia Balkanica. une thématique très pertinente pour l’Europe du Sud Est. peuvent devenir tangibles. Le but de la conférence.

 the Balkan Music Composer» by Aleksandra Marković Source: Ethnologia Balkanica (Ethnologia Balkanica). on www.  Goran Bregović.ceeol. . issue: 12 / 2008. pages: 9­ the Balkan Music Composer «Goran Bregović.

imagined as “semideveloped. As a consequence. who pointed out the aspects in which these two concepts differ. and vice versa (ibid.Ethnologia Balkanica 12 (2008) Goran Bregović. or “colonialism of the mind”. Amsterdam The Balkans and Balkanism The critical approach to the discourse about the Balkans has become an elaborated field in the last two decades. 1223) and the fact that. an ambiguous. The Balkans are associated with Orthodox Christianity. but rather of an “outsider within” or “internal other” (ibid. In one of the first studies focussing on this topic.. one cannot speak of a clear other. and other lines. semicolonial. in her words. there are notions that are attributed to this regional image and as such perpetuated in diverse contexts. The Balkans are. but also with Islam.. national. 16). most notably in the lack of actual Western colonial legacies on the Balkans (as opposed to its “metaphoric” or “surrogate” colonization. Slavs.. 47). 1229). The dichotomies that employ the Balkans at its one pole. a space of blurred borders between West and East. semicivilized. ibid.. The ideas discussed by Bakić-Hayden were further developed and challenged in Maria Todorova’s Imagining the Balkans (1997) where she coined the term “Balkanism” and explored its historical and political causes. further analogies with this concept immediately showed important differences. Bakić-Hayden introduced the idea of “nesting Orientalisms” (1995) by means of which Orientalist ideas can be transported and “nested” into other areas. in case of the Balkans. semioriental” (ibid. 1220. Bringing this point even further. and communism. Ottoman Empire. liminal space. In addition to the position of the internal other. political. Todorova discussed another important difference to Said’s concept of Orientalism: the Balkans are marked by their “inbetweenness” (1997: 58). she concludes. and writing . She emphasized the “mongrel” nature of the Balkans and its peoples who are. and Europe (or the West) at its other pole. The critical assessment of the applicability of “Balkanism” as a form of Orientalism was continued by Kathryn Fleming (2000). a region that is not Europe anymore. However. show divisions along confessional. but not Orient yet. All these researchers stress how ideas about the area are coloured by a vast corpus of preconceptions that have been accumulating for the last several hundred years. although initially derived from Orientalism due to obvious similarities as discourses about the “other”. self and other. the Balkan Music Composer Aleksandra Marković.

as it is “as much a conceptual designator as a geographic one” (Fleming 2000: 1230). Depending on each country’s physical location and political history. Claiming that these new forms stem from the psychological reaction to being stigmatized (which leads through a process of self-stigmatising to self-exoticization). according to Kiossev. both Slavdom and Turkish taint. barbaric. quoted in Kiossev 2005: 189). ignorance. non-European) nature. In each country there are discourses that use “Balkan” as an adjective to refer to that country’s perceived “backward” (less modern. hysterical passion. undisciplined eroticism. This phenomenon was studied by Bakić-Hayden (1995) and Fleming (2000). their responses oscillate between playing it back in exaggerated form as ‘minstrelization’ and various shades of ambivalent self-exoticization (Živković. pollution. and dirtiness” (Kiossev 2005: 180). and Kiossev explored new forms of popular culture and music developing in Balkan countries as a consequence of being stigmatized. but his remarks are essentially applicable to the whole Balkan region: The stigma they bear combines the stigmas of the South and of the East. Simultaneously with the analysis of the Balkanist discourse. of congenital communism and Balkan violence. machismo.. he quotes Živković who deals with the Serbian self-image. there are attempts to explore how such ideas influence the self-image of Balkan nations. 185). The result. … Accepting this largely negative stigma. forbidden corporeal pleasure.” Kiossev describes the perception of the peninsula as “a disgusting and obscure place ‘where everything is perverted.Access via CEEOL NL Germany 10 Aleksandra Marković about “nausea against the ‘semi-other’. Balkanism proves to be an applicable theoretical approach when discussing popular culture of the region. arrogance. as they discussed the ways Orientalist rhetoric is internalized and used within Balkan countries. In accordance with research into the impact of popular literature on shaping the image of the Balkans (the topic that has been extensively dealt with by Todorova and others). is “less a music of protest and trauma … than a tricksterlike. it is easier or harder to accept or reject the imposed image. It turns the lowermost picture of the Balkans upside down and converts the stigma into a joyful consumption of pleasures forbidden by European norms and taste” (ibid. it is possible to explore Balkan music and its role in the same process. barbarism.’ a conta­minated kingdom of repressed European demons: cruelty. . Other scholars dealt with psychological mechanisms behind this self-identification. comic and aggressive transformation. murderousness.

the representations of our folklore music … are not an anachronistic restoration of Balkan exoticism. The band’s immense success lasted for almost 20 years throughout the 1970s and until the late 1980s. though. one of the most popular rock bands of former Yugoslavia. and Underground in 1995). Apart from the obvious proximity of the Balkans to the rest of Europe. quoted in Todorova 1997: 60 f. romanticized version of his life and career. one of the main reasons for the larger presence of Balkan music in Western Europe might be the larger number of displaced persons as a consequence of the wars in former Yugoslavia. displayed in interviews with him and articles about him. The popularity of Balkan music is explored by Laušević (2007). These soundtracks (especially the Underground) have brought worldwide fame to Bregović. who since then performs all over the world with his Wedding and Funeral Band (called also Wedding and Funeral Orchestra). This music style is marketed as encompassing mainly traditional musics from the Balkans. Goran Bregović is regarded as one of the characteristic and most popular artists in what is labelled and sold on the world music market as “Balkan music”. The political turbulences that would lead to the break-up of the SFR Yugoslavia coincided with the last projects of Bijelo Dugme. Arizona Dream in 1993. rather than offering some actual biographical data about Bregović. In time. Bregović collaborated with Kusturica by composing music for three of his movies (Time of the Gypsies in 1989. Yet it is possible to discern that prior to his international career he was a member of Bijelo Dugme (The White Button). but in reality it also includes diverse forms of popular music. where the Balkan music scene is arguably even more pronounced. but new chronotopes of their own vitality which they have achieved through the vitality of our own Bulgarian voices (Todorov. one of the most popular film directors from the region. and this is a trend that still continues. In the early 1990s. . bearing in mind the territorial shift (she deals with Balkan music and dance in the United States).). The popularity of Balkan (in this case Bulgarian) music in Western Europe is commented on by Todorov: Unique or ‘savage’. many of her conclusions are applicable to the European context. his website (Bregović Official Website: Biography) offers but a schematized. Interestingly. and therefore a bigger need (at least initially) for an increased offer of such musical events. Bregović moved to Paris and started his cooperation with Emir Kusturica. Bulgarian musical folklore is sought by foreigners in their quest for individual harmony … For the foreigners. the Balkan scene began to appeal to more and more non-Balkan audiences.Goran Bregović. the Balkan Music Composer 11 An ambassador of the Balkans This paper focusses on statements about the music of Goran Bregović.

In interviews and articles about his music. The image of him as an “ambassador”. Bednarz 1999). Bregović affirms Balkan culture and preserves its rich musical heritage … Under a title “Bregović is saving the Balkans”. Although her focus is on processes within a society or a nation. Bregović is regarded as an authority in what “genuine” Balkan music is (cf. which is currently gaining in popularity. His activities can be explored as a form of music revival as described by Livingston (1999). historical. is very common (as is the case with a German article that refers to him as a “Botschafter des Balkans”. sometimes even as an “undisputed ambassador of Balkan music” (Neveux 2006). he is in a position to (re)construct the image of the region and (re)present it to those unfamiliar with its geographical. her concept can be transposed onto the international level. goes beyond the scope of this paper. Byzantine heritage intertwined with influences of Western civilisation. Bregović’s music is given an even more important role: With his music. it is important to stress that the music of Goran Bregović is embedded in the overall framework of what is marketed as Balkan music. In an article about his concerts in Romania. he is often referred to as a Balkan composer. In a similar vein. Bregović’s music revives selected elements of Balkan music tradition(s) that conform to the audience’s perception of the region and expec­tations of what Balkan music should sound like. Nevertheless. Bregović’s music is a pro- .12 Aleksandra Marković The analysis of the reasons for this wide popularity and reception of Balkan music. Statements like those displayed on Emir Kusturica’s official website (kustu. repre­sentative idea of the region and is entitled to speak on its behalf. which is regarded mainly as a “powder keg” in spite of its vast cultural richness.) reveals a mechanism of choice of those elements of the music tradition (as suitable for reviving) that are perceived as representative of the group that performs them. cultural. among the artists dedicated to this music style Goran Bregović is one of the best known and the most popular. as well as of the accuracy of this quote. As mentioned above. In other words. the perception of this music is in this context less relevant than its representation. tradition. Coming from the Balkans and being called an “ambassador of the Balkans”.com 2007) that describe him as “surely the most known composer of the balkans [sic]” further underline his link to this region. Her claim that “[i]n certain cases traditions are chosen [for reviving] because they are associated by the dominant society with the minority’s culture” (68 f. who discusses the framework and motivation behind reviving a music tradition. Laušević 2007: 195). the Romanian daily “Chronica Româna” writes that Bregović is breaking prejudices about this region. implying that he is someone who offers a desirable. and (above all) music traits. Furthermore.

still others paranoic. Bregović’s music. and comments about it.Goran Bregović. His comments usually maintain the same lines that essentialize the Balkans and bring it down to a powder-keg area inhabited predominantly by Orthodox 2007). head in the 21st century which he fully inhabits. Aware of this discourse. where his music is described as a “great gypsy circus. but all without exception were and continue to be conscious of it (1997: 61). German and Italian into English were made by the author. a great many arrogant and even aggressive. in spite of the power attributed to Bregović to change the overall image of the Balkans. guided by ancient forces stronger than reason. Goran Bregović … [is] creating music that our soul recognizes instinctively and the body greets with an irresistible urge to dance” (Bregović Official Website: Biography). The imagined “essence” of the Balkans is best summarized in the excerpt from the press section of Bregović’s website. and in fact builds his statements on an assumed exotic value of Balkan music belonging to (an already existing) image of the Balkans. in Bregović’s Balkans it is possible to discern an exotic other. at the same time Slavic and gypsy” (kustu. illuminated by bright and blinding light. Todorova claims that the Balkan architects of the different self-images have been involved from the very outset in a complex and creative dynamic relationship with this [Balkanist] discourse: some were (and are) excessively self-conscious. others defiant.1 However. Both when emphasising his roots in claiming his “return to the origins. In this respect. I am grateful to Mariana Gómez de la Villa for assisting me in translating quotes in Spanish. . A related impression of “extremes” is present in Bregović’s own attempt to describe the “Balkan soul”: “I think we are a bit more self-pitying than other Europeans. And I think that we are sometimes too emotional. and when the “hypnotic power of his music” is described (Bregović Official Website: Press in English). Bregović readily accepts Balkan images that are attributed to his music. Croatian). sacredness and paganism” (Bregović Official Website: Press in Italian). “Roots in the Balkans where he stems from. his music (and statements about his music) rarely opposes common ideas already present in the public’s imagery about this peninsula. We actually move only 1 All translations from the Serbian (Bosnian. the Balkan Music Composer 13 test to all those who understand nothing and know nothing about this part of the world (Bregović spasava Balkan 2001). and mostly by Slav and Roma peoples. but also full of melancholy … Odor of incense. are in accordance with the Balkanized image of the area. “a piece of discourse that refers to background knowledge the speaker and audience share” (Močnik 2005: 95).

Although hypothetical. When imagining the Balkans outside Europe. emotionless West. It is by the composer himself referred to as a “hypothetical Balkans”: When I was young. emotional East is confronted with the image of the modern.14 Aleksandra Marković in extremes. My music is inspired by the Balkans and is written for the Balkans. The music I play is nowhere in the Balkans created in that way. So I did not believe in the domestic musical heritage. my music is not the music of the real Balkans. Bregović’s statements about its actual location are twofold. On his official website. and the fact it is accepted in the rest of the world is nice” (Mičeta 1999). The first group of statements places the Balkans undoubtedly outside Europe. an inter­pretation of the region and its complexities. Reflecting the ambiguity of the physical and political position of the region (elaborated above). there is either too much happiness or too many tears. These remarks focus on differences between the (imagined) Balkans and (imagined) Europe. … It [Bregović’s recent music] is our music inspired by our environment. rather than the Balkans. but nothing in between” (Buhre 2001). it is the music of the hypothetical Balkans. This “synthesis” creates a representative version. the way I believe in it now. I thought my music had to sound like Western music. However. the music analysis of his pieces (and the discourse surrounding it) lead to the conclusion that he is in fact composing for the West as a target group. not true. and underlines the (already mentioned) role of his music in overcoming these differences: his music should be “some kind of communica- . Therefore. where the image of the ancient. Bregović usually emphasizes “differences between us and Europe that have always existed … There has always been this civilisation gap between us and Europe that we can hardly catch up with” (Ferina 2002). Bregović’s music is described as a “synthesis of the Balkans” (Bregović Official Website: Press in English). These extremes reveal dichotomies that are relatable to the idea of Balkanism. But that is. the Balkans depicted in Bregović’s music exist as a spatial reference. The Balkans in Bregović’s music In an interview titled “My address is the Balkans”. Foreigners may think that we in the Balkans play such music. of course. italics added). Bregović states: “I am above all a Balkan composer and the addressee of my music is the Balkans. In it are mixed things that had never mixed in the Balkans on their own (Mijatović 2002: 41. recalling all the usual dichotomies about the East and the West. enabling those outside the Balkans a (feeling of) better insight and understanding of the region and its music.

when he discusses the eclecticism of his music (which will be elaborated below). Asia and Europe. for it is often perceived as a space that is neither Europe nor Orient (or both of them). Bregović gives it a physical epicentre. pathetic and crappy. In locating the Balkans. This perspective shows the idea of Europe metonymically replaced by the European Union. The blurriness of the Balkans is often correlated to cohabiting ethnic. For him [Bregović]. For centuries. It would be a problem for Europe. although still not Europe. to have ‘wild’ countries at its centre: Greece to the south. placed within Europe and surrounded by it. The second group of statements dealing with the physical location of the Balkans reflects the idea of this region being on the border between East and West. The Balkans are. you’ll find their quintessence in Istanbul (Mijatović 2002: 51). and the idea of the Balkans metonymically replaced by former Yugoslavia (or rather some of its former republics). Thus.Goran Bregović. This transitory status of the region. Within this image. the Balkan Music Composer 15 tion between us as we are. A related image reflects the position of an “outsider within” discussed by Fleming (2000: 1220). Istanbul was the capital of the empire which we belonged to. national and confessional groups. If you really want to find the things you feel to be your roots. italics added).” he concludes with a smile (Neveux 2006. The blurriness of the Balkans as a consequence of their liminality is underlined in Bregović’s statements and sometimes serves as justification for his artistic decisions. Goran Bregovic admits to being more than optimistic: “it is in the EU’s best interests to integrate the ‘wild ones’ like us. and discusses the “quintessence” of the region being in Istanbul: Greece and Turkey are very interesting places for me. in Todorova’s words it is not “an innate characteristic of the Balkans that bestows it in the air of mystery but the reflected light of the Orient” (1997: 15). For twenty years everybody criticized me for it. which surrounds us. the Balkans are in fact substituting the Orient. guitar and accordion. “the future of the European continent will inevitably be played out in the Balkans. So for five centuries. Bulgaria to the north and soon Romania …” Between his whisky. is a common topic in discussions of Balkanism. as elaborated above. changes induced by the EU’s most recent enlargement by Bulgaria and Romania influence Bregović’s perception of these countries’ place in or outside Europe. but at the end it turned out I am a modern composer” (Mijatović 2002: 48). resulting in the “musical melting pot” that Bregović creates with his hypothetical Balkans: . all the best was accumulated there. and the bright world.

Borders are dark places that nobody wants to deal with … Our image in the world is horrible (Mičeta 1999). He describes himself as “a composer who comes from a very eclectic place. acquiring a “mantralike quality that most writers on the region like to evoke as its central attribute” (1997: 59). the ambassador of the “wild ones”. blurry. are used by him to justify his artistic choices. a consequence of what is often described as a “cultural jigsaw” (Bednarz 1999): the fact that he grew up in multicul­tural Sarajevo. Orthodox and Muslims … Borders are dark places … Art from such places is completely unknown. This statement entirely reflects Todorova’s view that “border” and “bridge” are ubiquitous metaphors for imagining the Balkans. Catholics and Muslims” (Neveux 2006). Bregović. One of the main notions that Bregović uses to refer to his composing process is eclecticism that builds on the idea of the “mongrel” nature of the Balkans mentioned earlier. Catholic and Islamic. or when his choices are assessed as ethically questionable. – Through history the Balkans used to be one of the darkest places. he uses “background knowledge” (Močnik 2005: 95) about the Balkans to legitimate his music by giving it the stamp of “Balkanness” especially in cases when he is criticized for stepping away from what are considered to be his Balkan roots. he refers to the same border quality as a source of inspiration.16 Aleksandra Marković You created. a musical melting pot that was accepted by the West. These two facts are repeated over and over again in intro- . and the fact that he comes from a multiethnic family (as his father was Croatian and his mother Serbian). Through history it used to be a border among three confronted worlds – Orthodox. Synthesizing the Balkans Two notions elaborated above. Bregović’s roots in the Balkans and the metaphoric position of the Balkans in or outside Europe. using the same idea of the border as a “dark place” to emphasize its ambiguity and strangeness: I get my inspiration at the border between Catholics. It is possible to discern several different applications of the Balkan-related discourse in Bregović’s statements. in a way. This notion is most often supported by adding two facts from his biography. liminal Balkans. In other words. Perpetuating this constructed image.). Music from that border might be the last big music revelation and I am revealing it to the world (Mijatović 2002: 42 f. the only direct border between Orthodox. At the same time. presents to the West the music of the dark. from a land dominated by Turks for five centuries.

because I cannot write poems anymore. at first I was frightened and horrified. “in order to cater to their preconceptions” (Laušević 2007: 44). . Such an idea is further supported by the events in the Balkans at the end of the twentieth century. when commenting on West European and North American perception of the Balkans. mental and emotional homeland. whose family. At the same time. d. Bregović creates a music that is not “a nostalgic painting of a deserted house. In building his “hypothetical Balkans”. he started his international career by producing music in a manner usually referred to as recycling.). it just goes naturally from the place I’m from” (Mijatović 2002: 43). After leaving Sarajevo and moving to Paris. The notion of eclecticism is corroborated by what Fleming. but an enthralling fresco about the richness of diversity … What is a musician to do. An answer to this question is offered by Bregović himself: “Displaced from my own homeland. I cannot write them in my own language anymore. when the break-up of Yugoslavia led to the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people.Goran Bregović. Heavily influenced by political circumstances. This is why now I only recycle songs” (ibid. These facts are also described as the basis for his treatment of traditional music. he explains that “the direct consequence of the war is the fact that I do not have a homeland anymore … For someone who writes songs it is a serious handicap. This composing technique is in the centre of controversies related to Bregović’s career. Bregović claims that eclecticism as an artistic approach. the Balkan Music Composer 17 ductory segments of almost every interview and article about Bregović. This is how I imagine music” (ibid. or even names of countries” (2000: 1219). In this way. Bregović (perhaps understandably) mirrors the blurriness of his listeners’ perception. Bregović embeds his actions in the framework of a “traditional” musician. regimes. peoples. a construct of such an amalgamated nature. as if to underline from the very beginning the blurry image of the Balkans. but eventually I started enjoying it” (Interviews with Goran Bregović.). n. Sometimes strongly criticized for using samples (of his earlier pieces and traditional music of the Balkans) as building blocks of his tunes. Stressing his “natural” eclecticism legitimizes his composing choices. described as a “tendency to lump them [the Balkans] all together. to overlook any differences that might exist between countries. my own and somebody else’s [music]. resulting in “mélangé” (Bregović Official Website: Press in French). stems from his Balkan origins: it is “very natural. godfathers and friends are children of the cursed Balkans?” (Mijatović 2002: 42). cultural. Bregović is interpreting the fact he had to leave his country (as a consequence of wars) both as a limiting and a liberating creative force. By this statement. which are also claimed to stem from an “eclectic” treatment of music sources.). Bregović readily admits to accusations of recycling and adds: “I constantly recycle.

his recycling technique is both approved of and strongly criticized. Just as there are painters collagists. This seems to point to a further function of the Balkanist discourse in Bregović’s statements because. In Bregović’s statements about his music. Consequently. I simply discard it [the collage] and look for a new one” (Nikcevich 1995). Not dissimilar to the idea of the blurry Balkans. Bregović is explicitly drawn to varia­tion. the critique of Bregović’s work usually revolves around the same two perspectives.. rearrangement. mutually excluding each other. relieved from the quicksand of nostalgic fetish” (ibid. and they exist simultaneously in his statements as well. repetition. though. and the realm of the contemporary world music market. indigenous musical forms. It entirely mirrors the perceived melange of nations and cultures. he contradicts himself by stating that “[t]his is how ‘ethnic music’ can still be renewed: by being performed against the grain. which arguably can be explained by his existence in two realms – the realm of “traditional music” where preservationist ideals are a priority and authenticity of music is highly regarded. n. where the glue holds. .). con­tinuous blurring of the ‘original’ instance and the instance of its reproduction (ibid. for example in Gourgouris’ claim that “Bregović relies on folk elements. where music traditions from all over the world are fused into new styles without restraint. In another interview.18 Aleksandra Marković Among his audiences and in the public sphere. paradoxically. I am a collagist. due to such a composition process and use of musical sources.). so often stressed by those involved in the analysis of the Balkanist discourse. continuous self-quotation. re-circulation. he cannot ensure the “historical continuity and organic purity” (Living­ston 1999: 74) of his music. … The connecting thread – the thread of secondary revision – is precisely the cannibalization of one’s refracted. I belong to the group of composers collagists. I paste things one to the other and. his recycling is facilitated by his eclectic approach to composing. and therefore needs to embed it in the Balkan framework and give it an unquestionable label of “Balkanness”. Music quotes (coming from diverse sources) are pasted by the composer into a “collage” which is a method he defines as “bringing different [music] items into random relations” (Interviews with Goran Bregović. be found even in a single argument. the collage stays. This legitimizes him as someone who “grew” from the Balkans and whose music is therefore “music of the Balkans”. d. but what he does with that tradition breaks it apart” (2005: 343). 341). there where it does not hold. Such a double perspective can. which in itself is a consequence of his Balkan roots and the region’s recent political history. his genius is one of absorption and appropriation. his additional comment emphasizes Bregović creating a simulacrum of traditions he uses as sources: No doubt. he elaborates: “As a composer. In the same text.

I know of no one who had invented something without relying on tradition. At any other level. but sometimes are not given credit on his labels. Disregarding all implications of composing and performing in the context of the globalized world music market. the Balkan Music Composer 19 Bregović’s recycling compositional technique is embedded in the context of his attitude towards traditional music. and they must come from uneducated rural peoples” (1999: 75). as he arguably relates to it on a personal level and feeling of homelessness due to the break-up of Yugoslavia: . they must exist in oral tradition. from Stravinsky to Bela Bartok” (Sanz 2001). all music belongs to everybody and is available for everybody to play and develop further. unknown people paint churches and buildings. His comments on Roma musicians mostly express two attitudes: first. tradition is abandoned as unnecessary. He summarizes his attitude by stating that “the tradition is there to steal it. he builds a romantic image of a nomad nation that is free from the constraints of modern life. Bregović’s image of traditional musicians playing traditional music is especially noticeable in his statements about Roma musicians and his cooperation with them. The image of the traditional musician in Bregović’s statements is connected to the Balkans that. When asked about musicians he cooperates with and who some­times are. We come from the part of the world where art is depersonalized. This is the world my artists come from” (Ferina 2002). his attitude towards tradition is twofold: on the one hand. he refers to the idea of communal recreation in order to validate his similar treatment of music material. he is embedding his music in his representation of the Balkans. he claims that “[h]ere and more to the East. The main point he makes is that he should be regarded as a “folk musician”. nor does his audience show any appreciation for the level of authenticity of performed tunes.Goran Bregović. as well as to ensure for his music a label of what Laušević calls “imagined antiquity and purity of its origin” (2007: 178). This image seems to have a special appeal to Bregović. according to him. In that respect. Apparently. which is an idea related to the image of “authentic folk songs”. He disputes criticisms (that he uses motives that do not belong to him) with an elaborate discussion on traditional music and musicians. and everybody bases their creations on anonymous tradition. still cherish art created by anonymous and unaccredited community members. as summarised by Livingston: “they must be old. Described as a “connoisseur of Gypsy cultures” (Neveux 2006). since Bregović does not share the ideals underlining music revivals. they must have variant forms. Bregović equates himself with anonymous musicians in a distant past who had communally recreated music by varying already existing music material and orally transmitting it to other community members. and emphasizes Roma people as living remains of the “Balkan soul”. where there were never any names. all music becomes traditional. though. they must be anonymous.

or Bosnian. in many interviews he stresses the importance of his tunes being accepted by the audience and living a life of their own. his statements are in accordance with ideals shared by those involved in music revivals: firstly. but natural. without any shame. If the people do not understand. somehow pathetic. modern (Interviews with Goran Bregović. and secondly.). or Croatian. That is my final composing ambition” (Fe- . music produced by agencies] there is no creativity. Nevertheless. n. Gypsies are not bothered by this problem and this is why their music is warm.. the rhythm from a third one. One speaks either Serb. I would know that I did not compose in vain for all these years. as if they were indeed communally recreated: “It makes me happy that in time it was forgotten who composed it [his song Djur­ djev­dan]. but rather emerged on its own” (ibid. They steal music in a way it was being stolen five hundred years ago. In this respect. The image of folk musicians mentioned above is combined with his impression of Roma being more “natural” and therefore more authentic than other nations from the same area. even if unfortunately I do not have gypsy roots … Unfortunately? – But because everyone wants to be a gypsy (kustu. everything stopped. e. d. and they simply like to play it. the melody from another. But since there are copyright agencies. Because in their music [i. That enables me to focus on the sounds of the words.). It is in the tradition of the Slavic texts. ancient. and nowadays it is sung in restaurants as folk song. Bregović’s career shows that his idealized image of folk musicians freely exchanging music among themselves does not extend to the issue of protecting his authorship and copyrights. that music grows “naturally” from the people. no natural flow of ideas. and it becomes their music. The second notion expressed in Bregović’s appreciation of Roma musicians is their presumed attitude towards music and appropriation of music that he seems to share. That happens only once in a composer’s career: to create something that sounds as if it were not 2007). Gypsy is a simple language with few words. preferring what is labelled as “traditional music” over contemporary music forms. and still up to date. which he considers a desirable quality: With Gypsies one always does something eclectic. In contrast to the above quote. He brings his point further by stating that “[i]f I would know that in one hundred years a song of mine is still performed at a wedding or a funeral.20 Aleksandra Marković I wrote in gypsy language because my Serbo-Croatian language does not exist any more. This is how the music developed normally for years. They like the harmony from one song. that does not prevent them from singing with me.

URL: http://www. as he uses them to explain and justify his composing techniques (such as collage and recycling). Apart from obvious promotional goals. Bregović’s statements about the Balkans are not only constructing – or rather corroborating – an existing framework for the audience’s perception of his music. In that way. .folker. Bednarz. URL: http://www. 11. 2007]. rather than physical landscapes.​planet-interview. URL: http://www.htm [21. 4: 917–931. 2007]. 11. Instead of questioning or challenging these representations. In: Slavic Review 60. goranbregovic.goranbregovic. In: Glas javnosti.htm [ Bregović applies the Balkanized image of the region mainly by making statements about the position and “soul” of the Balkans. Für die Filmindustrie bin ich zu schlecht.htm [21. 5 May 2001. 2007].shtml [21. Bregović Official Website: Biography. URL: http:// www. he applies them in the creation of the region’s self-exoticized image which he calls “hypothetical Balkans”. 11. 2007]. 11. In: Folker! Das Musikmagazin. May 1999. Press in French. 2007]. In: Planet Interview – Portal für Interviews. Press in Italian. Literature Bakić-Hayden.yu/press-france. 11.yu/ biography-england. he locates the Balkans either outside Europe or on its borders.php?interview=bregovic-goran [21. Buhre.yu/press-italy. authorship and authenticity. Referring to their symbolic. Jakob 2001: Goran Bregovic. his recurring references to the Balkans serve an additional purpose. Goran Bregović uses Balkanist rhetoric to communi­cate the already existing idea of the Balkans to his audiences. URL: http:// www.htm [21. Press in English.Goran Bregović.de/interviews/pi. Bregović spasava Balkan​g Conclusion In comments about his music.goran​bregovic. URL: 6 July 2001.​htm [21. 2007] the Balkan Music Composer 21 rina 2002). Bregović’s music would indeed become “folk music” of the Balkans. 11.yu/arhiva/2001/05/06/srpski/K01050503. Thorsten 1999: Musik kennt keinen Nationalismus.goranbregovic. Milica 1995: Nesting Orientalisms: The Case of Former Yugo­ slavia. 2007]. URL: http:// arhiva. 11. but are also supporting his own compositional choices and attitudes towards tradition.

Creating an Alternative Music Culture in America. Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Wien. Sanz. Balkan as Metaphor. URL: http://www. Camille 2006: Goran Bregovic. Mijatović.). URL: http://www. Mass. cafebabel. In: cafebabel. In: elmundo.html [21.nin.coolfreepage. Tamara E. 2007]. In: Dušan Bjelić.html [21.: MIT Intervju%20Bregovic. 2007] Fleming. URL: http://www. Mičeta.php?id=en:goran_bregovic [21. Kiossev. 2007] Gourgouris.). 2007]. URL: http://kustu. Zrinka 2002: Novi europski trijumf Gorana Bregovića.nacional. URL: http://milosm. d. 11. 2007]. 19 April 2001. 11. New York: Oxford UP. 11. Livingston. Interviews with Goran Bregović. 11. URL: http://www.html [21. In: The American Historical Review 105. In: Nacional 351. New York: Oxford UP. 1: 66– [21.asp?T=T&Id=6004 [21. kustu.html [21. Alexander 2005: The Dark Intimacy: Maps. Stathis 2005: Hypnosis and Critique: Film Music for the Balkans. Laušević.elmundo. 4: 1218–1233.html [21. European current affairs magazine. 2007]. In: Yurope magazines. Balkan as Metaphor. Between Globalization and Fragmentation.​com/en/article. 11. Balkan as Metaphor.22 Aleksandra Marković Ferina. Cambridge Mass.yurope. Močnik.yu/1999-12/30/ wiki/doku. Rastko 2005: The Balkans as an Element in Ideological Mirjana 2007: Balkan Fascination. n. 11 February 2006. Tamara 1995: Goran Bregovic. Between Globalization and Fragmen­tation. 323–349. 11. 11. Obrad Savić (eds. Pablo 2001: “La tradición está para robarla”.). URL: http:// www. 79–115.: MIT Press. Cambridge. and Balkan Maja 2002: Volksmusik als kompositorisches Stilmittel im Schaffen von Goran Bregović. 21 December 1995. Obrad Savić (eds. Institut für Volksmusikforschung und Ethnomusikologie (not published). In: Nin 2557. 11. Neveux. In: Dušan Bjelić.es/2001/04/19/­cultura/​ 984127. . Nikcevich. Obrad Savić (eds. Kathryn E. 5 August 2002. 30 December 1999. 1999: Music Revivals: Towards a General Theory. the Balkans.4/ Luka 1999: Adresa mi je Balkan. Maria 1997: Imagining the Balkans. 165–190. In: Ethnomusicology 43. 2007].com 2007: Official website of Emir Kusturica. Mass. Cambridge. In: Dušan Bjelić. Between Globalization and Fragmentation. URL: http://www. MA thesis. Acts of Identification.historycooperative. Tigar na službenom putu: Poslednja jugoslovenska device.: MIT Press. 2007]. dice Goran Bregovic. Todorova. a European tempo. 2000: Orientalism.

mainly by making statements about the position and “soul” of the Balkans.Goran Bregović. Bregović utilizes elements of the Balkanist discourse in order to highlight his image as a “Balkan composer”. his statements show that he is in fact using this image to justify his composing choices and his complex attitudes towards issues of authenticity. Referring to symbolic. one of the most popular composers and performers of Balkan music. rather than physical landscapes of the region. the Balkan Music Composer 23 Abstract This paper departs from ideas developed in the discourse on Balkanism and applies them to the analysis of interviews and articles about Goran Bregović. . tradition and authorship. He frequently refers to this region in his interviews and relates to what could be defined as a Balkanized image of the region. Instead of reassessing or challenging the Balkanized image of the area. pages: 25­36.  Tasting the Balkans: Food and Identity «Tasting the Balkans: Food and Identity» by Evgenija Krăsteva­Blagoeva Source: Ethnologia Balkanica (Ethnologia Balkanica). issue: 12 / 2008. . on www.

People tend to associate them with certain memories of childhood. according to Bahtin it embodies the conclusion of the collective labour process. Food as a material. Food proves crucial for collective identities as well. Being part of a cultural system. but collective. typical for post-socialist societies. Sitting in a circle creates a specific relation bringing together those sharing a meal and helping them communicate. in this respect the situation is more complicated.Ethnologia Balkanica 12 (2008) Tasting the Balkans: Food and Identity Evgenija Krăsteva-Blagoeva. and through this process we learn who “we” are (Koc. “our” norms. “Having a taste means to be emotionally integrated in a culture” (Claessens 1979: 130). Welsh 2001: 2). typical only of the community concerned. tangible phenomenon and nutrition as a specific mixture of biology and culture appear rather alien to the prevailing concept of identity. and “our” values. As we learn what to eat. imagined or shifted. the distinctive function of taste is crucial. Historically considered. and settlement (Bahtin 1978: 306). According to Bourdieu. and the respective fluid boundaries of social groups. Childhood deeply influences taste formation. The concept of taste is crucial in this context. they are stable and long-lasting. Yet food has proved crucial for the formation and maintenance both of individual and collective identities. this connection seems a bit strange. Taste preferences constituted during childhood are deeply embedded in the personalities of individuals. and when to eat. Yet. especially in the context of post-socialist Bulgaria (Krăsteva-Blagoeva 2005). From a sociological point of view. which brings together the members of the family. it provides a useful theoretical frame for the problem of food and identity. this conclusion is not fully applicable in terms of food. taste and food habits are not simply individual. a near virtual phenomenon – constructed. impacts . kin. Because of the active social mobility. distinguish themselves by the distinctions they make …” (Bourdieu 1984: 6). taste classifies the classifier: “Social subjects. At first glance. we learn “our” culture. Yet. classified by their classifications. In many societies foodways and tastes are considered unique. In this context it is not accidental that immigrants nostalgically attempt to recreate the food habits of their homeland. Sofia Food and identity are viewed as mutually connected in the anthropology of food or nutritional anthropology. how to eat. Food flavours are quite important in this respect – their repetition becomes a source of pleasure for the child. Various expressions of ethnocentrism through food habits. taking meals is a collective action with important social functions.

we feel threatened by those who resemble us. called this way all over the peninsula except in Greece1. but it may also include territories belonging to more than one country (Bradatan 2003: 2. is almost the same as Greek salad and Turkish çoban salad (where the cheese is not grated like in Bulgaria. and identification of “otherness” through food have been studied. “our” coffee (naša kafa).Access via CEEOL NL Germany 26 Evgenija Krăsteva-Blagoeva of food taboos. who mirror and reflect us. leisure activities. but a whole piece or cubes of it are put on the plate next to the tomatoes and cucumbers). Mintz 1996: 114). stuffed peppers. In fact. turska kava (Serbia. this perspective proves useful for the interpretation of “national otherness” in terms of food. Serbian. the order of the meals and the etiquette of eating (Goody 1982: 151). Nevertheless. As we shall see below. baklava. On a psychological level it could be seen as an expression of the “narcissism of small differences”. Croatia). domaća in Serbian). . The aim of this text is to examine 1 The Balkan names of this hot drink are the following: tursko kafe (Bulgaria. national implications and tensions do exist in the region and certain products and dishes are considered “typically” national and are contested by the neighbours. Some Turkish dishes like sarmale. Greek coffee. manuscript]). Macedonia). In other words. Cyprus). etc. A cuisine is a social institution determined by the type of ingredients used. and preferences including food choices (Koc. With the recent access of Bulgaria to the European Union the trademark and the name of the traditional Bulgarian grape brandy rakia was contested by the Republic of Macedonia. Among the most indicative examples is Turkish coffee. Balkan cuisine is an example of a regional cuisine. The list of such examples could be continued. This term was invented by Freud to denote the tendency of people with minor differences between them to be more aggressive and hateful towards each other than those with major differences (Freud 1918). separated and challenged by national culinary traditions – and by stereotypes. black. Welsh 2001: 2). ordinary (obična in Serbian [Bakić-Hayden. where it is “Greek coffee”. Greek. claiming that this was a typical Macedonian drink. In the Turkish variant sometimes there is no cheese at all. Cypriot coffee (Greece. srpska kava (among Bosnian Serbs only). and moussaka were borrowed by Balkan cuisines and considered typically Bulgarian. In this respect there are only regional cuisines – a region may be a part of certain country. the concept of “national cuisine” appears to be as virtual and constructed as the nation itself – people’s ways of cooking transgress borders. in the Greek only goat cheese is used. cafea turceasca (Romania). The famous “Shopska salad” that has become an emblem of Bulgarian tourism. Balkan cuisine is part of Balkan cultural identity – a concept that is by definition expressed in various everyday practices. homemade (crna. What it actually reflects is the existence of a regional Balkan cuisine.

Several years ago one of the Greeks tried to open a Greek place called “Giromania”3. two Turkish restaurants. In comparison with the other places offering Serbian grill. 2 .Tasting the Balkans: Food and Identity 27 how this cultural identity has been constructed and experienced on a daily basis by people visiting Balkan ethnic restaurants in Sofia. firstly because they have already been studied in another paper (Krăsteva-Blagoeva 2005). became friends and decided to start a business together. They all studied medicine together in Bulgaria. he takes reservations and greets the diners. In other words. Nevertheless. So. The owner. which are viewed as more or less similar to the “native Bulgarian flavour”. while on the other hand. Conducting fieldwork 2 in several “national” establishments (three Serbian grill restaurants. owners. what is considered “traditionally Bulgarian” in terms of taste is mainly used as a reference point for the perception of other national “tastes”. with the participation of a group of students of New Bulgarian University. He treats all of them in quite an unsophisticated manner. the main objective of the research was to understand how people feel about these places and the food they are offering. and staff were made. In addition to being the main chef. He has been the champion of culinary art four times in his home country. Fifty interviews with guests. To a great extent this is due to him. with typical Balkan familiarity. 3 Giros is the Greek name of a special kind of Turkish-Arabic grill. their analysis is only partly included in the present research. The Greek-Lebanese restaurant “Onar” (“dream” in Greek) is the only one of its kind in Sofia. called döner. but it was not successful. maybe because of the strong competition of original Ara The fieldwork was carried out in the period between January and April 2007. “Traditional” Bulgarian restaurants are of course also as self-consciously “Balkan” as the ones mentioned above. The most popular Serbian grill restaurant in Sofia is that of Master Miro. The owners are two Greeks and a Lebanese. Miroslav Stefanović. providing the recipes. a Greek-Lebanese restaurant. the quality of service in his restaurant is highly valued. is Serbian and lives in Bulgaria. On the whole. two of them in Sofia and one in the town of Montana. Many of its famous customers are friends with the owner. NW Bulgaria. his restaurant is known as the one with the best food. It is considered an extraordinary and prestigious place. and secondly because the focus of this text is the perception of other Balkan cuisines in Bulgaria. he has adopted the “Western” attitude of kindness and personal attention towards customers. We wanted to learn whether common dishes and tastes are able to create a real sense of cultural proximity overcoming national rivalries and to see how the symbolic construction of the region and regional identity are made instrumental by food. Department of Anthropology. and a chain of Greek confectioneries in the capital city) we have tried to discover what the role of food is in the formation of Balkan cultural identity.

Ordinary people also go there. In this respect they resemble many restaurants offering traditional Bulgarian cuisine. but not out of the ordinary. very popular in Bulgaria. members of the artistic and political elite. coppers. while the furniture in the whole place is fancy. This leads to the first characteristic feature of this kind of restaurant – they are fashionable and prestigious. The Greek chain of confectionaries “Athene” is frequented by members of the Greek community in Sofia. large baking troughs. and ablution jugs.28 Evgenija Krăsteva-Blagoeva bic djuner (döner) places in Sofia. which are very popular. Maybe it is not accidental that in our research this type of place was found in the countryside. metal candlesticks. The restaurants of the first group display traditional decorations and furniture (wooden tables. to a lesser extent. All of them are arranged quite tastefully. The second confectionary of the chain is located in one of the central trading streets. but only unobtrusively. These integrative functions of the place have diminished in recent years because of the decreasing number of Greek students in Sofia. The restrained use of oriental motifs in the interior is obviously a delicate way of avoiding potential unfriendly reactions. chairs. are famous for the tasty food they offer. The interior of these Balkan restaurants is not “pure” and “authentic” in national terms. Yet. paintings with traditional motifs. while the two Serbian restaurants in the capital belong to the second group of places with no “national” elements in the interior. it is still a sign of the Greek presence in the city. i. This is absolutely true in the case of Turkish restaurants and. customers are expected to be of good financial status. in the town of Montana. variegated tablecloths etc). and čalga4 folk singers. They can be viewed as a combination of ethnic elements and characteristics of “ordinary” and contemporary establishments. This was also the place where Greek newspapers were sold. Because of its location near the Medical Academy (where many Greeks were studying) it used to be a gathering place for the group. the Serbian restaurants can be divided into two groups. businessmen. The two Turkish restaurants studied. of the Serbian grill restaurants. announcements of Greek concerts were distributed. Regular clients are famous people. etc. but only on special occasions. wooden panelling and other wood carvings. Elements of the national culture are used. There is an oriental hint in the way the bill is handed to the diners – it is placed in a wooden box with a mother-of-pearl decoration. With regard to the interior. The combination of Greek and Lebanese cuisine appeared to be more successful. e.. even though most of the clients like it and some of them would even prefer more. The prices in all the places are relatively high. In “T & M” oriental artifacts are used as a decoration – narghiles. . such symbolic elements are found only in 4 Čalga – Oriental-style new folk music. In the mid-1990s one of its sweets shops even achieved certain clublike functions. “T & M” (an abbreviation meaning “Turkish cuisine”) and “The Green Paradise”.

. Yet even though the interiors of all the Serbian restaurants studied were quite similar to the ordinary Bulgarian establishments. garlic. The level of conscious cultural proximity and common identity and the affection for Serbian kafana music. The interiors of the three sweet shops of the Greek chain “Athene” are considered Greek by the owners. the music in all the restaurants is mostly national and customers really enjoy it. The furniture is imported from Greece. but with no dances and live music. that has been widespread in Bulgaria ever since the time of socialism. While people go to Serbian 5 Informant M.”5 Miro’s place is rather modern and exquisite. The interior of the Greek-Lebanese restaurant “Onar” is a mixture of Greek and Lebanese elements. because customers prefer it to Lebanese songs. Because it sounds familiar and resembles Western Bulgarian dialects (considered non-prestigious. Chairs are made of press-board. Only a negligible number of guests (mostly intellectuals) do not like the music – according to them it sounds like traditional or “tavern music”. menus are made of textile and wood. In contrast with the interior. since literary Bulgarian is based on Eastern dialects) Serbian is perceived as a funny “peasant” language. in terms of merry-making”. the spirit of the places was considered different by the people: “Knowing that you are in a foreign restaurant. the Balkan people. not in tune with the modern atmosphere of the restaurant. and spices hanging on the front door (beef is considered typically Serbian). Perhaps this is due to some Bulgarians’ perception of the Serbian language. photographs of famous and beautiful places in both countries accompany the list of dishes. Narghiles are scattered all over the place. but there is also Bulgarian čalga music. The only “national decoration” is the bull’s head and ropes of onion. In “T & M” the music is Turkish and the clients appreciate it. recorded by Maria Aleksieva. Many parties are held there. somehow cheers you up. Hristova.Tasting the Balkans: Food and Identity 29 the food and the music. Some people say that customers of Serbian restaurants are “merry and joyful” people – “There is a close resemblance between us. different from your national affiliation. Fun is an important part of the “Balkan way” of eating out. In the Greek-Lebanese restaurant music is mainly Greek. This is the main difference between Turkish and other Balkan restaurants. 40 years old. This could be interpreted as a conscious and deliberate trend towards elevating the status of the grill in the hierarchy of dishes offered (maybe directly borrowed from Serbian cuisine). are important factors in this respect. It is not accidental that this was observed in all Serbian restaurants studied – and it is completely lacking in the Turkish establishments. but in fact national elements are not really visible in them. Greek columns are combined with oriental paintings and Lebanese curtains with ropes. Some of the clients there even claim that the music positively influences their appetite and puts them at ease. The biggest parties with live music take place at Miro’s Serbian grill.

As a result of a process of “Europeanisation” after the liberation from Turkish rule in 1878. while the restaurants served mostly grill dishes. Oriental in origin. Both were typical of the Bulgarian culinary tradition. the fear of new food) or the opposite. This raised the status of the grill itself. It was usually eaten with beer and the places of the so-called “grill and beer” type were always full of people. Roth 2006: 11). In the Balkan restaurants we studied. elements of both types of cuisines were present. as fast food). most Bulgarian . For historical and political reasons they were to some extent excluded from the menus of Bulgarian restaurants and nowadays they can be found only in some Balkan restaurants. All of them are part of the so-called “exo-cuisine” – it includes eating out. while the everyday home ‘endo-cuisine’ is much more conservative (Lévi-Strauss 1997. The differentiation between the two is seen in people’s inclination to eat always the same dishes (because of the unconscious neophobia. to experiment and to try different dishes. and generally it is more expensive. and that is why people are motivated to eat in such places. Its taste is a bit different from its Bulgarian equivalent. In fact. Their “exo” nature is undoubted and obvious. these dishes have become part of the Bulgarian habitus (Bourdieu 1984). the Turkish ones are mainly places for perfect culinary experiences. With regard to their interior they were taverns rather than restaurants.30 Evgenija Krăsteva-Blagoeva and Greek places not only to eat. they are still considered very tasty. lamb (prepared in different ways) is one of the most favoured dishes. Turkish coffee was considered “not modern enough” and nowadays it is rarely served in ordinary cafes – so people enjoy drinking it in the Greek chain “Athene” and in Turkish restaurants. Despite its popularity it was not considered exquisite. The same tendency holds true for the grill dishes and grill restaurants. but also for having fun. they were internalized into the Bulgarian culinary system. but it also used to be a symbol of restaurant food. but people tend to go there also because they are looking for some forgotten dishes that used to be typical of their native cuisine. and special occasions. This appears to be the main characteristic of “Balkantourist” style. Among the most indicative examples in this respect are lamb and so-called Turkish coffee. one of the visible changes that occurred with the appearance of Serbian grill after 1989 was the transformation of these humble places into real restaurants. named after the only tourist agency in socialist Bulgaria. Balkan coffee houses rapidly disappeared (Jezernik 2001: 202). It is not accidental that in all the restaurants studied. So. The food is greatly appreciated by the customers of all restaurants studied. in other words. By definition it is more innovative and open to foreign influences. feasts. but for some reason they are not so widespread any more. In the period before 1989 sophisticated meals were prepared at home. particularly the Serbian one is considered special and quite delicious. but rather an ordinary. unpretentious dish (it was often consumed on the street with bread. Nevertheless.

their place is taken by the universal spice vegeta. here everything is special and people come because of the grill”. In contrast to the Bulgarian equivalent. but not more tasty than ours. recorded by Silvia Stefanova. because “I like the country 6 7 Informant Čavdar. 26 years old. Deserts are Serbian. In Miro’s place Bulgarians are very fond of the grilled meat kebapče. In the owner’s words. and spices) and “Serbian bean soup” are among the favourites. In comparison with all other places. in addition to the Serbian grill pleskavica. but the special grill places remain mainly Serbian. Informant Iskren. Even though Bulgarians consider themselves great fans of hot foods. It is also indicative that people organize private parties there. Here are some examples illustrating food conservatism in terms of taste and the high esteem for native dishes: “The food is more gingery. savoury and mint are not used by the Serbs at all. too. Simply some of our Serbian brothers decided to try to do something special in Bulgaria and it came out successful. the pork specialty of the house (baked with yellow cheese. he chose Bulgaria. They simply replaced Bulgarian establishments of this kind. We are very good cooks. the two can not be compared. “there is no specialty of the house. beef sausages. especially accompanied by the irresistible plum rakia. recorded by Tanja Trajanova. none of the diners claimed that the food tasted better than Bulgarian food. it was necessary for the owner to reduce the hot spices to meet to their taste. In the Serbian restaurant in Montana. Even though all three Serbian restaurants are quite fashionable and the food is considered perfect. which implies the highest level of cultural proximity (but not identity). It was also used by the owner of the place. He offers extra Bulgarian spices to be added by the guests. In an informant’s words: “Although it resembles the Bulgarian one. but maybe because of the “narcissism of small differences” they do not wish to express and acknowledge this directly. but sometimes we wish to try something different”. people like it”7. but we like this. For instance. . The key phrase in the last quotation is “our Serbian brothers”. which is typical for the entire region. barman. too. waiter. People like this food a lot. Nowadays Bulgarian restaurants offer grill together with other dishes. but none of the respondents were inclined to invite foreign visitors – in such cases they all prefer traditional Bulgarian restaurants. the so-called “Golden Serbian grill” in Sofia. ham. The third Serbian restaurant studied.”6 In addition to the grill. chicken and Serbian ljutenica are among the most popular dishes. In his words. Salads and starters are Bulgarian. “We do highly value our cuisine. is also very popular because of its perfect meat dishes. and according to Master Miro that is why their dishes are more savoury.Tasting the Balkans: Food and Identity 31 “grill and beer” places disappeared and were replaced by Serbian grill restaurants. Miro’s grill is much more juicy and fragrant. Serbian kebabče is more gingery and spicy.

On the other hand. According to a Greek client of the place. while not affecting in any way their national sentiments. By contrast with the Serbian grill. It is worth noting that “the brotherhood” subject was not recorded anywhere else except in Serbian restaurants. is the most popular Lebanese dish. resemblance in taste and cultural proximity are interpreted differently in comparison with the Serbian case. Greek spaghetti pasticio. In this case. thus. a “secondary” national cuisine has been established. The similarity to what is perceived as Bulgarian cuisine. It reflects the awareness of cultural proximity at all levels. not to Greeks and much less to Turks. recorded by Iva Ivanova.owner of the place. similarities between Bulgarian cuisine and the Greek-Lebanese dishes are hard to find. as Lebanese coffee is not so well liked because of the Arabic habit of putting cardamom in it. Like the owners of the Serbian grill. grill. or at least the degree of this notional coincidence is not so great.32 Evgenija Krăsteva-Blagoeva and the people – they have hot blood. In everyday discourse it exists only in relation to Serbs. . we – Bulgarians and Serbs – we are brothers”8. the situation with coffee is the opposite. and deserts with walnuts and couscous are preferred. also typical of Bulgarian cuisine). this may be due to the closeness of the Greek and Bulgarian cuisine and the fact that Lebanese cuisine is considered more exotic. but the combination of dishes offered here is irresistible. the fact that it is situated on the very edge of “ours” and “foreign” (extracting the best from both of them in terms of “endo” and “exo”) cuisine is among the main factors for the success of the Serbian grill. The taste of the Serbian grill is highly valued precisely because “it is like our own. but as seen above.”9 Nev- 8 9 Informant Miroslav Stefanović. On the basis of the “elemental” taste. In this process its regional core remains hidden or unconscious. the latter is preferred by Bulgarian customers – according to the owners. From the Greek part of the menu fish. but not exactly”. Greek and Lebanese chefs had to reduce the spices and the quantity of hot flavourings. This leads to the archetypal nature of taste as something not constructed or figured out. recorded by Tanja Trajanova. Informant Iorgos. Most of them indicate even indifference to all “national” topics. the existence of ethnic restaurants (especially Balkan) is highly valued by the diners. In other words. just like us. “Greek” Turkish coffee is preferred by the clients. Greek cuisine is considered more oily and doughy than the Lebanese one. not in terms of taste. prepared in various ways. but even this awareness cannot overcome the preference for the native cuisine. moussaka (a Turkish dish. As a whole. Lamb. In fact. it resembles Greek restaurants a lot: “Greek and Lebanese cuisines are incompatible. For reasons mentioned above (desiring almost forgotten dishes and drinks from the past). 27 years old. but deeply coded in the very essence of the self. “close” no longer means “tasty”.

typical of the Turks. town of Montana. recorded by Neli Boeva. 30 years old. traditionally prepared by young maidens10. one that is usually prepared at home. insisting that this was “Greek coffee”. They identify the drink not so much in terms of its taste. are regular clients of Greek coffee houses. This is seen in one informant’s words: “I’ve been to Turkey. For Bulgarians the name of the coffee has lost any national connotation: “Turkish coffee” means nothing else than a coffee prepared the old-fashioned way. Blagovec (meaning “sweet”. its meals have been borrowed by all Balkan peoples and to some extent are imagined as being local and typical only of the respective national cuisine. Greek confectioneries are the favourites of many people because of the coffee. not in a machine. As a whole. Because the folk name of the feast. I don’t remember what exactly I ate there. Fresh juices and Greek ouzo are well liked by the clients. the perception of the Turkish cuisine by Bulgarians is associated with the idea of “extreme taste”. which attract foreign diners. the news that Virgin Mary is going to give birth to Christ is called “the Good [sweet] news”). which is not available in ordinary Bulgarian cafes. which is why they continue calling it Turkish coffee. Fans of this type of coffee. but most people claim that it is worth it. encodes the idea of sweetness. They not only insist on its Greek origin. but it was absolutely tasty”11. Turkish cuisine forms the core of Balkan cuisine.Tasting the Balkans: Food and Identity 33 ertheless. Prices are considered to be relatively high. but it is overlooked by Bulgarians. A considerable number of dishes belonging to the “Bulgarian” cuisine are in fact borrowed from the Ottomans. there is a slight difference in taste between Greek and Turkish coffee. as in terms of its preparation. In fact. Despite these common dishes and tastes. Because most Bulgarians are accustomed to calling it “Turkish”coffee. even in Greek cafes. because the service and the quality of the sweets is also high. but also claim that the first cafe in Europe was established by a Greek in Paris. 10 . they sometimes get annoyed because waiters (all of them Bulgarians) constantly correct them. These are the only places in Sofia where Turkish coffee is called Greek coffee. the number of Greeks visiting the place is smaller than the number of Arabs. It is the equivalent of the archaic Bulgarian ritual of a maiden preparing her first bread at the feast of Annunciation. are only available in these sweet shops during the Christmas season. For instance. 11 Informant Tanja Veleva. all the breads kneaded by the girl are expected to be sweet and tasty. Exactly the same reaction is found in Greece – some clients recounted how Greek waiters got angry when they tried to order Turkish coffee. The sweets in the sweet shops of “Athene” are made according to Greek recipes. Most of them want to enjoy This practice is still alive even in big cities in Greece. there are some peculiarities. Greek Christmas cookies. This does not hold true for Greeks. in a copper coffee pot and over the fire.

Even though some of the dishes have their Bulgarian analogues. enjoy their light diet and often order only starters. recorded by Liliana Dojkin. and Serbian cuisines than in the Turkish cuisine. The flavour of Turkish meals is considered to be a bit exotic. “their” within the Bal Informant Nikolaj Gavrilov. but not alien. are also very popular. As regards Balkan cuisine. All the chefs are Turks. nothing more. some of the spices and the grits are imported from Istanbul. oriental”12. The syrupy Turkish sweets are favoured by lots of Bulgarians and are also considered part of the “Bulgarian” cuisine. with regard to taste. This is obvious in one informant’s words “None of the meals is exactly the same as ours and none of them is absolutely different from ours”. 28 years old. businessman. from the Bulgarian point of view it marks the ultimate point of the virtual scale “ours” – “foreign” in terms of taste. However. To conclude. with regard to more distant cultures and culinary traditions (such as French. 12 13 . which is different every day. Turkish and Serbian cuisines are highly valued by Bulgarians. Italian. local. On the other hand. most of whom are vegetarians. 14 Informant Hristina Ivanova. “It is a nice alternative. Internal oppositions of “us” vs. chiefly grill. Instead of a single specialty of the house there is a specially made dish. Greek cuisine is also well liked. On the other hand. the Turkish ones are considered different. and especially Chinese) the situation is the opposite: here the exotic is defined as palatable or even delicious. Turkish cooks claim that the variety of pastry and dough products is greater in Greek. the best explanation was given by an informant who said: “Because both cuisines. it is not considered better than the Bulgarian one: “Their success means only that an alternative of our cuisine is being esteemed. the very fact that there is no “pure” Greek restaurant in Sofia is indicative of that. “them” or “ours” vs. 44 years old.” This leads directly to the conclusion that native. receptionist. foreign. culturally habitualised cuisine – and regional cuisine – are perceived as tasty. it is not possible to decide which one is tastier.”13 Aside from rarely recorded “nationalistic” opinions (“I am a nationalist and it is difficult for me to acknowledge priorities of other nations”)14. the sweets from the Turkish restaurant and the former Turkish confectionery (which does no longer exist) are considered the best. Greek sweet shops like the “Athene” are quite popular. which is close to our cuisine and at the same time it is exotic. are close to each other.34 Evgenija Krăsteva-Blagoeva something new and order different dishes every time. Despite the undoubted qualities of the Turkish cuisine. Diners. Ibidem. This ambiguity combines with the undoubted culinary skills of the Turks. but not as much. recorded by Liliana Dojkin. Bulgarian and Turkish. what is close to native tastes is considered savoury. Bulgarian. Eggplant can be prepared in a multitude of ways and other various lamb dishes. Eating out in Balkan restaurants strengthens the Balkan collective identity of the customers.

Jack 1982: Cooking. Claude 1997: The Culinary Triangle. Evgenija 2005: Kultura na “bărzoto” i “bavno” hranene na bălgarina v načaloto na XXI vek [The culture of “fast” and “slow” food of the Bulgarians in the beginning of the 21st century]. 2001. Foodways and Immigrant Experience. In: Anthropology of East Europe Review 21. Jezernik. Halifax (manuscript). Boston: Beacon.Tasting the Balkans: Food and Identity 35 kan frame are being constantly actualized through food. Cambridge. Cuisine and Class. Tasting Freedom. Images of Imperial Legacy in Southeast Europe. Cristina 2003: Cuisine and Cultural Identity in the Balkans. Mass. New York: Simon & Schuster. Roth. UK: Cambridge UP. In: Philip Rieff (ed. Bourdieu. Nov. Klaus 2006: Spor za jadeneto? Hranitelno povedenie v bikulturni brakove i semejstva. Sidney W. Paper written for the Multiculturalism Program. Goody. Bradatan. Jennifer Welsh 2001: Food. Bakić-Hayden. Department of Canadian Heritage and the Canadian Ethnic Studies Association Conference. Sofia: Nauka i izkustvo. Koc. In: Antropologični izsledvanija [Antropological Studies] 6: 50-73. Lots of resemblances in meals. Literature Bahtin. Ditter 1979: Familie und Wertsystem. Aarhus: Aarhus UP. A Study in Comparative Sociology.).). Sexuality and the Psychology of Love. Milica 2006: Empires Are Us: Identifying with Differences. festivities and music are thus made visible and are given meaning due to the existence of these places. In: Ethnologia Balkanica 5: 193–206. New York: Routledge. Mustafa. Pierre 1984: Distinction. 1: 43–49. In: Carole Counihan. Freud. Božidar 2001: Where Paradise Was but a Sip of Hellish Brew Away: A Story of Coffee in the Balkans.). Volgograd: Peremena 2005. Communication Studies 2005.). In: Bălgarska etnologija 32. A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste. Maximilian Hartmuth (eds. Cambridge. Claessens. Mihail 1978: Tvorčestvoto na Fransoa Rable i narodnata kultura na Srednovekovieto i Renesansa [The art of François Rabelais and the folk culture of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance]. Siegmund 1963: The Taboo of Virginity. 225–243). In: Tea Sindbeak. Penny van Esterik (eds.: Harvard UP. Per Jacobsen. 1996: Tasting Food. Mintz. Lévi-Strauss. 3: 10–24 (published also in English: Conflict about Food? Food Habits in Bi-Cultural Marriages and Families. Krăsteva-Blagoeva. It is in this manner that a symbolic construction of the region through food is being formed. John Parrish-Sprowl (eds. Modern Anthology. In: Olga Leontovich. . Berlin: Dunker & Humblot. Food and Culture: A Reader.

Three Serbian grill restaurants. as well as a chain of Greek confectioneries were studied in order to find out whether common dishes and tastes are able to create a sense of cultural proximity overcoming national rivalries. etc. festivities. and to see how the symbolic construction of the region and regional identity are instrumentalized by food. two Turkish and one Greek-Lebanese restaurant. In order to examine how this cultural identity has been constructed and experienced on a daily basis by people visiting Balkan ethnic restaurants in Sofia. fieldwork was conducted in several “national” establishments. furnishings.36 Evgenija Krăsteva-Blagoeva Abstract The paper deals with the problem of food as an important element and symbol of cultural identity. music. . Resemblances and differences in meals. It seeks to outline the main dimensions of the symbolic and mental construction of the Balkan region through the perceptions of “Balkan cuisine”. Ethnic restaurants and the food they offer appear to be a suitable context for constructing national and regional identity. revealed different levels of perceived cultural proximity between Bulgarians and their neighbours based on food and taste.

 and Regional Identities: The Case of Bulgaria» by Nikolai Vukov; Miglena Ivanova Source: Ethnologia Balkanica (Ethnologia Balkanica). Meal Specialties. Meal  Food Labels.ceeol. . and Regional Identities: The Case of Bulgaria «Food Labels. pages: 37­58. issue: 12 / 2008. on www.

Commonly perceived as tools for identifying the deepest roots of regional and national identities. etc. dough products. Developing in parallel with the emergence and popularization of cookbooks in modern times. Miglena Ivanova. Regionally styled yoghurts.. and Regional Identities: The Case of Bulgaria Nikolai Vukov. Kapama Bansko Style (stewed meet dish. brandies. Although they are undoubtedly rooted in indigenous food preparation practices. etc. Although probably the most representative examples of such culinary perceptions of the regional differentiation.Ethnologia Balkanica 12 (2008) Food Labels. food labels provide illustrative examples on the relationship between national space and territory through the functionalization of the culinary code in published discourse. and often considered as dating back to times immemorial. Sofia A random look at the menu of almost every restaurant in Bulgaria reveals considerable quantities of food labels where tags of regional identification are clearly stated and constitute important components in the list of meals. from all over the country abound in shop windows and supermarkets. restaurants are certainly not the only ones that dwell upon and exploit regional identifications. Widely advertised in different media. firm logos. Săzdarma Loveč style (dried minced meat typical of the town of Loveč). Meal Specialties. These specialty lists include. Rodopski Patatnik (potato pastry. spice peculiarity. regionally labelled dishes are a relatively recent phenomenon. Strandžanski Djado (dried meat specialty which originates from the Strandža Mountains). for example. delicacies. they are nevertheless a modern construct – one conditioned by the functionalization of traditions in new cultural milieus. technology of preparation. and TV adds. At the same time other less trivialized cases of regional signification form the menus of restaurants with pretensions to express traditional cuisine (see illustration 1). a number of industrially produced foods and drinks are promoted with both their taste specificities and their belonging to regional or “age old” culinary traditions. The everyday life of many Bulgarians nowadays also includes buying and consuming plenty of ready-made foods created with and known under their regional labels. typical for the region of Bansko). a food label outlines the particular region and puts it in correlation . Dishes like the popular Šopska Salad made of fresh vegetables or the poached Eggs Panagjurište Style are a regular element of almost every menu list. ljutenicas. wines. Localizing a food item by means of its origin. etc. characteristic for the Rhodope Mountains).

Addressing the ways in which regional identifiers emerge and are construed in food labels. by means of which an imaginary journey within a national territory is conducted with a fork and a knife over a plate of a freshly cooked “traditional” meal. Their analysis can uncover key moments in the history of imagining regions and of their consolidation and distinguishing within the conceptual map of national cuisine. At the backstage of proliferating studies on food and regionalism in the last two decades. the regional. Miglena Ivanova to other localities on the national map. The dishes and their labels will be shown as not merely designating affiliations to particular regions. This has turned the local conceptualizations of food into a powerful tool for identity construction and sells regional imagination together with the typical regional foodstuffs. there exists a niche for a multitude of local specificities and variations.Access via CEEOL NL Germany 38 Nikolai Vukov. both at home and in places for eating out. the symbolic construction of regionally shaped dishes with their appearance and distribution in cookbooks and recipe books and the related policies of regional identity construction. Thus. We will also seek to examine how the modern personality and its eating habits include the “consumption” of a great number of local food labels. . of course. etc. With their roots in traditional perceptions and stereotypic formulae. the problem of regionalised food labelling has remained largely unstudied in Southeast Europe. as long as the Bulgarian cuisine – as a Southeast European one – continues to rely upon the same jahnijas. they have a particular resonance in the Balkans. tastes. as they were reflected by the various cookbooks published in Bulgaria. but also as creating a symbolic geography of origins in which the national. the use of their local specificities for outlining particularities and for finding the national colour of the dishes is still possible by borrowing from the grass-root level. very much like a hundred years ago. Although certain aspects of its emergence on the threshold of nation building and modernity have caught the attention of researchers. dishes bearing regional labels enter the list of “national meals” with their regional specifications and are often involved in the construction of national stereotypes (see Roth 2004: 172). the current text will focus on the different and shifting meanings that are developed by recipe titles. have not yet received a thorough exploration. which is commonly linked with the native. and smells. Parallel to those practices. but also as stimulators of imagination. widely spread in many parts of the world.. and the local enter in an intricate relationship. kebaps. where until very recently food was mostly prepared at home and had plenty of local variations. Although these implications are. Regional identifiers in food items also involve a peculiar oscillation between the consumption of the national and regional recipes as compliant with certain tastes. plakijas.

Collage: Maria Kovačeva. Meal Specialties. in the socialist times. as represented in published cookbooks and recipe books. and national memories encoded within its production and consumption.Food Labels. and in the post-socialist period. The authors will approach these issues by following their historical dynamics of formation and will seek to outline three major steps in their development with respect to the Bulgarian case – in the first half of the twentieth century. Drawing on an abundant wealth of material collected from cookbooks published since the 1930s (when they began to include Bulgarian regional labels) until today. and Regional Identities 39 Illustration 1: Examples of recipes with Bulgarian regional identifiers in the menu of the restaurant in traditional style Hadžidraganovite kăšti in Sofia. The choice of cookbooks for analysing the process of forming regional awareness through food specialties is guided by several reasons. regional. and to reflect on the construction of regional identities along the code of food production and culinary specificity. to elaborate on the strategies of defining regions through such food labels in “nationally shared” cuisine patterns. The main goals of this article will be to trace the evolvement of regional identifiers in food labels. Photo: Nadežda Pavlova. the article will use the food to navigate through the local. They repre- .

but hardly a regional label. experiencing. etc. Unlike other aspects of folk culture such as clothes. Slavejkov 1870: 91–119. As such. Constituting a record of the food habits and eating specialties shared by different ethnic and national groups. vernacular architecture. French. Before the great divide A brief glance at the history of regional identification in food items reveals that cooked food was surprisingly late to appear in the Bulgarian national repertoires of traditional items. studies of traditional food were for a long time rare and only occasionally referred to regional specificities. Russian. recently. Italian. and bonding to territories and cultures. were added. As products mostly of urban and print cultures. some meals were named “traditional” and “old” ones. It included a separate section on the Istanbul practices of salting meat according to different foreign styles (English. Miglena Ivanova sent a particular expression of cultural memory – one that relies on the individual and collective experience and that channels this experience along the lines of specialization in food preparation that are shared with a broader public. and often not even minor details about the region of origin. and some of them rely on palpable autobiographic memories that nurture and sustain their appearance. American. and to generate a sense of collective memory that in turn shapes communal memory” (Naguib 2006: 280). of globalization. they offer ideas of native origin. While mentioning none of these local variants. to invoke ‘memory beyond mind’. and verbal folklore.1 Similarly.. “cookbooks function rhetorically as memory texts: to memorialize both individuals and community. and editing. recording. Dutch. who have been reported by 20th century historians as bringing to the Ottoman capital some of their typical habits of consuming various types of Bulgarian salted meat specialties which substantially vary in their local specifics. they are a particular example of documenting traits of traditions that are gradually losing grounds in the face of modernization and. German. systematizing.40 Nikolai Vukov. Slavejkov pays a lot of attention to foreign salted meat specialties. 128–131). . Danish. Prior to that. the author did not refer to any Bulgarian local salted meet specialties. Including endeavours in taking down recipes 1 A notable example in this respect is one of the most representative 19th century recipe books by P. Slavejkov. Most of these Bulgarians were newcomers. although Istanbul hosted many immigrants from different Bulgarian towns and villages. most of the culinary items were recognized as regional ones quite late. heritage. from the 1930s on. Many of the published cookbooks and recipe books are results of long years of learning. they are a convenient milieu for enhanced awareness of national identities and for opening outlets for “invention” within the sphere of tradition. As Nefissa Naguib points out. At the same time. German. although present in the paradigm of Bulgarian ethnographers since the 1890s.

Food Labels. and Regional Identities 41 from old women. etc. they offered mainly recipes from the international cuisine. they were again spared regional identification markers. flavours or details of culinary technology. The emphasis was strongly on the creation of a “modern” culture of eating with a diversity of forms. but also for the ethnographer. This was a 2 Even the most comprehensive and detailed account of food and meals provided by the prominent Bulgarian ethnographer Dimităr Marinov was remarkable in that respect. colour. the regional labels and the variations in the preparation of the meals characteristic for the country were absent not only on the everyday level. as he did not deem it necessary to specify the region of origin of dishes. It was in this context where dishes from foreign cuisines came up and where the distinction between national traditions different from those of the close geographical neighbours emerged. he clearly distinguished costume patterns from different regions and villages by the form. It is worth mentioning. Marinov would rather describe the unity than the variety of this cultural realm (Marinov 1901).2 The first decades of the twentieth century were a turning point in the development of an urban type of food and modern “European” eating habits in urban contexts. With the “European” cuisine there also appeared the trend to use regional labels in order to distinguish between meals differing from one another only in small details by their ingredients. they offered quite a few such recipes for native soups. but nevertheless important symptom of change in the modern Bulgarian urban culinary culture appeared in the cookbooks of the 1930s and 1940s. serving. and arrangement of the various ornaments. and whenever the attention was directed to traditional kinds of meals. As in the previous decades. Although Bulgarian dishes were less present in these cookbooks. but not the national ones. that none of them was regionally labelled or named “Bulgarian”. the published work of the prominent Bulgarian ethnographers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century was relatively negligent in providing details on regional variations and meal titles. . and tastes. Meal Specialties. sărmas. the “national” ones lacked regional identification and were surrounded by “self-evidence”. Cookbooks were at that time very active in spreading the modern Bulgarian habits of cooking and serving. as young ladies and professional cooks were supposed to be able both to cook in a “European” style and to prepare basic dishes from the Bulgarian cuisine. Obviously. However. A hardly perceptible. though. the main groups of dishes in these cookbooks were still the European ones. although when writing about traditional costumes. Appearing initially as appendices to journals and newspapers. the new culinary and serving culture became an object of special education and knowledge in Bulgaria in the early twentieth century. janhijas. kapamas. Thus. While the “European” dishes often had regional labels. The art of preparing an omelette Russian or Austrian style was well known in the “European” cuisine by the beginning of the twentieth century.

Lukanka Sausage Koprivštica Style (Hristova 1938: 67) and Grilled Danubian Mackerel (Slavčeva 1941: 38). All these factors contributed to the increase of spaces for public eating. both “ethnographic” regions (like the region of Trakija and the Šopski region near Sofia). together with that. Kalendar po gotvarstvo 2005). Sărbinova 1935. Miteva-Karakaševa 1932. The period was characterized by a new mobility of people across the country (due to resettlement. it was precisely these books that introduced several regional labels in Bulgarian cookbook repertoires and. the involvement of women in industrial production and the resulting radical shortening of their time available for preparing food at home. Macedonian Sausage (Kalendar po gotvarstvo 2005: 384–385). and the dependence on conventional and largely uniform menus offered by the canteen . Popova 1934. Their existence and functioning was regulated by rules set by the state. and Meatless Gjuveč Trakija Style (Hakanova 1937. Nevertheless. Eggs Panagjurište Style (Ivanov 1937: 44). Out of 17 recipes for gjuveč. These include some of the recipes that would later become extremely famous examples of the “traditional Bulgarian cuisine” such as Šopska Salad (Krăsteva 1940: 44). etc. Dimčevska 1933. many places of cheap public eating came up besides the restaurants. Hristova 1938. such as the river Danube. see illustration  2). Čolčeva. Its various types were distinguished not only by the necessary products and by the details of their preparation. Kasărova. grand construction projects or enhanced educational initiatives). a version of the latter named Kujruklija. Gjuveč Šopski Style. industrialization policies. by the introduction of new kinds of communal and collective life. the cookbooks aimed predominantly at housewives (500 recepti 1927. the guides for cooking courses in maidens’ schools (Peeva. Slavčeva 1941. and geographical realities.42 Nikolai Vukov. which were the initial decades of socialist rule in Bulgaria. it was mainly traditional foods which were presented in regional variants and invested with regional labels.). Miglena Ivanova well-established strategy practically in all pertinent types of books in that period – the books for professional cooks (Ivanov 1937). As is apparent from such examples. but also by the regional identifiers in their names. Notable was the wide presence of regional labels in a cookbook dedicated to the traditional cuisine. collectivization of agriculture. including the use of regional identifiers. five had such regionalised names: Tjurlju Gjuveč Varna Style. where there was a special section on Bulgarian gjuveč. and even books for raising the culinary culture of village women (Negencova-Vladinska 1929). Gjuveč Stara Zagora Style. cookbooks of that time succeeded to encompass both big towns and their regions (like Sliven. Simeonova 1935. Stara Zagora or Varna). The general overtone of the cookbooks in the 1930s and 1940s was still rather a “travel” around the world than a visit to the local and regional food patterns. In the late 1940s as well as in the 1950s and 1960s. In terms of scope. or small towns (Samokov and Panagjurište). the manner of labelling traditional Bulgarian recipes. mostly ones at the workplace.

Food Labels, Meal Specialties, and Regional Identities


Illustration 2: Cover page of the 1937 cookbook of A. Hakanova, one of the first books that
systematically included Bulgarian regional identifiers in food names. Courtesy of the Regional History Museum, Ruse.

cook. In turn, the latter could rely not only on the skills acquired in their families or households, but also on the recipe books approved and recommended by
the socialist state.
With the exception of the few already mentioned food labels, which were fossilized in the language quite early on, regional labels would not find their way
into the pages of cookbooks, and the identification of a dish as from a distinct
region of Bulgaria would appear only occasionally. Gjuvečs, musakas and traditional cheese pastries in most cases lacked regional identifications, although the
books typically included already trivialized “traditional” dishes such as Šopska
Salad (Kniga za domakinjata 1956: 95, Kniga za domakinjata 1966: 95), and
Eggs Panagjurište Style (Kniga za domakinjata 1956: 209; Kniga za domakinjata 1966: 214; Najdenov, Čortanova 1974: 113). Together with these, there were
also occasional items that later gained wide popularity, such as Kebap Šopski
Style (Kniga za domakinjata 1956: 114), Grilled Danubian Mackerel (Najdenov,


Nikolai Vukov, Miglena Ivanova

Čortanova 1974: 229), or Tomato Gjuveč Trakija Style (Najdenov, Čortanova
1974: 183).
In recipe books for public eating, regional references were noticeably more
common. In one of the first state-approved repertoires for socialist places of eating out, one can find Šopska Salad together with Oriental, Mexican, and Italian
ones (Sbornik recepti 1956, vol. 1: 50–87), as well as Jahnija Dobrudža Style,
Gjuveč Trakija Style or Meatballs Čirpan Style or the non-traditional “Rila”
Cocktail (Sbornik recepti 1956, vol. 1: 199, 217, vol. 2: 28, 49, 242). In a popular recipe book for forestry workers, Šopska Salad and Eggs Panagjurište Style
are already mentioned as having a strong familiarity (Popova, Bozukova 1965:
22, 27). The geographical scope began to widen, and on the map of regional
specialties there appeared several small towns like Čirpan in Central Bulgaria,
“new” ethnographic regions like Dobrudža, and geographical names like the
Rila Mountains. At the same time, however, while some of the textbooks for
future professional cooks contained regional identifiers in recipe labels, such as
Jahnija Dobrudža Style or Eggs Panagjurište Style (Bojadžiev 1959: 221, 258,
263), others lacked such identifiers (Vălkova, Konstantinova 1959). In general,
both in the first half of the twentieth century and in the first decades of socialism, cookbooks involved far more regional labels from the European cuisine,
and the major difference was that in the 1950s and 1960s there was a much larger representation of the cuisine of Russia and other socialist countries. In contrast, although they gradually increased, regional titles from the Bulgarian cuisine were very limited in number.
Regional food in the spotlight of invention
Despite this gradual process of growing attention to regional markers in food
items, a basically new view of national cuisine came up in the early 1970s, together with the new nutrition policy of the state which aimed at improving food
quality (as far as the desired quantity was presumed to have been satisfied already). The change was manifested in a new attitude towards national dishes
and regional recipes. The trend was signalled by an interpretative monograph
by Nikolaj Dželepov, which included a special part on “Why do we need to rediscover our national cuisine”, where the author thoroughly developed the idea
of the diverse and healthy national food (Dželepov 1971: 23–27).
This new attitude was expressed in a powerful trend in the recipe books for
public eating issued in the 1970s and 1980s. They were typically characterized
by a clear increase in the number of regional specialties. Thus, for example,
the official recipe book of that period was the first one to include a special section on national dishes. Notable was the appearance of characteristic traditional

Food Labels, Meal Specialties, and Regional Identities


recipes adapted for cooking in restaurants. It was among them that a remarkable number of regional labels appeared, such as Dry Beans Šopski Style, Kebap Šopski Style, Kărvavica Panagjurište Style, Elenski But, Fish Vidin Style,
etc. (Recepturnik 1970: 398, 439–440, 502, 503, 506). Many labels contained
regional identifiers put in inverted commas – like e. g. “Vitoša” Cake, “Pleven”
Cake, including some curiosities such as “Dobrudža” Cake Belgian Style (Recepturnik 1970: 608, 592, 630–631). They were commonly used to signify nontraditional dishes which were to be sold as local specialties as well. They were
mainly intended to satisfy the need of tourism to offer more local varieties of
basic dishes by increasing the number of regional labels. A clear example in that
respect is the “Balkanturist” Salad, named after the state-owned tourist company which had a monopoly on the Bulgarian tourist market in the socialist period (Recepturnik 1970: 83). The next repertoire (of 1978) contained some 1120
recipes, and many of their titles included regional identifiers. These new labels
were given to non-traditional recipes such as “Balkan” Cutlet, “Trakija” Steak
(Edinen sbornik recepti 1978: 594, 629–630), though most of them adhered to
the regional identification of traditional local specialties such as Kebap Strandža
Style or Kavărma Radomir Style (Edinen sbornik recepti 1978: 547, 568). Remarkable was also the appearance of a special section of selected recipes from
the old Bulgarian cuisine, which included 40 recipes, almost all of which had regional labels and included titles such as Fish Gjuveč Nikopol Style, Lamb Buglama Ruse Style or Trakijski Djado (Edinen sbornik recepti 1978: 879, 883, 884).
This trend of regional identification continued in the 1980s (Edinen sbornik recepti 1981), when regional food labels expanded even further. The 1970s and
early 1980s also introduced a more consistent naming of recipes from one and
the same region, thereby outlining an “ethnographic” region as a specific food
region. The symbolic map expanded with the appearance of additional “ethnographic” regions (such as Strandža in Southeast Bulgaria), big towns like Ruse,
and small towns like Radomir or Nikopol, creating the impression of covering
the entire national territory, although some regions such as the Rhodope Mountains remained notably under-represented.
The most overt expression of the new attitude to national cuisine and to the
regionalisation of food items came with the publication of a new type of a cookbook, a compendium of recipes from traditional Bulgarian cuisine under the title Bălgarska nacionalna kuhnja (Petrov et al. 1983). First published in 1978
(and in further editions), it gained an enormous popularity among cooks and
housewives as it was the first and certainly the most systematic book in which
the regional affiliation of the dishes was clearly stated. Obviously guided by the
awareness that local food varieties can successfully represent both their regions
of origin and the nation’s past, the book provided historical data about food and
eating in the Bulgarian lands and, especially in its first edition, took the oppor-


Nikolai Vukov, Miglena Ivanova

tunity to convey a patriotic spirit through its illustrations. They showed not only
photographs of dishes but also history-related pictures, such as the native houses
of the nineteenth century revolutionary Panajot Volov in Šumen, the early medieval Madara equestrian stone carving, the ruins of the Great Royal Palace in
Preslav built during the first Bulgarian Kingdom, etc. Ethnographic contexts
were also thoroughly represented by the inclusion of photographs of household
interiors exhibited in the Ethnographic Museum of Smoljan, images of girls in
folk costumes, a picture of a master coppersmith at work in the Etăra National
Open Air Ethnographic Museum, as well as pictures of traditional tablecloths
and ceramics from the permanent exhibition of folk art in the village of Orešak,
region of Trojan. In addition, as the book was mainly aimed at making the abundant variety of local recipes available for restaurants, famous eating places on
the Bulgarian Black Sea coast, such as the Vodenicata Restaurant and the Hanska Šatra Restaurant, were also represented. In the second and all following editions, these photographs were exchanged for ones of dishes in traditional ceramic and copper vessels arranged with meals and put on the table as to follow
closely the restaurant pattern of serving traditional food on “folk” tablecloths.
The notable idea in this book is that through their titles all these recipes contain and promote regionalism. Varying in forms of regional identification, they
most frequently include specifications of the region where the dish is prepared or
was recorded by ethnographers. Also, they often label the item itself as following a particular regional style, or as having regional peculiarities as compared
to other regions3. In some cases when, because of its name, the national dish
has been included in the lists without a regional label, the reader is informed
by an explanation in brackets, like, for example Katino Meze, which was specially pointed out to have come from the village of Klokotnica, Haskovo region
(Petrov et al. 1983: 36). For other dishes that are known by the name of their
region of origin (e. g. Lamb Buglama Ruse Style), a concrete village of the region is specified, such as Lamb Buglama from the village of Dve Mogili, Ruse
region (Petrov et al. 1983: 124).
Although the locality of most meals was mentioned in brackets and rarely
crystallized in a regional food label, the “national cuisine” cookbook of 1978
played the role of a turning point in the process of incorporating regional food
names in the specialized printed discourse on cookbooks and recipe books. In
fact, after this book it was largely impossible to write about Bulgarian national


See e. g. in Petrov et al. 1983: 124–125: Poached Eggs (Village of Dibič, Šumen Region), Poached Eggs Panagjurište Style, Poached Eggs with Mushrooms (Panagjurište),
Poached Eggs Dobrudža Style (Šabla), Poached Eggs Prepared in an Oven (village of
Malăk Preslavec, Silistra Region), Poached Eggs with Mashed Potatoes (Ljaskovets) or
Poached Eggs with Sauce (Srednogorie Region).

Food Labels, Meal Specialties, and Regional Identities


cuisine without putting emphasis on the enormous variety of regional dishes and
without providing detailed references to regional practices and versions that constituted meal preparation. The previously homogenized and compact vision of
the national cuisine became traversed with a series of local and regional variations of almost any of the nationally shared dishes, frequently disclosing the convention of holding them together within a common label. What could before be
called generally gjuveč (or, Trakijski Gjuveč in the 1950s and 1960s), acquired
a series of possible identifications by regional styles and preparations. Almost
each of the food products and dishes gained a list of several possible versions
of traditional preparation in different parts of the country.4 Before this background of regional dishes, the mentioning of meals such as Rodopski Patatnik,
Strandžanski Djado, Banski Starec that were not shared by more than one region
signified regional uniqueness. These dishes were taken into the spotlight of the
national culinary map, were made visible as peculiar among the motley pattern
of other local versions, and were made coterminous with the long list of regional
versions of “national dishes”. The regional varieties covered the entire territory
of the country, leaving no region unrepresented in the national culinary space
and listing hundreds of villages where peculiar ways of meal preparation had
been recorded. The Rhodope Mountains, which had previously been almost absent from the culinary map, were compensated in this book by their systematic
representation which, like in all other regions, reached to the smallest village.
The role of this particular cookbook in the representation and raised awareness of regional food identifiers leads to the issue of the role of experts and their
knowledge. It turns out that the regionalisation of food in Bulgaria relied heavily on the work of experts, mostly ethnographers, in the last decade of the socialist period. By documenting and publishing detailed descriptions of countless recipes across the national territory, this cookbook gave form to regions
where the dishes came from and densely saturated the national map as an imagined space of a myriad of culinary versions and techniques. Through the ethnographic knowledge, regions were subjected to investigation and classification, as
points to give account of local variants and regional characteristics of food, and
as occasions for developing native documentations furnished with photographic
imagery. In fact, after 1978 the publishing of culinary books would hardly be
done without ethnographers, whose work raised the overt identification of the
regional affiliation of dishes to a norm which became a prerequisite for all later
Some of them have hardly anything in common, for example Gjuveč with Mushrooms and
Rice from Trojan and Milk Gjuveč with Potatoes from Bjala (Petrov et al. 1983: 110–111).
A good example of the influence of this book and of the leading cooks on what was called
“national cuisine” after the 1970s is the book of Mihalčev, which borrowed a lot of the

The new waves of migration to the larger cities. together with the knowledge of distant parts of the globe. had an enormous impact on the conceptualization of food. The latter was a technique to manifest a certain item as lying at the core of a community’s identity.48 Nikolai Vukov. Similar was the effect of the encounters with cuisines from different parts of the world which. The post-socialist period witnessed a liberalization of publishing which facilitated the appearance of many new cookbook genres and editions. The interest in them was enhanced considerably by the state policy of the 1970s. cellars. The new presence of international cuisine in the menus in places for public eating was in a way coterminous with an increased emphasis on the local tradition in dishes that could be found only in a particular region and location. etc. borrowing. They all recipes and strictly followed their regional identification. the “folk” places of eating out became very popular and a series of old houses. Food labels and regionalism in the post-socialist period The explosion of regional identifiers in food labels after 1990 was conditioned largely by the rise of new patterns of eating and consumption that developed due to the political. customarily offering “traditional” specialties. as well as the emergence of the fast food movement (see Krăsteva-Blagoeva 2001). Especially in the 1970s. . both in interior design and in menu lists. economic. combined with the appearance of different types of restaurants. offering. A widely shared practice there was to serve at least one unique specialty characteristic for the particular area. It was in such restaurants where the cookbooks with recipes from different regions were widely used. and at the same time it furthered the multiplication of regionalism in food items. Some of the recipes clearly show how this book expanded on the old one by offering new inventions (Mihalčev 1984). which put a strong emphasis on the reinvention of the “national” and “authentic”. increased the awareness of one’s own cultural specificity and the value of local cultural patterns. but also by the fact that such restaurants were actively sought by both foreign and local tourists. and social changes in the post-socialist period. the revival of some religious holidays. for example. Offering a variety of regionalized food found in the cookbooks was convenient. and consuming. were furnished in a “national style”. The dissolution of the state-owned restaurant and hotel business and the new contexts and occasions for public eating. inns. Miglena Ivanova Another important factor for the regionalisation of food in the last decade of socialism was the intensive development of the restaurant sector. led to an increased territorial embeddedness of meals and an intensification of references to regional belonging and styles of preparation. and thus as providing authenticity in the dynamic context of import.

gjuvečs. but there also began to be sought other means of expressing regional identity through the recipe itself. the photo of Zvezdev paying such a visit. Ivan Zvezdev’s “Bon Apeti” on the BTV national television channel where he paid visits to both famous cooks and elderly ladies from various villages to have them cook recipes from their local tradition (cf. A great variety of regional labels can be found. the recipes for roasted chicken on the Second Sunday before Lent. In some of the recent books. or for pastries obligatory for the dinner table on the First Sunday before Lent. Thus. The 1100–1200 basic recipes from the traditional cuisine published in 1978 were multiplied in various contexts. and Regional Identities 49 testify to an incredible proliferation of regional food labels between 1990 and 2006. The latter are usually offered in at least four or five regional variations. books presenting the Bulgarian cuisine in general. the meals are listed not only as to follow the meal courses. in their regional labels. they are usually listed as entirely new ones. which created the impression of a larger variety than the real one. respectively. a new local or regional title is an obligatory prerequisite. because they had already firmly entered urban feast dinners in pre-socialist times. In these books there are also well-known examples from world cuisine. for example. meat meals. Zvezdev 2003). In the attempt to achieve “uniqueness” and to differ from the published dishes. It surpassed by far the regionalisation wave of the 1980s and made regional identification an almost obligatory element in recipe texts. leaving 6 A notable example of such a case is that some TV shows of the recent years turned even the very process of gathering folk recipes into a media show. but also by local enthusiasts and specialists from regional museums.Food Labels. . writers. 49–53). already not only by professional ethnographers. Published in order to instigate the need for special recipes connected with these holidays. Such was. in a series of cookbooks spreading from conscious post-socialist efforts to revive the celebration of religious holidays. causing the restructuring of the recipe lists and the enhanced importance of the regional identification of dishes. there were also new recipes “discovered in the field”. The types of the books also vary greatly and include professional recipe books. etc. As was to be expected. but now they are much smaller than those evoking Bulgarian regionalized contexts. most of the books also show a clear interest in regional variations of the food for the holidays and. Regional labels abounded in that period. and professional cooks. books about regional cuisine. are available in different regional styles (Mikova 1995: 39–45. This led to the proliferation of regional markers in the labels as well as in the recipes. the differences largely depending on the authors’ point of view. Meal Specialties. for instance. it was not a simultaneous one. editors. books about different groups of dishes such as pastries. Although there was an internal development within the groups of books. but also by regions.6 Albeit most of these “newly discovered” recipes are only variants of published ones.

and thus permits the use of books as reference materials for the nature of the holiday culinary traditions in certain regions. An interesting case is a Russian edition in which the translation of the regional food labels demanded special explanations of the location of certain regions and their capitals (Petkova 1998). i. the book covers all parts of Bulgaria in alphabetical order. linking them to national holidays and rituals. The majority of these books is characterized by an abundance of regional dishes and names referring to a wide span of villages. Although they are already placed in a regional framework by the arrangement of the book. (Petrova 2000: 221. giving a clear idea of the regional styles of traditional Bulgarian cooking (Bălgarska kuhnja 2000. etc. 730). issued in 1991. Leek Pastry Kjustendil Style. 225. Thus the notable tendency in the scope of these books is to cover a variety of regions and locations. or Klin Rodopi Style (Sbornik recepti 1991: 64. Fish Soup Kotel Style. It is also worth mentioning that an intriguing recently published textbook for students in the sphere of restaurant and hotel business deals with the preparation of traditional dishes in contemporary restaurants. the recipe books for places of public eating and the textbooks for specialized cooking and tourism schools. consists of 150 dishes. adapted for places of public eating. What is important here is their recent arrangement by regions: the presentation . 639. e. some of which crystallize into regional chapters. Probably the largest group of cookbooks published after 1990 was dedicated to the presentation of the Bulgarian cuisine in general. where the meals are grouped by regions and cover the entire national territory. “Dobrudžanka” Bread. 290).50 Nikolai Vukov. they are ready for use in a fragmented and separate way (Stamenov. This approach was followed in one of the biggest compendiums of national cuisine. reissued 2006). cities and regions and including recipes from all over the country. The big national cuisine recipe book issued in 2000 also lists some 300 recipes from the national cuisine. two thirds of which have regional labels and include a lot of previously unknown recipes: Kărvavica Tărnovo Style. include special sections dedicated to traditional cuisine. Kătăk Zlatograd Style. All this links region and holiday.. Miglena Ivanova it open to the cook or the housewife to choose the taste and the region. Most of the recipes in cookbooks for places of public eating or in textbooks for students preparing for a career in the restaurant business are well-known or borrowed from other collections. Aleksieva 2005). towns. the general label “in Bulgarian style” is already completely absent. such as Chicken Glavan Style. 646. Kătăk Zlatograd Style. Notably. The chapter on Bulgarian national cuisine in the compendium of places for eating out. About one quarter of the dishes’ labels evoke regional contexts. It is namely there where the regional labels were the most numerous as legitimating a particular dish as a “national” one and thus belonging to a particular category of culinary listing. about half of the recipes carry regional labels. Another large group. Arranged by regions.

30. paying special attention to the famous Trojanska Lukanka. Another phenomenon worth pointing out is the increase in books on regions in the early 1990s. A regional cookbook published in the city of Šumen interestingly identifies even those sub-regions that appear in the names of recipes as. “Boljarka” Cake or “Boljarka” Pastry) or foreign labels taken from the urban cuisine of older times (Hungarian Schtrudel. (Stari recepti 1994: 27–29). it presents a range of local dishes. Patatnik Davidkovo Style. potato dishes and pastries.Food Labels. Belgian Cake) (ibid. Published in response to the development of regional tourism and to the need for gathering at one place recipes from a whole region. Kebap Vărbica Style. Meal Specialties. and what was domestic hospitality in the twentieth century”. 195–200). and Patatnik Čepelare Style (Merdžanov 1992: 42– 43). not merely in a bracket reference. is a tourist product aimed at attracting both Bulgarians and foreigners. the genuine hospitality. Chicken Dish from Divdjadovo (ibid. 83. They present comprehensive collections of regional recipes and introduce a new set of naming practices which promote the names of smaller towns and regions in the label itself. They became books about the cuisine of a particular town. which brought the sausage production know-how from Hungary and founded a sausage factory.. for example. etc. 74. Pursuing this task. A similar instance of local patriotism is a chapter in a book dedicated to the village of Banja near Bansko. Kebap Kamčija Style. Among these regional labels there are also some titles referring to medieval Bulgarian history (Krumova Večerja. There are also labels with names of villages in the region such as Main Dish from Osmar. for instance.: 36. these books introduce a new element in the arrangement of the contents. Roast Lamb from Pliska. states as its basic goal “to show what the people from Trojan region ate in times past. This chapter. All these regional cookbooks attained a different character after 2000. there is a general restraint to use very small and poorly known village names. as the bilingual edition in English and Bulgarian suggests (Jor- . 94. 96). A cookbook with dishes from the Rhodope region. what the table customs were.. which is defined as “the peak of Trojan gastronomic art and its most substantial contribution to national cuisine” (Pejkov. the book abounds with narratives about the hospitality of the people of Trojan region and with pictures of served food before the background of old Trojan houses and mountain peaks (ibid. together with the descriptions of the beautiful scenery. and Regional Identities 51 of a region with its typical recipes in places for public eating is already a special value and need from a business point of view. English Cake. Pejkova 2004: 22–23). presents the regional kačamak. 39. 40). for example. and village traditions. 75. Providing a detailed account of the history of the recipe and of the family of Taslakov. A book about regional Trojan cuisine. or in books dedicated towns there were sections on food. Kebap Preslav Style. Although all sorts of regional identifiers are used and the entire national territory is covered. most labels carrying regional names such as Patatnik Zlatograd Style.


Nikolai Vukov, Miglena Ivanova

danova 2005). A book on Gabrovo culinary traditions offers a good example of
how a typical Gabrovo dish is promoted: “It is being said that if you go to Gabrovo and do not taste roast pork, it is as if you had never been there. The main
rule for preparing and roasting the pig is to make it look appealing and with a
pleasant taste, in order to arouse a strong appetite. Procedures for its preparation should not be changed and should be strictly observed” (Elmazov 2006: 33).
All these examples show that there is a growing tendency of additional regionalisation and hedonization of food. That is why, when the tendency developed
after 2000, the texts around the recipes sharply increased, evoking the region
not only in the recipes, but also in the tastes, the ways of eating, the history and
the culture of the region.
Quite in line with these new trends of food perception, books with recipes
about the pleasure of eating have appeared recently. In these books the narrative about the recipes, the places they come from, and where they are prepared
best, creates an aura of uniqueness around the dish. It is also widely acknowledged that for a dish to receive the particular regional flavour it should consist
only of local products and be prepared by local masters in local vessels, etc.
(Kujumdžiev 1992: 44–48,49–54). Some of these books praising the pleasures
of eating represent guides to the different regions and towns in the country, as
well as to their popular pubs and restaurants. The emphasis is on food quality
and on local specificity, which adds identity to historically formed culinary habits. Thus, for example, one of these books, which has several pages dedicated to
the town of Nessebar, uses the mention of its typical food as a convenient occasion for describing the nineteenth century Nessebar houses and for introducing
the local places for eating out, such as the pub Kapitanska Srešta, which offers a
“real” local fish soup. In turn, the description of the taste of Fish Soup Nessebar
Style traces the link between the town and the sea in antiquity, a link which can
be tasted “even in the clay bowl of fish soup” (Markov 1993: 33–35).
As all these examples of the 1990s reveal, the necessity not only to include
recipes from a particular region, but also to supply narratives about them, led to
the “packaging” of food and imagination in a new way. The development of special eating tastes and their construction as regionally specific is no longer connected only with providing the recipe, but also with narrating about them and
insisting on the preservation of old technologies for cooking and the selection
of ingredients. The regional is also strongly present in the texts of the recipes
when they provide information about the specificity of the products, flavours,
technologies, and spices, as well as when they describe the eating habits of the
particular region. As long as these books typically reproduce recipes from other
books, their geographical scope represents a mixture of areas and locations dispersed across the national territory and pretending to have a value of their own.

Food Labels, Meal Specialties, and Regional Identities


Our overview of regional labels in Bulgarian cookbooks reveals a comparatively
late process of discovering regionalised food and its diversification across the
national territory. Other aspects of traditional culture, whose local variants were
documented and categorized already at the end of the nineteenth and in the beginning of the twentieth century, appeared much earlier on the national scene.
The regionalisation of traditional food was a fairly slow process which began
with the mass appearance of cookbooks in the 1930s, but acquired significant
dimensions from the 1970s on, at the time of late twentieth century nation-oriented ethnography. With its impetus to leave no region or “traditional item” under-represented, it placed traditional dishes firmly on the national map. A new
boom of regional labels followed in the post-socialist decades when food was
increasingly construed as closely dependent on its “regional content” and on its
being a marker of regional identity.
Today these issues have gained special importance in the context of the European Union, which Bulgaria joined in 2007. Bulgarian producers demonstrate
their interest to register, both in Bulgaria and in the European Union, some of
their foodstuffs as guaranteed traditional specialties or as food with a special
designation of origin or geographic indication (Nikolova 2006, Stoilova 2007,
Georgieva 2007). Some of them have applied to the Bulgarian Patent Institution, where the list of geographic indications and designations of origin already
amounts to more than 200 items. While the list of appellations of origin registered by Bulgarian organizations in accordance with the Lisbon Agreement for
the Protection of Appellations of Origin in the late 1970s and in the 1980s shows
a clear preference for designating export foodstuffs as Bulgarian, the new list
at the Bulgarian Patent Institution demonstrates the will and the ambition of the
Bulgarian producers to use regional and local labels such as Lukanka Karlovo
Style or Gămza Wine from the Village of Novo Selo (Vidin Region). Some of
the traditional food and beverage items may be difficult to include in the lists,
though, as the link between the special qualities of the foodstuffs and the region
has to be proven thoroughly for the EU registration.7 Anticipating these difficulties, the Bulgarian Ministry of Agriculture and Foodstuffs in September 2007
issued a special ordinance for the preparation and presentation of the requests to
the EU Commission in compliance with the EU regulations. By the term “traditional” these regulations mean regional origin that can be followed back at least

A registration, although desirable as giving additional value to the foodstuffs, may cause
serious frictions. One need only mention the 2007 Spekácky “sausage war” between the
Czechs and Slovaks (Singer 2007). Foodstuffs such as Italian pasta, Dutch cheese, French
champagne or Bavarian beer have caused serious disagreements in the EU (see Roth
2001: 53). Thus the procedure of registration unquestionably requires special scrutiny.


Nikolai Vukov, Miglena Ivanova

25 years prior to the registration (Council Regulation 2006), whereas the registration of geographic indication and designation of origin requires only proof of
connectedness between region and product. In the same way as the Bulgarian
cookbooks of the last four decades, which reveal trends in food nostalgia, these
lists will certainly become a rich depository of testimonies, both for the specific
regional or traditional nature of given recipes and for their generic nature. The
cookbooks, far from being unanimous on the traditional or regional nature of
certain recipes, unquestionably show that the “regional” qualities of foodstuffs
have a powerful appeal, both to the Bulgarians and to their foreign guests.
Bearing this in mind, there are three points that need to be emphasized about
this new life of culinary regionalism. The first is that it is closely connected to
marketing techniques, which proliferated after the end of socialism. In line with
the principles of the market economy and the reactions to globalization, food
and food labels have been recognized as a commodity whose regional content
may facilitate its selling. The increased mobility of people within and across national borders, the growing number of foreign visitors, the enhanced impetus of
spending leisure time in exotic and unexplored places, the organization of alternative forms of tourism (village, cultural, hunting, hobby, culinary, wine, ethnographic, etc.) – all these factors encourage hotel and restaurant owners to view
regional culinary traditions as a niche which can be used to attract more visitors. But the marketing of regional and local diversity extends to a wide range of
occasions of offering food for sale and is thus an inherent element of the larger
process of commodification of cultural identity. In our time, when conditions of
transportation and commercial exchange can move whatsoever food stuff or dish
to whatsoever place on the globe, the importance of regionally marked culinary
items grows to an unprecedented degree. In this context, the imaginary or symbolic consumption needs regionalisation to swallow up both food exoticism and
the nostalgia for “native food”.
The second point concerns the relation of this regional labelling to the reconceptualization of space and territory. The new opportunities for transportation and communication, for collecting, preparing and transporting food have a
strong impact on these processes. Food is to a large extent produced and traded
by global corporations (Phillips 2006: 47, Keller 2005) and circulates long distances outside land-rooted contexts. These trade patterns increasingly characterize the marketing of Bulgarian foods as well. The physical qualities and ascribed
characteristics of food can serve as a counterweight to the de-territorialization
of social space, as a re-configuration and repositioning of the spatio-temporal
terms of human relatedness (Holtzman 2006: 367). As for Bulgaria, it is hardly surprising that today one can buy, for example, Lukanka Gorna Orjahovica
Style produced both at its traditional location in Gorna Orjahovica (Central Bulgaria) and in Blagoevgrad (Western Bulgaria); or, Banski Starec initially pro-

Food Labels, Meal Specialties, and Regional Identities


duced in Bansko (Western Bulgaria) and in Veliko Tărnovo (Central Bulgaria).
In view of the wide-spread process of de-territorialization, food is a convenient
tool for sustaining a relationship with space and territory and for filling the vacuums of our globalized world with places, distances, and borders. It is a means
for maintaining territorial identifiers in the context of open borders and dissolving territorial specificities. Regional products can sustain the regional affiliation
of migrants living far away from their native places: they can visit traditional
restaurants and eat Kapama po Banski, or they can buy Rodopea Yoghurt or Elenski But as ready-made “native” foods.
The third point concerns memory. The enhanced mobility in space and time
and the encounter with diverse cultural traditions in a brief time span has triggered the search for new ways to overcome forgetting by the invention of tools
to relate and link to the past. The kind of memory that the food labels manifest, however, is rather a “re-memory”, one that is transmitted and reenacted,
but is not necessarily founded in direct experience. Regional identifiers of food
emerge as remembered and as “always present”, although this remembrance often lacks any direct experience with the local culinary tradition. The contemporary salience of regional identifiers in food labels can thus be interpreted as a
symptom of, and a reaction to, the shifting grounds of personal experience of the
home-grown tradition and its necessary re-construction and re-actualization as a
reaction to globalization. Through the invented and actualized regional identifiers in food labels, communities and individuals can position themselves both in
the globalized world and in the world of tradition, thus producing a native society scattered across various places in the country or the world rather than being
located in a single place or region.
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Plovdiv: Kota. Cana 1935: Zlatna kniga za semejstvoto.dnevnik. Ivan 2003: Bon apeti. URL: http://www. Šumen: Sl. at the time of late twentieth century nation-inspired ethnography. Nikolov. Slavejkov. elenski sudžuk i dr. it put traditional dishes firmly on the national map. Despite the widespread belief that markers of regionalised food date back to times immemorial and are tools for identifying the deepest layers of regional and national identity. Sofia: Produktsii Nova. Stoilova. Slavčeva. URL: http://www. Petko R. Jordanka Aleksieva 2005: Nacionalni kuhni i tradicii v hraneneto. The article traces the emergence of regional identifiers in dish labels and outlines how the construction of regionally marked food was dependent on the utilization of “tradition” in changing cultural contexts. Sofia: Pečatnica “Nov Život”. Stamenov. Sv. Joshua 2007: Czechs vs. Historically. Slovaks: The “Diplomatic War” over Sausages. 5. Miglena Ivanova Simeonova. In the post-socialist decades. the regionalisation of traditional food was a fairly slow process which started with the appearance of mass cookbooks in the 1930s. Sofia: Daržavno izdatelstvo za selskostopanska literatura. 1941: Gotvarska kniga. Sofia: Slănce. 2007. Konstantinova 1959: Nauka za Carigrad: Pečatnica na Makedonija.. With its impetus to leave no region or “traditional item” under-represented. Vălkova. Singer. Stamen. M. regionally labelled dishes are revealed as a relatively recent phenomenon. – first published on 11. Ekaterina 2007: Šte ima subsidii i za tradicionnite hrani.58 Nikolai Vukov. . a new boom of region-related labels followed when food was increasingly construed as closely dependent on its “regional content” and on its being a palpable indicator of regional identities. 160 recepti na Ivan Zvezdev. Abstract The article analyses the development of markers of regional identification in the names of recipes. 1870: Gotvarska kniga ili nastavlenija za vsjakakvi gostbi spored kakto gi pravjat v Carigrad i razni domašni spravi. sabrani ot razni knigi. Part 1. but acquired significant dimensions from the 1970s onward. A. 2007. Stari recepti 1994: Stari recepti ot bălgarskata – first published on 28. 10. Do 3 000 evro šte se davit za proizvodstvo na smiljanski bob. as they are reflected in cookbooks published in Bulgaria since the 1930s. Učebnik za I i II kurs na praktičeskite selskostopanski zimni učilišta.

com. . Identity and Cultural Production: Yugoslav Fashion in the »National Style« «Region.  Region. Identity and Cultural Production: Yugoslav Fashion in the »National Style«» by Danijela Velimirović Source: Ethnologia Balkanica (Ethnologia Balkanica).ceeol. issue: 12 / 2008. on www. pages: 59­77.

when the visa regime with Western countries was liberalized. plastic raincoats. butter and red “Drina” cigarettes. and cultural opening of Yugoslavia toward the West since the early 1950s. Actually. we may say that the Yugoslav cultural production of that time was marked by fashion in “the national style”2. pleated dark-blue skirts. and on return bags were filled with the latest fashion materials. Thus. The usual destination of all Yugoslavs was Trieste: Unusual baggage was carried for travelling – chocolates. The Westernization of the society has been particularly obvious since the 1960s. first of all by the socialist middle class. “Yugoslav folklore” or “Yugoslav style” are proof of this. the term “national” intended to signify identification with the Yugoslav nation. Identity and Cultural Production: Yugoslav Fashion in the »National Style«1 Danijela Velimirović.Ethnologia Balkanica 12 (2008) Region. during the 1960s requests for the creation of authentic Yugoslav fashion emerged. Terms found in the local press such as “Yugoslav national costume”. jeans … (Lučić Todosić 2002: 99). Although fashion in “the national style” was mainly a feature of the Serbian fashion production. Belgrade Introduction or About the fashion in “The National Style” One of the outcomes of the economic. turned into an everyday reality for Yugoslavia. 1 . 2 The term “national” implies that certain clothing is worn in order to identify the person wearing it with his or her nation. despite the hearty acceptance of Western cultural codes. However. political. the greater openness of the Yugoslav state toward the West was visually defined I am grateful to the participants in the panel Compassion and the Construction of Region at the InASEA conference in Timişoara 2007 for their comments and questions. What was fashion in “the national style”? It was a fashion that followed current Western fashion codes. trousers with belllike legs. but at the same time created its distinctive style identity by incorporating exotic motifs such as a thematic design of collections with motives from regional political and cultural history. first of all for the purpose of purchasing modern clothes. was that Yugoslavia did not have the same level of cultural autarchy that existed in other socialist countries. Constant travelling abroad. which occurred in order to avoid the blockades imposed by the communist block. or the adoption of certain components of tailoring and ornaments of historical and ethnic costume.

Scottish Argyle sweaters. as Djurdja Bartlett calls the sartorial phenomenon that appeared in countries of the Soviet block once the Stalinist isolationism was abolished (from 1958 to 1968). The integration of local clothing traditions was a hallmark of the 1960s fashion systems. stirred by the appearance of liberation movements and increased individualism led to an expansion of exotic motifs in Western fashions. The unique mixture of proletarian style and the bourgeois aesthetic of the petit-bourgeois provenience corresponded to the conservative nature of the socialist regime (Bartlett 2004: 138). The “national style” fashion permeated various types of fashion productions. Her collection “Folklore and Fashion” (Folklor i moda) was presented in 1961 in the Centre for Modern Clothing (Centar za savremeno odevanje). But non-European exotic impulses had no preponderance in the fashion system of that time. and the fashion salon 3 The “official socialist dress”. gravitated toward freezing the fashionable historical moment. was characterized by a pseudo-classical aaesthetic. Under the conditions of an open national debate. popular in late 1960s. Namely. The Yugoslav “national style” fashion should not be viewed as an isolated local phenomenon. turning to Western standards. Yves Saint Laurent created his collection inspired by wild Africa. and by doing so intended to isolate it from its historical totality.Access via CEEOL NL Germany 60 Danijela Velimirović by accepting current Western fashion trends and at the same time by avoiding a pseudo-classic aestheticism of the fashion system prevailing in Eastern Europe. or Norwegian sweaters completed the new individualistic face of Western fashion. a growing interest of Western citizens in alternative philosophies and ethnic cultures. one of the fashion whims was a Nehru suit.3 On the other hand. In the same year. In 1967. In that way the official socialist dress kept its rigid codes in clothing even during the mid 1960s. The most important promoters of the “national style” fashion were the designers Aleksandar Joksimović and Dobrila Vasiljević Smiljanić. . Among the first collections using this exoticism was the collection of the artist Anđelka Slijepčević. Her example was followed by others. On the other hand. narratives of specific social tastes that cropped up in Yugoslav newspaper headlines. official East European fashion. which in the mid 1950s was characterized by formal and rigid codes in clothing. The public assessed designs inspired by the regional heritage as “the first stable step toward creating a fashion that has a Yugoslav trait” (Petrović 2004: 91). named after Jawaharlal Nehru. then Prime Minister of India. with its specific upright collar. However. The inclusion of exotic motifs in modern clothing was an inexhaustible creative resource of Yugoslav fashion. the incorporation of exotic motifs taken from the thesaurus of regional history and culture resulted in the specific identity of the Yugoslav fashion as compared to the Western styles. post-colonial countries adopted a policy of clothing which included the refusal or modification of Western clothes. gave the “national style” fashion a particular note. when Western fashion was moving toward revolutionary youthful styles.

hence her name “damned Jerina”. Identity and Cultural Production 61 named “The National Salon” (Nacionalni salon). which was taken from the medieval Byzantine clothing) and decoration inspired by the medieval clothing of landlords and rulers. With his next collection named Damned Jerina6 (1969) Joksimović achieved his special trait compared to Pierre Cardin’s futuristic look (mini line of pinafore dresses. In his collection titled Simonida5 (1967) Joksimović created an exotic version of the Parisian futuristic design (geometrical A line without excessive ornaments) by using a specific line of sleeves (sleeves tailored like bells. considering how often it was disputed as contradictory to socialist conditions. materials (materials imitating rustic hand-woven cloth. it was a significant channel for promoting authentic Yugoslav fashion production. helmet caps) by specific cuts (a traditional sleeveless jacket called zubun was the basis of this collection). crocheting materials) and fashion details (stylized Serbian ethnic cap called šajkača). 7 Tailor’s embroidery is an oriental technique of adorning clothes with golden or silk braids. promoting in that way the desirable aesthetic and thus forming the taste of the Yugoslav socialist community. Bartlett 2004: 137–140). In Vitraž (1968) he stylized ornaments from windows of Yugoslav monasteries. ornaments (tailor’s embroidery7 on leather). and churches and applied them on modern-cut designs of mini and maxi length. Aleksandar Joksimović. folktales and proverbs about building cities and taxes being imposed on the people. 5 Simonida was the daughter of the Byzantine Emperor Andronic II and the wife of the Serbian King Milutin (who ruled from 1282 to 1321). Numerous legends are linked to her. the grandiose exoticism represents luxurious modern clothes which create their distinctive style identity in relation to current Western fashion codes by incorporating exotic motifs originating from the vault of the regional cultural heritage (cf. 6 Jerina was Greek. 4 . and wife of the Serbian Despot Djurdje Branković (ruled 1427–1457). Contrary to grandiose pseudo-classicism. Grandiose exoticism4 as the socialist version of haute couture. created several collections of the socialist version of haute couture. abundance in metal ornaments. as well as other local media reported in detail about every new collection of authentic fashion. which has its fashion ideals in bourgeois clothing codes of classic content. Although the grandiose exoticism of Aleksandar Joksimović did not last long. created extravagant designs of dramatic content. cathedrals. We use the term “grandiose exoticism” to emphasize the difference between “grandiose pseudo-classicism” as the East European variant of haute couture and the Yugoslav version of high fashion. as well as elements of stone friezes taken from the monasteries of Dečani and Gračanica.Region. the first personalized fashion designer of former Yugoslavia. Adopting current fashion whims and modifying them in accordance with the “national style” fashion canons. Magazines for women. from the Kantakuzin family.

Contrary to this exhibition showing original items of skilful knitters from the village of Sirogojno. Zlatibor her primary objective was the presentation of regional cultural heritage. Zlatibor were designed 8 Dobrila Vasiljević Smiljanić estimated in her interview given to the author of this article in July 2006 that when she started production in the village of Sirogojno on Mt. which in its form reminds of fur). Since the combination of handmade knitwear and exotic motifs is efficient. The manager and fashion designer of “Sirogojno” for several years.8 Thousands of knitters from the region of Zlatibor participated in the production of authentic fashion products wearing the stamp of regional heritage. handicraft products from Mt.) and techniques of knitting and crocheting (e. Mount Zlatibor. organized the first exhibition of knitted goods in 1962. the exhibition in Belgrade held in the premises of the Modern Home (Savremeni dom) in 1965 cleared the path for the promotion of the specific design of this fashion designer. Belgrade) Handmade knitwear “Sirogojno”. . she became widely known by her adaptations of traditional local ornaments (regional motifs from Mt. rugs etc.62 Danijela Velimirović “Simonida” collection by Aleksandar Joksimović. 1967 (Museum of Applied Art. Zlatibor taken from clothing. stitch “šubaret”. g. In the following years. Dobrila Vasiljević Smiljanić.

This authentic production of the “National Salon” became an obligatory and favourite place of foreign tourists who came to Belgrade using the services of the “Putnik” tourist agency. While the first collection of the “National Salon” in 1964 was made of modern cut designs with applied clippings of authentic traditional clothing. The “National Salon” production. A special target 9 The Simonida of Joksimović was also made in this salon.Region. After it had defined the reinterpretation of the regional cultural heritage as its primary goal. Šumadija. 1968 (Museum of Applied Art. etc). the following collections were a display of reinterpreted historical9 and regional multiethnic cultural heritage (of Kosovo and Metohija. Identity and Cultural Production 63 “Vitraž” collection by Aleksandar Joksimović. Belgrade) and produced even after the “national style” fashion ceased to exist as an ideological construction. the Ethnographic Museum in Belgrade offered full support to the “National Salon” in presenting this heritage. The “National Salon” was established in 1963 as part of the Institute for the Promotion of Household (Zavod za unapređenje domaćinstva). Montenegro. while the Employment Bureau (Biro rada) took it upon itself to train unemployed women skilful in handicraft. .

1969 Museum of Applied Art. caused a sensation at the Zagreb Festival (1969) when he showed up in a reinterpretation of the Albanian male regional dress from Metohija created by Aleksandar Joksimović. publicly choosing the “national style” in clothing.64 Danijela Velimirović ‘Damned Jerina’ collection by Alek­ sandar Joksimović. Joksimović’s Simonida was presented . “I have an unusual appreciation of the wealth of our folklore and I like dresses with this trait” (Velimirović 2006: 53) she said in 1969. ambassadors and their wives. the wife of the president of the Republic. trade exhibitions and the like. Belgrade) group were foreign politicians. Đorđe Marjanović. The production of authenticity – as compared to Western fashion – was not neutral. The original Yugoslav fashion was thus promoted through various international fashion presentations. The affirmative relation to exoticism in fashion was common also among representatives of the political elites. Although the local press was the crucial media for promoting the “national style” fashion. to whom the specific Yugoslav fashion was shown directly. one of the most famous singers of pop music. Jovanka Broz. was a matron of the “national style” fashion. authentic aesthetic features of the Yugoslav fashion were presented also by Yugoslav star performers. directly displaying the specific identity of Yugoslav fashion. A specific fashion serving as a tourist attraction reflected the cultural preoccupation of Yugoslav society with techniques used to underline ethnic and regional variety.

1968 (Museum of Applied Art. Belgrade) at the International Fashion Festival in Moscow in 1968. were presented. His Damned Jerina was presented on a daily basis during the first Yugoslav Industrial Exhibition in Paris (Sept. Her success meant at the same time recognition of Yugo- . Aleksandar Joksimović was the official fashion designer of Yugoslav pageants. The fashion production used for celebrating national diversity thus provided itself another channel for its own presentation. Besides being the first runner-up at the international contest in London. 18 – Oct. 1969). at which besides Eastern European also collections of Western fashion houses. over which she wore a steel blue satin cloak buckled with original buckles called pafte. Nikica Marinović. among them also of Coco Channel. Miss World competitions were also used for the presentation of specific regional cultural productions. in the opinion of the Yugoslav media (Velimirović 2006: 52). Identity and Cultural Production 65 Sandra Mandić in Joksimović’s design. At every regional. 9. Nikica Marinović. the Yugoslav beauty contest finalists were dressed in fashion creations inspired by the “national style”. attracting the attention of the Parisian public. Joksimović dressed the first Yugoslav participant in the Miss World beauty contest (1967). For as long as the “national style” fashion project was en vogue. federal or international official appearance. excellently presented local fashion in accordance with the folkloric key.Region. in a turquoise gown with a provocative décolletage hemmed with specific ornaments.

The frenzy over models from this collection aroused the otherwise inefficient socialist industry and resulted in an organized form of production of copies. the “national style” fashion was always given a Yugoslav meaning. which were stylized with motifs from the region of Bela Krajina. at the beginning of 1968 gowns that were carrying the same name appeared in shops of the “Bosna-Folklore” in Sarajevo. In accordance with the general tendency of canonical sacralization of unity and solidarity of the various national communities. . For example. which caused a scandal and initiated debates about copyright protection. creation for the performance of Djordje Marjanović at the Zagreb music festival). Namely. which has in this way achieved a huge affirmation in the world of haute couture. the short jacket with bell-like sleeves called libade. The contribution of various regional traditions to the specific identity of Yugoslav fashion gave visual expression to the devotion to the idea of brotherhood and solidarity. their own regional cultural heritage for the purpose of creating a specific Yugoslav fashion. Aleksandar Joksimović on several occasions reinterpreted clothing traditions of the Albanian population in Kosovo and Metohija (collection for the “National Salon” in 1965. The utilization of Joksimović’s Simonida in everyday tailoring practice turned into a real fashion in 1967 and 1968. the “national style” fashion was created also outside the borders of Serbia. the leading position that Serbian designers had in forming this fashion provided Belgrade the sovereign position of the Yugoslav fashion centre. Other Yugoslav republics reinterpreted. Although it was first of all a hallmark of Serbian cultural production. Under the conditions of awakened national intolerance fashion thus marked the external unity of the Yugoslav nations. The “national style” fashion was undoubtedly popular throughout Yugoslavia. too.66 Danijela Velimirović slav beauty and national fashion. Although the 1960s were years in which centralism was decreasing and ethnic nationalism revived. However. and at the World contest the following year Ivona Puhiero wore a white lamé gown with a bolero inspired by an unavoidable part of the “Serbian town costume”. the Slovenian designer Nataša Mandeljc in 1968 designed hand painted models made of knitted fabrics. The political and cultural elite used beauty pageants as appropriate channels to promote authentic fashion productions with reinterpreted clothing styles of the past. In 1968 Sandra Mandić presented to the London public an evening gown from the Simonida collection.

first of all Serbian fashion production of the 1960s? Jennifer Craik defines exoticism in fashion as a term with two meanings. Considering that fashion systems are built on inter-relations and tension between exotic and well-known codes. first of all in post-colonial cultures. She recognizes three forms of exoticism in fashion: 1) certain techniques of dress and decorating in non-Western cultures. Namely. by saying this we would not give a complete answer why this was possible within this time frame. The history of Serbian fixed dress and fashion from the nineteenth century onward is characterized by various forms of exoticism or attempts to push a reform in garments. even though it accepted in principle current fashion trends of the West. Thus. as well as in its reformations. was an effective bodily technique for marking the nationality and the social status. Identity and Cultural Production 67 Exoticism and fashion: the Serbian case Thus. First of all. exotic motifs are always more effective as display techniques. However. in their way. 3) “exotic” elements in Western fashion taken from other fashion systems (Craik 1993: 18).Region. various forms of exoticism are suitable bodily techniques for the production of multifarious marks of diversity (Craik 1993: 18). we can say that the incorporation of exotic motifs has produced the diversity of Yugoslav fashion compared to the Western. 10 . contribute to preserving diversity. 2) adaptations of traditional clothing combined with elements from Western fashion systems in postcolonial cultures or displaced cultures in Western societies. Therefore we have to take look back into the history of the Serbian costume and fashion. the technique of clothing and decorating known as the “national style” fashion represented a homogenous tendency toward the dissolution of similarities with the Western fashion and toward constituting a specific fashion of national character. in this pe- By the Sultan’s edict of 1830 (1833). it means a fetishized quality of a fashion or style. Therefore they are often used in non-Western cultures. or why the “national style” fashion was first of all a mark of the Serbian fashion production. which would incorporate the national tradition in clothing. What caused this flood of exotic motifs in the Yugoslav. Exoticism in the form of adaptations of traditional oriental urban clothes combined with elements taken from the Western fashion system. where they are crucial in constructions and assertions of identity. and then foreign or rare motifs in fashion (Craik 1993: 17). present in the Serbian material culture of the 1830s10 till the 1890s. Adaptations of traditional clothing combined with elements of pattern taken from Western fashion express tensions between an autochthonous and Western fashion system and. Serbia received the status of an autonomous princedom within the Ottoman Empire. As more effective means of display.

vest and jacket with oriental ornaments called džemadan and gunj. which was crucial for constructing the identity of the nation and the early bourgeoisie. Serbian ladies. Besides. However. Headgear was inevitably a fez with various types of jewellery. with long and in the lower part wider sleeves – was put over the fistan. adorned with braids. and fez with tassel). fez) which was further stylized in accordance with Western fashion trends of that time (tight upper parts of dresses. silk belt trombolos. dominated by the dušanka. a parallel process went on.68 Danijela Velimirović riod women were wearing the so-called “Serbian town costume”. a long silk belt. libade. emphasized waist. which was a specific choice and combination of oriental clothing stylized in accordance with contemporary European fashion trends (Prošić Dvornić 2006: 244–271). plus the non-acceptance and partial acceptance of Western fashion trends. since the 1840s Serbian students of secondary schools (licej) and gymnasiums. In the period between 1830 and 1860. Similar processes affected men’s clothing. and as of the 1870s skirts and gowns and blouses in the European style) produced the authenticity of the Serbian town costume. with the European influence in clothing. the process of creating the national costume. plain or shiny velvet. the adoption of European fashion codes did not mean that garments of national connotation were rejected. crinolines. Although till the end of the nineteenth century it became typical of conservative social circles. too. considering the increasing Europeanisation of the socio-cultural system. filled with a folded thin silk kerchief. adjusting their cut to a standard and using calmer colours and ornaments. which had a specific heartshaped cut on the chest. The specific choice and combination of oriental clothing ( fistan. city-dwellers. this costume has played an important role in creating the identity of the nation and civil society in rising (Prošić Dvornić 2006: 272). Since the 1860s the fistan was worn over crinolines in order to gradually be substituted by dresses or skirts and blouses cut in the European style. wide long skirt. imbued with the ideas of Romanticism. narrow in the upper part with a wide skirt. and finally the libade – a waist-length jacket made of corduroy. wore clothes based on “the old Serbian suit”. the hussar coat with Brandenburg buttoning. over a silk shirt the fistan was worn – a long silk dress. Selecting clothing offered in the oriental inventory (shirt. trousers in the Turkish style. The waist was girded with a bajader. Since mid-nineteenth century. Although this was a piece of clothing common . contributed to the creation of external insignia of national and class-defined membership required in the process of nation building. cut in the front. a specific costume of national connotation was created. continued to wear libade and fez in combination with European fashion clothes. thus supporting the further strategic competition in signs that indicated diversity. The division in clothing standards compared to usual oriental dress codes.

At the end of the nineteenth century “authentic” urban patterns in clothing became a part of the thesaurus of rural clothing. Mir-Jam wrote (Popović 2000: 60–61). Requests from Mir-Jam to create an autochthonous fashion design not be based on Western models were part of the spiritual climate in Serbia/Yugoslavia between the two wars.Region. the Prince himself wore the dušanka at all festive occasions. Fashion salons established at that time copied Western fashion canons. But voices demanding the production of marks of difference remained unheard.12 and this was the time when Western fashion styles in clothes of the Serbian bourgeoisie were utterly prevailing. occasional voices demanding a re-conceptualization of the fashion practice could be heard in the now already long tradition of national identification through clothes. However. parts of the women’s town costume became an inventory of only the rural festive. 12 While the modified men’s town costume permeated into the everyday and festive costume of peasants. unsatisfied with the unoriginal assortment of Belgrade fashion salons. our way of living and rites. A famous author of love stories. since she was also the editor of the fashion column in this magazine (Popović 2000: 60). it was reminiscent of the glorious “medieval past and was clearly expressing aspirations of the new society” (Prošić Dvornić 2006: 274). Artists who thought that “we should not be just an ordinary colony of French painting” (Stojanović 1986: 14) around 1927 established the group Zograf.11 The creation of autochthonous cultural patterns. Fashion salons continued to follow Parisian dictates. one had to establish a cooperation of fashion salons and artists “who would study Byzantine fashion. Leading Attila (or dušanka as the Serbian equivalent) was a constituent part of the uniform of the Falcons and the Royal Guard till 1941 (Prošić Dvornić 2006: 274). This clothing item was given a special place in Serbia during the reign of Prince Mihailo. was closely linked to the political emancipation of Serbia. all lines and styles. the new name was taken from the Serbian Tsar Dušan. 11 . flattering the tastes of demanding customers. Identity and Cultural Production 69 in the European inventory of clothing. and then create something original”. despite the full surrender to the fashion dictate of Paris and Vienna. The new fashion concept included a reform in clothing in order to create a specific Serbian fashion. Similar aspirations characterized the fine arts. first of all wedding clothes. In order to realize this project. especially during celebrations of national holidays. as well as our peasants’. including the creation of “authentic” clothing. keeping the national connotation. she supported the creation of “our fashion”. and Bojana Popović rightly assumes that this was the writer Mir-Jam. without any consideration of public comments of their sartorial practice that could be heard from time to time. The greatest supporter of an independent fashion was the unsigned author of an article published in Nedeljne ilustracije in 1928 (unsigned 1928: 4–5).

which were in favour of an autochthonous expression. Similar ideas formed also numerous works of applied art (architecture.70 Danijela Velimirović members of this group were Živorad Nastasijević. Jennifer Craik defines fashion systems as cultural technologies built for specific locations. if we accept a revised idea of the fashion system.14 Why was that so? The fashion production between the two Wars did not show any tendency of using exotic motifs available in the national repertoire. the artists gathered around Zograf realized their ideas by creating the “national style” in fine arts. due to the fact that in its essence fashion cannot be national” (Popović 2000: 61). 14 Katarina Mladenović and Dušan Janković were the only fashion designers in the inter-war period who used exotic motifs taken from Serbian regional costumes and other traditional artifacts. in the inter-war period there was no renovation of traditional clothes combined with elements taken from Western fashion despite strong national sentiments and the appearance of various trends in arts. However. 13 . All-Slavic balls (Sveslovenski balovi) organized by the “Kolo of Serbian Sis The idea of creating the Serbian national style in architecture first appeared in the mid 19th century as an expression of the epoch of romantic historicism. due to the fact that the need for national identification through clothing was satisfied by secondary forms of clothing and adorning. Katarina Mladenović applied patterns from carpets made in Pirot. Namely. In their work the aesthetics based on national tradition had priority over the aesthetics of contemporary trends in art. If fashion systems demonstrate the cultural policy of their milieu (Craik 2003: x). Belgrade’s fashionable circles ignored appeals for producing distinguishing signs in clothing. interior design and other). Their primary goal was to protect national art from foreign influences (Stojanović 1986: 14). while Dušan Janković sought his inspiration in the aaesthetic of the provinces of Kosovo. although tendencies toward creating an autochthonous expression in fine arts and design characterized the inter-war period. which means the existence of various fashion systems beyond the European. they were at the same time working in Paris. Metohija. then fashion can become “national”. Resava and Macedonia. But while the personal insignia of these designers was the use of motifs from the national heritage. However.13 Still. Vasa Pomorišac. Kadijević 2007). Designing fashionable clothes. Bojana Popović suggested that fashion salons should avoid exoticism in view of the fact that “a modern Belgrade lady had no need for the ‘national style’ in clothing. the attire required for certain fancy dress balls was an efficient technical means to preserve insignia of national identity. Basing their work on autochthonous cultural tradition. giving rise to a fascination with national aesthetics and demands for social divisions. then they can build their visual identity on the interpretation of national cultural tradition. It has remained present in Serbian architecture until today (cf. Josip Car and Ilija Kolarović.

and at the same time the acceptance of current Western fashion lines. Identity and Cultural Production 71 ters” (Kolo srpskih sestara) and other women’s humanitarian organizations. Exotic impulses found fertile soil in the Yugoslav fashion system. was conspicuously using exotic motifs. as well as privately organized “costume-balls” (kostim balovi). inspired by the romantic aureole of Russian aristocracy refugees or Carter’s discovery of Tutankhamen’s tomb. This specific milieu allowed a revitalization of old patterns in making clothing exotic. the use of exotic motifs in Yugoslav fashion expressed competition of the Yugoslav fashion system with the Western one and contributed to the production of Yugoslav diversity. . As secondary forms of clothing reconfirmed national cohesion. Paul Poiret. The problem may be in the fact that we are a small country to have such pretensions. The self-orientalization as a process of diverging from Western fashion codes aimed at the organisation of new visual preferences. Did the “national style” fashion as an authentic restoration of regional clothing styles contribute to the process of social self-realization? Did the new aesthetic express aspects of the Yugoslav uniqueness? What social. based his personal vision on exotic motifs from the cultural treasury of the Far and Middle East. reconstructed or redesigned types of regional rural costumes or versions of town costumes. although the European fashion of that time. Since the 1960s. when socialism assigned fashion a representative role and made the fashion designer respectable again. patterns which were present in the Serbian culture at the beginning of the nineteenth century. India and folk cultures of Central and East Europe. the disreputable Parisian “king of fashion”. The restoration of traditional techniques in clothing and decorating. In an interview for the Sarajevo daily Svijet (Mitić 1968: 21) Aleksandar Joksimović said: I am convinced that the future in fashion can be found in the search for new inspirations by the national costume. Daniel Miller argues that the authenticity of artifacts as cultural goods exists on the basis of their active participation in the process of social realization (Miller 1991: 215). fashion could freely close its doors to traditional symbolism. Renovating exoticism: the Yugoslav case After the Second World War deep social and cultural changes made the new adaptation of fashion pursuant to the “national key” possible.Region. forms of exoticism flooded the Yugoslav/Serbian fashion production. requested that the ladies participating in them wear original. became an imperative in fashion. political or cultural stimuli were crucial for boosting exotic fashion in socialist Yugoslavia? First of all.

Our peasant women are no longer sitting by the fire or. today we can talk about a “Yugoslav look”.72 Danijela Velimirović The refusal to euphorically imitate Western models was in accordance with social demands for the emancipation of Yugoslav fashion. In the era of a veritable flood of exotic motifs. the use of authentic exotic motifs and techniques for decorating wardrobe were excellent means for stepping out of the nameless Yugoslav fashion system. in general. David Binder. Denis Dubois Jallais. as it confirmed a nostalgia of the Western world for the exotic “other”. the media gladly emphasized that an authentic “Yugoslav fashion accompanied by the music of the fipple flute and steps of kolos” (Tanasković 1967: 25) was born. because exotic motifs as displaying techniques were always more effective and impressive than the well-known patterns in clothing. Although the author of the fashion column. cuts and ornaments of the ethnic costumes from Kosovo and Metohija. asserted that Joksimović’s design exceeded traditional forms. the correspondent of The New York Times in Belgrade. if so. Frenchmen. right after the display of the collection of the “National Salon” for 1965. Although aspirations toward the constitution of an autonomous fashion system were actually unrealistic. Yugoslavia established its own version of exoticism. which was developed on the basis of a study of rural ornaments and old fresco paintings. using the discourse of exoticism and authenticity to step out of anonymity. be able to ‘copy’ this handicraft fashion? Hardly. The Austrian journalist Christine von Kohl wrote in the daily Heim (von Kohl 1969: 31) about the specific “Yugo Look”: In the same way as we have based our Austrian look on a version of folklore. Numerous Western media reported on the exotic Yugoslav fashion production. The largest publicity was caused by the coverage in the October issue of Elle of Damned Jerina. Besides. In the column News: Yugoslavs enchanted Paris. . informed the American public about the creation of an elegant “new style” whose author was the “talented young designer named Aleksandar Joksimović” (Binder 1965: 24).15 15 A similar practice is still used. Serbian fashion is. At the 10th International Fashion Fair in Belgrade. the French fashion magazine reported about the Yugoslav cultural production based on folklore. Yugoslav fashion went into the open sea of fashion displays of postwar Europe. this union of regional and global features appeared mystical and seductive for the Parisian public. they are watching TV. And Dubois Jallais (1969: 158–161) concluded: “Would we. inspired by the fabric. propagating the cultural policy of its milieu. several exhibitors showed a fashion similar to traditional costumes made with good taste and imagination. Modern examples of this practice are collections of Verica Rakočević and the fashion house “Mona”.” Using resources of exotica. Modern fashion remembering the past.

if a certain length is practical and decent. i. among other ladies participating in this event and dressed in traditional clothing. mainly sari. the wife of the state secretary for foreign affairs and director of the “Centre for Modern Clothing” (Centar za savremeno odevanje). the “national style” fashion corresponded also with features of the social and political milieu of Yugoslavia of that time. in turn. The quest for an aesthetic specificity resulted in the formation of the “national style” fashion. On the other hand. in its way. Tito revived the anti-imperialistic rhetoric and pushed good relations with Western countries to the background.. emphasizing the specific and pioneering role of Yugoslavia in the non-alignment block. the “national style” fashion corresponded with constant demands of the political elites for a production of specific socialist clothing. the “national style” fashion was a perfect equivalent to the clothing of these countries. as part of the nonaligned movement. The country expanded its influence in the 1960s. wearing the Joksimović’s Simonida dress. e. a too short skirt could be more than distasteful. first of all. This repudiation of fashion extremes and rapid changes in style signified a proclamation of the new form of socialist clothing. And. New socialist clothing was sup- . combined with elements from Western fashion systems. whose policy in clothing also included forms of exoticism. Why should we make too many useless and excessive folds on a dress only because it is fashionable? What would be the use of too wide shoulders or unpractical kimono sleeves which make shoulders appear as if they were falling? All extremes in the name of an abstract idea called “fashion” prove a lack of taste and turn the woman into a caricature. taken at a reception in Pakistan. to a lexicon of insignia displaying differences to which the local fashion system conformed (Velimirović 2006: 54). Besides. In 1967. The title of the text. caused a strengthening in society that Yugoslavia was special. Zora Nikezić is Defending Our Fashion (Zora Nikezić brani našu modu) referred. the wearing of traditional clothing or its adaptation. which determined its foreign policy. Identity and Cultural Production 73 Not only that. the Belgrade daily Večernje novosti showed a photograph of Zora Nikezić. it expressed the competitiveness of the Yugoslav fashion system with the Western one.Region. This. in the same way as a too long skirt could be tacky. post-colonial countries. She appeared. thereby giving expression to the identity aspects of the Yugoslav fashion production. the first issue of the Yugoslav fashion magazine Ukus (published in the summer of 1946) repudiated Western fashion and its changes (unsigned 1946: 1): For what does the word fashion mean and why do we succumb to its wonders? Why is it necessary to change the length of a skirt. as the non-alignment movement comprised. In accordance with early Bolshevik ideology.

The production of differences from Western fashion was a strong stimulus for revitalizing old codes of making garments exotic and forming the “national style” fashion. Their goal was to combine industrial and traditional styles with geometric modernism of the haute couture of the 1920s for the purpose of creating socialist clothes. the versatility of peasant clothing and its lively colours with streamlined cut and fit suited to industrial work and city life” (Wilson 2003: 205). Vasić gave a positive estimate of the “expert interpretation” of the ethnographic wealth “preserved in national costumes. the dirndl).74 Danijela Velimirović posed to be classless. supported the expert interpretation of traditional ornaments in the design of modern fashion. the regime’s claims to represent the German nation. considering that our (socialist) conditions demanded “a different character of clothing” (Vasić 1966: 9). Dušan Janković presented drawings of ideal socialist clothing. Their designs were not realized. the latter defined by the Ukus magazine as “not intrusive”. Other socialist countries also used the discourse of exoticism for the creation of specific socialist clothes. 16 . 17 Socialist Unity Party (Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands). the new policy of clothing also included a reinterpretation of traditional costume for the purposes of fashion design.16 Voices demanding the use of motifs from the cultural heritage turned to a whisper in the 1950s only to become louder again in the 1960s. Difficulties caused by the civil war prevented the production of creations of these artists. combining. and the politically privileged status of rural workers in the GDR during the highly controversial efforts to collectivize farms in the early 1950s led state clothing designers to place special emphasis on the use of ‘motifs of folk art stemming from the cultural heritage for the development of so-called traditional costumes (Trachtenkleider)’” (Stitziel 2005: 53–54). At the conference of experts for fashion and textile held in 1966. Pavle Vasić. Senior Curator and Head of the Contemporary Applied Arts Department of the Museum of Applied Arts in Belgrade. which – besides the ideal of being practical – also included a renovation of traditional forms of clothing. In East Germany. “fashionable” work clothes were based on folk costumes (for example. “A combination of the SED’s17 emphasis on ‘culture’ (Kultur). comfortable. “modest” and “solid” (unsigned 1946: 1). as one writer put it in 1923. in national ornamentation” (Vasić 1966: 9). In some countries of the Soviet block. Reviewing former practice. Information obtained from Bojana Popović. despite the intention to go into mass production. As early as in the first post-war years. practical and beautiful. a Serbian historian of costumes. The Soviet Russian constructivist artists V. the new socialist clothing incorporated an interpretation of the regional cultural heritage. Tatlin and K. Malevich “represented prototypes of a new style of explicitly revolutionary dress. though.

the country’s special international position. and in the early 1970s the signs that expressed differences were abandoned. which wanted to use the traditional heritage for the purpose of producing garments for the working people. however. the Yugoslav “national style” fashion was not geared at everyday living conditions. This is why all aspirations to aesthetic emancipation from the Western fashion industry could not be fulfilled. 2: 127–164. Djurdja 2004: Let Them Wear Beige: The Petit-bourgeois World of Official Socialist Dress. Conclusion Stimuli such as the aspiration of the Yugoslav fashion system to step out of its anonymity. in Jennifer Craik’s terms. the Yugoslav fashion system of the 1960s was a cultural technology built for the specific situation of the country (Craik 1993: x–xi). However. This political and cultural focus on signs of diversity resulted in a desacralization of the imitation of Western fashion and in a tendency toward aesthetic emancipation. The rise of the socialist middle class from the mid 1960s on and its faithful pursuit of Western fashion trends and the expanding shopping tourism. the competition with the Western fashion system. Identity and Cultural Production 75 Therefore the progress of Yugoslav “national style” fashion should be viewed also as part of a wider process of manufacturing specific socialist clothing. the “national style” fashion could not last long.Region. In: Fashion Theory 8. but first of all had competitive goals and advertised its own specificity. social and cultural conditions of Yugoslavia. with its various aesthetic possibilities. mainly in the area of Trieste. Literature Bartlett. . It is certainly paradoxical that Yugoslav fashion renounced the potential of its own exotic thesaurus at a time when Western fashion was marked by styles inspired by rural utopia and ethnic clothes. and demands for inventing unique socialist clothing were favourable preconditions for the development of clothing practices supporting authenticity and exoticism. on which it was based. were factors which prevented the realization of this project of an autonomous Yugoslav fashion. The fashion conscious socialist middle class was not satisfied with signs indicating difference from the West. Thus. The unique regional fashion and aesthetics. The transnational character does not allow a one-dimensional and unilateral understanding of the process of producing differences. fulfilled this task: they expressed aspects of the Yugoslav uniqueness as a socialist and non-aligned country or. Contrary to the Soviet and Eastern-German practice. fashion as an interaction between art and society became an expression of the special political.

In: New York Times. Daniel 1991: Material Culture and Mass Consumption. Popović. Danijela 2006: Modna produkcija Aleksandra Joksimovića kao društveni i kulturni fenomen [The fashion production of Aleksandar Joksimović as a social and cultural phenomenon]. Department of Ethnology and Anthropology. thesis. Petrović. Ljiljana 1986: Vasa Pomorišac (1893–1961). Vasić. Fashion and Modernity. Cultural Studies in Fashion. University of Belgrade. Ivana 2002: Od trokinga do tvista. Velimirović. Pavle 1966: Značaj estetike u odevanju savremenog čoveka [Significance of Aesthetic in Clothing of the Modern Man]. B. New York: Berg. Politics and Consumer Culture in East Germany. Belgrade: Muzej savremene umetnosti. Wilson. 27 October 1969. Kadijević. 7–9. Prošić-Dvornić. Judd 2005: Fashioning Socialism. Jennifer 1993: The Face of Fashion. . Mirjana 2006: Odevanje u Beogradu u XIX i početkom XX veka [Clothing in Belgrade in the 19th and at the beginning of the 20th century]. Clothing. London: Routledge.A. In: Elle. M. David 1965: Native Color Wins Plaudits for Designer. Belgrade: Muzej primenjenih umetnosti. Belgrade: Savez inženjera i tehničara SR Srbije. Miller. Jelena 2004: Ljubav i moda: počeci i razvoj jugoslovenske modne industrije 60-ih godina XX veka [Love and fashion: the beginnings and development of the Yugoslav fashion industry in the 1960s]. Oxford. 26 June 1965. London: I. Denis 1969: Les Yougoslaves ont enchanté Paris. Articles in Newspapers Binder. Tauris. Belgrade: Građevinska knjiga. Dubois Jallais. Elizabeth 2003: Adorned in Dreams. Igranke u Beogradu (1945– 1963) [From truckin’ to twist. Oxford: Blackwells. The dances in Belgrade (1945–1963)]. In: Estetika u proizvodnji tekstila i u odevanju. Aleksandar 2007: Jedan vek traženja nacionalnog stila u arhitekturi (sredina XIX – sredina XX veka) [One century of search for the National Style in architecture (mid 19th – mid 20th century)].76 Danijela Velimirović Craik. Stitziel. Bojana 2000: Moda u Beogradu 1918–1941 [Belgrade fashion 1918– 1941]. 1: 87–102. Belgrade: Etnološka biblioteka. Lučić Todosić. Belgrade: Stubovi kulture. In: Godišnjak za društvenu istoriju 11. Stojanović.

the handmade knitted products “Sirogojno”. a već diktator [A talk with the father of “Simonida”. von Kohl. August–September 1946. as mostly referred to in the print media. Identity and Cultural Production 77 Mitić. Milan 1968: Razgovor s ocem “Simonide”. The article studies the social and cultural factors that were favourable for reviving the clothing practices expressing authenticity and exoticism. The article analyses three different fashion productions. Christine 1969: Folkloristisches im “Jugo-Look”. In: Ukus. In: Heim. Tako mlad. but in addition built its distinctive style by incorporating exotic motifs taken from the thesaurus of regional culture. Unsigned 1928: Kako da se stvori beogradska moda [How to create Belgrade fashion?]. It also attempts to answer the question whether the regional identity of the fashion industry was linked to the special character of Yugoslavia’s political and social situation as a socialist and non-aligned country. and the production of the “National Salon”. It was a fashion which followed current Western fashion codes. 21 October 1967. Unsigned 1946: O ukusu [About taste].Region. 5 August 1928. So young and already a dictator]. In: Svijet (Sarajevo). This provided Yugoslav fashion with distinctive features. Ljiljana 1967: Modno veče ili balet [Fashion evening or ballet]. 14 December 1969. Tanasković. In: Politika ekspres. In: Nedeljne ilustracije. left its mark on the Yugoslav fashion production of the 1960s. 23 February 1968. . Abstract Fashion in the “national style”. which directly demonstrate the regional identity of Yugoslav fashion: the socialist version of the haute couture of Aleksandar Joksimović.

 on www. pages: 79­  The Regional and the Subgroup Features of the Kinship Terminology of Roma/Gypsies in Bulgaria «The Regional and the Subgroup Features of the Kinship Terminology of Roma/ Gypsies in Bulgaria» by Alexey Pamporov Source: Ethnologia Balkanica (Ethnologia Balkanica). . issue: 12 / 2008.

Huberman 1994: 29). In addition. However. It asks what part of the terminology remains stable and should be considered a core. predominantly in Eastern and Southeastern Europe. and traditional craft. It offers a comparison between several regions at the NUTS 2 level (Northwestern. The paper aims to illustrate variations in kinship terminology by different regions. religious affiliation. Kalajdžes (Tinsmiths). Because of the existing ethnographic classifications. the Roma population is not as homogeneous as it seems through the eyes of outsiders. The main body of research was conducted in the period between 2001 and 2003 and was based on life story interviews and genealogical (family) trees. Having identified the core of the kinship terminology. In fact. mainly in the Daskane and Horahane subdivisions (Pamporov 2006). shortly after the peer-review on the first draft of the article arrived. Horahane Roma (Turkish/Muslim Gypsies). there are several subdivisions with numerous subgroups. and what part undergoes changes. It contains 240 individual records from fieldwork in 13 settlements. several checks were made in five control settlements outside those regions between 2004 and 2005 and in 2007. Introduction The Roma people (also referred to as Gypsies) are a trans-border ethnic minority who are widely dispersed but with their largest concentrated populations in Europe. Southwestern and Central Southern). This paper focusses on the similarities and differences in the kinship terminology of the five main Roma groups with regard to regional changes and influences. In Bulgaria there are five main Romany groups: Daskane Roma (Bulgarian/Christian Gypsies). The estimated size of the Roma population in Bulgaria in 2007 varied between 417 000 and 776 000 (Pamporov 2007b). Based on dialect. Sofia 1. Kalderaš (Coppersmiths). Some checks were made with different informants in two of the settlements in 2006 and one additional settlement in Northwestern Bulgaria in 2008.Ethnologia Balkanica 12 (2008) The Regional and the Subgroup Features of the Kinship Terminology of Roma/Gypsies in Bulgaria Alexey Pamporov. it will be possible to study the proximity of the ethnic sub-identities. and Ludari (or Rudari. this is one of the reasons for encountering difficulties in estimating the population size. There are also more than one hundred subgroups. known in Europe as Bojaš). A “multiple case sampling” procedure was used in order to replicate and strengthen our findings (Miles. the sampling frame was initially .

Some studies have classified them under the branch of Kalderaš Roma (Marushiakova. In Northwestern Bulgaria it often stands for “Roma people from the city of Sofia”. colander-makers. Moreover. Popov 1993). The four regional Kalajdžes patois belong to the so called Southern or Old Wallachian Romany dialects. but other publications suggest that they belong both to Daskane and Horahane Roma (Tomova 1995). but the Kalajdžes living in Southeastern and Central Southern Bulgaria are Eastern Orthodox. lexically influenced by the Romanian language). in our understanding Kalajdžes do not belong to . However. This discrepancy is due to the fact that the Kalajdžes living in Northeastern and Southwestern Bulgaria are Muslim. musicians. black-smiths. nowadays they follow not the Muslim but the local “Christian” folk practices. former nomads and Rumanian Gypsies (Marushiakova. Popov 1993).Access via CEEOL NL Germany 80 Alexey Pamporov based on a stratification in three groups: Jerlii. and morphological variations (Matras 2005). These subdivisions differ significantly in their beliefs. Despite the common language and the common traditional male handicraft. both subdivisions are endogamous and it is very rare to find an intermarriage. This causes confusion in some studies with the Kalderaš (who speak a language that belongs to the so-called Northern or New Wallachian Romany dialects. The one common thing between Daskane and Horahane Roma is the fact that they belong to the so-called Balkan group of Romany dialects. or rather Erlides (as it actually sounds in the Romany language). In Central Southern Bulgaria it denotes a Turkish-speaking Muslim population living in urban ghettoes. Furthermore. However. Huberman 1994). rites of passage. the religious affiliation splits this aggregate into two subdivisions – Daskane (Christian) and Horahane (Muslim) Roma. “Jerlii”. etc. the four regional subgroups do not contract marriages between each other and stay detached. tinsmiths. except for some cases in the urban context of the huge segregated quarters (where the state imposed atheism before 1989 and the new religious movements that developed thereafter introduced a number of identity changes which gave rise to a new metagroup identity). lexically influenced by Turkish. Using an open coding procedure or developing concepts and topics emerging from the data without making any prior assumptions (Miles. celebrations and ceremonies. and the binding of the kerchief (Decheva 2004). In the rural areas they differ also in the female clothing – the shape and the colours of the dress. lexical. soon we arrived at the stratification in five groups. In Southwestern Bulgaria it connotes “farmhands” as opposed to craftsmen (basket-makers. Kardaraši and Rudari. does not appear to have a common meaning. referred to also as: settled. which identifies itself as “Turks” but is considered as “Turkish gypsies” bythe others. In each of the regions discussed there are subgroups of Roma that call themselves Kalajdžes (Tinsmiths). The Kalajdžes in Northwestern Bulgaria keep the memory of their Muslim past alive both in their family names and their genealogies. although this type of dialect has plenty of phonetic.).

Weyrauch. composed of two to six households with up to 15 members in each household. The familia is an extended family. it denotes a unit like “the clan” (Fraser 1992: 239. often includes some of the married children. are said to be the main kinship unit by those authors who stress the nomadic tradition of the Romany culture. Therefore. Most of the authors use a terminological deduction departing from the common concept of kinship to the particular. Daskane or Horahane communities. Thus. Weyrauch. Fraser 1992: 239). the familia often numbers between 30 and 40 members. Stoyanovich claims that there is a difference between “vitča” and “vica” insofar as the latter denotes the lineage (Stoyanovitch 1974: 104). depending on the particular pronunciation. Fraser 1992: 239) or a nation (Sutherland 1975: 10. their partners and children. apart from the couple and their unmarried children. According to others. The fact that any viča has an endonym related to a name of a real or a mythical ancestor should be a clear sign that the viča is a kindred group (Stoyanovitch 1974: 103. and the “Gypsy band”. The “Gypsy tabor”. while in other cases “tsera” denotes any residential unit or independent household within the frame of the extended family (Sutherland 1975: 181. Fraser 1992: 239). However. The concept “kumpania” appears . The term “tserha” describes the same type of kinship in some patois of the Lovara subgroup. The next level is present in far more publications. Kephart 1987: 158. composed of several families. Bell 1993: 352). which. but rather they form a separate group. discussed as “the large family” (Mizov 1992: 49). Despite the fact that there is the idea of the existence of this cognate relation. 2. and. the members of a given viča may never meet one another or act as a group. Studies of Roma kinship In the field of Romany studies. Sutherland 1975: 183. A third party interprets it rather as an “extended family group” (Sway 1988: 62). Because the Romany couple usually has a large number of children. the main functional unit in the Romany social organization is the “familia”. Weyrauch. is registered as “vitča” or “vitsa”. the most useful definition seems to be that of the viča as a “cognate kinship group”. some more distant relatives as well as foster and adopted children from previous unions of some of the adults. kinship is discussed as the size of the network based on relations by descent and marriage. Fraser 1992: 239. exactly this is the proper term for “a tribe” (Stoyanovitch 1974: 103). For some authors. Bell 1993: 352). Bell 1993: 352). who live and work together (Sutherland 1975: 183–184. the “natsia” and “rasa” are seen as the utmost limit of the kinship – treated as a tribe (Sway 1988: 61. regardless whether it is a clan or a band (Kephart 1987: 158).The Regional and the Subgroup Features of the Kinship Terminology 81 the Kalderaš.

the endogamy in some Roma 3 4 5 1 2 From Arab.82 Alexey Pamporov in the same interpretative context. an extended family. and in not one single case the kinship ties.. . i. the Turkish words džins1 and tajfa2. as “more Gypsy”. if the spouses keep their group belonging or if one of them is supposed to accept a new identity. “kompania” denotes a set of friends. From its meaning in Bulgarian. which occupies a given geographic area (Sway 1988: 61). tayfa – crew. In their everyday language the Roma have incorporated the Bulgarian words rod (kin) and semejstvo (family) and. often. Because of the different views of the familia and the viča. During our fieldwork in 2001–2006 the terms “viča” and “kumpania” were not found to be in use. household. “amare manuša”4 or “mi ker”5. “my house”. or as a group composed of people from more then one tribe and from several clans or extended families – a union of individuals joined by an economic need to explore a given territory (Fraser 1992: 240. cins – kin. Bell 1993: 352). These examples are a wonderful illustration of how difficult the determination of the border between a kin. Although the kumpania is not a kinship group a priori. The terms “rasa” and “natsia” were used to distinguish “Roma” from “Gadže” (non-Gypsies). one can observe a marital exchange between the different viča-s or natsia-s in the course of interaction between different individuals and households. from one and the same nation. e. breed. retinue. Does marriage establish a meta-group from the two preceding groups? Is it the beginning of a new group independent and equal to either older groups or does it only create a subgroup affiliated with one of the existing groups? If the marriage has no such function. “our people”. At the same time. the kumpania is discussed as a group of extended families. In order to determine the limit of kinship relations. Unfortunately. gender. but not the groups. Weyrauch. and a household is. one could use the standard of required distance for marriage. From Arab. In the urban setting it refers to a group which carries out a specific activity in a given area of the city (Kephart 1987: 168). The Roma people use some syntagmas as an interpretant of the Bulgarian concept “semejstvo”: “amende savore”3. nor the published empirical material on the kumpania indicate the outcome of such a “mixed” marriage. then one should determine whether the young family chooses its group belonging in the frame of the kumpania or if the belonging is imposed on the couple. During the travelling season it denotes the groups of wagons travelling together. but not always. “everyone at our place”. neither the theoretical constructions quoted above. This is an additional specific mechanism for establishing and regulating the rights and the obligations of a given family towards the members of the kumpania (Fraser 1992: 240).

rom [husband] and romni [wife] (Acton 1974: 62).The Regional and the Subgroup Features of the Kinship Terminology 83 subgroups has a strong influence and leads to conclusions as follow: “The Roma appear increasingly to favour marriage between cousins (though first cousins are in principle felt too close). In the Kalderaš group and in some subgroups of the Horahane Roma and Kalajdžes the kinship is only a patrilineal one. The lack or change of certain words is a sign for a change in the social relationships and in the value system (Gadamer 1997). namely between the fourth and the seventh degree of the collateral line. bibi [aunt] and phuri daj (Stoyanovitch 1974: 110). bori and romni (Kephart 1987: 164). such as the Kalderaš and the Kalajdžes from Central Southern Bulgaria. A representative survey among the Roma in Bulgaria distinguishes some common patterns and some subgroup specifics in required kinship distance. and the borders will be drawn by the existing terminology. In other words. these publications use different concepts and terms such as: bori [bride]. accept only the sixth degree of collateral marriage (second cousins) and even encourage it as far as both groups have the bride price as the main marital pattern (Pamporov 2007a). bori. the Roma are familiar with the Family Code of Bulgaria. The civic law prohibits marriages between relatives of direct descent as well as between collateral relatives up to the forth degree (first cousins). daj [mother]. Therefore. dad [father]. phuri dad [pater fa- . failing that. “there is a definite ban for incest relations between children and parents and between brother and sister” (Stoyanovitch 1974: 125). Because of civic marriage practice. The kinship system itself has to secure a well-arranged and working network of social relations based on social practices (Radcliffe-Brown 1952: 72 f.). The social desirability influencing the answers reduces the validity of the data. čaj [daughter] (Kostov 1956: 414–421). However. therefore there are cohabitationbased unions between second and first degree cousins of the mother’s line (Tomova 1995). The marriage between third degree cousins is in principle allowed in all groups. although it draws the borderline of the kinship. the official regulations of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church ban collateral marriages up to the fifth degree. Moreover. In addition. and a partner is preferably from one’s own vitsa or. The approach is based on the understanding that only those social facts exist which the respondents realize and label. Therefore the present paper discusses the kinship as a social classification system based on the idea of relation by marriage or descent (Harris 1987). bori and sacra [mother-in-law] (Sway 1988: 71). phuro [an old man]. čavo [son]. pral [brother]. žamutro [groom]. in which the kinship terminology is a substantial part of the kinship system. an inductive approach is going to be used. Systematic studies of the genealogy ties and marriage relationships in Romany culture are very limited in number. phral [brother] and phuri daj [grandmother] (Clebert 1961: 165). džamutro [son-in-law]. the mother’s or grandmother’s” (Fraser 1992: 204). even the subgroups with a strong religious affiliation.

Popova 1999. For the man. Anne Sutherland draws several conclusions about social relations based on the kinship terminology both by descent and by marriage. Unfortunately. are a brilliant example of the diversity of the Romany dialects. of many of the signifiers. Thus a systematic analysis is possible only on the basis of extended and purposeful fieldwork. The second study focusses on the question of genealogical manipulation often used to modify and adjust kinship relations to the actual needs of individuals or families (Jakoubek. One can also find an extended list of kinship-related terms in some Roma language dictionaries. She describes the social ties and role conflicts between different family statuses. Based on her two years study among a Lovara kumpania in California. there are several interpretants. This makes Sutherland’s study irrelevant for the present investigation. The book is a brilliant historical study. Kyuchukov et al. there are several signifiers to almost any signified and moreover. Popov 1993: 162. in another kumpania or context the role sets may have different meanings. Budilová 2006). however. i. For the male child. The basic assumption in both publications is that the social organization of the Romany settlements is fundamentally based on kinship relations. Unfortunately. e. there is a multiple role conflict between his role as the husband of his wife and his role as the son of his parents. Jakoubek 2005). On the basis of the marital exchange in a segregated Romany settlement. relatives from all possible descent lines are considered as kin. in a frame of four generations. The best dialect comparison is given in Paspati’s book on the Romany dialects in the Ottoman Empire (Paspati 1870). the largest social group in Romany settlements based on patrilineal descent (Budilová. i. and the role perceptions are individualized to a high degree. there is no difference between his role of being a son and of being a grandson (Sutherland 1975). there is a morbid contrast between her role as a daughter and her role as a daughter-in-law. For the young woman. but unfortunately it is not relevant for the present language and its changes. The first one offers a classification of the basic types of kin groups as follows: the “nuclear family”. e. Kazandgiev 2007). even with some references to Devanagari. the “complex family” and the “fajta”. The basic type of kinship is the cognatic one. The weakest point in all of them is that they reflect a local patois spoken by the author and are written in an unprofessional manner in some self-made orthography based on the Cyrillic or Latin alphabets. .. With regard to the present dialects. 197). The kinship terms.84 Alexey Pamporov milias]. five dictionaries have already been published in Bulgaria since 1989 (Malikov 1992. 1995. Kazandgiev. Thus. phuri dej [grandmother] (Marushiakova. Savchev 2004. Budilová and Jakoubek discuss Roma kinship in Eastern Slovakia in two case studies. the scope of the study is limited to a very narrow circle of informants.. often contradictory in their semantic.

Secondly. Figure 1. the triangle signifies a male individual and the circle a female one. Firstly. Nevertheless. Five generations ego-centred matrix Figure 2. and two subgroups of Daskane Roma: Cucumani (Gabrovnica village).The Regional and the Subgroup Features of the Kinship Terminology 85 An earlier publication of a case study in Southwestern Bulgaria outlines the structure of Romany kinship in the frame of five generations (Pamporov 2001). a second matrix was established in order to find a proper approach to the in-laws kinship structure (Figure 2). The black square in Figure 1 marks the position of the ego. On both matrixes. while the terms of the Horahane Roma and Daskane Roma groups appear only at secondary order. . In the second matrix. the model is quite adequate with regard to kinship terminology and serves as a genealogical matrix for the data analysis of the present study (Figure 1). the model of kinship reflects the terms primarily of the Kalderaš group. the marital couple is the ego and therefore both partners are rendered in black. but the article has two shortcomings for the present study. In addition. the article does not discuss the henamika [in-laws] and the structure of this type of relations. Kalajdžes (Lom and Gabrovnica village). Kinship terminology of descent within a given region The kinship terminology in Northwestern Bulgaria was studied among the following groups: Kalderaš (Gabrovnica village). regardless of the informant’s gender. Two generations couple-centred matrix 3.

A comparison between the basic kinship terms is given in Table 2. Horahane Roma (Petrič and Sandanski). migrants from the neighbouring village of Ploski. Kostievo village. Jagodovo village). Jagodovo village. The kinship terminology in Central Southern Bulgaria was studied among the following groups: Kalderaš (Katunica village. In Southwestern Bulgaria. . Kalajdžes (Petrič). they keep the name as a marker distinguishing them from “other” Roma groups).86 Alexey Pamporov Table 1: Comparison between the basic kinship terms of descent among the main Roma groups in Northwestern Bulgaria signifier Kalderaš Kalajdžes (Lom) Kalajdžes (Gabrovnica) Daskane – Rešetari Daskane – Cucumani mother father brother sister son daughter grandson granddaughter grandfather grandmother paternal uncle maternal uncle paternal aunt maternal aunt cousin (male) cousin ­(female) nephew niece dej dad pral pej šjav šej nepoto nepata papu purani dej kako kako bibi bibi voro vara nepoto nepata dej dad phral phen čšavo čšej unuko unuka papu mami kako kako bibi bibi bratovčedo bratov­čedka plemennik plemennica daj dad phral phen čšavo čšaj unuko unuka papu mami kako kako bibi bibi bratovčed bratov­čedka — — dej dad phral phen čšavo čšaj unuko unuka papu baba kako vujčo bibi bibi bratovčed bratov­čedka plemennik plemennica daj dad phral phen čšavo čšaj unuk unučka papu baba čičo vujčo teta teta bratovčed bratov­čedka plemennik plemennica a Bulgarian speaking subgroup with preferred Bulgarian identity. Filipovo station [Plovdiv]). Kalajdžes (Kuklen. Horahane Roma (Boljarci village. A comparison between the basic kinship terms is given in Table 1. Daskane Roma (Petrič and Sandanski). Kalekovec village. Daskane Roma (Boljarci village. with preferred Turkish identity. Joakim Gruevo village). and finally Ploskalii (Sandanski). Joakim Gruevo village). but speaking a mixture of Turkish and Romany. and Rešetari (Lom). Katunica village. Katunica village. the kinship terminology was studied among the following groups: Kalderaš (Petrič). a group of Romany speaking “colander-makers” (although the craft is no longer in use.

As was said earlier. It was important to check this. One can find one and the same signifier in any local Kalderaš community. despite the fact that the city is the administrative centre of Southwestern Bulgaria. In addition. some significant “regional” changes have occurred a long . A comparison between the basic kinship terms in the control sample is given in Table 4. Kalajdžes (Zagorci village – SE Bulgaria). Jagoda village – SE Bulgaria). we focussed on the Erlides in Sofia. the Kalderaš terminology does change. A comparison between the basic kinship terms is given in Table 3. However. The regional comparison of the Romany kinship terminology of descent reveals the following findings: Firstly. The control sample comprised the following groups: Kalderaš (Ruse – NE Bulgaria). Joakim Gruevo village). a typical case of a huge urban ghettoized district. in order to verify our findings we checked the terminology in settlements outside these three regions. which means that the impact of the subgroup is much stronger than the regional influence. Ludari (Sozopol. because Bulgarian ethnography pays special attention to the Erlides.The Regional and the Subgroup Features of the Kinship Terminology 87 Table 2: Comparison between the basic kinship terms of descent among the main Roma groups in Southwestern Bulgaria signifier Kalderaš Kalajdžes Daskane Horahane Ploskalii mother father brother sister son daughter grandson granddaughter grandfather grandmother paternal uncle maternal uncle paternal aunt maternal aunt cousin (male) cousin (female) nephew niece dej dad pral pej šjav šej nepoto nepata papu purani dej kako kako bibi bibi voro vara nepoto nepata dej dad phral phen čšavo čšej nuko nuka papu mami kako dajčo ala teta bratčedo bratčedka nuko nuka daj dad phral phen čšavo čšaj vnuk vnučka papu mami dajčo dajčo ala teta bratčed bratčedka vnuk vnuka daj dad/baba pral pen čavo čaj vnuk vnučka papu kožana kako dajčo ala teta bratčed bratčedka vnuk vnuka ana baba kardaš kăskardaš olum kazăm čužuk kăsčužuk papu mami aži dajčo teta bibi bratčed bratčedka vnuk vnuka and Ludari (Jagodovo village. Julievo village.

The Ludari group speaks a dialect of the Romanian language and therefore their kinship terminology is in Roma6 For example nepoto (grandson) sounds like nipoto. grandchildren. In Central Southern Bulgaria there is a reduction of the unstressed vowel “e” into “i”6. which indicates a strong regional influence. . A lexical influence of the local Bulgarian dialects is observed with regard to cousins. nephews. and grandparents. A lexical influence by the local Bulgarian dialects is observed with regard to the cousins. parental siblings. and nieces. and nieces. Moreover. Secondly. which is typical for the Eastern Bulgarian dialects.88 Alexey Pamporov Table 3: Comparison between the basic kinship terms of descent among the main Roma groups in Central Southern Bulgaria signifier Kalderaš Kalajdžes Daskane Horahane Ludari mother father brother sister son daughter grandson granddaughter grandfather grandmother paternal uncle maternal uncle paternal aunt maternal aunt cousin (male) cousin (female) nephew niece dej dad pral pej šjav šej nipoto nipata papu purani dej kako kako bibi bibi voro vara nipoto nipata dej dad phral phen čšavo čšej fnuko fnuka papu mami kako kako bibi bibi bratovčed bratovčedka fnuko fnuka daj dad phral phen čšavo čšaj fnuk fnuka papu baba kako/čičo kako/vujčo bibi/lelja bibi bratovčed bratovčedka fnuk fnuka daj dad pral pen čavo čaj fnuk fnuka papu baba kako kako bibi bibi bratovčed bratovčedka fnuk fnuka mama parinti frati sora băjat fata nipot nipoata mošu baba unki unki moaša moaša văr vara nipot nipoata time ago. Both the Horahane Roma and the Daskane Roma groups have similar kinship terminologies concerning the nuclear family members and grandparents within their groups. the nephews. The signifiers of the parental siblings are often under the influence of the local Turkish dialects. with the result that today certain Romanian words are in use in the Kalderaš dialect. the grandchildren. the everyday interaction between the groups brings a kind of a local terminological unification. the Kalajdžes groups living in different regions have similar concepts about the nuclear family members.

Table 5: The mismatches between Ludari and Romanian kinship terms signified Ludari signifier standard meaning Romanian signifier grandfather grandmother aunt daughter mošu baba moaša fata moş – “an old man” [Bulgarian borrowing] moaşă – “a midwife” fată – “a girl”. Kinship terminology by marriage within a given region Similar to the terminology of descent. a reduction of the vowel “e” is observed in Central Southern as well as in Southeastern Bulgaria. although in several cases not in standard Romanian. and Romanian . the kinship terminology by marriage shows a core set of concepts that remains unchanged and a variety of interchangeable terms derived from the Romany. Similar to the Kalderaš phonology.The Regional and the Subgroup Features of the Kinship Terminology 89 Table 4: Comparison between the basic kinship terms of descent in the control sample signifier Kalderaš Kalajdžes Ludari Erlides mother father brother sister son daughter grandson granddaughter grandfather grandmother paternal uncle maternal uncle paternal aunt maternal aunt cousin (male) cousin (female) nephew niece dej dad pral pej šjav šej nipoto nipata papu purani dej kako kako bibi bibi voro vara nipoto nipata dej dad phral phen čšavo čšej vnuk vnucka papu mami kako kako bibi bibi bratovčed bratovčedka vnuk vnucka mama parinti frati sora băjat fata nipot nipoata mošu baba unki unki moaša moaša văr vara nipot nipoata daj dad pral pen čavo čaj unukos unuka papu mami kakos dajžo teta teta bratovčed bratovčedka — — nian. Bulgarian. Turkish. “a lass” bunic bunică mătuşă fiică 4. as Table 5 shows.

this was one of . son-in-law and daughter-in-law. in the same way as the Romany speakers use the words Rom and Romni. and the data from the control sample support this. son. the terms are one and the same regardless of the subgroup or the region. All other kinship terms vary significantly by the region. the Ludari group uses the terms Cigan and Ciganka. In fact. Daskane and Horahane Roma. With regard to Kalajdžes. Except for some phonetic changes.and daughter-in law. father-.90 Alexey Pamporov Table 6: Comparison between the basic kinship terms by marriage among the main Roma groups in Northwestern Bulgaria signifier Kalderaš Kalajdžes (Lom) Kalajdžes Daskane – Daskane – (Gabrovnica) Rešetari Cucumani husband wife husband’s father wife’s father husband’s mother wife’s mother husband’s brother wife of the husband’s brother wife’s brother wife of the wife’s brother husband’s sister husband of the husband’s sister wife’s sister husband of the wife’s sister son-in-law daughter-in-law uncle-in-law aunt-in-law grandson-in-law granddaughter-in-law rom romni sokro sakra sokro sakra kumnato kumnata rom romni sastro sastro sasuj sasuj žăs etărva rom romni sastro sastro sasuj sasuj žăs etărva rom romni sastro sastro sasuj sasuj žăs etărva rom romni sastro sastro sasuj sasuj džes etărva kumnato kumnata kumnata kumnato šura šurnakovica žăštaj žăs šura šurnakovica žăštaj žăs šura šurnakovica žăštaj žăs šura šurnakovica zălva džamutro kumnata baldăža kumnato badžo baldăža badžo baldăža badžo baldăža badžo žamutro bori kako bibi žamutro bori žamutro bori kako bibi žamutro bori žamutro bori kako bibi žamutro bori džamutro bori čičo/vujčo teta džamutro bori žamutro bori kako bibi žamutro bori languages. the Kalderaš group totally adopted the Romanian kinship terminology of marriage relations. wife. Instead of the Romanian words soţ (husband) and soţie (wife). Except for the terms for husband. the core set is composed of the terms for husband and wife as well as mother-. the Kalderaš terms do not vary by the region and thus the subgroup identity appears to be stronger than the regional influences. As with the terminology by descent.

However. The important common feature in all terminologies is that the Roma use the same signifier for the second-degree relatives of direct descent (grandchildren) and for the third-degree collateral relatives in the first descending generation (nephews). the parental siblings are distinguished by gender.The Regional and the Subgroup Features of the Kinship Terminology 91 Table 7: Comparison between the basic kinship terms by marriage among the main Roma groups in Southwestern Bulgaria signifier Kalderaš Kalajdžes Daskane Horahane Ploskalii husband wife husband’s father wife’s father husband’s mother wife’s mother husband’s brother wife of the husband’s brother wife’s brother wife of the wife’s brother husband’s sister husband of the husband’s sister wife’s sister husband of the wife’s sister son-in-law daughter-in-law uncle-in-law aunt-in-law grandson-in-law granddaughter-in-law rom romni sokro sakra sokro sakra kumnato kumnata kumnato kumnata kumnata kumnato rom romni sastro sastro sasuj sasuj devero enge kainčo kainga enge devero rom romni sastro sastro sasuj sasuj devero etărvi šura kainče žăštaj žamutro rom romni sastro sastro sasuj sasuj devero etărvi šura kainče žăštaj žamutro kožan kari kajnatam dede kajnanam ana salo enge šura šurnajka enge salo kumnata kumnato žamutro bori kako bibi žamutro bori baldăža badžanak žamutro bori inište inge/dajnica žamutro bori baldăža badžanak žamutro bori žamutro bori žamutro bori baldăža badžanak žamutro bori inište inge žamutro bori baldăža badžanak džamutro gelin enište/dajčo gelin džamutro gelin the main reasons for including the Ludari terminology in the present paper. The kinship terminology by marriage is given in detail in Tables 6–9. 5. Summary and conclusions The outcome of the comparison between the different subgroup and regional terminologies confirms the cognatic pattern of Romany kinship insofar as it does not distinguish between patrilineal and matrilineal relatives. and only make a gender dis- .

Combining this with the above-mentioned Eskimo-type features of the kinship structure. Rom (Gypsy) and Romni (Gypsy woman). the Roma kinship is a brilliant example for a lineal (Eskimo) kinship structure which emphasizes the nuclear family rather than the extended family or larger kinship group (Harris 1987). If one refers to Murdock’s system of classification. Rather.92 Alexey Pamporov Table 8: Comparison between the basic kinship terms by marriage among the main Roma groups in Central Southern Bulgaria signifier Kalderaš Kalajdžes Daskane Horahane Ludari husband wife rom romni rom romni husband’s father wife’s father husband’s mother wife’s mother husband’s brother wife of the husband’s brother wife’s brother wife of the wife’s brother husband’s sister husband of the husband’s sister wife’s sister husband of the wife’s sister son-in-law daughter-in-law uncle-in-law aunt-in-law grandson-in-law granddaughter-in-law sokro sakra sokro sakra kumnato kumnata kumnato kumnata kumnata kumnato kumnata kumnato žamutro bori kako bibi žamutro bori rom romni rom romni cigan/ludar ciganka/ ludarka sastro sastro sastro sokro sastro tăst/sastro sastro soakra sasuj tăšta/sasuj sasuj sokro sasuj sasuj sasuj sakra džes dever dever kumnat etărva etărva etărva kumnata šurej šurej šurej kumnat šurnajka šurnajka šurnajka kumnata zălva zălva zălva kumnata džes žăs žăs kumnat baldăža baldăža baldăža kumnata badžo badžanak badžanak kumnat džamutro džamutro džamutro džiniri bori bori bori nora kako čičo/ vujčo kako unki bibi lelja/vujna bibi moaša džamutro džamutro džamutro džiniri bori bori bori nora tinction. the terms vary by the subgroup identity mainly in the terms for the members of the nuclear family. Moreover. we can conclude that neither the extended family nor the larger kinship group are the main social units. Jakoubek. As becomes clear from the tables above. as is usually stated in the literature (Marushiakova. The last common feature is that all relatives in-law in the generation of the ego as well as in the descending generations are grouped together into a category split in two by gender like the previous. it is important to say that the signifiers of ethnic identification. have their place in the kinship terminology denoting “husband” and . the nuclear family seems to be the main social unit and a pillar of Roma identity. Popov 1993. Budilová 2006).

In: Romani Studies Ser. Should we then translate Roma as “spouses” instead of “Gypsies”? But how do we explain. 1: 1–29. . that the non-Romany speaking group of Ludari uses the same substitution and even has the word Cigan (Gypsy) incorporated into its kinship terminology? We are not yet able to provide an answer to these questions.The Regional and the Subgroup Features of the Kinship Terminology 93 Table 9: Comparison between the basic kinship terms by marriage in the control sample signifier Kalderaš Kalajdžes Ludari Erlides husband wife husband’s father wife’s father husband’s mother wife’s mother husband’s brother wife of the husband’s brother wife’s brother wife of the wife’s brother husband’s sister husband of the ­husband’s sister wife’s sister husband of the wife’s sister son-in-law daughter-in-law uncle-in-law aunt-in-law grandson-in-law granddaughter-in-law rom romni sokro sakra sokro sakra kumnato kumnata rom romni sastro sastro sasuj sasuj džes etărva cigan/ludar ciganka/ludarka sokro soakra sokro sakra kumnat kumnata rom romni sastro sastro sasuj sasuj žes enga kumnato kumnata kumnata kumnato šurej šurnajka zălva džes kumnat kumnata kumnata kumnat salo šrunanka/etărva dada/zălva žes kumnata kumnato žamutro bori kako bibi žamutro bori baldăža badžo džamutro bori kako bibi džamutro bori kumnata kumnat džiniri nora unki moaša džiniri nora baldăža badžanak žamutro bori kakos enga žamutro bori “wife”. Literature Budilová. Lenka. but want to put them forward to the attention of our readership with the hope of raising a fruitful discussion. Gypsy/Roma dress in Bulgaria. then. Mirella 2004: Me bala šukar. Baltimore: Penguin. Decheva. 15. Vol. Sofia: EIM-BAS. Marek Jakoubek 2005: Ritual Impurity and Kinship in a Gypsy “osada” in Eastern Slovakia.-P. J. mo diklo lolo. 1961: The Gypsies. Clébert. 5.

New York: Free Press [Bulgarian edition 1997].). Kolio. A. Sofia: Club 90 [in Bulgarian]. Harris. Social Organization and Genealogical Manipulations in Gypsy ‘osadas’ in Eastern Slovakia. 7–26. Sofia: Effect. Pamporov. Barbara Schrammel. Popov 1993: The Gypsies in Bulgaria. Munich: Lincom. Savchev. Bulgarian edition 1997]. Marvin 1987: Cultural Anthropology. Malikov. 1987: Extraordinary Groups. Grundzüge einer philosophischen Hermeneutik. 5–14 [in Bulgarian]. Gypsy Words in the Bulgarian Secret Slang. Matthew B. Popova. Cambridge: Blackwell. Miles. Boyko 1992: Toward the Leadership Among the Gypsies. 1 (June 2006): 63–82. Kephart. Kazandgiev. Jakoubek. Oxford. Mizov. General and Applied Romani Linguistics. Pamporov. Alexey 2007b: The Size of the Roma Population in Bulgaria as a Challenge for Policy Relevance. In: Izvestija na institute za Bălgarski ezik 4: 411–425 [in Bugarian]. Marek. Savcho 2004: Romany – Bulgarian – English Dictionary.). A. In: idem (ed. Radcliffe-Brown.) 13: 471–476. 1956. New York: St Martin’s Press. Christo. V. Alexey Pamporov (eds. Paris: Marcel Riviére. Dieter Halb­wachs (eds. W. M. Pamporov. Michael Huberman 1994: Qualitative Data Analisys. Gadamer. Yaron 2005: The Classification of Romani Dialects: A Geographical-historical Perspective. Elena. . Thousand Oaks: Sage.. Lenka Budilová 2006: Kinship. In: Velina Topalova. Tübingen [1960. K. Stoyanovitch. 1974: Les Tsiganes. Kyuchukov. Sofia: BMC [in Bulgarian].94 Alexey Pamporov Fraser. Iliev 1995: Romani alfabeta. Leur ordre social. Alexey 2001: The Power Relationship in Romany Communities. Alexey 2007a: Sold Like a Donkey? Bride-price Among the Bulgarian Roma. Matras. In: Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute (N. 1952: Structure and Function in Primitive Society. Angus 1992: The Gypsies. Yanakiev. Gjupci. Stefka 1999: Practical Gypsy Language Course.). In: Gerd Ambrosch. Marushiakova. New York: Harper & Row. In: Sociologičeski pregled 3: 47–59 [in Bulgarian]. D. Sofia: OSF [in Bulgarian]. Sofia: Bulvest-2000. Hans-Georg 1975: Wahrheit und Methode. Yashar 1992: Gypsy-Bulgarian Dictionary. Sofia: Institute of Sociology [in Bulgarian]. Boris Kazandgiev 2007: Statue Words in the Gypsy Literary Language. The Integration of the Roma People in the Bulgarian Society. Sofia: Ilinden 2000 [in Bulgarian]. K. In: Romani Studies 16. Sofa: SDS. Kostov. S.

Chicago: University of Illinois Press. Abstract The paper discusses the kinship terminology of the five main Roma groups living in the Northwestern. The Roma use the same signifier as far as to the second-degree relatives of direct descent (grandchildren) and to the third-degree collateral relatives in the first descending generation (nephews). The terms vary between the subgroups mainly in the words used for the members of the nuclear family. The comparison between the different subgroup terminologies at a regional level indicates a cognatic pattern of the Romany kinship. The parental siblings are distinguished only by gender. Bell 1993: Autonomous Law-making: The Case of the Gypsies. 1986]. All in-law relatives in the generation of the ego as well as in the descending generations are grouped together into a category split into two by gender. . In fact. and make only a gender distinction. Gypsy Life in America. M. the Roma kinship terminology is a clear example of a lineal (or “Eskimo type” in Murdock’s classification) kinship structure. Weyrauch. W. Sofia: IMIR. Urbana. Ilona 1995: The Gypsies in the Transition Period. Southwestern and Central Southern regions of Bulgaria. 1988: Familiar Strangers. A.The Regional and the Subgroup Features of the Kinship Terminology 95 Sutherland. the nuclear family is the main social unit and pillar of Roma identity.. Together with the clear “Eskimo type” structure. 2: 323–399. O. In all other kinship categories the regional influence is stronger than the subgroup influence. Tomova. New York: Free Press [repr. as far as it places no distinction between patrilineal and matrilineal relatives. Sway. as often claimed. M. the patterns of influence suggest that instead of the larger kinship group. Anne 1975: The Gypsies: Hidden Americans. In: The Yale Law Journal 103.

 The Constructions of Regional Identity and Memory in Zagoria (Southern Albania) through Place and Sound «Migration Memories in the Borderlands.ceeol.  Migration Memories in the Borderlands. pages: 97­110. issue: 12 / . The Constructions of Regional Identity and Memory in Zagoria (Southern Albania) through Place and Sound» by Eckehard Pistrick Source: Ethnologia Balkanica (Ethnologia Balkanica). on www.

The labour migration at the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century is comparable to other migration movements in the Balkans such as the “gurbetčistvo” or “pečalbarstvo” in Bulgaria (see Hristov 2005). For the locals themselves. Moreover it is highly charged with emotions both in terminology and discourse. when 200 000 Albanians. the following waves from the nineteenth century up to the recent Albanian mass migration were provoked by the lack of economic and social development. While this first migration wave had a strong religious motivation. migration is a mental concept defined in relation to a specific concept of history and culture. Songs and places become grounds for remembering migration experiences individually and collectively.Ethnologia Balkanica 12 (2008) Migration Memories in the Borderlands The Constructions of Regional Identity and Memory in Zagoria (Southern Albania) through Place and Sound1 Eckehard Pistrick. left their home country after the death of their Christian leader Skanderbeg (Piperno 2002: 1). divided since 1912 between Greece and independent Albania. one fourth of the entire population. Although the migration experi1 My thanks goes to Andreas Hemming for proof-reading the English-language version of this paper. Especially strong was the migration in mountainous areas. while the self-conceptualization of this legacy in local culture and in the local memory of the people has attracted considerably less attention. . This migration has been discussed extensively from statistical. culture and place and what role these concepts play in performances of multipart migration songs. It focuses on local concepts of history. based on field research in 2006 and 2007 on both sides of the Greek-Albanian border explores how migration as a mental concept can become a performative aspect of everyday life in a borderland region. Halle Introduction Migration is a central feature of modern Albanian and Greek history. economic and political viewpoints. In the Albanian case its roots reach back to the fifteenth century. The constructed memory and the underlying emotions become visualized in specific places and performed through sound in quite a fascinating way. Scholars have preferred the official interpretations of migration to the subordinate discourses of local communities. where arable land was limited. such as the region of Epirus. This study.

The region of Zagoria is also characterized by the omnipresence of the border. All villages are positioned between 500 and 800 metres above sea level. to which the Zagoria belongs ethnographically. e. The migration history of the region begins in the 18th century with labour migration movements to Istanbul. excluding the more recent mass migration. The dramatic decrease of the population can be seen in census figures. = the field of Sheper). It is estimated that “around 80% of the young men and boys of Zagoria have been in migration” (Shabani 2006: 11). . The situation has become even worse after the advent of post-socialist mass migration. Two official border-crossing points. for example. economic and historical overview Zagoria is a mountain highland region west of Gjirokastra between the Drinos and Vjosa Rivers. Kakavia and Tre Urat/Mertziani Bridge. Greece and Egypt. It is situated between the Toskëria to the east and the Labëria to the west. social. indicating 4 500 inhabitants for 1854. The main motivation to migrate therefore was. “vafëria” (Alb. the region is marked profoundly by past and present migration events. was inhabited by only two families in 1989 (Shabani 2006: 56). it is also marked by passes used historically by merchant and migration caravans between the Toskëria and the Ionian coastal towns of Saranda and Himara. The villagers of Zagoria as well as the villagers of the neighbouring Lunxhëria region are today exclusively orthodox. The main administrative centre for the ten villages located along the Zagoria river is the village of Nivan. which are interpreted in multiple ways. = poverty) and a weak local subsistence economy based on stockbreeding and the production of wheat. The region is characterized by a distinct mountain climate with up to 20–30 snow days a year and intense rainfall (1500 mm per year) (Shabani 2006: 9). I will also refer predominantly to labour migration before the Second World War. I will concentrate here on data from Zagoria in Southern Albania and on places and sounds connected with this region. These historic routes are lined with symbolic places both natural and human-made. From a demographic and social perspective. Geographical. The economic situation of the region is especially difficult because it has only one large arable plain called “fusha e Sheperit” (Alb. and numerous unofficial. Even before. maize and wine. The village of Vithuq.Access via CEEOL NL Germany 98 Eckehard Pistrick ence is common to both sides of the Greek-Albanian border. some of the villages were nearly deserted. i. which had a considerable Muslim population until 1913 (Shabani 2006: 16). and still is. apart from the village of Doshnica. illegal. Zagoria is not only a mountain barrier reaching heights of up to 2 485 metres on Mount Nemërçka.. border-crossing points are situated at a distance of between 20 and 30 kilometres from the mountain villages. 3 300 for 1913 and 1 450 inhabitants for 1984 (Shabani 2006: 11).

Germany. 34) Today more than two thirds of the Zagorians live not in their place of origin but in major Albanian urban centres such as Tirana and Gjirokastra. Italy. preconditioned by existing social frameworks. p. as well as in Greece. This selection results in a “cul- . the USA. The construction of a migration memory Migration is an essential mental concept shared by the local inhabitants of Zagoria. Halbwachs (1991) and Assmann (1992) describe memory as a selective act. Tirana 2000. Stefan: Kenge Popullore ngaZagoria. and Argentina. This mental concept is expressed in relation to two points of reference: to a specific notion of history and a specific concept of culture.Migration Memories in the Borderlands 99 Map of Zagoria (taken from: Bulo.

historical truths are reshaped as a conglomerate of terms and experiences or as symbols called “memory figures” (Erinnerungsfiguren) (Assmann 1992: 39). But while the migration experienced before the Second World War is indeed only part of the “lived and shared memory” of a few older villagers. Migration is understood by Zagorians as an integral part of one specific group of myths. This form of memory refers in its strictest sense only to the experienced memory of one generation. understood as a dynamic and continuous progress. This understanding of history is backed effectively by a concept of kulturë (Alb. In Zagoria the organisation of such events has become institutionalized through cultural associations such as the “Çajupi” brotherhood founded in 1995. The remembered facts are constantly re-selected and re-evaluated in reference to an ever-changing present. Migration is seen in this context as an act of individual and collective suffering. The history of migration is also present as “communicative memory”: as a part of individual and family biographies. it is nevertheless perceived as being alive and present in the younger generation through its actualisation and juxtaposition to the recent experiences of mass migration. one specific dimension of human memory whose function it is to transmit a sense for actions and things. Almost all efforts to organize memory publicly involve the use of or reference to this “mythistory”. “Cultural memory” and “memory figures” are extracted from an imagined “mythistory” (cf. “Cultural memory” can therefore be described as a way to codify. save and retrieve the “cultural sense” of things beyond the boundaries of time and the individual. For Zagorians the memory of migration is central to their identity construction. Both forms of “collective memory” are aimed. In order to enter human memory. These “memory figures” reproduce the past and at the same time define values. so as to make sense of it for a particular community” (Schöpflin 2002: 26). = culture). McNeill 1986). while the myth in the structural-functionalist interpretation of Schöpflin serves as a “way of organizing history.100 Eckehard Pistrick tural memory”. Culture is a second crucial reference point for the construction of a collective migration memory. attitudes and aspirations deriving from them. relevant for Albania as a whole: “myths of redemption and suffering” (SchwandnerSievers 2002: 10–11). at least on the local level. but also as a form of self-sacrifice for family and nation. “Mythistory” is made visible in the sphere of local historiography and festivity. “communicative memory” and “cultural memory” (Assmann 1992) overlap in the case of migration recall in Zagoria. . at making sense of individual and collective hardship and at constructing and justifying migration as a historical continuity. It serves the finding of a collective memory and identity. The two forms of “collective memory”. remembering migration is an important basis for their community construction.

All new introductions in the household such as suva (plaster). tavani (tables) instead of the Ottoman sofër (round ground-table). petseta (Gr. Albanian: 1922) (Shabani 2006: 24 ff. This commonly uttered phrase points to improvements again coinciding with a wider concept of culture perceived as progress: cleaner and broader streets. introducing new models of how to live and how to work. the first kurbetlli from Sheper who left for America in 1895 has found its place in the small village museum beside the portraits of local partisan heroes and intellectuals. In this context migrants can become even heroes: the portrait of Mitro Janaqi. the kurbetllinjtë (migrants) returned with “kulturë të gjera” (a wide culture). On the collective level the migrants were seen as returning with money “për të vesuar dhe për të ndhimon fshati” (to distribute it and to help the village).Migration Memories in the Borderlands 101 The concept of culture in Zagoria involves at its core a notion of culture as a mission of collective progress. Zheji (Greek: 1887. and Nivan (Greek: 1899. In this period schools were founded in Sheper (Greek: 1874. The same informant distinguished clearly between “një jetë e rëndonte dhe primitive” (a worrying and primitive life) before his father migrated to the USA in 1910 and a better “civilized” life after his return. The term culture is often used here in the sense of improvement or progress and contains both an individual and a collective (village) level of interpretation. Generally. For him. According to local historians and intellectuals. In turning to individual views on migration and culture. Albanian: 1917). in reference to a mountain of the region.). It is therefore used to justify the disastrous social and economic effects of migration. Migration is thus clearly viewed in a positive light from the cultural perspective as a means for the local community to open itself to the world (including the export of its own traditions) and to raise its own cultural level. pjato (plates). writing under the pseudonym Andon Zako Çajupi. çarçafi (bedsheets). Albanian: 1917). His portrait is especially telling: the fact that he poses in the USA in a traditional Albanian costume is explained regularly by the locals in terms of a lingering of local culture and of the maintenance of a local . a famous poet of the Albanian Rilindja (Alb. = rebirth or renaissance) at the end of the nineteenth century was a Zagorian. the Zagorian people claim a high cultural standard based on the historical coexistence of local Greek and Albanian schools since the end of the nineteenth century. new churches and schools. kravata (tie) and even a gramophone brought by his father in 1915 are associated with the arrival of modernity and implicitly with the coinciding termination of the Ottoman period. In addition. we encounter a concept of culture in its widest sense. migration played a significant role in what they call the “importimi i kulturave” (the import of cultures) (Shabani 2006: 11).  = towel). including all aspects of everyday life. dysheme (floor). According to an informant from Sheper. culture means the arrival of Western comforts in the household and a change in lifestyle.

 = desert or wasteland) is often used in discussions about migration and refers here in a metaphoric sense to the foreign country as a hostile and mentally unbearable place. as informant Foto Biçi from Sheper put it. He argues that “lieux de mémoire exist because there are no longer any milieux de mémoire. = damned kurbeti. pós ftiachneis ton ánthropo” (Gr. one may state ./Alb.102 Eckehard Pistrick identity in foreign surroundings. and psychologically. if we follow Nora’s definition too closely. technologically. Nora 1996). even if its presence stems from a temporal extension of the realm of experience over several generations. the places in Zagoria are characteristic lieux de mémoire in the sense that they are marked by the interaction of memory and history and that in these places the Zagorians attempt “to capture the maximum possible meaning with the fewest possible signs” (Nora 1996: 15). External change in this context results in a fundamental inner mental change. The term érimo or shkreti (Gr. It can be materialized in place and sound – providing the Zagorians with useful co-ordinates for remembering the past and for re-enacting and negotiating its meanings in the present. Abstract memory becomes materialized and visualized in natural or cultural sites. most of the places and sounds associated with migration recall hardship and suffering. In classifying such places. Nevertheless the memory of migration in all its aspects remains a mental background for social action and expressive culture. The places associated with memory have been termed “lieux de mémoire” (realms of memory) by Pierre Nora (cf. an active part of the social activities in the present. labour migration is still a substantial part of everyday experience. how do you make [form/change] people). But migration is seen also as a metaphor for change in general: socially. Migration and place While some of the above-mentioned cultural interpretations allow migration history to be seen in a positive light. But as stated previously. settings in which memory is a real part of everyday experience” (Nora 1996: 1). to fix itself in space. The Greeks on the other side of the border in the village of Kastani express these dynamics of change in the terms “kataraméno kourmpéti. These inner changes result in the notion of a double alienation of the migrant in a foreign country: the migrant is “një i huaj në vend të huaj” (a foreigner in a foreign land). The memory of migration becomes visible and performable. In this sense I would tend to apply this term to symbolic migration places in Zagoria. On the other hand. It is debatable whether this term may be applied without difficulties to the places of migration memory in Zagoria. Assmann (1992: 39) argues that memory tends to manifest itself in places.

Hormova. wells. One such road led from Gjirokastra along the mountain pass of Çajupi over the bridges of Hostheva – Lliar – Gjurmë. These routes connected the towns of Përmet and Gjirokastra and on a larger scale Korça with the harbour of Saranda. passes. custom stations (karakolle). meadows (“lëndina e lotëve” in Korça) or trees (“klapsodendros”. One may refer therefore to this region as a “landscape of memory”. Next to it we find the “guri i shkemileve” a small porous limestone rock covered with small holes. This huge rock situated below an old walnut tree was used. An alternate road went via Topova. where memory in its primary sense is kept as private memory (cf. Its most characteristic feature is its kalldrëm (cobble stone) construction. which can still be seen on some parts of the road. according to local tradition. Sheper and the gorge of Dhëmbel (Shabani 2006: 55). which are interpreted as stemming from the tears shed by the mothers of the departing migrants. Zagoria is marked by an extraordinary density of such sites. Mushka – Bual and Lipë to Përmet. and brigands alike. Upon their return they pulled their swords . but also openness to a variety of possible other meanings. Another place of departure was the “shkëmbi i kordhës” (the rock of the sword) near Politsani. migrants. Such rocks.Migration Memories in the Borderlands 103 that most of them belong to the category of constructed symbols that were not intended but which eventually became symbolically charged with the passage of time. rocks and trees. Places of migration memory possess the characteristic dual nature of the lieux de mémoire. Nora 1996: 19). as were the bridges of Hoshteva and the Manastir bridge in Nivan. The bridge of Sheper is located at the edge of the village and was a bottleneck. Such places of memory in Zagoria are located along the caravan routes used by merchants. intimate spaces. the bridges of Nivan. Picari or Golëm on returning migrants. Polikastano. Even a general toponym such as qafë (mountain pass) can be defined as intrinsically tied to the experience of migration as a “name for a place where women would accompany their men departing for kurbet” (emër vendi ku gratë përcillnin burrat kur shkonin në kurbet). Greece) are often situated predominantly at the edge of the village where the final departure took place. Sheper. One such route in the region of Përmet is known as the “prroj i hajdutëve” (path of the thieves) in reference to the frequent attacks of brigand gangs from Malëshova. hills (“kodra e sinorit” in Sheper). “Lieux de mémoire” along these routes are bridges (Nivan. Hoshteva). They are not “dominant” and “official” places of spectacle and triumph but symbolically “dominated” places. and history itself. passes (“qafë e Çajupit”). human efforts. namely concreteness established through its defined identity and summoned up by its name. by the local migrants to deposit their swords during their absence from home. a landscape charged with meanings transforming it into a medium of “cultural memory” (Assmann 1992:  60).

Another striking example for this “spatial symbolic” quality of sound is the bell of Hoshteva. The rrapi (plane tree) of Sheper marks. a reunion of the dispersed village community. two shots were fired from this strategic place to announce their forthcoming reunion with their families. Koncka. the 100 kg bell was cast in a Russian foundry and bought in Istanbul by Rako Mboqe. For the rest of the year mi- . Beside its general meaning as meeting place for muabet (informal talk) and festivities. returning only for summer vacations.104 Eckehard Pistrick across the rock. from Mezhorgani to the mountain of Goliku. a migrant from Hoshteva. History becomes organic through this natural allusion. in 1878 (Shabani 2006: 69). and Topova (see Shabani 2006: 106). for example. It served primarily as an alarm bell to announce raids by thieves or brigands. The residents of Hoshteva were then joined by the villagers from Lliar. the nine women of the female singing group once active in the socialist period have been dispersed. The sound of the bell possessed the power to gather the people of all Zagorian villages to perform their social identity through dancing but also to defend this identity and their values against foreign invaders. like in other cases. Sound contributes here to the sensual construction of space in “filling space with sound. The density of marks covering the rock served as a chronicle of the intensity of migration of this village. Many of them are working abroad now. George in Hoshteva. Recent mass migration has shed another light on the relation between sound and place. Many villages have become “silent” (heshtur) and “without songs” (pa këngë). Zhej. Its powerful toll could be heard in the whole of Zagoria. While most “lieux de mémoire” commemorate the departure of the migrants and are associated with the world of pain and separation. In the village of Politsani. the rrapi of Sheper situated in the churchyard is described as the point where the migrant groups met after having attended a final mass before departing. One such place is the “guri dyfekut” (rock of two shots). At the end of the 19th century it was installed in the Church of St. It is only in this brief period that the group comes together again like in the “old times”. a gathering of migrants from the village. Here we find a first association of place and sound. The age of the tree is used as an argument for the claim of the villages’ deep-rooted historicity. and by making space for sound” (Smith 1997: 508). This historicity made the place suitable for the “takimi i brezave” (the meeting of generations) in 2005. On the arrival of the returning migrants. such as dances. Nivani. a pass 1 600 m above Përmet. especially in Turkey. the centre of the village. The bell lost its symbolically charged sound in 1938 and was finally destroyed in the 1970s (Shabani 2006: 69). a few stand as symbols for their return. But local historians argue that its sound was also heard during social activities in Hoshteva. leaving a mark. one of the oldest churches of the region. as singers explained to me. Itself a product of migration.

has remained bound to the sphere of official media coverage and scientific circles. In Albania the term mërgim. specific kinds of emotion are formulated. Deciphering the meanings of such a “proper song” means to understand local aesthetics and their historical sources. On the verbalized level. resulting in an explicitly nostalgic notion of this Arab-Turkish-derived term. which are defined by local collectors as këngë të mirëfillta (proper songs) characterized by “their own autochthony” (autoktonia) which is understood locally as an adaptation to the environment and mentality of the region (see Bulo 2000: 29–30). a means by which people come to recognize identities and places and the boundaries which separate them (Stokes 1994: 5). to understand the concept of tradition and to examine the relation of the song subject to social reality (Caraveli 1982: 130). Talking about migration involves a specific vocabulary. The depopulation as a social disaster is mirrored in the sphere of sound.Migration Memories in the Borderlands 105 gration results in silence – in the abandonment of sound. pre-formulated through a specific view on history (“mythistory” of migration) and related to a social reality (recent mass migration). adapting elements of older genres such as wedding songs and laments. experienced and intensified in local performances. used predominantly in reference to migration movements after the Second World War. which has different emotional connotations and nuances. into a musical form that meets the standards of local aesthetics. sound and sentimentality Talking about migration or singing migration songs means remembering and talking about emotions. Singing a këngë kurbeti means to transfer the nostalgic notion of the term kurbet. Subjective and unofficial terms are preferred to objective and official terms. The main characteristic of these songs as a relatively recent traditional music repertoire is their synthetic textual and musical character. which are then lived. Performing memory and emotions – migration. according to Martin Stokes. These terms are predominantly connected with a collective historical experience and possess an emotionally charged meaning. This aesthetic concept is one . commonly called këngë kurbeti. In the local culture a certain realm of terms is preferred to others. Music as a socially meaningful expression provides. This is also true for traditional Zagorian songs. Talking about kurbet means the revaluation of past labour migration experience in the light of recent mass migration. Their number is quite considerable (Vasili 1981 counts 413 examples from all over Albania). Traditional textual motives are revived and reinterpreted in the context of this repertoire. In local culture the term kurbet (labour migration) is generally preferred. are an integral part of the “proper song” repertoire. Migration songs.

Singing means therefore to perform memory and the emotions deriving from it. For singer Nazif Çelaj from Lapardha this means to musically transfer and enact the feeling of humbje (loss) and dhimbje (pain). which requires a specific manner of performing. Albanians. Although both “old” (before the Second World War) and “new” (after 1991) migration songs possess for him a certain contemporaneity. Singing as a participative act was seen as manifesting social values and communality. According to the historian and text writer for the group “Kaonët” from Delvina. Here the connection between place and sound as two representations of memory becomes explicit. Such performance events have from time to time proven to be especially meaningful socially. because this dhimbje is more alive”. Beside historical and humorous songs. the singing of Sheperiote songs was a central element of the festivity. In interviews. being transformed into an aesthetic concept of sound. was intoned to make the participants aware of the historical significance of the place. the plane tree itself. but . This double-faced character of migration songs was expressed strikingly again by Nazif Çelaj. the disordered and the ordered musical structure. Migration songs occupy an “in-between position” between the spoken and the sung.106 Eckehard Pistrick of filling a sound form with emotional sense. This specific sound concept in turn is set into relation to the sound of other repertoires such as boroitje (an onomatopoetic term for commemorative solo laments). Migration songs may be performed at the above-mentioned “lieux de mémoire” of migration. The song served to define and negotiate the meaning of the place. the melodic line should in addition have a “specific [sound] colour” (ngjyrim të veçantë). two poles which are often expressed by the terms vajtim and këngë. Këngë kurbeti are thus categorized as a “tip vajtimi” (type of lament). lament and song. One such event was the “takimi e brezave” (meeting of generations) which took place on 21 August 2005 under the plane tree in Sheper and was attended by local migrants from all over Albania and abroad who had returned to their home village on this occasion. who stated that këngë kurbeti “are lamented and sung” (si vajtohet dhe këndohet) at the same time. According to a short description of this event (Shabani 2006: 121). he claimed that the “new” migration songs possess a deeper emotionality because they “are written with more dhimbje. For Nazif Çelaj this manner of execution is tied to the way history was experienced by the people. Performing migration memory and therefore pain is a delicate matter for local singers. According to him. It is here that a mental concept connected with emotions is put into practice. as representatives of those peoples “who have felt pain and/or lived a tragedy” do not sing with a “zë të lartë” (high and voluminous voice) but with a “nën zë” or “zë të ultë” (sotto voce). local musicians had problems describing the right way to perform migration songs or describing their exact emotional content because this emic knowledge belongs to the non-verbalized knowledge. a song about the “lieux de mémoire”.

. which are shared across borders and times. while the first example refers to the migration waves to America in the beginning of the twentieth century. The first example was used by a local singer to illustrate migration history in an interview. Songs are a sphere where a third kind of past. miroloi). a short history of the village was presented as well as the numerous “histories” and family memories narrated by the “njerëzit e këngës” (people of song) and by the “njerëzit të bisedave me thelb” (people of essential speech) (Shabani 2006: 121). Both songs are representative in their rich use of metaphors and allusions. The first example is sung solistically and shows in its interpretation with glissandi movements and mezza voce characteristic affinities to the repertoire of laments (Alb. manifests itself most prominently. The dominant metaphor in both songs is the description of the foreign land as a place of slavery and subjugation. It was sung in an empty café to communicate individual memory. Observers of the event stated that songs were important for mobilising feelings of nostalgia. Depending on the respective performance contexts. the first in Greek and the second in Albanian. The songs were recorded in two entirely different settings. although referring to a nostalgic notion of kurbet. After reaching this emotional state of mind through the power of sound. is focussed on recent Albanian mass migration to Greece. In this event the interconnectedness of “history” and “histories” became visible. The second example was part of an official programme recorded during a rehearsal for a concert of two multipart groups in Saranda. To illustrate this hypothesis I will introduce two migration songs. vajtim/Gr. one from the village of Politsani. This third kind of past has its sole function in debating other pasts apart from the ritual and the non-ritual past (Appadurai 1981: 202). which may be “informal” or “formal”. Both songs refer to different time horizons. At the same time it highlighted the substantial role of singing for the negotiation between history and “histories” and the meanings of the past derived from conflicting memories. the other from the town of Delvina. Despite the shared use of a common metaphor. both examples are musically entirely different. pritjen (sentimentality) and melancholy.Migration Memories in the Borderlands 107 also as a means of remembering and reaffirming identity. a “debatable past” (cf. Lollis 2006: 159). the solo performance was a result of a lack of suitable singers. It may be added that this song is originally a three-part song (cf. the second one. Appadurai 1981). singing can be considered as a part of “communicative” or “cultural memory”. it had an “official” character. In being a “staged performance” taking place in front of an audience.

 9. Kurbet o mali me brengë Pse o djemtë na i mban pengë.2 main text line: Αμερική. Of the eagle. This fourth voice. which stems from the fiction of “mythistory” as a third kind of past (comprising the negotiation between the multiple meanings of history and “histories”) and a local notion of culture. Young men you have been dismembered alive Kurbet oh mountain with longing. Μαγκούφα και σημαδιακή. Saranda 27. 2006. Of the [Mother’s] breast of which you have sucked. of the flag. While symbolic places visualize migration memory in a constructed “landscape of memories”. America. Djema u ndan në të gjallë Kurbet o malë me mallë. Kurbet oh mountain with affliction Why oh men you are hold in fetters. Αμερική. Με τα πράσινα δολάρια Σκλάβωσες τα παλικάρια. Krenarin’ e zogut të lirë Të gjirit që keni pirë. Politsani. “Djemtë e Delvinës”. migration songs as a part of expressive folk culture give memory an acoustic shape. Like symbolic migration places. these songs are based on a constructed memory. This song is a typical example of the “Folklori i Ri” (New Folklore) in Lab multipart style aimed at the creation of emotionality in huge audiences. It serves the enactment of the migration experience in a wider sense. The yoke [rests] on your shoulders But you should hold your pride.108 Eckehard Pistrick Filoreta Kotsollari. As expressions of “collective memory” they are highly selective and play an active role in emotionalising mi2 All translations were prepared by the author if not stated otherwise. Për mbi supe skllavërinë Lart ta mbani krenarinë. Krenarin’ e dheut të gurit Të shqiponjës të flamurit. They help to condense and subjectify migration experience and regional belonging. . The second example is performed in four-part style by the group “Djemtë e Delvinës” (“Men of Delvina”) with the characteristic fourth head-voice called “hedhës” (the one who throws). With the green dollars They enslaved the brave men. The pride of the land of stones. 26. 2006. 9. America. connecting traditional migration metaphors with more recent ones. The pride of a free bird. supports the text of the first voice in a recitative form a minor third above the iso-level (drone-level). The text is a new creation. Lonely and full of meanings. with its origins in the style of Himara.

Petko 2005: Places to Exchange Cultural Patterns: The Market and the “Piazza for Hired Labour in Sofia”. Migration songs maintain close ties to the lieux de mémoire of migration in defining and negotiating the meanings of such places. Talking about and performing këngë kurbeti means to activate and reiterate emotions. Pierre (ed. In: The American Historical Review 91. Piperno. History. Arjun 1981: The Past as a Scarce Resource. S. Ioannina: Dodoni.). Kristaq F. 1: 1–10. Nora. Bernd J. Halbwachs. Maurice 1991: Das kollektive Gedächtnis. Myth and History. Munich: Beck. . Caraveli. Vol. Shabani. Lollis. 1. Bloomington: Indiana UP.) 16. Fischer (eds. McNeill. Schöpflin. complementing similar efforts in the other realms of regional folklore such as proverbs and poetry. Flavia 2002: From Albania to Italy. Bernd J.) 1996: Realms of Memory. 26. Myth and History. 2006: Perla. In: Man (N. Bloomington: Indiana UP. George 2002: The Nature of Myth. and Historians. ornamented profile – Zagoria]. Assmann. 10–11. they provide an important means for revealing and defining the identity-generating potentials of place. Erinnerung und politische Identität in frühen Hochkulturen.) 2002: Albanian Identities. In: Journal of American Folklore 95 (376): 129–158. Fischer (eds. Myth. Frankfurt am Main: Fischer. In addition. profil i biskuar (Zagoria) [Pearl. Anna 1982: The Song Beyond the Song – Aesthetics and Social Interaction in Greek Folksong. Rethinking the French Past. Hristov. Stephanie. William 1986: Mythistory. New York: Columbia UP.Migration Memories in the Borderlands 109 gration memories. Albanian Identities. Background paper for the CEME-CeSPI research mission in Italy and Albania. Every performance of such regionally bound songs can be seen as an artistic attempt to surpass the boundaries of time and the individual. Schrift. Literature Appadurai. Jan 1992: Das kulturelle Gedächtnis. In: Stephanie Schwandner-Sievers. Conflicts and Divisions. Kostas 2006: To Ipeirotiko polifoniko tragoudi [The Epirote polyphonic songs]. In: Ethnologica Balkanica 9: 81–90. or Truth. 2: 210–219. Schwandner-Sievers. Tirana: Albin. Every performance involves a process of redefinition of the meaning of migration in relation to an ever-changing present. Formation and Basic Features of a Binational Migration System. Stefan 2000: Këngë Popullore nga Zagoria [Folk Songs from Zagoria]. Some Theoretical Aspects. Tirana: Marin Barleti. Bulo.

Susan J. Recordings “Djemtë e Delvinës”. Foto 26. 3. 7. Çelaj. Tirana: Shtypshkronja e Re. The chosen fieldwork site for this study. Because of the ability of these songs and places to surpass the boundaries of time and individuality. In: Progress in Human Geography 21. Nazif 30. Saranda. 2006. 8. Sheper (Zagoria). is marked as a borderland. 9. 9. 9. 1997: Beyond Geography’s Visible Worlds: a Cultural Politics of Music. 2006. they are perceived as “collective and representative”. Sejdini. Kozma. The Musical Construction of Place. 2007. Filoreta 26. Kotsollari. Stokes. Gjirokastra. Politsani (Zagoria). Interviews Biçi. Përmet. It is in these places and sounds where the negotiation between official history and local “histories” takes place most prominently. 2006. 2006. Politsani (Zagoria). Martin (ed. Stavri 26. In: Folklor shqiptar IV. 4: 502–529. 2006. Papagiannis. the region of Zagoria. 2006. the chosen topic. 9. Filoreta 26. Çapi. 9. The analysis of some of these symbolic local “memory places” and some examples of migration songs reveals that these “memory figures” are emotionally charged and possess multiple layers of possible meanings. Kotsollari. 9. Identity and Music. Klefti 23. Abstract The paper discusses the essential role that place and sound can play in the construction of a regional identity based on a constructed memory based on “mythistory”. Laska. New York: Berg. 27. 2007. Tirana.110 Eckehard Pistrick Smith. Arsen Mustaqi 1981: Këngë për nizamët dhe kurbetin [Songs for recruits and migration]. Dimitris 18. In discussing the process of how a local community can imagine itself through the act of remembering. it is argued that certain “memory figures” such as symbolic places and sounds fulfil an important role in the construction of a “migration memory”.) 1994: Ethnicity. migration. Luan 27. Sheper (Zagoria). as a shared historical experience is perceived as worth remembering in different social strata.2006. Vasili. Oxford. Kastani. 9. .

 issue: 12 / 2008.ceeol. on pages: 111­121. .  The Construction of Banat Regional Identity through Life­Story Interviews «The Construction of Banat Regional Identity through Life­Story Interviews» by Simona Adam Source: Ethnologia Balkanica (Ethnologia Balkanica).

The Austrian domination had an important influence on the lifestyle of the people in this region. its different defining aspects for various generations and the ways in which it is shaped through social interaction. Hungarians. which took place in the first half of the eighteenth century. Czechs. Here. This image is deeply rooted in its inhabitants’ consciousness. Bulgarians. Despite these changes. and others. economic politics which aimed to make all regions of the country equal from an economic perspective. The history of Banat confirms a long tradition of eclecticism. different foreign rulers left a mark upon the culture and the civilization of Banat. Timişoara This paper focusses on the regional identity of Banat residents. This allows one to make a comparison of Banat with a small-scale Central Europe. The Enlightenment project of the Austrian throne focussed not only on economic and social aspects. following the First World War. several waves of colonization swept over Banat and. and other ethnic groups settled in. A special influence was the conquest of Banat by the Austrian imperial troops. . The results were a change in the mentality of the Banat population. The communist party that came to power after the Second World War brought with it major transformations: the deportation of many Banat residents to the USSR and to the wastelands of Bărăgan in south-central Romania. one can find Serbs. Germans. long-term interactions between different ethnic groups led to the creation of a regional identity whose features are visible even today. The multiethnic region of Banat is a fertile research ground for observing the processes of constructing regional identity and for analysing the connections between ethnic and regional identity. Banat is frequently regarded as a model of tolerance and peaceful coexistence. as a consequence. The main goal of my research was the analysis of the educational role of the family in the construction of regional identity and the exploration of socialisation patterns in Banat during different parts of the twentieth century. as well as French. in addition to the Romanians. colonization projects throughout Romania with people brought from other areas of the country. Italians. Germans. Even after the incorporation of eastern Banat into Romania. but also on educational issues. During their rule.Ethnologia Balkanica 12 (2008) The Construction of Banat Regional Identity through Life-Story Interviews Simona Adam. the lifestyle of this region maintained the features acquired during imperial rule.

During the process of primary socialization. I have chosen to use qualitative research. marks the internalization of the objective reality and the subjective foundation of an identity.. laying the foundation of their self-identity. According to P. In the individual’s consciousness. The first norms. or from one historical era to another. acquiring an identity means establishing your place in the world. during the past nine years. values and patterns of behaviour are assimilated within the family group. I have also conducted 50 semi-structured interviews with the subjects from two different generational groups. Under Smaranda Vultur’s coordination. I have contributed to the foundation and organization of the oral history archive. the progressive rejection of the roles and attitudes set by the others and the assuming of general roles and attitudes takes place. which presently contains over 400 life-story interviews. The family has a very important role in the child’s socialization. Primary socialisation is very important for individuals and helps them find a direction in life. During the complex process of socialisation the individual understands the world he lives in and this world becomes his own. a process made up of two stages: the primary and the secondary socialisation. The interviewed individuals were born between 1910 and 1936. The way in which the individual relates to the other – a neighbour. . a friend or a colleague – is strongly influenced by the education received within the family. Thus the generalized other represents not only an identity in relation to a certain other or a certain significant other. those born in the 1950s and 1970s. The learning stages included in the primary socialization are socially defined. The individual does not only copy the roles and attitudes of his or her parents. who consider that an individual becomes part of the objective world as a result of socialisation. during primary socialization. Luckmann 1999: 155). e. formulated by P. of various ethnic origins and from all social classes. but also an identity in general (Berger. also called the significant others. A substantial part of my research is based on the inductive analysis of life story interviews from the archive of the Group of Cultural Anthropology and Oral History. but also of their world. In order to catch a glimpse of the temporal dimension of the socializing process. the individual sees the outside world with the help of his or her parents. This very important step. respectively. called secondary socialization. Berger and Th. Luckmann (1999). Berger and T. i.Access via CEEOL NL Germany 112 Simona Adam In order to identify the features of regional identity and the ways in which they appeared. There is a certain chronological order in the social learning as there are significant differences regarding the essence of socialization from one society to another. I have started from the constructionist paradigm. belonging to the Third Europe Foundation in Timişoara. Luckmann.

the grounded theory approach. using several criteria: gender. the researcher’s abilities and the social context of the interview. just as the others learn about us. researchers may follow different procedures depending upon which of the three approaches to the biographical perspective they adopt (Miller 2000). Andrews. social class. education. a story that is continuously rewritten. from this point of view. social life. In order to analyse a life story interview.The Construction of Banat Regional Identity 113 Life stories offer a highly useful perspective which can serve to reveal the identity-forming process. the neo-positivist approach uses a deductive. The realistic approach. Several topics that form the life story discourse have been identified. i. it is shaped by the community life. but rather in the narrative organization itself. identity. The most crucial information does not lie in the answers given to specific questions. theory-testing logic. Personal narratives are built in the general social context. The particularity of oral history arises from the fact that the autobiographical discourse is a result of the interaction between the researcher and the interviewee. both the identity features common to an entire generation and the differences determined by various factors. starting with empirical observations and continuing with abstract concepts. The lives that individuals choose to live can fit with or differ from the patterns of these institutionalized meta-narratives. that being the result of the interviewees’ views upon their lives.. 2004: 78). but rather. The present perspective determines what the subject considers biographically relevant and how he or she develops meaningful and temporal links between various experiences. work. have been discovered. As a consequence. ethnic origin. One’s life is not abstractly lived. quoted in Sclater et al. Experiences acquire significance only when they are integrated into narratives.e. Through them we learn about the others. such as: family. the relation with the ethnic other. According to the narrative approach. but shape them as well. is based on a process of induction. The content of the life story will depend on how the interviewees see their life at that particular moment and how they choose to depict their life to the person conducting the interview. . Stories are a fundamental means of communication between people. etc. and the environment (rural or urban) to which the interviewed person belongs. through an isolated existence. During this research. the responses given by the interviewee can vary depending upon the interview situation. Personal narratives not only describe experiences. the interviews were analysed according to the specific steps of the grounded theory. The self is. In contrast. which is influenced by the connection established between them. The relation between “to live” and “to tell” is a dynamic one. The purpose of the narrated life story is the reconstruction of the present meanings of experiences. I have chosen a comparative analysis. they produce and are produced by the dominant cultural meta-narratives (M.

“This is the way we grew up. The first conclusion to be drawn from the interviews is that they mainly had good relations with other ethnic groups: “I get on well with Romanians. German. Germans. and honesty as positive features and selfishness and social isolation as negative characteristics. the regional identity of the people living in Banat is characterized by a series of features borrowed from the German ethnics: “This area […] had very many Germans. People living on the same street with other ethnic groups had a greater chance of establishing relationships with them.114 Simona Adam I shall further present several of the Banat residents’ identity features.). Found. I was able to outline certain characteristics of the manner in which the process of socialization occurred during the interwar period. no matter what. The interviewed persons’ opinions about their own ethnic group are also interesting: “The German is stiff: do this. T. as there have been many years since we lived this way. The “good relationship” with people belonging to other ethnic groups was often mentioned. with other nationalities” (I. no matter if you’re sick. One of the topics touched upon during the dialogue with each interviewed person from the first generation included in the study is that of the interethnic relations. What were the first contacts with the ethnic other. and how do those who tell their life stories remember them? Such encounters were often facilitated by spatial proximity. Tolerance is the defining feature of the interethnic relations. cleanliness. For example. and of course this is the reason why the people from Banat were always the most successful in everything.. Thus their personality was built and that is why Banat became so prosperous” (G. Children in Banat learned their first foreign words by playing with children belonging to other ethnic groups. V. If he was Hun- . According to the interviewed subjects. you have to work …” (B. E. Arch. The ethnic structure of Banat during that era was much more diverse than the present one. as they copied everything that was beautiful and good and that is why they thrived. work.. Arch. “We have Hungarians. Arch. Bulgarian. The analysis of a sample of interviews taken from the oral history archive revealed certain identity portraits built on ethnic features. the references to the interethnic relationships were positive. do that. as they were revealed during the interviews given by the persons born between 1910 and 1936. E. with our neighbours. I. Found.. T. T. Contact among people of different ethnic groups was more frequent and was described in most interviews.). the identity portrait of the German ethnic group includes hardworking.). Romanians … Most of them are Romanians and we have no problem with that.”. Found. The regional identity of Banat inhabitants during the interwar period was shaped by referring to the other ethnic groups. with Hungarians and all the nationalities. By analysing the interviews. Most of the times. E. T. between 1918 and 1941. Bulgarian.

The Construction of Banat Regional Identity


garian, he taught us the Hungarian language. He learned Serbian playing with
us” (S. T., Serbian, T. E. Found. Arch.).
On the other hand, children were encouraged by their families to learn foreign languages. “My parents insisted that we should learn foreign languages.
They realised the importance of speaking other languages. My mother used to
say: Today we shall speak German in our house. And all day long we had to talk
to each other only in German” (X. M., Serbian, T. E. Found. Arch.).
One was considered to be properly raised if one greeted and spoke using the
language of the person one met. Here is a behaviour rule a young girl was told
about by her mother who wished to teach her the good manners that a young
lady had to assume while meeting a person from a different ethnic group: “Smile
while you greet. It does not cost much. Be friendly. If you know the mother
tongue of the person you meet, greet using that language. It will do him/her
well” (E. C., Romanian, T. E. Found. Arch.).
The study of foreign languages, especially French and German, was carried
out by taking individual lessons or attending private kindergartens and schools.
This way, one of the defining characteristics of Banat residents’ identity, which
the interviewed persons were very proud of, was the knowledge of several foreign languages. If the people of Banat considered this an ordinary situation,
knowing so many languages was completely unusual for the people coming from
other regions. Thus, a Serbian remembers how during the war he was considered a spy by one of his commanders, simply because he spoke five languages.
This model does not apply to all the inhabitants of the Banat region. Closed
rural communities, which had few contacts with outsiders, better preserved their
traditional mentality and customs. Lacking contacts with other ethnic groups,
the members of these communities spoke only their mother tongue. Of course,
later, forced by circumstances, they had to learn Romanian, too.
When children were of an early age, parents were already concerned with
choosing the right school for them. For the wealthy inhabitants of Banat, private kindergartens were often a solution. These institutions offered children the
chance to learn foreign languages and to meet children from different ethnic
groups. But this was not a rule. Children of the elite were forbidden to attend
kindergartens, for fear of being influenced by the other children’s behaviour.
Now, while narrating their life stories, these children disagree with their parents’ past attitude.
Primary school was chosen based on ethnic criteria. This resulted in children
from closed ethnic communities being unable to speak Romanian after graduating from primary school. They encountered difficulties when they started to
attend classes taught in Romanian. Children whose playground mates belonged
to different ethnic groups had an advantage as they had learnt Romanian from
their friends.


Simona Adam

The criterion for choosing high-school was not the mother tongue. As the
centre of the region, Timişoara had famous high schools, which were attended
regardless of the ethnic group the pupils belonged to. This is the case of Notre
Dame High School, which was a Catholic institution for girls.
Religious education had an important role during the interwar period. Not
only the family, but also the school was responsible for this type of education.
The presence of several nationalities in the Banat region also meant there were
several religions. The religious practices of certain ethnic groups are different
from others. From this point of view, the situation is very interesting in the case
of a mixed family. When parents belonged to different religions, children were
taught to respect both traditions. One of the interviewed persons narrated a special situation to us in which the mother was Orthodox and the father was Greek
Catholic. In this case, the daughters that would have resulted from this marriage
were going to be baptised in the Orthodox religion (taking over their mother’s
religion) and the sons were going to be baptised in the Greek Catholic religion
(following their father’s model). The young people celebrated the holidays of
each ethnic group, and became familiarized with the specific customs of others.
In fact, celebrations played a special part in interethnic relations in Banat.
They were, at the same time, a way of maintaining ethnic identity, but also a
way of establishing interethnic relations. As people did not have the same religion, the celebrations were different to a certain degree. One example would
be the Easter holiday, celebrated on different dates by the Orthodox and the
Catholics. For practical reasons the Banat inhabitant ended up celebrating Easter twice a year, especially in cases when their friends cultivated both religious
traditions. A specific German tradition, celebrated on the second day of Easter, comsisted of the boys sprinkling the girls with perfume. With the passing of
time, this custom spread throughout the region. If the Easter day separated the
Catholics from the Orthodox, the Christmas days are different for the Romanian
Orthodox, who follow the Gregorian calendar, and the Serbian Orthodox, who
celebrate according to the Julian calendar. In spite of this, the spirit of Christmas is strongly evoked, regardless of the ethnic group.
Journeys are often mentioned in interviews. Parents encouraged their children to travel for study purposes. Departure abroad was common in order to
continue one’s studies or gain skills in a certain domain. Travelling for entertainment was also common. It was fashionable during the interwar period to
travel to Budapest or Vienna in order to go to the opera or the theatre.
Regardless of ethnic affiliation, the inhabitants of Banat valued work and diligence. Almost everyone interviewed mentioned that they had been accustomed
to work since childhood. Nevertheless, none of them complained about it; on the
contrary, they found that their years of working proved to be useful later in life.
For the inhabitants of Banat, prosperity or wealth was a direct consequence of

The Construction of Banat Regional Identity


work. There are many aspects that generated such a high valorization of work.
One of them was the wish to be like the others: “The way of not making a fool
of yourself, of following a pattern, of not trying to be different than others …
these are the characteristics of the people from Banat” (K. S., German, T. E.
Found. Arch.).
In a community where the interpersonal relationships were very close,
neighbours had a strong influence, punishing any deviation from the community rules: “If you hadn’t painted your facade for Easter, everybody would have
laughed at you. That is, the others had their houses painted, and you didn’t …
So you were the laziest person in the village” (K. S., German, T. E. Found.
Arch.). And these were not the only consequences; even worse, “no young girl
should get married to a lazy man …” Thus, the reason the male inhabitants of
Banat had to learn from an early age was very clear: if he worked, he would be
accepted and respected as a member of the community; if he was lazy, he would
simply be marginalised, even excluded from the community, as it became impossible for him to raise a family. Another aspect that contributed to the foundation of the valorization of work in Banat could have been an outcome of interethnic contacts. Many of the interviewed persons are convinced that the prosperity
of Banat is due to the fact that the people here copied the best features of each
ethnic group, from the agricultural tools or techniques to the sense of duty and
The wealth of the families living in the rural area of Banat was represented
by the land they owned. The villagers living in this area of the country, regardless of their ethnic affiliation, wanted to acquire as much land as possible. The
presence or the absence of land was reflected in the educational projects that
parents wished their children to take part in. In the Banat region, the German
system was adopted: “Ein-Kind-System”, which was a protective tool against
land division. “They would decide to have a child or two at the most, and then
they would keep their children at home so that they might inherit their parents’
fortune and carry on with their work. This is what they would do in Banat. My
mother was an only child and so was my father, they didn’t have many children
so that the land might be kept close to the family, they were quite tied to their
land and took care of it” (D. W., T. E. Found. Arch.).
The persons interviewed for the purpose of exploring the regional identity
of the people in Banat do not have only pleasant memories. Life does not always follow a linear trajectory, as dramatic moments occur during one’s life
time. These essentially change the individual’s identity and the way in which
he or she perceives social reality. Traumatic events of an individual or collective nature are mentioned; the latter affecting the lives of an entire generation.
For the inhabitants of Banat, born in the interwar period, deportation was one


Simona Adam

such a traumatic event that was part of the collective memory of all the people
who lived there.
At the beginning of 1945, as a result of losing the Second World War, approximately 70 000 German ethnics were deported to the Soviet Union, for a period ranging from one to five years. (Leu, quoted in Vultur 2000: 28). In 1951,
following a political decree, 44 000 residents of the south-western part of Romania, most of them from Banat, from different ethnic groups and living in villages at about 25 km from the Yugoslav border, were deported to Bărăgan. The
tragedy of these people was hidden from the public for several decades. Their
voice was made public only after 1989, thanks to the interest and efforts of some
researchers who investigated this subject. S. Vultur, who has researched the deportations to Bărăgan since 1991, has created a corpus of life story interviews
from persons who were deported there. Under her coordination, during the following years, interviews with Germans who were deported to the Soviet Union
have also been conducted. One objective of these deportations was the destruction of the Banat rural community, of the interpersonal and familial bonds, as
well as the traditional axiological patterns in order to create a “new type of person” for the ideal communist society. In the traditional Banat milieu, the most
prominent familial type was the extended family, consisting of several generations living under the same roof. In the case of the Germans deported to the
Soviet Union, the targeted population was made up of the men aged between 17
and 45 and women between 18 and 30 (Vultur 1997: 19).
Subsequently, for the German population, deportation meant severing family relations, being torn away from parents, children or other relatives, which
made the situation of deportees even more difficult: “My mother was there as
well. I can see her there even now, after so many years, and she cried. My
mother was left there alone with my boy who was four years old back then.
My husband, my father and I were taken away by Russians” (K. K., German,
T. E. Found. Arch.).
The deportation to Bărăgan redefined the solidarity networks and determined regional self-identification, by relating it to the native population of
Bărăgan. The good interethnic relations, frequently evoked in the life story interviews, helped them to bond more easily, even during those difficult times.
The deported people’s solidarity was a consequence of their official stigmatization as “exploiters” and resulted in a collective identity defined in opposition
with the political regime.
The discourse of the people deported to Bărăgan is often built on the myth
of the “good colonizer”, which was also used by the Germans who were colonized in Banat. As with Germans who came to Banat in the eighteenth century,
the deportees to Bărăgan believed that they had turned a hostile environment
into a prosperous one.

The Construction of Banat Regional Identity


The interviews given by the persons born in the 1950s, belonging to the second generation, also reveal other features of the Banat people’s identity. The
identity-shaping process of the individuals of this generation was highly influenced by politics. The communist state focussed on creating a new type of citizen and wished to achieve the conformity of the individuals from all Romanian
regions. Thus, they tried to wipe out any regional difference by applying precise
political strategies. Despite of all this, the interviewees still have certain particular regional features. Further on, the ethnic tolerance is frequently mentioned,
but it emphasizes the self identification defined in relation with the regional other. While the 1980s were considered the darkest period of Romanian communism, the residents of Banat frequently mention the high living standard of this
region. In the case of the first generation, this was generally explained by some
qualities that the people from Banat region had, such as hard work and discipline, qualities they were born with, or qualities they acquired by living close
to the other ethnic groups. In the case of the generation born in the 1950s, the
higher standard of living was attributed to the geographical position of the region, more precisely, to the fact that it is close to the West. It was said that whilst
during the interwar period the inhabitants of Banat “were leading a good life”
because they were working harder than those from other regions of the country,
in the ’80s, they were less affected by the scarcity of goods because they had the
possibility to obtain some of them from abroad. The differences regarding the
standard of living are made larger by relating them to the other regions.
The discourses of the interviewees belonging to the third generation, i. e.,
the people born in the 1970s, reveal how the regional self-identification and the
categorization of the regional other in the autobiographic discourse function. If
the ethnic affiliation is rarely mentioned, the regional identity is well defined
and marked by the reference to the regional other.
The theories of R. Jenkins regarding the role the parents play in internalizing the social categorizations during childhood are also confirmed here. Many
times, the social categorization of the regional other was done only by absorbing the stereotypes that were present in their parents’ narratives, before the interviewees had come into direct contact with inhabitants from a different region
of the country and before they could have come up with a definition of the regional other for themselves: “This was instilled in our subconscious, ever since
we were children. My parents would say that the people from Oltenia and Moldavia1 were poor and looking forward to make a fortune in Banat. They were
disliked not only by my family, but by all the people in the village” (N. H., T. E.
Found. Arch.).

Oltenia and Moldavia are two historical regions of Romania: Oltenia is situated in SouthWestern part of Romania, and Moldavia is situated in Eastern part of Romania.

Amal Treacher (eds. The “model set by the people born in Banat” is a collocation that is frequently used both in the media and in daily interactions. Bucharest: Paideia. T. is either pride or boasting. Molly Andrews. E.) 2004: The Uses of Narrative: Explorations in Sociology. how the identity of the Banat residents is defined starting from childhood.” The emphasis on looks on these occasions was mentioned as well: “Yes. The analysis of the interviews shows that this pride is a characteristic that is present more in the rural than in the urban society. Vultur.120 Simona Adam An element of the regional self-identification. Each one of us would try and stand out through our manner of dancing. The analysis also reveals the patterns of intercultural socialization and the role of various social institutions in the development of interethnic tolerance. People from different villages would not really mix. “The people in the region were very proud. Vultur. Shelly Day. mentioned frequently in the interviews. Bucharest: Univers. H. narrated history].). Thomas Luckmann 1999: Construcţia socială a realităţii [The Social Construction of Reality]. Miller. I have tried to show how this model is built and rebuilt in the autobiographic accounts. London: Sage. are elements that were frequently mentioned by the respondents. Found. the imperative of being as good as the others. Psychology and Cultural Studies. . Jenkins. Arch.and hetero-defining mechanisms. Smaranda 1997: Istorie traită. those from our village would dance in a separate group and try to be better than the rest. Sclater. for instance.. Timişoara: Amarcord. one new piece of jewellery …” (N. Corrine Squire. istorie povestită [Lived history. especially during holidays and rural celebrations: one had to have new clothes. New Jersey: Transaction Publishers. when we would go to a rural celebration to other villages. Bucharest: Univers. The competition among the villages. Peter. Smaranda 2000: Germanii din Banat prin povestirile lor [The Germans from Banat through their life stories]. It is charged with multiple stereotypical features and is mentioned in numerous social situations. Robert 2000: Researching Life Stories and Family Histories. and what the role of the primary and secondary socialization is in this process of shaping one’s identity. which was brought about by social interaction and by the use of all the self. if not better than them. Richard 2000: Identitatea socială [Social identity]. This could be seen. Literature Berger.

The analysis of life story interviews given by individuals from different generations and ethnic groups emphasizes ethnic and regional prejudices and stereotypes. on how this identity is shaped through social interactions. I have thus tried to show how the identity of the people from Banat is defined starting from childhood and what the role of primary and secondary socialization is in this process of shaping one’s identity. The analysis also reveals the patterns of intercultural socialization and the role of various social institutions in the development of interethnic tolerance.The Construction of Banat Regional Identity 121 Abstract The paper focusses on the aspects that form the regional identity of Banat residents. . as well as on the relationship between ethnic and regional identity. In this research I used the inductive analysis applied to the life story interviews from the archive of the Group of Cultural Anthropology and Oral History. from the Third Europe Foundation in Timişoara.

 on www.  Regional and Ethnic Identity in the Rural Area of Timiş County.ceeol. . issue: 12 / 2008. Romania «Regional and Ethnic Identity in the Rural Area of Timiş pages: 123­134. Romania» by Laurenţiu Ţîru; Melinda Dincă Source: Ethnologia Balkanica (Ethnologia Balkanica).

with an open gate towards other faiths (there are six well represented faiths and three churches built after 1990. the changes in the ethnic composition of villages in the Banat caused by population movements. a manifestation of the religious and social identity. 2 “Kirchweih” is the village celebration of the Roman Catholic patron saint. celebrate German holidays. and borrow some of the ritual elements from the Roman Catholic Kirchweih2 for the celebration of the patron saint of their Orthodox church. Romania Melinda Dincă. in order to preserve the particularities of their group. The display of the Swabian traditional costume. the entire population suddenly enjoyed the possibility of traveling abroad. Timişoara 1 Introduction At the juncture between traditional village identity. For instance. the development of the infrastructure and the means of mass communication confront the present rural communities of Banat with new identity configurations through equally novel social mechanisms.8% of the village’s population. after the anti-Communist revolution of 1989. dancing. The Orthodox correspondent to this celebration is called “Ruga”.Ethnologia Balkanica 12 (2008) Regional and Ethnic Identity in the Rural Area of Timiş County. structural changes caused by the exchange of properties. the current period of identity construction offers not only the opportunity to observe a new and transformed situation of historic and sociocultural value. requiring the participation of the entire community. national identity. and European identity. 1 . At the same time. Thus. chose to practice German customs. the inhabitants of Ukrainian nationality who now represent 85. Laurenţiu Ţîru. the massive departures of the past two decades (from 1989 until today) that have led to the partial or total exodus of the German population in many of the villages of the Banat might be considered as the last “migratory wave” of the Banat. Today. but also the possibility of capturing the moment of intervention for the validation and confirmation of the cultural values of the Romanian rural milieu. in order to become integrated in the German community of Ştiuca in Banat. Taking a look at the period since 1945 and including the migratory wave1 of two decades ago. they keep intact social practices brought from Maramureş four decades ago with the arrival of the first colonists from the Poienile de Sub Munte Village. and traditional rituals are some of the elements of identity affirmation and membership to this spiritual community. In Romania.

Laurenţiu Ţîru besides the two existing ones). our research (Chelcea 2001) applied a methodology taken from sociology. administrative or financial belonging. Timiş County belongs to the region of Banat. concerning the organization and function of cultural institutions. political.89% German ethnics remain today). This enterprise. This was complemented by historical data and monographs in order to provide the necessary quantitative data for the second phase (July – September 2005) in which we used structured interviews and direct observation and collected folk narratives and documents from the local archives (cultural centres4. the largest in the country. and that it was from these ancestors that they had inherited positive traits such as honesty and cleanliness. Together with the counties of Arad.Access via CEEOL NL Germany 124 Melinda Dincă. The area of investigation was determined by the territorial and administrative borders of Timiş County. Caraş-Severin. and financial dimensions. in July 2004. 3 . Timiş is part of the West Development Region and represents an important pole of economic and social development in Romania. The combination of quantitative and qualitative data provided rich and complex data. but also the national and universal heritage. church registers). And these are only two examples of the attitudes people exhibit in Banat: tolerance. The Banat does not indicate a particular political. territorial. was owned by an Italian citizen. but is only the name of a geographical region with a sinuous In Jamu Mare. and Hunedoara. the cultural centre (“Cămin Cultural” in Romanian) is a public institution in all the existing commune centres. whoever they may be. with an area of 8 697 km 2. Its main purpose is to preserve and promote moral. Today they regard the farm owned by an Italian3 as the most beneficial investment in the life of their rather isolated village. military. 4 According to law number 292/27 of June 2003. and social anthropology. acceptance and integration of strangers. artistic and technical values of the local community. In order to portray the regional identity we have to present some preliminary observations. 2 Methodological observations Due to the interdisciplinary character of the social identity approach (Cerulo 1997). Thus. scales for measuring attitudes. in a preliminary phase (July – September 2004). we used questionnaires. engaged in agricultural activities. a name associated with the inhabitants for over three centuries. Romania consists of 42 counties which have administrative.65% of Romania’s territory. Situated in western Romania. social psychology. this county makes up 3. the inhabitants of Jamu Mare speak nostalgically about the image it once had as a German village (only 1. and demographic analyses in order to delimit the investigated reality. there was only one private enterprise. and for this reason it was emblematic for the inhabitants.

essential features such as faith. has slightly decreased in relation to the national average. and regional identity was conclusive.72% urban dwellers and 39. linguistic behaviour. such as the term “old” self-attributed by 5% of respondents. occupation. hence the definite article is often used before its name.91% male inhabitants. Sânnicolau-Mare. The ethnic structure of the population in the rural areas of Timiş County is the following: Romanians 81. The average density of the population in Timiş County. 5 . Buziaş. Bulgarians 1. Ukrainians 2. According to the Census of March 2002. with general and specific features given to each definition: self. where personal identity is concerned.24%.and hetero-identification in rural Timiş County In the investigated situations.82%. in 2004 Timiş County had two cities. the county’s population consisted of 52. Jimbolia.41%. out of which 18 966 km2 belong to Romania.1 Personal identity Defining the social in-group’s self-identity has changed in accordance with the situational context in which identity was outlined by the subjects. Serbs 2. Făget.95%. etc.08% female and 47. Ciacova.37%. Hungarians 6. gender. and 313 villages. the subjects came up with definitions based on strong. 9 276 km2 to Serbia. “The Banat” has a definite historical meaning. Doise. in the absence of distinctive markers. Germans 1.66%. respondents defined themselves in mainly positive and general terms. population movements (inter-regional migrations). 3. of 60. the delimitation of personal. consisting of one or more villages and run by a mayor. It covers an area of 28 562 km2. Other 0. 3 National and regional self. 6 Hetero-identification is the identification made by members outside the ethnic group.05%. Bogardus 1925. Recaş şi Gătaia.Regional and Ethnic Identity 125 and complex history. Roma 3. social distance (by measuring attitudes based on the Bogardus scale). national. Commune is a basic administrative and economic unit. Timişoara and Lugoj. Thus.49%. The frequency of self-attributed descriptive terms points sporadically towards specific defining tendencies. nationality. Deschamps. Deta. In a non-specific context. eight towns.7% villagers. As regards its administrative organization and size. 85 communes5. age. and a small northwestern part to Hungary (284 km2). Mugny 1999). and the importance given to central features (by applying the language test by Zavalloni) (Ilut 1999. as well as in the entire western region. that of self-defining one’s identity in the absence of terms of comparison and difference.and hetero-identification6 (by applying the Who are you? test by Kuhn).

fair). defined with the help of a comparative register (through the social distance from the other national groups and through the hetero-identifications of the latter). in the absence of relating to the other. well-informed: 2. the subjects did not place themselves in a comparative register towards one social class or another. They situate themselves in a more general social context und use attributes that are positively valued in any rural community such as righteousness (good). work. However. other specific attributes (1. diligent. good. apart from stereotypical images such as “we. As regards national or ethnic identity. self-evaluations remain general and positive.2%). The Romanians’ hetero-identifications with the other national groups are positive. education (through positive assessments such as clever. poverty (2. thrifty) or honesty (honest. Laurenţiu Ţîru But none of the identifications that target these identity categories had a significant percentage in the answers to the open question: Who are you? This does not mean that the above-mentioned identities are not important to the respondents or that it is not sufficiently inclusive from a social point of view.5% of responses). Thus.6%) and moral-religious identity (1%). therefore their identity orientation was not steered towards any category. negative: 11. This is to say that between 44. There are stereotypical so- . those attributes that refer to the general context of values and norms (mentality. Thus. a current problem for the population in rural areas.2% of Romanians want the Roma population expelled from Romania). with the exception of the Roma (who are approved only by 30.5% of Romanians declare that they would marry members of other ethnic groups. we can also notice well-defined self-identifications pertaining to the dynamic social life of the villagers. the question Who are we. Just like in the case of personal identity. the features evinced by the subjects do not indicate a certain social identity.126 Melinda Dincă.5% and 49. registers only 2. work (hardworking. the analysis of national self-identification categories ranks the villagers’ openness towards the community’s social life as the most important trait and presents the specific identification features valid on the level of social representations. ranking third place in the order of importance among Romanians’ self-identifications. in the absence of a categorization condition. the social distance to the Roma group is greatest (7. This is why poverty. and clever”.2%). Romanians? Produced the following answers: openness towards one’s community (positive: 71. education) are mentioned more frequently. It only points out that. In their answers. 3. are  … hospitable. hardworking. Romanians.5% of responses. the majority of Romanians in the Banat region display intense attitudes of social acceptance towards all the other national groups.5%.2 National identity Similarly. According to the Romanians’ perception.5%). schooled. towards the groups they belong to or the relevant out-groups.

Jews. Roma. Graphic representation of responses with highest frequency to the open question “What are the Germans (Serbs. clearly show the tendency to declare the most negative representations about the group situated at the greatest social distance. the Roma. The analysis of marriage and linguistic behaviours confirms the results of the Who are you? test as well as those on the social distance scale for national . the Jews are good business people and belong to a special religious group. we can notice the social distance that correlates directly with hetero-identification.Regional and Ethnic Identity 127 cial images such as: the Germans are fair and cold. The following diagram shows the attitudes of the Romanian majority in more detail: Figure 1: Image of the main national groups in Timiş County in the Romanians’ perceptions. Hungarians. Bulgarians) like”? Interconnecting the results of the last two aspects. whereas the Roma are thieves. The significant differences between the frequency with which Romanians apply negative features to the Roma (50%) and the negative hetero-identifications for the other mentioned groups (frequencies between 8% and 16%). lazy and dirty.

The intolerance exhibited by the other national groups (at times by social. the reasons behind endogamy belong in the area of prejudices. shares the same history and origins (the organized migration of families. The Bulgarians of Banat represent a small community. The noticeable endogamy within minority national groups can be partly explained by the socio-linguistic behaviour of these communities. the results of Bulgarian hetero-identification show a positive image. Laurenţiu Ţîru identity. The increased endogamy among the inhabitants of Romanian nationality in Timiş County is explained by the strong presence of Romanians in the total population (81. the significant percentage of endogamous marriages (69%) finds its reasons only partially in the explanation valid for the Bulgarian ethnicity. which accounts for the local endogamy among the three villages – the Bulgarian to Bulgarian marriages make up 74% of the cases. for the Ukrainians the life partner comes from the same language community (Ukrainian). religious faith (old rite Orthodox). as mentioned above. male seasonal or temporary work migration). the Bulgarians. As for the Roma population. and intolerance. Ukrainians. Thus. Adding these results to the analysis of linguistic behaviour and data from a case study on a community where Ukrainians represent the majority population. Therefore. the maximum social distance in the subjects’ perception. This positive. Russians. as well as the endogamous behaviour of the Roma population (valid for more than half the population of this ethnicity). one notices that certain dimensions of the Ukrainians’ way of life that have survived intact to this day have a great influence on the choice of a life partner. there are three rural communities with a significant concentration of Bulgarians. They are easily noticeable in the results of the Who are you? test in the variant They. Bulgarians score few positive attributes with notable frequency from Romanians: “they. the Bulgarians. Moreover.128 Melinda Dincă.95% at the time of the 2002 Census). The Bulgarians. kith and kin that today embody the founding heroes of Ukrainian villages of Timiş). Ukrainians. but devoid of specific features for this national group. and sometimes spatial isolation of the Roma through social practices still alive in the collective memory) explains the negative social image. since Ukrainians are not confined to only a number of villages but are spread across a larger area of Timiş County. in the case of the other national groups. negative stereotypes. follows similar social customs (a significant demographic increase as opposed to the one in Romanian communities. and Roma also display a high rate of endogamy. The degree to which Romanians represent the majority is evident when we think of Romanian to Romanian marriages rising to 79%. In the case of Ukrainians. cultural. the Roma are … and in the maximum social distance as perceived by the subjects of Romanian nationality. and Roma are ethnic . Similarly. are … good” (15%) and hardworking (13%). In Timiş County. but bland image denotes weak links and infrequent social interaction between Romanians and Bulgarians.

The rural populations in Timiş coming from other Romanian counties is remarkably high. They attract the most favourable hetero-identifications in rural Timiş County. with close friends. CaraşSeverin (8.7%). in the family.. Hunedoara (12. and honest. The counties with the highest numbers are those adjacent to Timiş and those in Transylvania. Bihor (7..8%).7%) and Iaşi (3. i. industrious. Satu Mare (5. the social distance attributed by the people of Banat displays significant differences between regions and reaffirms the results of the Who are you? test adapted for regional identity. Mehedinţi (3. neighbouring areas with frequent social interactions. Suceava. there are drawbacks to this segregation concerning the values cultivated as a result of endogamous behaviour. e. however. i. and the weak links and infrequent social interactions with this region have created a neutral image of the Muntenians among the villagers in Timiş. in public. Suceava (4%). At the same time. and Iaşi) and partly in Oltenia (Mehedinţi) are identified by negative stereotypes. . hardworking. and socio-cultural traditions. at the same time.Regional and Ethnic Identity 129 communities that use their mother tongue in almost all investigated social situations: at home. Thus.1%). while the regions poorly represented in the migration to Timiş. namely those in Moldova (the counties of Neamţ. The results of the measuring of social distance are strongly linked to those of hetero-identification: the Moldavians are those whom the people from Banat perceive to be at the greatest social distance (based on the Bogardus scale). but also the restrictions of socio-economic and cultural exchanges with other communities from the proximal social space. an image without nuances and defining aspects. games. e.8%). In this way.9%). Bistriţa Năsăud (3. those from Oltenia are quick.3%). The self-identification of people from Banat is positive. 80% consider themselves as being good.7%).3 Regional identity Regional identity has been analysed based on the data obtained by applying the same tools. customs. the people from Transylvania are calm. the relatively isolated communities of these national groups in Timiş County have the advantage of being able to preserve their way of life. Thus. while the inhabitants of Moldavia are poor and lazy. The Transylvanians receive positive social evaluations in Banat and. its geographical distance. and celebrations. 3. with neighbours. Botoşani (4. the lack of a significant presence of immigrants from the Muntenia area. Botoşani. Neamţ (5. They are from Maramureş (18.4%). find themselves at the smallest social distance from them. At the same time. “Pride” is a specific cultural element of the Banat region: the inhabitants are proud and “ahead” of everybody in their songs.3%).

Lugoj. A socio-culturally diverse community located close to an urban centre (Timişoara). adopts almost totally the cultural patterns of the native population in order to integrate in the new social context. we have investigated the Ukrainian village of Ştiuca. Sînnicolau Mare. (1) Heterogeneous communities. are average with regard to the number of inhabitants and households. Different communities have adopted different strategies to define their social identity. generally situated in the vicinity of cities or towns (Timişoara. the population is stable and old. the proximity to or distance from an urban settlement. . This only reinforces the identity of the local community. they recall the moments when the village’s cultural and historical foundations were laid and they preserve the ritual elements specific to each village event. like Jamu Mare. Jimbolia. (3) As an atypical community. Jamu Mare has adopted a strategy of declaring an identity that is rather passive and oriented towards the past. because “things were better in the old times”. Laurenţiu Ţîru 4 Three villages. 1996). Oriented towards social development. we found three types of rural communities with regard to the mechanisms used by the villagers to define their social identity. Voicu B. Becicherecu Mic is a community exposed to the powerful dynamics of social change and subjected to the impact of the vicinity to the urban area. Făget. Becicherecu Mic is a village with a high social mobility (with 18% of its stable population originating from Timişoara). Taking into account the particularities of the region. and the population is relatively stable from the point of view of territorial mobility (in Jamu Mare. with a greater migration dynamic. its socio-economic. The dynamics of identity and traditional cultural models Our study revealed that the identity-building strategies are based greatly on the type of rural community (Voicu M. cultural. such as Becicherecu Mic. Buziaş. Ciacova sau Gătaia). the inhabitants of Becicherecu Mic take any opportunity to emphasize their local identity: they celebrate the village’s historical and present heroes. They are situated at relatively great distances from urban centres. Deta. (2) Homogeneous communities.130 Melinda Dincă. Smart 2001). which today represents the majority in the village. 42% of the population were born in the village). In its lack of urban influences and mobility (Jamu Mare has few commuters. Recaş. and demographic conditions. the Ukrainian community.. reveal an exogenous community in change. The strategy of constructing and maintaining identity hinges on structures of opportunity (Ritzer. a low percentage of native population (only 28% of inhabitants were born in Becicherec) and an increasing diversity of denominational groups. the village has not succeeded in attracting any investors from outside the community).

the community integrates the “foreigners” and once they have been integrated. such as symbols. Despite the conservative attitude towards certain social practices brought from the Maramureş region. whitewashed every spring. The case study intended to describe and analyse elements that form the basis of social identity construction. the majority population is Romanian (over 86%). 4. Inter-ethnic relationships are positive and integrating: here your ethnicity doesn’t matter. the Ukrainians have borrowed cultural models from the German population. the Roma population is integrated into the village community despite their generally negative image. They now celebrate the patron saint of their Orthodox church through practices espoused from the Catholics. etc.Regional and Ethnic Identity 131 The three investigated rural communities – Becicherecu Mic. the community spirit. whereas in the village of Ştiuca we come across a community consisting of people of Ukrainian descent (85. they adopt the architecture of the Banat Swabians (with big houses. The groups relevant for our analysis also include national and religious groups. Christian and secular celebrations. the other becomes one of us. I’m Romanian but I get along well with the Russians (…).) and they integrate the newly arrived Ukrainians into these village practices. By means of social control. This mechanism of contradictory references coexisting within the same group proves how much social identity depends on belonging to a social category and on more or less direct social experience with the other relevant group. We can notice the predominance of social integration over any segregationist tendency.88%). People place themselves on the opposition – resemblance – identity scale in accordance with previous social experience and the social categories based on socially inculcated perceptions and representations. people get along very well with each other. identity heroes. And then there are the Ruthenians and the Lipovans. segregation or social isolation towards this group disappear. national and religious groups. Jamu Mare and Ştiuca – have developed complex strategies for the construction and affirmation of their identity based on elements of cultural models specific to each of the three types of communities. .1 Inter-ethnic relationships In Jamu Mare and Becicherecu Mic. which represented the majority in Ştiuca at the time of the Ukrainians’ arrival. We can say that the more the frequency of significant social interactions with a “foreign” group increases in duration. the Gypsies here do a good job. the faster do intolerance. as well as kinship relations through marriage. Look. Similarly. The members of national minority groups are good people because they are ours.


Melinda Dincă, Laurenţiu Ţîru

4.2 Inter-denominational relationships
The most significant religious group in the three communities in terms of
number of parishioners is that of Orthodox Christians. However, there are slight
differences in the practice of the old and new Orthodox rites: in Becicherecu
Mic, the Serbian community respects the old calendar. This is also the case of
Ştiuca where the majority population is Ukrainian and old rite Orthodox. Although the Catholic German group has diminished in the region in the past few
decades, the Catholic Church occupies a second place in terms of the number of
parishioners. Another fundamental modification is represented by the appearance of new religious faiths. In almost all rural communities of Banat there are
new religious communities with a solid socio-economic organization, and the
three villages are no exception. Becicherecu Mic and Jamu Mare are ahead insofar as they have the highest number of Pentecostals, Baptists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Seventh Day Adventists. In Jamu Mare places of worship have been
reconstructed and revived since 1989. Inter-religious relationships are open and
5 Conclusions
The villagers of Timiş county show a high degree of tolerance towards other
regional groups. Based on self-placement on the scale of social distance from
other regional groups and through the hetero-identification of regional groups
from the whole of Romania, the Banat residents appear as a tolerant regional
group with positive attitudes towards even the regional group of people from
Muntenia with whom they do not have any real interactions and of whom they
have a vague image. At the same time, they have positive stereotypes of all ethnic groups living in Banat, each of them being characterized by a variety of
attributes, recognizing them as “entrepreneurial, hardworking, kind-hearted,
good administrators”. Totalling almost 15% of the rural population of Timiş, the
ethnic minorities are well integrated into the communities, and ethnically mixed
families have become an everyday occurrence. Inter-ethnic relations are positive and integrating: Here your ethnicity doesn’t matter; people get along very
well with each other. Look, I’m Romanian but I get along well with the Russians
(male, 74 years old, from Ştiuca); furthermore: the Gypsies here do a good job.
And then there are the Ruthenians and the Lipovans (male, 77 years old, from
Becicherecu Mic).
In the ethnic collage of Timiş, the Roma group is the only one depicted with
negative attributes; however, when people refer to the Roma in their village, the
image is always positive. Thus, the members of minority groups are good people when they are “one of us”. Being “one of us” in the Banat villages means, in

Regional and Ethnic Identity


the words of the great majority, being good, proud, hardworking, industrious,
prosperous, and honest. As a consequence, the integration of strangers rests on
these qualities which they have to demonstrate in order to become “one of us”.
In general, people tend to paint a palatable picture of their group and have
a positive social representation of their in-group. This accounts for the high
number of responses that reflect positive attributes of personal, ethnic, and regional self-identification, resulting from the open-ended questions of the modified Who are you? test. Social identity consists of quality attributes of one’s own
group because identity tends to be positive. This idea is supported by numerous studies and theories claiming that identity is an adjuvant of self-esteem in
the construction of one’s social and psychological self. Identity attributes, real
or presumed real, are used in order to create a positive self-image within a concrete social context.
In our study, we have considered social identity under its relational (Tajfel,
Turner 1981) aspect and not under its aspect of substance, departing from the
premise that identity manifests itself in its relationship with the out-group or
with the other. In any case, its affirmation, validation, and reconfirmation are
determined by the extent to which we have social interaction (Barth 1969). The
individuals bring their positive aspects – or those which they consider to be
positive aspects – to the interactional field, and this happens regardless of the
level or form of interaction. Thus, identity has to be constructed through positive attributes presenting the own group in a favourable light. These attributes
re-configure in an optimal structure in order to provide members with a positive self-esteem for each new social situation. It is renegotiated with each social
context being overwhelmingly determined by the group’s characteristics (in our
case, that of the community). In the absence of interaction, identity is asserted
only through ready-made social images, such as stereotypes and prejudices. In
this respect, we believe that the modification of the Roma population’s image
in the investigated rural communities’ social representations is relevant. Generally, when other Roma populations are discussed, the hetero-identifications are
predominantly negative, but when respondents refer to “our Roma”, from our
village, the image changes considerably into a positive one. In the same line
of thought, we can recall the example of the image of people from Muntenia
which is, in spite of little contact, is fairly neutral or even positive in the village folklore.
Thus, we can say that there is no such thing as a primary identity. We cannot
find elements of historical or socio-cultural tradition that do not undergo modifications. If until recently we used to believe that religion, nationality, gender
or belonging to a particular social category provides us with a stable identity,
constant values. and certain belonging, today we are given evidence to the contrary, even in the world of the Romanian village. In conclusion, in this day and


Melinda Dincă, Laurenţiu Ţîru

age, continuity is open to change while traditions, customs, and mores are being questioned.
Barth, Fredrik 1969: Ethnic Groups and Boundaires. The Social Organization
of Culture Difference. Oslo: Universitets Forlaget.
Bogardus, Emory Stephen 1925: Measuring Social Distances. In: Journal of
Applied Sociology 9: 299–308.
Cerulo, Karen A. 1997: Identity Construction: New Issues, New Directions. In:
Annual Review of Sociology 23: 385–409.
Chelcea, Septimiu 2001: Metodologia cercetării sociologice [Methodology of
sociological research]. Bucharest: Editura Economică.
Deaux, Kay, Gina Philogène (eds.) 2001: Representations of the Social. New
York: Blackwells.
Doise, Willem, Jean Claude Deschamps, Gabriel Mugny 1999: Psihologie
socială experimentală [Experimental social psychology]. Iaşi: Polirom.
Iluţ, Petru 1999: Identitatea multiplă şi condiţia cognitiv-axiologică a studentului [The multiple identity and the students cognitive-value condition]. In:
Sociologie Românească [Romanian Sociology] 3. Bucharest: Institutul Social Român.
Tajfel, Henri, John C. Turner 1981: Social Identity Theory. In: Human Groups
and Social Categories. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge UP.
Voicu, Mălina, Bogdan Voicu (coord.) 2006: Satul românesc pe drumul către
Europa [The Romanian village on its way to Europe]. Iaşi: Polirom.
This study presents results of a field survey of the rural population of Timiş
County in Romania focussing on the strategies of identity construction and affirmation on the levels of personal, national, and regional identity. As part of a
quantitative survey, three case studies have been carried out in three villages attempting a qualitative description and analysis of elements of rural identity construction. Social identification processes, by which each member of society can
easily determine the social identity of any other member, emphasize the functionality of the socio-cultural system. Our study revealed, among other things,
that in Banat for all ethnic groups and strangers to become “one of us” depends
largely on living and acting in conformity with the values and behaviours which
are considered typically “Banat‑ian” by the local population. On the village level this includes also the Roma whose stereotypical image is generally negative.


Regional Identity: The Serbs in Timişoara
«Regional Identity: The Serbs in Timişoara»

by Mirjana Pavlović

Ethnologia Balkanica (Ethnologia Balkanica), issue: 12 / 2008, pages: 135­145, on

Ethnologia Balkanica 12 (2008)

Regional Identity: The Serbs in Timişoara
Mirjana Pavlović, Belgrade

This paper deals with the complex questions of the construction of Banat cultural identity, as well as the analysis of its relation towards ethnic/national identity and local identity in the Serbian community in Timişoara from the point of
view of its members. The history of Banat and Timişoara, as well as the most
significant features of the Serbian community in this city, were summarized
previously. The basis for this analysis consists of data gathered through field research in the period 2002 to 2006 and of data taken from scientific literature as
well as from Naša reč (Our Word), a Serbian language weekly newspaper published in Timişoara.
Banat, a region in Southeast Europe that today is part of three nation states,
used to be – from the Middle Ages to the end of the First World War – a uniform historical, political, and cultural area under the rule of Medieval Hungary,
the Ottoman Empire, the Habsburg Monarchy, and Austria-Hungary. The exact time of Serbian colonization in Banat is uncertain. Some indications suggest
that already during the migrations of the Slavs a group of Serbs settled in Banat.
In Timişoara itself historical sources mention them for the first time during the
reign of the Hungarian king Mathias Corvinus (1458–1490) (Popovici 1933: 22).
But already a document of 1366 referred to Serbs “as very persistent in their religion” (Cerović 1997: 12), while a document from 1543 stated that Timişoara
was situated “in medio Rascianorum” (Popović 1955: 32). Escaping the Turkish
invasion, Serbs immigrated in several waves after this period, so that the majority of today’s inhabitants of Banat and Timişoara descend from the migrants
from Serbia between the fifteenth and the nineteenth century.
According to the Turkish traveller Evliya Celebi, in the Ottoman period Banat was a swampy and scarcely populated territory, while Timişoara was a Turkish market-town fortified with palisades, although it represented the administrative and military centre of the sandžak (Guboglu 1970: 30). A major change in
the history of this area occurred with the liberation from the Turks and the annexation into the Habsburg Monarchy1. Radical changes that Austria introduced
into the economy and social life of the region only became more widely accept1

The Habsburg Empire had a succession of names: Habsburg Monarchy (or Austrian Monarchy) 1526–1804/1867, Austrian Empire 1804–1867, and Austro-Hungarian Monarchy

M. the nation or language of Rascia. all members of the Orthodox church. Armenians. While some scholars assumed that there was a unique Serbian-Romanian “confessional” or Illyrian nation. After the annexation of Banat into Hungarian districts in 1780. which included Serbs. occurred in that period (Cerović 1997: 53). and the Serbs were entitled to possess land and occupy clerical positions (Stojković 1990: 234). but also culturally and politically (Đorđević: 317–318). Among the Serbs the church was seen as the dominant power. the “national quintessence of these peoples is completely different” (Milin 1995: 7–8). the demographic explosion also changed the ethnic structure of the region. but also spontaneous settlement of Germans and later of Hungarians and Romanians. Sékely/Szekler3 and Saxons) and four privileged religions (Catholicism. Besides. Calvinism. in the eighteenth century and earlier national belonging was deeply affected by religion. in the eastern part of Transylvania (Mala enciklopedija 1959: s. more often. v. Besides a sizable economic development primarily in industry and trade. and Uniatism). Serbs used to be called Illyrians or. In Austrian Timişoara. both ethnically and politically.Access via CEEOL NL Germany 136 Mirjana Pavlović ed by the end of the nineteenth century and it was then that the region experienced a real transition towards the modern. This status was acquired in 1782 Arsenije Čarnojević was the Patriarch of the Serbs and leader of The Great Migrations of the Serbs in 1690. Privileges granted by Emperor Leopold recognized the Serbs in the Habsburg Monarchy as a separate political entity (corpus separatum) under the Serbian Orthodox Church. At the same time the official legal system of the Habsburg Monarchy recognized only three privileged nations (the Hungarians. although religion gave ground for solidarity. 3 Székely/Szekler are a special group of Hungarians living in Romania. Four major nationality groups lived mostly in separate villages or town quarters. not only in regard to religion. privileges which Arsenije Čarnojević2 fought for and gained from the Austrian Monarchy applied to the Orthodox church and the Illyrian nation. and also aware of their position and national interest. 2 . Colonization. Romanians.. Milin has pointed out that. Aware that they represented a separate nation. which enabled their members to preserve their specific ethnic and cultural characteristics. Greeks. the Serbs in Hungary declared their first national programme at the Convention in Timişoara in 1790 (Gravamina et postulata) and demanded a special territorial (administrative) autonomy. About 200 000 Serbs settled in the Pannonian Plain up to Buda and Szentendre. sekleri). 233). the situation changed drastically with the first wave of Magyarization and concomitant efforts to turn Timişoara into a free royal city. But these demands were not fulfilled because of Hungarian opposition (ibid. central European model. namely. which included neither the Serbs nor the Orthodox religion. Lutheranism. Professing the Orthodox religion was eventually legalized.

but nevertheless Romanian Banat.wikipedia. Serbian or Romanian populations were left outside their nations. civil marriage. a smaller part to Yugoslavia.. social and cultural ties as well as of family. sociopolitical. and even in Romania. and civil registry books. The ensuing second wave of (open and forced) Magyarization. Germans. In 1848. 17% Serbs. and a policy directed against the Orthodox church. According to the Trianon Agreement after the First World War Banat was divided into three regions. The evident effort to accelerate this process was manifested by the introduction of Hungarian as the official language in 1847.6 % Hungarians. have preserved some of the qualities of a multicultural environment up to the present day. 2% Germans and 1. such as educational. with its centre in Timişoara. 25% Germans. which continued until the First World War. 26% Germans. By 1930 the numbers had changed in Romanian Banat to 55% Romanians. 4 According to the official register of 1910 in Banat there lived: 39% Romanians. opposing Magyarization.Regional Identity: the Serbs in Timişoara 137 and provided a certain defence to open assimilation (Cerović 1997: 91). there was an increased Romanian colonization and Romanization. 235). and Serbs. the cohabitation of various ethnic groups. which is the focus of this paper. among which the most numerous were the the largest and most important one including Timişoara going to Romania. and especially Timişoara. while the smallest part went to Hungary. . Besides centralization tendencies in Romanian Banat. which led to the establishment of an independent Hungarian Orthodox church (ibid. but it did not stop it completely. 12% Hungarians. although major parts of their Hungarian. The same tendencies continued after the Second World War. and sport ones. friendly and personal contacts. the Serbian national movement declared the Dukedom of Serbia and Tamiš Banat. Hungarians. But this creation was abolished by the Austrian Court in 1860 (Stojković 1990: 234). According to the 2002 census there were 89% Romanians. political. the change of names of streets and places. religious. new frontiers in the region led to a drastic breakdown of old and intensive economic.4 Since the newly established states after the First World War were defined as unified nation states. and political centre of the Serbian national minority in Banat. Furthermore. Today the Serbs of Timişoara represent a small community with well-developed networks of various types of minority organizations. was based on numerous laws on education. 10% Hungarians and 6% Serbs (Kostić 1940: 102).9% Serbs (http://en. cultural. Timişoara still stands out as the cultural. It was only after the agreement of Austria and Hungary in 1867 that Timişoara came under full Hungarian administration. 5. Major characteristics of the historical Banat area were its multicultural and multi-religious reality.

the term ‘interculturalism’ has come to be used more and more frequently. but within a narrower community or identity. common experience and also the common framework of values which indicates to individuals what is desirable and what is not. or by which the others identify them as the members of another group (Pavlović 1990: 83–86). coincide. Cultural identity can be defined as “the pattern of common living and thinking. Thus ethnic and/or national identity is a group identity which the members of a group build on the basis of a series of symbolic conceptions of their unity or difference. from the standpoint of the given culture” (Golubović 1999: 34). that is. but also unique. irrespective of their ethnic background. but the real interweaving of ethnic and national cultures and the establishment of the sovereignty of the citizen. in the meaning of a common historical background. the “kolo” (Pavlović 2003: 371). religion. In accordance with the quoted definition of national and cultural identity. regional identity would be cultural identity. cultural and national identities do not have to. the consciousness of common features and a common cultural heritage of the population of a certain region. and in fact often do not. Its most important symbols are language. traditional customs. Another concept describes regional identity as not based so much on common heritage as on common problems. the symbiosis of different national cultures. culture and tradition. In the Serbian community in Timişoara it is founded primarily in the consciousness of the common. My analysis will begin with an outline of the most important concepts relevant to this study. The paper uses the modern concept of ethnic identity or ethnicity which is based on the situational approach and on a combination of cultural and social factors while emphasizing both the subjective dimension and the symbolic nature of ethnic togetherness and diversity. In order to emphasize this. throughout a certain period of time. that is.138 Mirjana Pavlović The paper examines the specific historical. However. cultural and political conditions and their influence on creating a feeling of Banat regional belonging as well as its relation to the sense of national/ethnic or local belonging in the Serbian community of Timişoara. and folk music and dance. In the definitions of multiculturalism it is often emphasized that it is not only normative existence or even respect of certain rights of national minorities (to which the understanding is often reduced). although the definition of national identity reserves a significant place for culture. Romanian anthropologists have shown that. two convictions which also represent the backbone of their regional identity . and not their parallel existence. Local identity is also the construction built around some shared and different cultural characteristics. and even more on similar structural reactions to new challenges which at present are European integration and globalization (Mitrović 2002: 26).

They had shops. Thus a seventy year old man said: “I am a Serb from Romania.” However. in their opinion. Among the most important ones are good relations and tolerance among nationalities. people lived in harmony. Bulgarians.” Harmonious relations and tolerance among different communities in Timişoara were most often manifested in contacts between individuals and their families. loved Serbian feasts.” Or: “Acquaintances and relations in Timişoara do not depend on nationality. a Serb. for them the regional identity was much stronger in the past. the great majority of informants deny the possibility of a dual or multiple identity. the conviction that Banat is the region in which interethnic relations and tolerance are inherent. and only an insignificant number of the informants have a fully developed consciousness of Banat regional belonging. All of them are my friends – the Romanians. is marked by specific cultural characteristics. too. “We.” . Accordingly. or a Romanian.” These were. There aren’t international problems. but I was not born anywhere but in Banat.” At the same time. “Relations between nations are good – no problem. and the Germans. “You are either a Serb. together with its centre Timişoara. Chelcea 1999). but you belong to one or the other nation only. the Romanians above all: on the one hand. and the Jews did not work on Sabbath.Regional Identity: the Serbs in Timişoara 139 have been formed in the consciousness of the population of Banat. a German and a Jew. The Catholics did not work on a Catholic holiday. Everything went on beautifully. went to a neighbouring German village to dance. You may be well familiar with both cultures. one next to another. and on the other hand the conviction that the Central European culture and its values are immanent to Banat (Baga 2003. in recent years the regional identity has been expanding gradually among the younger generations. Although Banat identity is not a mass phenomenon in the Serbian community in Timişoara. a noticeable majority of those interviewed think that Banat. First-hand reports of my informants as well as the articles in the weekly Naša reč make it clear even at first sight that in the Serbian community in Timişoara the ethnic identity is most evident. from our village. especially evident before the Second World War. They respected one another.” „I attended the Romanian Grammar School and never felt as a foreigner. “Till the Second World War relations between nationalities in Timişoara had been very good.

in different ethnic or cultural communities. even complete holidays. and the Hungarians. there were sporadic examples of intolerance and clashes. 5 On the rich institutional cooperation see Pavlović 2006: 309–318. Serbian organizations often also printed their programmes. and contrary to the stereotype of multiculturalism and tolerance. even prosecutions of some minorities. there are German and Serbian ones. and so we were assimilated. Nobody minded going to the German Grammar School. In our dancing there are Romanian elements. Other nationalities. As a fifty-year-old narrator explained: “We grew together.140 Mirjana Pavlović Or: “I went to a German Kindergarten (before WWII). music halls and the piano with the Timişoara German philharmonic singing company since the 1870s. This atmosphere led to mistrust and even the closing of the Serbian community in Timişoara. It’s a Catholic holiday. . scores. This was especially characteristic of the period before the Second World War. and folklore are numerous. traditional customs. the atmosphere of good relations and cohabitation among nationalities led to the interweaving and assimilation of cultural elements. The examples evident in language. for instance. Neither in the past nor today do the various Serbian minority organizations advocate ethnic isolation but have.” On the other hand. Especially in the period of the undivided Banat. choir-masters. music. both at informal and formal levels. instead. the Serbian singing company occasionally exchanged singers. but everybody has accepted it and everybody goes. food. developed traditional ties with similar organizations of the other ethnic communities. This gives reason to present opinions that the acceptance of different cultural elements is viewed more kindly today than in the past. Hungarian and/or Romanian. in Romanian.5 Thus. all mixed. and other material in German. I go there and bring flowers on the 1st of November. Besides. invitations.” Cooperation was also visible at the institutional level.” Another seventy-year old woman added: “I accepted the All Souls’ Day – the 1st of November. when the Iron Guard was active. so instead of going to the cemetery on our Zadušnice (Serbian Day of the Dead). while the Serbian singing company “Sloga” performed at the 25th anniversary of the Hungarian singing society “Magyar Dolarda” in 1929 and on the occasion of the consecration of the flag of the Romanian singing company “Speranca” in September 1934 (Stepanov 1994: 39). also went there.

represent to my informants an element of the Central European heritage and a higher level of civilization. hard-working. including the Serbs. But once. but are manifested. I bought a twig and brought it to my mother. One may easily be of the impression that they are more open to cultural influences from the groups who have “always” inhabited their city and Banat.”). not even today are the Serbs in Timişoara positively oriented towards the assimilation of all “foreign” cultural elements. as a child. It’s a new fashion. it was the influence of the German folk. but not selfish. characterize the population of Banat and differentiate it from other regions of Romania. in their temper (“People of Banat are good hearted.” Most of our middle-aged or older informants feel that globalization only imposes the values of a consumer society which largely suppresses the national culture of the Romanian majority. It’s monkey business. Now I buy it for my son. especially those that are evident in personal responsibility for social life and personal relations. particularly on the younger generations. The above-mentioned and many other personal characteristics. Stupid. why not their own holiday? Children today also celebrate Valentine’s Day. and she said: ‘Why did you bring me that Swabian tree?!’” However. Thus the pride of multicultural tolerance and the heritage of Central European cultural values in the inhabitants of Timişoara. are certain aspects of their mentality. not sharp.”). . Nicholas Day a twig of mistletoe is put in the window to let know that there is something (a present) in there. and responsible both in villages and in towns. They often crop up as stereotypes. “Because of the influence of Western culture and television the Romanians begin celebrating Halloween. and they do not celebrate their own similar holiday Dragobel. if they had wanted to celebrate something.Regional Identity: the Serbs in Timişoara 141 “For St. “Compared to other parts of Romania Banat is little America. according to my informants. Another set of qualities which. and especially the Serbian minority population. and often inert. or in their attitude towards possessions or generally towards prosperity (“Folk in Banat learned to be pragmatic. generate the conviction of economic and cultural superiority of Banat. and that this has disastrous effects. for instance. and Timişoara – little Vienna.” And Banat is the example that should be followed by other parts of Romania.”). in their relation towards work (“In Banat people were entrepreneurial. while their view of changes brought about by globalization is often negative. and of Timişoara in particular. too.

even goodwill. Banat is the basis for numerous international cooperations in the fields of economy. acquaintances and friends. This actually happened in 2007. towards the Serbian minority in Timişoara. it is emphasized that “ordinary people” – neighbours. tourism or administration. the shared regional sensibility is also manifested in the attitude that Banat should provide leadership in economic reforms and in the pluralistic democratization of Romanian society. and thus is manifested mostly among those Romanians in Timişoara who moved in from other regions of the country. Apart from the revival of the old images of tolerance and multiculturalism. to be more evident in other parts of Romania. the “Lalas” themselves are good-hearted.142 Mirjana Pavlović “… the city on the Bega could serve as examples how different nations can live in peace. both before and after the Second World War. Although manifested as cultural. At the same time. and as such often deviate from Banat tolerance and are rather representatives of Balkan values. however. For the Banat Serbs this means that they now have the mission to bring Serbia closer to Europe. and slow and are thus the real representatives of Banat and carriers of its multicultural values. In the Serbian community in Timişoara the consciousness of a narrower regional or local identity is quite obvious. and Bucharest). but the only one that is usually stressed is the difference in mentality. However. when Romania became a member of the EU. According to my informants. At the same time present examples of intolerance and international conflicts in Banat are looked upon as individual incidents and are usually attributed to Romanian nationalism which is considered. sharper. In fact. the popular stereotypes of Banat tolerance conceal the extant conflicts between the ethnic groups. There is an awareness of difference within the Serbian population of Banat. kind. The examples of intolerance and even persecution of minorities. are attributed by the Serbian community to the policy of the state and its centres of power (Vienna. They even helped the Serbian community or its individual members in periods of crisis. mostly between the inhabitants of Upper Banat or “Lala” and Lower Banat or “Klisurac”. while the people of Klisura are more ill-tempered. these local differences in effect represent a struggle for the leading positions . more choleric. Local difference is observable also in the dialect and customs. At the end of the twentieth century Banat and Timişoara were perceived by the local inhabitants – including the representatives of the Serbian community – as the gateway to Europe which had to “return” and bring all of Romania under the shelter of Europe. concordance. such as the Euroregion Danube – Cris – Mures – Tisza. culture. and reciprocal brotherly cooperation” (Velimirović 2002: 17). namely Romanians from Banat and Timişoara – have always demonstrated tolerance. Budapest.

will gradually clear the way for confidence in the free manifestation of multiple identity. Eniko 2003: Sailing in Troubled Waters: Drinking Water Provision in Timişoara. this tendency can as yet be observed only among a small number of younger members of the community. URL: https://bscw. Banat regional identity combined with European.pdf. In: Studii de istorie a Banatului. which is one of the basic values of multicultural.hks. but which we all feel. Novi Sad: Matica srpska. a Romanian and a European.pdf Golubović. Mihail 1970: Călătoria lui Evliya Čelebi Efendi în Banat (1660). Zagorka 1999: Ja i Drugi – antropološka istraživanja individualnog i kolektivnog identiteta [Me and the Others – anthropological analysis of individual and collective identity]. Ljubivoje 1997: Srbi u Rumuniji od ranog srednjeg veka do današnjeg vremena [Serbs in Romania from the early Middle Ages to our days]. unfortunately. intercultural and civil Europe. 23–60. Literature or more precisely. . 1. as well as local identity. The same pattern can also serve as a basis for the awareness of belonging to Europe and its values. but – according to the Balkan recipe – typically divisions are present at all levels.uni-frankfurt. It is a taboo of its kind.scrver. “The Serbian community in Romania is small. URL: http://www. we suffer its consequence” (Perinac-Stankov 2002: 14). Timişoara: Universitatea din Timişoara. Guboglu. and.cgi/d203098-1/*/wp/ down​load/wp001_baga. Belgrade: Republika. Chelcea. But deeprooted views of the specific cultural values of Banat as a symbol of a multicultural European region are the model on the basis of which it is relatively easy and – under favourable political circumstances – possible to expect a strengthening of the feeling of regional belonging among the Serbs in Timişoara. Cerović.Regional Identity: the Serbs in Timişoara 143 in the Serbian community in Timişoara and are often seen as destroying the national consciousness of individuals and the community.harvard. Furthermore. a topic which is not discussed in public. In: Research Group Transnationalism Working Paper No. In an anonymous poll at the Serbian Grammar School in Timişoara a student declared that she felt like a Liviu 1999: Why Did Banat Region Become “Multicultural”? Social Transformations and collective memory in a region from Romania. We can conclude by saying that in the Serbian community in Timişoara the consciousness of Banat regional belonging is not yet fully established. Serbian and/ or Romanian.

1940: Dositej kao sociolog [Dositey as sociologist]. Colectia minoritati 5. Temišvar: Štamparija “Dojna”. 234–250. Arad: Complexul muzeal Arad. Mirjana 2006: Institucije srpske manjine u Temišvaru [Institutions of the Serbian minority in Timişoara]. Popovici. Popović. Kostić. Ljubinka 2002: Intervju [Interwiev]. Virgil 1933: Ortodoxismul şi biserica naţtionalű românească din Timişoara [Orthodoxy and the Romanian national church in Timişoara]. 17. Ljubiša 2002: Sudbina kulturnih i etničkih identiteta u procesima globalizacije i regionalizacije na Balkanu [Destiny of cultural and ethnic identity in the processes of globalization and regionalization in the Balkans]. Temišvar: Demokratski savez Srba i Karaševaka u Rumuniji.144 Mirjana Pavlović Đorđević. v. November 2002. Pavlović. In: Kulturni i etnički identitet u procesu globalizacije i regionalizacije Balkana. Timişoara: Universitatea de Vest din Temisoara. 22. Miodrag 1995: Vekovima zajedno [Together for centuries]. Stepanov. Stojković. Milin. Belgrade 1959. In: Probleme de Filologie Slava XIV. Mirjana 1990: Srbi u Čikagu: Problem etničkog identiteta [Serbs in Chicago: the problem of ethnic identity]. Ljubomir 1994: Mladost žubori. 15–31. Belgrade: Etnografski institut SANU i Izdavačka zadruga Idea. Timişoara: Demokratski savez Srba i Karaševaka u Rumuniji. 364–374. 309–318. srcu govori [The youth murmurs. Pavlović. J. In: Letopis Matice srpske 354. sekleri. Belgrade: Srpska akademija nauka i umetnosti (Posebna izdanja CCXXXII. Belgrade: Institut za međunarodnu politiku i privredu i Matica Srba i iseljenika Srbije. Perinac-Stankov. Dušan 1955: Srbi u Banatu do kraja 18. 309–318. Slobodan 1940: Srbi u rumunskom Banatu [Serbs in the Romanian Banat]. 22. Mitrović. In: Naša reč. Velimirović. Pera 2002: Intervju Dragi Mirjanić [The interviews by Draga Mirjanić]. Mala enciklopedija Prosveta [Little encyclopedia Prosveta]. Timişoara. Niš: Junior. In: Minoritarul imaginar minoritarul real. Pavlović. Novi Sad: Matica srpska. 6). s. telling to the heart]. Momir 1990: Srpska nacionalna manjna u Rumuniji [The Serbian national minority in Romania]. In: Seobe Srba nekad i sad. Novembar. Etnografski institut No. Rubrika “Varošani”. veka [The Serbs in the Banat up to the end of the 18th century]. Mirjana 2003: Serbii din Timişoara: structure etnica a comunitatii minoritare [Serbs in Timişoara: ethnic structure of the minority community]. . In: Naša reč.

.Regional Identity: the Serbs in Timişoara 145 Abstract The paper deals with the construction of a Banat regional identity among the Serb minority and its relationship to the ethnic and local identity in the Serbian community in Timişoara. The data were collected during field research between 2002 and 2006. as well as from primary and secondary printed sources.

 pages: 147­166. issue: 12 / 2008.ceeol.  The Literary Opus of Bora Stanković and the Construction of a Local Identity «The Literary Opus of Bora Stanković and the Construction of a Local Identity» by Sanja Zlatanović Source: Ethnologia Balkanica (Ethnologia Balkanica).com. . on www.

he visited it only rarely. and mosques and other buildings testifying to the Ottoman period were destroyed. while the old and the new clashed in harsh contrast. His novels were artistic works. repressed or replaced with new ones. 147023. The town’s favourable geographical location attracted the nobler representatives of the Empire to settle there and build numerous mosques. who told him inspiring stories of the old Vranje. He had deep emotional ties to the place and with clear nostalgia described past times and “the old days” (one of his stories. public baths or hammams. he died in 1927) where he finished primary school and seven years of Gymnasium (secondary school). He lost his parents at an early age and in fact barely remembered them. inns and caravanserais. When he was about twenty years old. was published in 1900). Until 1878. that Bora Stanković portrays in his works. . Vranje was part of the Ottoman Empire. Belgrade Virtually all descriptions of the south Serbian town of Vranje. He was raised by his father’s mother Zlata. Bora Stanković was born in Vranje (there is some doubt as to the year of his birth but it is usually assumed to be 1876. and in financial straits two years later was forced to sell the house in Vranje. no. In the clash between old and new values. Bora’s grandmother Zlata was originally from a well-respected but impoverished town family. respectable merchant families came to ruin. Even though almost the entire literary opus of Bora Stanković takes place in Vranje. between 1878 and 1910. Contemporary Processes in Serbia. Neighbouring Countries and the Diaspora. The able merchants of the town spoke both Turkish and Arabic. where he took up residence. and went on to study in Belgrade. not 1 The article is part of research conducted within the framework of the project Ethnicity. The Old Days. he lost her too. financed by the Ministry of Science and Technological Development of the Republic of Serbia. He completed his eighth and last grade in Niš. travel or literary. After 1878. there was a massive exodus by the Muslims. This is the period at the turn of the century. when the old forms of life were being swept away. There is no information that he even visited any of the nearby villages. whether historical. travelled across the border and found ways of cooperating closely with representatives of the Ottoman authorities.Ethnologia Balkanica 12 (2008) The Literary Opus of Bora Stanković and the Construction of a Local Identity1 Sanja Zlatanović. accentuate the tumultuous past that it owes to its position on a crossroads of major routes and cultures.

his attachment to the land was so great and his behaviour. seemingly harsh and uncultivated. came to interview the already famous writer. Stanković’s literary contemporaries criticized his language and style. Vinaver 1970: 39–50). Stanković himself explained that he modelled his literary characters on stories he had heard. a realistic description of life and customs in Vranje at the turn of the century. especially in abridging parts of the book. He introduced the Vranje dialect into literature. Notwithstanding all this. In one of his lectures. He used to say that he suffered through each one of his stories. Velibor Gligorić. but that the translation remains sufficiently precise and catches the tone of the original. movements 2 The novel Nečista krv has been translated into English as Sophka. so as to achieve fullness and an artistic completeness (cited according to Stanisavljević 1998: 304–305). 1910)2 is held to be a masterpiece of Serbian literature and the beginning of modernism. then the young editor of a Belgrade magazine. pointing out that he never entirely adopted standard Serbian. though ‘European’. while underlining their own “European” superiority over his oriental backwardness. seemed to me to be made of thick Vranje material. For an inspirational analysis of the representation of town life in the period following the liberation from Ottoman rule and annexation to the expanding Serbian state. and that he had problems with sentence construction and syntax. while pointing out that in some of its attributes it leans towards naturalism. . living out the drama of the lives of his characters in great depth. they distanced themselves from. with some of which he was clearly unfamiliar. Educated in the West or on the products of western culture. see Norris 2002: 151–163. New criticism places him among the forefathers of modern Serbian literature. His novel Nečista krv (Tainted Blood. unbridled talent. His suit. Literary criticism mainly identifies Stanković’s work as realism. or even attacked. bearing the oriental stamp of unrefinement and hardness. London 1932). many ethnographic and folkloristic articles identify his literary work as being indisputably in the Vranje tradition. integrating the elements of several human destinies into one.Access via CEEOL NL Germany 148 Sanja Zlatanović chronicles of facts. leaving us a vivid picture of Bora Stanković’s physical appearance in the orientalist manner (Said 2003): “Before me was a face typical of the South. writing slowly and with difficulty. branding it as illiterate and oriental. his writing virulently. using the example of the novel Nečista krv. and his style as the “stuttering of a genius” (see Bogdanović 1970: 64. Norris (2002: 152) observes that the translator took a rather free approach. Bora Stanković himself had little knowledge of literary theories or movements and an exceptionally negative attitude towards intellectual constructions of any kind. The originality and artistic range of Stanković’s work has led to his being characterized as a raw. after the name of the heroine (by Aleck Brown. such as the geographical location of certain places etc.

one who knows how to enjoy himself and have a good time (Škaljić 1989: 458–459). The composer Petar Konjović transposed the text of Koštana into an opera of the same name. shared values. m. and in these processes an important role is played by the external definition or categorization.” There was an evident need to establish a cultural continuity with the Vranje described in the works of Bora Stanković. but original. (Ar.The Literary Opus of Bora Stanković 149 and attitude towards family and guests so patriarchal […] I saw no city intellectual before me. meraklije5. so that several versions exist. the relation of power and domination (ibid. This type of orientalist discourse (Said 2003) about a man from Vranje in Belgrade. is current even today and raises numerous questions on the relation between internal and external constructions of local identity. rather a poor man of the people. In the same year it was performed at the National Theatre in Belgrade. changing the selection and sequence of the songs. love passion. My intention in this article is to analyse the ways in which the people of Vranje think of themselves and define their identity. in recalling the atmosphere of the “old days” and mentioning the monologue of one of the main characters. (Ar. relish. m. first performed in Zagreb in 1931. passion. (Ar. and for this a feeling of belonging.): 1.3 my informants. described their weddings by saying: “Vranjanci like us are cheerful people.4 a play with music and dance. 285). self-orientalising and vice versa In the course of my field research on the wedding ritual in Vranje. Identities are variable and subject to negotiation. Koštana is a favourite among Serbian audiences and one of the most frequently played. the one cannot be understood separately from the other (Dženkins 2001: 97. enjoyment. 291). authentic” (cited according to Stanisavljević 1998: 314–315). Vranje: orientalising. who had in spite of great family and financial misfortunes managed to acquire a degree in law and write works that were translated into many foreign languages. 2. symbols and memories were essential. 4 Koštana was first published in 1900. 5 Mèrāk – áka. Bearing this in mind.): one who likes enjoyment and a good time. As identity is always the result of an interaction of continuing processes of internal and external determinations.. desire for something.): one who is in love. zest. 3 . love longing. Mitke. m. gusto.-Tur. sevdalije6. 127. I did my research work on the wedding and the construction of ethnic and local identity in Vranje between 1996 to 2001 (see Zlatanović 2003). desire. and generally prone to being passionately in love (Škaljić 1989: 561–562). 91. Stanković rewrote the text many times. from Stanković’s drama Koštana. m. (Ar.): love. Sevdàlija.-Tur. 6 Sèvdāh – áha. Meráklija. where I have continued doing field research to this day.

in 1967 officially opening it as a museum home. they say that they have experienced the atmosphere of the “old Vranje”. The above-mentioned critic Velibor Gligorić writes: “Always when I pass near Vranje or call in for a visit. founded in 1881. a monument to Bora Stanković was erected in the town park. In the visitors’ book. The play Koštana was especially popular in Serbian theatres. other. An annual event in his honour is “Bora’s Week”. 7 . inspiring them to visit Vranje in order to satisfy their curiosity for something they perceive as oriental. another one among several cultural manifestations is “Bora’s Theatre Days”. the writer’s birthday. The construction of a Vranje identity and an identity of the people of Vranje through images and symbols evoked by the literary work of Bora Stanković began from “outside”.150 Sanja Zlatanović my objective is also to consider the image which others have of Vranje and its people. filled with impressions and effusions of gratitude and respect for the great author. over its houses and gardens” (Gligorić 1970: 66). the town library. was named after him in 1959. that all is pervaded by Koštana’s beauty. accepted and supported by the production of new-old images from “inside”. In the Socialist era. I have the feeling of the presence of Bora Stanković hovering in the air. The curator. In 1954. the Koštana shoe factory. from within Vranje. artists. and since 1976 beginning on 23 March. Many important town institutions bear his name or the name of one of his literary characters: the Gymnasium. from the cultural elite of the country at the time. and that they have felt her presence. established in 1967. Here I also touch upon the relation between ethnic and local identity. several films were made from his writings. encouraged the symbolization of local identity through Bora Stanković. usually say that everything is just as they imagined it and that there is “an air of old Vranje” in the house. Srboljub Aritonović. told me in conversation that visitors coming from other parts. and his theatre plays were televised.8 The launching of “Bora’s Week”. and in 1964 the municipality bought his house from its new owners. the theatre. under the influence of strong emotion. and therefore exotic. thus enriching their own work. the Koštana pastry shop in the town centre. and the number of songs in the His real name is Borisav. “Bora’s Vranje”. The literary work of Bora Stanković plays a key role in the story the people of Vranje tell about themselves. 8 Only a few authentic objects are to be seen in the house. abbreviated to Bora by everyone including those studying his work. His work has aroused the interest of many researchers. in the landscape. in particular. many have his collected works at home and are very sensitive to newer and freer interpretations of his artistic achievements. several films were made. and adventurers. He is “our Bora”7. the literary association which since 1992 has awarded an annual prize under his name for the best book of prose published in the Serbian language.

During the Socialist period. or verses celebrating love between young people of different religions were expunged. Folklore societies. elements such as dialect or unfamiliar Turkish idioms considered undesirable according to the criteria of the time. He was also displeased with the actors’ costumes. which under socialism had the function of celebrating and symbolizing a much-vaunted “brotherhood and unity”. while remaining recognizably “vranjanske” [from Vranje]. In the films and theatre plays. but they also underwent artistic remake and a kind of censorship. presented the Vranje area . the characters and actions are often schematic and simplified in an orientalizing mould. especially in the 1960s and 1970s. In this way they became more understandable to the public at large. They were abridged. The external effect of colourful costumes. certain songs from Koštana acquired great popularity. Bora Stanković himself was dissatisfied with the Belgrade National Theatre production of Koštana. overshadowing the dramatic plot. song and dance are brought to the fore.The Literary Opus of Bora Stanković 151 Billboard announcing “Bora’s Week” plays was usually considerably expanded far beyond the original script. a drama of tragic destinies represented as a merry piece of theatrical entertainment. commenting that he had never seen anything of the kind in Vranje (Stanisavljević 1998: 116).

appear in the guise of old. thus constructed. 1936. traditional Vranje songs. and set to music by Josif Marinković. Those which are not present in the media are virtually unknown. The song tells of a daughter’s unwilling marriage. there is always an obligatory medley of Vranje songs. bela Vranjanke [“Stojanka. Town where the Blood Runs Hot” (Politika Magazine. Through it they see themselves. The image of Vranje and its people formed from Stanković’s works (which are not really known)10. Adaptations of his works in the last fifteen years. brother of the famous Serbian poet Vojislav Ilić who spent a year working in Vranje (1881–1882). Belgrade. I have no record of it ever having been sung at a wedding. Only those which have been artistically remade and are heard in the media are sung. The wedding song Hadži-Gajka devojku udava [“Hadji Gajka is to wed a daughter”]. 21 July. the artistic transposition of reality in his work is seen as actually representing the reality of long ago. I would add here that few attend “Bora’s Week”. Nursery of Song: People of Vranje Slaves of Love and Passion” (Vreme. for instance. 17 November. no. dear”] and Stojanke. In Vranje and throughout Serbia. commented that everyone in Vranje quoted Bora but rarely read him. Thus. and in Stanković’s writing is associated with scenes depicting the higher. fair Vranjanka”]. and even more rarely understood him in any depth. some of the favourite For over seventy years. Belgrade. newspapers have been publishing headlines such as: “The Vranje of Bora Stanković. or of it being known to any among those who invoke the “old Vranje”. additionally eroticizing Vranje and adding to the stereotypes through which it is perceived. hadji class. 7). 2002. However. 4). It is noticeable that they are not sung to the end. 9 . Today. At the Vranje town library I was told that the only books by Stanković to be borrowed by readers are those on the school reading lists. It is the corner stone of their local identity. was propagated to the point of a total stereotype. dušo [“Shano. Vranje was discussed exclusively in the light of “Bora’s Vranje”9. Stanković introduced two songs with a Vranje theme by Dragutin Ilić (Ilijć 1884: 71–74). Both are sung in an amended and abridged form. appears in no less than four of Bora Stanković’s works and occupies an important place in the novel Nečista krv. in the play Koštana. “Vranje. a highly educated young man. p. or are run together so that several of them make a whole. In magazines and similar publications. and especially from the numerous theatre and film adaptations. very popular in Vranje in the nineteenth century. The image of Vranje. introduce elements never present in his works.152 Sanja Zlatanović through choreography and costumes of oriental type. p. these songs: Šano. advertising themselves as a “new reading of Bora Stanković”. At weddings and other social gatherings and festivities. 10 One of my informants. is upheld and supported by the people of Vranje. 268.

The Literary Opus of Bora Stanković 153 “Vranje” songs are Mito. a poll was carried out among young people in Vranje on whether they could give the name of an old Vranje song. which means slowly. 14 As for merak among the people of Vranje. According to them. but there are also deep conflicts in the subconscious of his characters. (Ar. 13 While researching the wedding ritual. The choice of the male name Mitke alludes to one of the main characters in Koštana. They would usually mention one of later date whose theme referred to Vranje. I would like to point out here that the atmosphere of Stanković’s works is sensual. nor is she Koštana. which can last several days. / but the most beautiful Jela-Jelena. yearning for something that never was. measuredly. The thread from which his stories are woven is the motif of unattainable love and unlived passion. Christian and Muslim). Its first verse goes: “I was loved by a girl from Vranje / I left my youth with her / She is neither Sofka. or meraklijski [merak fashion]. The work of Bora Stanković has also greatly influenced local writers and artists. legend associates it with the love of two young people of different faiths. you drunkard”]11 and the song which begins with the verse Volela me jedna Vranjanka [“I was loved by a girl from Vranje”]12. but with a thematic connection to Vranje. which never took place. that they do everything with merak. Paintings on the walls of homes usually depict the “old Vranje” such as the Stanković Museum and the White Bridge (built during Ottoman rule. a rascal. I would ask informants who professed to like the music of old Vranje what their favourite songs were. During the filming of a TV programme Na izvor u Vranje [“To the spring in Vranje”]. “Vranje Evenings” etc. a rake (Škaljić 1989: 133).): a person who likes to drink and make merry. 11 . The people of Vranje say of themselves that they are meraklije. unfulfilled desires. as well as the actors of the local theatre who are there to play segments Bèkrija – e. every year organizes very festive and well-attended gatherings with variations on the same theme – “Days of Vranje in Belgrade”.14 The Vranje Association in Belgrade. 2006. script by Saša Srećković and Maša Vukanović. Bogdanović 1970: 60). 12 The song refers to the works of Bora Stanković. This celebration. I thank my colleague Saša Srećković from the Ethnographic Museum in Belgrade for enabling me to examine unedited material. is attended by the political elite of Vranje. It was only with difficulty that they managed to name two or three. written in the tavern style.” Sofka is the heroine of the novel Nečista krv and Koštana of the play of the same name. m. which represents a kind of virtual homeland. but never explicit. the Vranje songs are sung gently and meraklijski and can only be sung properly by singers who hail from Vranje.13 The image thus constructed of Vranje as a town of sensual and fatal women and bekrija men constantly carousing and drinking in taverns is additionally confirmed by these two songs. with a fine sense for beauty and enjoyment. The obstacles are of a social nature. bekrijo [“Mito. both of recent composition in the latter half of the twentieth century. which was lost (cf.

the term “southern line” increasingly began to mark the external identity of Vranje. thanks to the literary work of Bora Stanković an exotic and sensual sumptuousness is added to the picture. 2005. Hayden 1992: 4). even though the real Vranje in which they were born and spent their youth. Milosevic’s Socialist Party of Serbia always won. which is a form of “nesting orientalism” that reproduces itself in this way (Bakić-Hayden. In a restaurant atmosphere. The construction of local identity at this period was clearly branded with the signs of the times. In the former Yugoslavia. gradations have been constructed according to which it is always some other that is “more east” or “more south” and thus more suitable for branding as oriental. international economic sanctions and the hyperinflation of 1993 when the Serbian economy collapsed. conservative. qualified by the more northern and western republics of the former Yugoslavia as being more south and east and thus more culturally backward. performed by singers from south Serbia. Jansen 2001a. and for which they perhaps feel nostalgia. All cultures and regions south or east from ‘us’ are perceived as primitive. Vranje smugly declared itself “the . Self-identification and identification by others (ambiguities. Živković 2001). Vranje was a developed industrial centre. ethno-nationalism and so on) Edward Said’s concept of orientalism – as a discourse of power which constructs and essentializes the Other – based on the east-west dichotomy (Said 2003). At a time of ethnic conflict. In Serbia. with abundant food. Hayden 1992. People from Vranje living in Belgrade link their identity to the times described in Stanković’s works in a clichéd symbolism. to a broad region south of the town of Niš known pejoratively as the južna pruga [“the southern (railway) line”]. taking full advantage of life in a border area in the light of the new division of the country. Within this broadly established “southern line” Vranje enjoys a special status: apart from the backwardness and primitivism ascribed to the Orient. is often applied to the analysis of the post-Yugoslav context (Bakić-Hayden. looked completely different. drink and dancing to “old Vranje songs”. the “old” Vranje is evoked. At all the multiparty elections in Vranje. In the post-Yugoslav context at the beginning of the 1990s. Bakić-Hayden 1995. Vranje businessmen maintained close connections with the regime. 2005a. Bakić-Hayden and Hayden explain that this constructed hierarchy can be represented as a scale of decreasing values moving from north or west (marked as the highest value) towards the south or east (marked as the lowest value).154 Sanja Zlatanović from Koštana. the orientalist discourse shifts towards the southeast.

general manager of the Vranje Simpo furniture factory and Serbian Deputy Prime Minister during the Milošević regime. Sijarić spent part of his life in Vranje and was a pupil of the Vranje Gymnasium. They construct and reconstruct this image of themselves over and over again. “the socialist fort”. Girls in oriental costume were shown in tourist catalogues. this image is accepted and usually meets with a positive response. 18 See footnote 6. 17 At the celebration of the hundredth anniversary of the Vranje Gymnasium in 1981. designed to present the town in the first years of the new century stood this verse: “Let everyone – who comes to Vranje. On the one hand. arrives in the real Vranje in 1931 This slogan is ascribed to Dragan Tomić. Živković 2001: 100). leader of the Serbian Renewal Movement. 15 . resorting to self-exoticization as a strategy in reacting to stereotypes. both in its endogenous and exogenous features. What is on offer is an embodiment of the orientalist stereotypes of the observers and potential users of tourist services. on paper bags etc. e.” and the people of Vranje “like the Japanese”. all the connotations of an undemocratic. but only for the heart and the soul. Its influence and duration can be observed and followed up in many sources. writer Ćamil Sijarić (1981: 593) recited a long prose text the beginning of which was later turned into this verse. the sadder it gets”]. are all components of an image which for the people of Vranje holds a high identity value. the sensuality and exoticism. the combination of artistry and abandon in giving oneself over to song and dance. enamoured of Vranje’s past. Externally. in response to a convincing win by Milošević’s party in south Serbia. take care of his soul. This quickly became general parlance. which are interconnected and interdependent. on the homepage of Vranje’s official website. others (on the outside) identified it with “the southern line”. for in this town there is something not for eyes to see. nor for hands to reach. the largest opposition party in Serbia in the 1990s. The folk-dancing society is called Sevdah18 and the dancers appear on stage in oriental costumes. to tužnije [“the further south you go. nor for the mind. For instance.. lest it melt.16 The identity constructed of Vranje is comprised of contradictory elements. što južnije. for instance. 16 Vuk Drašković. primitive and conservative environment. literary critic Miloš Savković. “red Vranje”.17 This verse was also printed in promotion material for the municipality. and these two should be protected here”.The Literary Opus of Bora Stanković 155 Switzerland of southern Serbia”15 or “the economic miracle of southern Serbia. i. Thus. playing the card of their positive valences (cf. used the phrase the southern railway line in the pejorative sense.

(Pers. Dèrtlija. have been created here.156 Sanja Zlatanović in search of the specific atmosphere of Stanković’s works only to run up against local everyday life.): sorrow. […] The women were freed of all care. passion fuelled by examples of eastern sensuality. In the following example it is women: “Vranje is an old half-Turkish nest. . full of care. more visible here than anywhere else” (Bogdanović 1970: 54–55). pain. At first he writes delightedly: “The most passionate lyrical songs about woman and gold. blood warmed by our southern sun. eastern. most of the attention is focused on the atmosphere of “eastern sultriness” because of Vranje’s pre-eminently oriental colouring. […] Borisav Stanković evokes what is Balkan in the life of his home town Vranje. you may still find one or two oriental songs on a gramophone record” (Savković 1933a: 457). silk and yatagans. only to conclude resignedly at the end of his visit: “In vain do you grope along the alleys in the scent of old vines that hang over low leaning balconies. sad (Škaljić 1989: 213). Hand in hand with descriptions of the oriental sensuality characteristic of the “old” Vranje in literary criticism go the classic orientalist theories of biological degeneracy (Said 2003: 206–207). Literary criticism defines Vranje as a place where the liminal character of the Balkans and oriental sensuality overlap and blend: “Borisav Stanković was born just at the place which was perhaps the hub of countless national and racial crossings. art and adventure all went hand in hand” (Savković 1933: 192). vivid and sensual. the body offered every variety of food and delicacy until satiety turned to perversities of sweets and gurabije [small oriental 19 Dèrt. worry. which in fact made of the Balkans such a tangled riddle. generally has frankly sexual connotations. as Maria Todorova (1997: 14) explains. Not a dertlijska19 song to be heard! Instead of the daire [tambourine] only the blare of a saxophone across the marketplace […] For consolation. They delight in describing it as exotic. In literary criticism of Bora Stanković’s works. poplar trees and horses. Parallel to the self-production of orientalism. m. the people of Vranje strive to separate themselves from the Orient with which others continue to associate them. Here trade.-Tur. (Pers. deeply stamped with Oriental sensualism. m. Orientalism. historic clashes and mixings. sadness.): one who is pitiful. The scene of women bathing in the (h)amam (Turkish bath) described in Nečista krv inevitably grasps the imagination of virtually all who study Stanković’s works.

as an area of merak. Vranje is. 118–125). so two feelings which remain unknown to the other parts of the heroic rhapsody. The basic characteristics of this speech are: the use of only one – expiratory – accent. and which seem insufficiently Serbian. Milovanović 2006). […] If Vranje has long ceased to be Turkish. In this quotation. as though they were two different worlds […] In Vranje there is something of the Greek and Turkish. 110–115. writes about the literary work of Borisav Stanković: “It is there in his Vranje that the wave of our epic literature recedes and an exclusively lyrical wave begins. poet and diplomat. […] This eastern spirit is quite foreign to the epic and gusle-playing sphere of that other belt of the Serbian land.The Literary Opus of Bora Stanković 157 cakes] […] It is natural. To this stigma people from Vranje react in various modalities.. the speech of Vranje is ridiculed by speakers from other dialect zones and of standard Serbian. known by the Turkish word ‘sevdah’. The standard Serbian language has a four-accent system and seven cases. that with such a life degeneracy came as a unavoidable consequence and that tainted blood is their characteristic trait” (Ćorović 1970: 277–278). sevdah. it has still remained on the threshold of the East” (Dučić 1970: 10–16). Živković 2001: 100) (a Vranje-Serbian dictionary has been published titled Vranjski bez muku u 25 lekcije [“Vranjanian in 25 Easy Lessons”]. opposed to the Dinaric warrior tradition. the use of only two cases20 (nominative and a “general” case which fulfills the role of all the dependent cases). into feelings of deep yearning. Draped in orientalist clichés. many archaisms. Since the spoken language is usually taken as one of the “objective” criteria of ethnicity and is its most obvious manifestation. varying from being hypercorrect in contact with those speaking the standard language. even insufficiently Slavic. some features shared with Bulgarian and Macedonian (ibid. The Vranje speech belongs to the Prizren-South Morava type in the Prizren-Timok dialect zone (Ivić 1985: 115–118). and dert. This wave then spills over into a wide area of old Macedonia and Bosnia. 20 . and the feeling of sadness called ‘dert’. in accordance with the discourse of his time (1929). […] ‘Dert’ is not at all a Serbian feeling. who perceive it as some kind of mixture which they cannot understand. there is a more or less explicit opinion that the people of Vranje are not actually “real Serbs”. […] Sofka [the main heroine of the novel Nečista krv] is neither Serbian nor Slav at all. Jovan Dučić. more than of the Serbian. in many literary and journal articles and indeed in daily discourse. The objections are that they lack a heroic tradition and that their dialect in particular contains many Turkish idioms. to self-exoticization (cf.

a young woman originally from Vranje (who held a PhD) and a young man born in Belgrade.158 Sanja Zlatanović The orientalist discourse directed at Vranje and the Vranjanci branches into two parts. the southern line!” Many informants from Vranje have told me that when they inquire about taxi prices at a Belgrade intercity bus station (whether the driver charged by the metre or by his own estimate of the fare). European/Balkan. This stereotype was also upheld and strengthened from within in Vranje itself. you can’t even speak properly. he even expressed concern that he himself might in time begin speaking that way. calls Vranje the “southern line” and “the sticks”. People from Vranje who travelled around Serbia at that time or who visited or lived in Belgrade heard positive comments on Vranje music and dance. . is directed against the “peasant” and in general against the population 21 The stereotype of Vranje women was so strong that. In his brilliant analyses of anti-nationalist discourse. something that he could simply not accept. predominant in the period following the collapse of the federal state. In Vranje. it was sufficient to tell a man that they were from Vranje to automatically provoke a response of courtship or at least receive a compliment that Vranje was known for its beautiful women. 2005. If someone is recognized by accent as being from the south. 2001a. He was the product of a “high” culture. 2005a: 109–167) speaks of post-Yugoslav orientalism which. The first refers to the meanings and symbolism deduced from the literary work of Bora Stanković. according to my older women informants. and Vranje people peasants who cannot speak properly and are culturally backward. Stef Jansen (2001. through a series of dichotomies (urban/rural. her “terrible accent”. present in both public and everyday discourse and relations. the famed beauty and erotic nature of the women 21 and the Vranje merak. the reaction is often a contemptuous expression and a question as to where s/he comes from. He (according to what she told me) criticized her way of speaking. accepted and perfected in Vranje itself and therefore reflexively functional. there are many inter-group jokes about how attractive – but also unfaithful – Vranje women are. every word is a song. Those who learn the “Vranje language” will be able to court and flirt with every Vranje woman “and it is well-known how beautiful they are and what fire erupts from them” (Milovanović 2006: 69–70). The reply is often followed by the comment: “Ah. but you already know how we drive in Belgrade!” One of the most illustrative examples of orientalism in everyday practice were the reasons given for ending a relationship between two highly-educated young people. This type of orientalism was dominant in the Socialist period. they would hear remarks of the type: “You southern liners. civilized/primitive). The second branch of the orientalist discourse. In the Vranje-Serbian dictionary mentioned above. there is an explanation that the easiest way for the reader to learn the “Vranje language” is to listen to how the Vranjanci speak. This kind of orientalism is characteristic of everyday practice. Because when they speak. the Vranje women. or even better.

according to Jansen. Inhabitants of the Gornja Čaršija speak of themselves as natives. identifying with the image of Vranje constructed from Bora Stanković’s literary work (the Vranjanci as especially gifted for song and dance. In their opinion. which is all completely at odds with antinationalistic discourse (ibid.. 125). Referring to Said’s definition of orientalism (Europe needs a constructed Other. in order to establish its own identity). 131–132. the Orient. The town/village opposition in their discourse signifies culture versus primitivism (cf. Jansen explains that analogous to this. the “old Vranjanci” (Serbs) have long since moved to Belgrade and the only remaining “real” Vranjanci are the Roma from Gornja Čaršija. Čàršija. that the “old” and “real” Vranjanci have moved to Belgrade. natives and newcomers. They are extremely proud of their part in the positive aspect of this stereotyped image (in 22 This term means the upper town. 122. (ibid. By a number of inventive swearwords directed at the “town peasants”. one of the largest Roma settlements in south Serbia. . Anti-nationalists who fight against discriminatory discourses tend to be discriminatory themselves and openly express their negative stereotypes of the rural population with which they share the same nationality (2005a: 111). the notion which “citizens” have of peasants and newcomers as the personification of primitivism. Ideas of the ruralization of the town for native town dwellers bring to the surface a primordialism and normative connection of place and culture. People from Gornja Čaršija have a pejorative attitude. serves as a negative used for the construction of their own urban identity. Jansen 2005a). 144). It is said in Vranje that the “old” Belgraders have moved abroad. The division into (urban) citizens and peasants. who have been living there for centuries and generations..): the town trading quarter (Škaljić 1989: 165). This “urban orientalism”. with a refined talent for enjoyment). The incomplete process of modernization in Serbia and the frequently unclear boundaries between urban and rural could embarrassingly remind them of their own peasant origins (the foreigner or peasant within us). manner of speaking and dressing. towards all those whom they consider to be “peasants”. which shows in their facial expression. (Pers. the self-styled “old Vranjanci” show their urban identity. deals in stereotypes which combine different elements such as accent.The Literary Opus of Bora Stanković 159 originally from areas in the interior. They express pride of being Vranjanci. unlike the local Serbs who mainly originate from rural areas and settled in Vranje during the rush to industrialize following the Second World War. and that there are settlers living in Vranje today who have come from the surrounding villages and have “ruralized” (poseljačili) the town. The Gornja Čaršija22 is an area that used to be the heart of town during Ottoman rule. exists in Vranje itself today. etc. the “old Vranjanci”. f. I have heard a similar but slightly altered story in the Gornja Čaršija in Vranje.

At the same time. the homogenization of identity and cultural purism towards the influences of others resulted in endeavours to erase the oriental echelons (and with them a part of their own identity). Many sources testify that in Vranje. 25 Šàlvare. I once made a comment to this effect. 10). pl.23 The reproduction of orientalism (Belgrade. I supposed this happened because they learn the language from the media. spoke the “town” language. and not from direct communication with the local Serbs.): very wide trousers (Škaljić 1989: 580). In an area moulded by different cultural influences. t. in the wave of ethno-nationalism of the 1990s. As Ditchev has suggested. In Vranje. Feeling inferior on account of their dialect and For the Janus faces of Roma identity in Vranje. It was entertaining listening to them imitate the dialect formulations of the majority group. Vranje. during this period characterized by attempts at constructing a new national identity in which there was no place for the Other24. Everyone laughed and explained to me that they.160 Sanja Zlatanović the play Koštana. but the ethnic cleansing of culture and language is much harder than the cleansing of territory (Bugarski 1997: 100). p. “decontaminated” of the influence of others (2005: 222–225). As Malešević explains. anything marked as exclusively “ours” is disputable. the town dress for women was Turkish. 23 24 . Christian and Muslim women dressed in the same way. see Zlatanović 2007. In the company of a large group of young people. 1 August. They speak Serbian as their second language. the process of identity construction can be observed through a constant tension between that which is presentable and that which is embarrassing (Dičev 2003: 279). from the middle of the nineteenth century to the beginning of the twentieth. and are therefore highly valued and constantly (re)produced. the pattern taken for the new national identity in this period in Serbia is one which defines culture as a closed homogeneous system within a national frame. 1997. and also by word of mouth when telling and retelling stories of the appearance of folklore dancers in šalvare25. unlike the Serbs. The main headline in the local papers on that particular occasion read: “Our folklore the Muslim way: Serbian kolo danced in šalvare” (Slobodna reč. (Pers. In articles in the local papers. intertwined and indiscernible. There is an evident ambivalence in the self-identification of the Vranjanci. and this in a dialect variant which in some aspects comes comparatively close to the standard language. Vranje: Serbs and Roma) provides interesting copies of the original. the fact that in Stanković’s works female characters are portrayed wearing šalvare was overlooked. The elements of the oriental heritage are on the one hand treated as something that gives Vranje its specific colouring and makes it recognizable on the symbolical map of Serbia. issue 2110. there were some attempts to have them removed as something which was not “ours”. the heroine is a Roma singer and dancer). In other words.

quarters for the female family members which the men did not enter. Buildings harking back to “Turkish Vranje” are now being restored and renovated. 26 . thrifty. The attempts cited as a pragmatic un Harèmluk. whose meanings continue to multiply. Besides. exotic.-Tur. likeable and ready to use. weighs it first. “Vranjski Merak” are allusions to “Bora’s Vranje”. hardly a construction of compatible elements. Merak as the Vranje “brand” Vranje is a town with multiple layers of reality.The Literary Opus of Bora Stanković 161 life in an area marked as periphery. Making up ancestors and continuity has now become anachronous. when lending an egg. In the centre of Vranje. illustrating it with a joke about the man from Vranje who. In recent years. “Turkish” or “Bora’s” Vranje is again becoming a powerful symbolic and commercial resource of this area (in some ways similar and in others different from the one we have already seen). is connected only to one part of its past and that only to the oriental symbols and motifs emerging from the works of Bora Stanković. transitional shifts. So. dvesta kila mast [“Pig weighs a hundred kilos. Next door to the Selamluk is the Haremluk building. locally recognizable in the global context (cf. (Ar. familiar. All this does not mean that ethno-nationalism has been left in the past. Within their own community. Old Muslim houses had a harem or haremluk. and a selamluk. the context of globalization. they mobilize “Bora’s” Vranje as a more presentable aspect of their identity. m. where guests – men – were received (Škaljić 1989: 315). the current commercial for Aqua Heba mineral water shows a belly dancer in Haremluk with the slogan Voda za Merak [“Water for Merak”]. an obvious dichotomy in both internal and external definitions. It has been restored and today houses a luxurious restaurant and business club of the Simpo factory. It is interesting that the image of the Vranjanci as merry fellows and meraklije survives along with the perception of them as being hard working. they themselves speak of their pettiness. two hundred kilos of lard”] is ascribed to them. for instance. “Old Vranje”. there are attempts at adapting some of the newly-built ones to fit better into the style of this context. known as the “Pašin konak” (built in 1765). and to a great part from outside. Dičev 2003: 279–280). and the saying: Sto kila svinja. Even the names of restaurants in Vranje such as “Haremluk”26. petty and calculating. in the unhappy years of the 1990s. but its image from within. recognizable. The trend is to fabricate and create the specific. the National Museum is located in the Selamluk building.): the women’s quarters in a Muslim house. Symbols with an oriental stamp are already there – simplified. the people of Vranje are also perceived as braggarts. and palatable. and commercialized nostalgia require a pragmatic understanding of the local identity (see Boym 2001: 67). There is. thus.

Whenever the author informs them of this. she finds out that this is an old Turkish song. this song takes the form of a dialogue between a young man and a girl and begins with the verse: Aj. Mirjano! [“Mirjana. the author travels to Greece. a Turk. to create a new democratic face of Serbia and break with the past. When the film shows Adela Peeva’s visit to Vranje. imaš / žališ li gi ti? [“Ah. The song in Koštana begins with the verse: Mirjano. oh Mirjana  / you have abundant hair. an extremely nationalist author. to the island of Lesbos. but the words differ slightly.. Stanković and the Roma . Searching further for an answer. to other words and in another language. you have abundant hair / do you regret it?”]. In Vranje. In Vranje. The author discusses the song with local experts and ordinary people. and then to Korca (Albania). and the author. an opposite tendency also exists in the political life in Serbia. girl. Until she tells them. However. Mirjano!”]. Bora Stanković included this song in his play Koštana (not in his other works). As one expression of events related to the declaration of independence of Kosovo we can take the topic of this year’s “Bora’s Week”. Adela Media Ltd. often vehemently. the sparks of hatred are easily ignited. dedicated to a handsome scribe. they are not even aware that this song is sung in another country. She hears the melody of the same song in Turkey in the form of a military march. In Istanbul. and concludes that in the Balkans. and the circle of Balkan countries closes with her return to Bulgaria. “Whose is This Song?” Construction presented as deconstruction The film Whose is This Song? (directed by Adela Peeva. ruse kose. a tendency to try to adapt to global circumstances. since the introduction of an international protectorate for Kosovo in 1999. on to Sarajevo (Bosnia). apart from their own. a favourite with the women. and they are all adamant that the song is theirs and theirs alone. The film ends with the question whether it is possible for one song to cause so much hatred. 2003) begins in an inn in Istanbul where a group of friends (a Greek. to Vranje (southern Serbia).162 Sanja Zlatanović derstanding of local identity at the beginning of the new century in Vranje are an expression of changed political circumstances in Serbia. a Serb. The highly regarded Borisav Stanković literary award went to Miroslav Toholj. Literature and the Nation. especially prominent in recent years in the rhetoric on Kosovo. they reject the possibility. a Bulgarian woman) hear a song which all of them begin singing in their own language. A discussion breaks out among them – whose is this song? The author of the film begins her research with the goal of answering this question. ethno-national topics are burning and omnipresent. a Macedonian. Periscope Productions NV. oj Mirjano / imaš ruse kose. Skopje and Prilep (Macedonia). curo.

27 The Hidirellez holiday (6 May) is now more frequently called Djurdjevdan (St. and the choice of Roma women to do the dancing (which is not something which takes place in inns around Vranje today). He told me. I saw that the dance to a brass band on the square in Gornja Čaršija. There was a lot of talk in Vranje those days about a journalist from Bulgaria who had interviewed many people. George’s Day) by the Roma in Vranje. . The story of the film Whose is This Song? is constructed so as to accentuate the “narcissism of small differences” (cf.The Literary Opus of Bora Stanković 163 Koštana who sung it are mentioned. however. Whether this mistake was intentional or not I do not know. that the situation in the inn prior to the incident. As chance would have it. In it he had written that the song was of Turkish origin. or allowed that it was possible that it could be sung in other parts and other countries in different languages. and as I learned. and this is illustrated by a clip from the film Ciganka (directed by Voja Nanović). when the author accidentally played the recording of the song in another language. I approached Adela Peeva and introduced myself as an ethnologist from Belgrade. Oy 1984). and discussed the ways in which it might have spread. was being directed by a television crew. and the ensuing procession towards the river above the town. Curious to find out which television station this was. Instead. as an area of permanent hatred and an easily ignitable powder keg. I found myself there at the same time. The spontaneity of the holiday had been subordinated to the television shoot and timing. the film shows an incident which broke out in a Vranje inn. Malešević 2005: 229) and present the Balkans in an orientalist key. etc). For more on this see Zlatanović 2007: 68–71. However. I learned that he had shown her his article on this song published in the local papers. She just gave me a look and moved away. of the references available on this song (Djukanović 1969: 60–61. was not realistic but constructed. A construction sold as a deconstruction. the film does not show this professor. It is clear. or any of the other informants who spoke in a tolerant manner of the song. two well-known journalists who write about culture in Vranje. the author finds herself at the celebration of the Hidirellez / Djurdjevdan27 holiday in the Roma quarter of Gornja Čaršija. In her search for information on the song and Koštana. From a local professor and expert in the folklore of south Serbia. the journalist too. who have adopted the Serbian name. judging by the guests present who could not have been there by accident (the curator of the Bora Stanković Museum.

9–32 (first publ. in 1956). Jansen. Belgrade: Prosveta. Djukanović. 1: 35–55. London: MIT Press 2002. Bugarski. Balkan kao metafora: između globalizacije i fragmentacije. In: Borisav Stanković. In: Slavic Review 51. Stari dani / Božji ljudi. Sabrana dela. Milan 1970: Realizam Borisava Stankovića [The Realism of Borisav Stanković]. Bogdanović. Belgrade: Štamparija beogradskog dnevnika. Dučić. Ričard 2001: Etnicitet u novom ključu: argumenti i ispitivanja. Belgrade: Prosveta.. In: Dušan I. 276– 287 (first publ. Bjelić. . part I. Balkan as Metaphor. Obrad Savić (eds. book I. [orig. Stari dani / Božji ljudi. Svetlana 2001: The Future of Nostalgia. Sabrana dela Bori­sava Stankovića. 269–284 (orig. 66–71 (first publ. part III. Belgrade: Filološki fakultet. In: Political Geography 20. 51–65 (first publ. Bakić-Hayden. Marija 1969: Kroz tursku poeziju [Through Turkish poetry]. in 1967). Ivaylo: The Eros of Identity. Sabrana dela Borisava Stankovića. 235–250. 4: 917–931. In: Borisav Stanković. Boym. Sabrana dela Borisava Stankovića. In: Borisav Stanković. Cambridge. Ilijć. in 1918).). 1: 1–15. Ivić. Gligorić. Belgrade: Biblioteka XX vek. Obrad Savić (eds. Velibor 1970: Poezija u delu Bore Stankovića [Poetry in the work of Bora Stanković]. Dragutin 1884: Pesme [Poetry]. Milica 1995: Nesting Orientalisms: The Case of Former Yugoslavia. Bjelić. Nečista krv. London: Sage]. Belgrade: Prosveta. Robert M. Stef 2001: The Streets of Beograd: Urban Space and Protest Identities in Serbia. in 1929). Milica. Ćorović. part I. New York: Basic Book. Belgrade: Beogradski krug. In: Dušan I. Dičev. Jovan 1970: Borisav Stanković. Richard 1997: Rethinking Ethnicity: Arguments and Explorations. Mass. part 11. Novi Sad: Matica srpska (second edition). Vladimir 1970: (bez naslova) [untitled]. Pavle 1985: Dijalektologija srpskohrvatskog jezika: uvod u štokavsko na­ rečje [Dialectology of the Serbo-Croatian language: introduction to the Što­ kavski dialect].).: Ditchev.: Jenkins. Hayden 1992: Orientalist Variations on the Theme “Balkans”: Symbolic Geography in Recent Yugoslav Cultural Politics. Dženkins. Stari dani / Božji ljudi. In: Borisav Stanković. Belgrade: Čigoja štampa i Biblioteka XX vek (third edition). Ivajlo 2003: Eros identiteta.). Belgrade: Prosveta. In: Slavic Review 54. Sabrana dela Borisava Stankovića. Ranko 1997: Jezik od mira do rata [Language from peace to war].164 Sanja Zlatanović Literature Bakić-Hayden.

Sabra- . New York. Sarajevo: Svjetlost (6th edition). Said. Maria 1997: Imagining the Balkans. Abdulah 1989: Turcizmi u srpskohrvatskom jeziku [Turkish words in the Serbo-Croatian language]. Miloš 1933: Pisma iz Vranja [Letters from Vranje]. In: Filozofija i društvo XVIII (Belgrade) 33–71.The Literary Opus of Bora Stanković 165 Jansen.: David Norris 1999: In the Wake of the Balkan Myth: Questions of Identity and Modernity. Edward W. Škaljić. Vranje: Odbor za proslavu stogodišnjice postojanja i rada Gimnazije. Vukašin 1998: Pesnik Vranja [A poet of Vranje]. Oy. Jansen. 593–595. Todorova. Miroslava 2005: Tradicija u tranziciji: u potrazi za “još starijim i lep­šim” identitetom [Tradition in transition: in search of a new. Basingstoke: MacMillan]. Ćamil 1981: Pričuvaj u Vranju srce i dušu [Look after your heart and soul in Vranje]. 5‑6: 446–458. Zbornik radova Etnografskog instituta SANU 21 (Belgrade) 219–234. Milovanović. “more ancient and more beautiful” identity]. Stanisavljević. In: Ethnologia Balkanica 9: 151–167. Sijarić. Stanković. In: Etnologija i antropologija: stanje i per­spektive. Stef 2001a: Svakodnevni orijentalizam: Doživljaj “Balkana” / “Evrope” u Beogradu i Zagrebu [Everyday orientalism: experiences of “Balkan”  / “Europe” in Belgrade and Zagreb]. part I–VI. Stanislav 1970: Bora Stanković i pusto tursko [Bora Stanković and the desolate Turkish]. Stef 2005a: Antinacionalizam: etnografija otpora u Beogradu i Zagrebu [Antinationalism: an ethnography of resistance in Belgrade and Zagreb]. Noris. 1‑4: 189–196. In: Borisav Stanković. Radmilo Čaplja 2006: Vranjski bez muku u 25 lekcije: vranjskosrpski rečnik [Vranjanian in 25 easy lessons: Vranje-Serbian dictionary]. Borisav 1970: Sabrana dela Borisava Stankovića [Collected works of Borisav Stanković]. Oxford: Oxford UP. Stef 2005: Who’s Afraid of White Socks? Towards a Critical Understanding of Post-Yugoslav Urban Self-perceptions. Belgrade: Prosveta. Vinaver. Savković. Savković. 2002: Balkanski mit: pitanja identiteta i modernosti. Jansen. Belgrade: Biblioteka XX vek. Belgrade: Geopoetika [orig. Aydin 1984: Une chanson populaire a la fois en turquie et en Yougoslavie. In: Vranjska Gimnazija 1881–1981. Miloš 1933a: Pisma iz Vranja [Letters from Vranje]. In: Misao XLII. Vranje: Vranjske. In: Misao XLII. Belgrade: Agena. Dejvid E. Malešević. In: Makedonski folklor 34: 181–188. Stari dani / Božji ljudi. London: Penguin (Routledge 1978). 2003: Orientalism.

Sanja 2007: The Roma of Vranje: Kurban with Five Faces. Belgrade.). Belgrade. Belgrade: Prosveta. 17 November 2002. Slobodna reč. This is the period between 1878 and 1910. 4. 1910) is held to be a masterpiece of Serbian literature and the beginning of modernism. 21 July 1936. The literary work of Bora Stanković plays a key role in the story the people of Vranje tell about themselves. p. New criticism places him among the forefathers of modern Serbian literature. Vranje. in the clash between old and new values. Zlatanović. In: Filozofija i društvo XVIII (Belgrade) 73–110. Petko Hristov (eds. travel or literary. 10. Živković. whether historical. Kurban in the Balkans. in 1952). no. His novel Nečista krv (Tainted Blood. here I touch upon the relation between ethnic and local or regional identity. images and symbols connected with the work of Bora Stanković become the Vranje “brand”. 39–50 (first publ. at a time of a pragmatic understanding of identity and commercialized nostalgia. . respectable merchant families came to ruin. 268. special editions 98: 51–87. Sanja 2003: Svadba – priča o identitetu: Vranje i okolina [The wedding – a story of identity: Vranje and its surroundings]. The paper also analyses the way in which. and the manner in which they determine their identity. both in its endogenous and exogenous features. Vranje was part of the Ottoman Empire. issue 2110. The Vranje identity is made up of contradictory elements. 7. Belgrade (Posebna izdanja Etnografskog instituta SANU. 47). Politikin Magazin. In: Biljana Sikimić. clashing in the harsh contrast portrayed in the works of Bora Stanković (Vranje 1876 – Belgrade 1927). self-identification and identification by others. Literary criticism mainly identifies his work as realism or even leaning towards naturalism. part I. After 1878. Abstract Virtually all descriptions of the south Serbian town of Vranje. accentuate the tumultuous past that it owes to its position on a crossroads of major routes and cultures. which are interconnected and interdependent. self-orientalising. 1 August 1997. Marko 2001: Nešto između: simbolička geografija Srbije [Something in between: the symbolic geography of Serbia]. when old ways of life were replaced by new ones. p. Until 1878. The paper analyses the processes of orientalising. Belgrade: Institute for Balkan Studies SASA.166 Sanja Zlatanović na dela Borisava Stankovića. p. Newspapers Vreme. Zlatanović.

 issue: 12 / 2008. Western Macedonia (FYROM) «The Construction of Identity in a Multiethnic Community: A Case Study on the Torbeši of Centar Župa Commune. pages: 167­  The Construction of Identity in a Multiethnic Community: A Case Study on the Torbeši of Centar Župa Commune. Western Macedonia (FYROM)» by Karolina Bielenin­Lenczowska Source: Ethnologia Balkanica (Ethnologia Balkanica). on www.ceeol. .

1 as well as citizenship. territory. Therefore. or after the Ohrid Framework Agreement of 13 August 2001. 2 In Macedonia. Warsaw In numerous anthropological theories regarding ethnicity. that is. religion and language. customs. these indicators are more or less highlighted depending on circumstances and needs (see e. Thus. age. religious affiliation is the factor of utmost importance. According to Thomas Hylland Eriksen. there are several different criteria for ethnicity that are not universal and vary according to the group. 1 . and profession. the basic indicators which are typically used both for self-identification and designation of others to a particular group are kinship. the term “ethnicity” will be used as an etic category. even the official term “community” (zaednica) are applied. of the four groups “two are defined in relation to religion (Hindus and Muslims). that they treat themselves first as Muslims. I will argue that in the case of the Torbeši. and Muslims are Albanians who speak Albanian. since Macedonia is a multiethnic society. he writes. g. Western Macedonia (FYROM) Karolina Bielenin-Lenczowska. or even stereotypes. social position. and that it prevails over ethnic2 affiliation. In some situations there are also other factors. territory. concerned with our respondents’ statements about belonging to a certain religious or ethnic group. national affiliation. Nash 1989: 10–14). religious and ethnic affiliations. In the Republic of Macedonia one can find certain ready-made categories. that characterize people according to their religion. at times more important than the above-mentioned. one in relation to geographic origin (Chinese). and one is a residual category containing people with their origins in France. there are numerous It is important to note that the term “identity” is an etic (scientific) category. while “affiliation” is an emic one. and language. Orthodox are usually regarded as Macedonians who speak Macedonian or Serbs who speak Serbian. and only then as Macedonians. However. for example gender. Africa and/or Madagascar (general population)” (Eriksen 1993: 34). the term “ethnic group” (etnička grupa) is not in use. In Mauritius. Instead. In this paper. in the further text. I will treat national identity as a collective identity defined by language. Turks who speak Turkish and Gypsies/Roma who speak Romani. narod). nationality.Ethnologia Balkanica 12 (2008) The Construction of Identity in a Multiethnic Community: A Case Study on the Torbeši of Centar Župa Commune. and the term “nationality” as an emic category. the terms “nationality” (nacionalnost) and “nation” (nacija.

I am a Muslim but first of all my identity is this or that. – Well. from social categorization. marriages between Muslims of different ethnicity are not considered mixed marriages at all. this statement was first published immediately before the census of 1991. language. Even those who say that they are Macedonians and at the same time Turks or Muslims. people usually have only one ethnic identity. above all. my informants answered either that they have or do not have Christians in the family. As one of my interviewees says: What do you mean: nationality (nacionalnost)? You mean faith? Or nation (nacija)? – I mean nation. writes that. confession. the question of identity concerns. a process of conferring an identity on individuals or groups by third persons or institutions (Lubaś 2007: 174).’ I think we should defend the same position” (Oran 1994). religion is obviously the most important differentiating factor. or Turkish.Access via CEEOL NL Germany 168 Karolina Bielenin-Lenczowska examples of multiethnic families in which identity is being negotiated in each particular situation. the most important indicator is nationality. Whenever I asked about intermarriage. but also by Macedonians and Turks. It is noteworthy that according to my fieldwork in the Republic of Macedonia. and do not assume double or multiple identity (see Melchior 2004: 406 and her classification of ethnic identities according to the situation). Furthermore. or Macedonian. since intermarriage between representatives of different ethnic groups are allowed as opposed to the marriages between different faiths. Nowadays. or as Macedonians whilst their mother tongue is Turkish. Baskin Oran. thus actively taking part in identity construction. or Albanian. a Turkish scholar. But there is another problem – mother tongue does not define nationality: there are people who declare themselves as Turks but do not speak Turkish. Moreover. among Macedonian Turks. He cites a statement placed in the Turkish newspaper Birlik: “… Our nationality is above everything. However. this region displays considerable flexibility and fluidity of the above-mentioned factors. the identity declared by a person is not always the same as that perceived by others. even in ethnically mixed families: one is either Torbeš. or ethnicity and religion. in which the individuals or social groups themselves attribute definite social or cultural features to themselves. separate ethnicity and citizenship. I’m Turkish … However. The object of this paper is to analyse the way in which the identity of the Macedonian Muslims – Torbeši. Thus. The region where I conducted my fieldwork was the Macedonian-Albanian borderland. or Macedonian Muslim. we have to distinguish self-identification. living in the Centar Župa commune (opština . Most probably this is connected with the fear of being regarded as Albanian. inhabited mostly by Albanians. Therefore. for example. Individuals from other nationalities say: ‘Well. since a large majority of people in the commune studied are Muslim. territory and ethnicity are secondary differentiators.

Interviews were both formal. villages and towns in western Macedonia are predominantly inhabited by Albanians. Most of them are Muslims. although there are some Macedonian Orthodox communities as well. with whom I worked in the Republic of Macedonia. return home. with local officials. Muslims either stayed in the villages of western Macedonia or migrated abroad (see analysis about the Struga region by Hausmaninger 2005). and informal. Dominik Derlicki. is Centar Župa. 4 The official name of both. and August 2007. Contact with women was very limited in Centar Župa as they hardly appeared in the public sphere – which was especially the case with young girls. while every August the population increases to two thousand. Centar Župa and the region of Western Macedonia Centar Župa (also known as Debarska Župa)4 is a commune5 in western Macedonia. our host or the head teacher of a local school). Some explanations of “who a Torbeš is” vary according to the speaker. My conclusions are based upon fieldwork conducted in September 2006. I did. the municipality and the main village. however. in the region of western Macedonia. August is the month when pečalbari. Today. after which they migrated to Skopje or other Macedonian cities. manage to conduct informal interviews with a few Torbeši women in Broštica village. involving spontaneous conversations that were not recorded or written down afterwards. Conversely. The fieldwork methods we were using included interviews and participant observation. grant number: N10901532/0635) as well as by the Foundation for Polish Science (a scholarship “start” for young scholars). predomi My research was supported by the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education (a grant from the Department of Scientific Research “Macedonians and Albanians – a neighbourhood in the face of conflict”. is constructed according to the socio-political context as well as local determinants (such as the multiethnic neighbourhood. is has been inhabited mostly by Turks or by people who declare themselves as Turks. g. but no clear definition was given either by the Torbeši themselves. the merging of different languages and customs). At the same time. as work migrants are called. Župa has about eight hundred permanent residents.3 Part of the data was collected by my students. close to the town of Debar. Moreover. Aleksandra Foryś and Agnieszka Miłkowska. Recently. Our respondents were predominantly the above-mentioned officials and young men. 3 . or by others. in almost all villages in Centar Župa (as in other villages and towns of the Struga region and the whole of western Macedonia) Orthodox Christians lived up to the 1960s.The Construction of Identity in a Multiethnic Community 169 Centar Župa). carried out in accord with a standardized questionnaire (e. 5 Commune (opština) in this case is an administrative unit consisting of a group of villages. May 2007.

of whom there are: 5 226 Turks. Macedonian Muslims. Usually. this is linked to differing education. or mono-ethnic. Now whole families migrate. those who speak only Turkish (most women do not speak Macedonian at all). g. The official statistics presented above. Torbeši themselves are anything but unanimous in their self-identification. are not in accord with the real situation. Macedonian Muslims and Turks. People who declare themselves as Turks in some cases are. Broštica. live in so-called Upper Župa. He was at a Turkish school and I was at a Macedonian one. for example Centar Župa (Macedonian-Albanian-Turkish) and Balanci (Macedonian-Albanian). for example Torbeši. But for the last ten to fifteen years (especially after the dissolution of Yugoslavia) the model of migration has changed. Hence. they link up their identity with a territory. and emphasize their loyalty to the state. the notion of intermarriage used by my informants refers only to marriages between adherents of different confessions and not to those between different ethnic groups. . The reasons are the following: 1. Villages are either mixed. to which the villages of Novak. in Macedonia as a whole. Those who declare themselves to be Macedonians very often use the category of citizenship. Because of the multiethnic character of the population in Centar Župa. 3. Dolgaš. (Macedonian). According to the 2002 census. the husband usually being the first to go. pečalba was a male seasonal migration within the Balkan Peninsula (characteristic for the second half of the nineteenth century). Most men work in factories. e. However. there are 6 519 inhabitants in Centar Župa. As I mentioned above. The most important indicator is religion. in fact.170 Karolina Bielenin-Lenczowska nantly from Italy. Traditionally. However. and Islam is perceived as a Turkish religion (at least in this commune. For example: By nationality (po nacionalnost) I am Muslim. 2. I am Macedonian. Elevci and Breštani belong. different members of mixed families may declare a different affiliation. that is. Some declare their affiliation to the Macedonian nation. Našinski 6 This expression is used by my interlocutors. Women. Islam is associated with the Albanian nation). both those living in Macedonia and abroad. I am Macedonian because I live in Macedonia. since. as bricklayers or car mechanics. 814 Macedonians. Bajramovci and Mal Papradnik (Turkish). and to Europe and America (from the beginning of the twentieth century) (Hristov 2003). there are intermarriages between Albanians. “True Turks”6. but my brother claims he is Turkish. however. while bringing his wife and children afterwards. For example: I have a Turkish mother and a Macedonian father. while others consider themselves to be members of an autonomous group. and 454 Albanians. usually do not work. Mal Papradnik is inhabited predominantly by Turks who do not speak Turkish or for whom Turkish is not their mother tongue. that is.

which is especially pejorative and relates strongly to Turkish nationality. The name Torbeši is used to describe all Islamized Macedonians in the Republic of Macedonia. Brunnbauer 1999: 38–39). in Novak or Kodžadžik. because he is Muslim. – But he speaks Macedonian.The Construction of Identity in a Multiethnic Community 171 or Muslim. the term Torbeši is quite often perceived as pejorative as well. As they are above all religious groups. but this ethnonym originally referred only to those from the areas of Debar and Reka. On the other hand. Others consider their origin to be Turkish. Because of its etymology. The situation between Pomaks and Torbeši is comparable to some extent. According to some nonTorbeši informants. the term Našinci or Našinski (derived from naš “our”) is sometimes used and. they are named Macedonian Muslims (or Macedonian-speaking Muslims). from Broštica) as “Torbeši” and not as “true Turks”. refer to Slavic-speaking Muslims. in official discourse. such as easier access to a career in the administration. Turks live in Upper Župa. if he had admitted that he was Turkish. All of these names. Pomaks consider themselves to be Bulgarians (since they speak Bulgarian) or Turkish (since they are Muslim). seen only in literature – flour): they are said to have sold their Christian faith to the Turks. For example: He is Turkish. For example: They are not Turks. g. or just Pomaks (Ahrjani) (cf. another relates it to certain employees of the Turkish army and candidates for “janissary” who carried bags (torbi in Macedonian. he could not have become a policeman. and from the northwest part of Macedonia (Svetieva 2003: 51). – But he claims that he is Macedonian. the most popular etymology is connected with religious identity and describes the Torbeši as those “who sold themselves for a sack of cheese” (or. Yet another explanation given to us by our informants was that the Torbeši were hard workers who could easily adapt to new situations. At this point. However. in another version. – Well. those who consider themselves as “Turks who forgot their mother tongue” are perceived by other Macedonian Muslims (e. Along with the name Torbeši. There are several theories about the origin of this term: the “scientific” one links Torbeši with the Old Slavic tribe name “Torbachei”. Poturk. – He is Turkish. The terms Pomaks and Gorans are also used. There is also one term. yet another links it to the Persian word “Torbeš” which indicated a travelling salesman who sold halva and oriental drinks. Torba Oglanlari / Torba Asemileri in Turkish). however. especially when it comes to ethnic identity. There is also a hypothesis that the name is connected with the religious Bogomil movement since Bogomil missionaries (kutugeri) carried bags. national identity is connected either with confession or with language. Those from Župa are in fact Macedonian Muslims – they only pretend to be Turks. a key term needs to be clarified. Torbeši are in fact Turks who declare themselves to be Macedonians only to obtain privileges. This explanation was given by . but these in fact refer to Muslims living in Bulgaria and in the borderland of Macedonia and Kosovo respectively.

The vast majority declare their “Macedonianness” through their use of the Macedonian language and observance of traditional cultural traits regarded as indigenous to Macedonia. Since 1945. regardless of religious affiliation (Friedman 1993: 88). If Turks. than other Macedonians. those living in the village of Broštica and. Moreover. In Centar Župa. the Macedonian Commission of Education stated that only Macedonian was to be taught in villages where the population was Macedonian speaking. since they still practise the traditional way of life. For example: You know. In Broštica. that is more authentic. go on pilgrimages to Orthodox holy places and sleep in monasteries. because it was better for them. Those Macedonian Muslims emphasize the purity of their language and indicate that it is even better than the Macedonian spoken in the capital. although Muslims do not have their own mosque (the old one is a . When Turks came. from the central and southwestern parts of the country. Muslim. Most people in this region do not like using the term “Torbeši”. in other words. the Torbeši have been allowed schooling in the Macedonian language. The first meeting of the Torbeši cultural organization. I cannot speak any Turkish. The attachment of the Torbeši to such important aspects of Macedonian culture as Orthodox sacred places. and by non-Torbeši in a negative one. the literary Macedonian language is based on the PrilepBitola dialect group. they are Macedonians. they speak the Macedonian language in a variant very close to the literary language. tradition and state. they financially support monasteries. set up in 1970. On 8 May 2007. they could very easily change their values in order to benefit themselves. such as monasteries and churches. in some cases. This is obvious from a statement made by an old man from Bajramovci: I am Macedonian. they changed their religion immediately. because they do not consider themselves any different from other Macedonians. they are Turks. I met a professor from Skopje who told me that she was very ashamed when an elderly lady from one Torbeš village corrected her Macedonian! In fact. Although the Torbeši are Muslims and do not worship in Orthodox churches. people from other villages (those who do not speak Turkish) consider themselves Macedonians. Although Torbeši are of Muslim faith. if they need to be Macedonians. emphasize Macedonian as their mother tongue and a strong affiliation to Macedonian culture. is of particular interest. was held at the Monastery of Saint Jovan Bigorski in western Macedonia (Poulton 2001: 115). they claim to be better. This is done for several reasons. Torbeši as Macedonians Torbeši who consider themselves Macedonians.172 Karolina Bielenin-Lenczowska Torbeši in a positive light.

for example Gorenci or Dolno Melničani. but not in the same way as mosques. at Easter. for example Hasan-Bogdan or Mustafa-Nikola. that is the situation in which people officially changed faith. There are some villages in Centar Župa that are perceived by neighbours (and in some cases by the inhabitants themselves) as “Torbeš”. now inhabited by one family) claimed that. light candles and take their babies for healing. all this is more noticeable in mixed regions. More than in Centar Župa. the main reason for religious conversion was economic. my mother was as well. who both baptized their children and circumcised them. such as Dolno and Gorno Kosovrasti. Therefore. an Orthodox woman from Melničani (the only Christian village. The history of Islamization shows that so-called “bi-confession” was widespread. Muslims in the Ottoman Empire enjoyed political privileges and did not pay high taxes to the authorities. As numerous historians have claimed. religious conversion was only superficial. there are Orthodox people who admit that they observe both Christmas and Bayram. a kind of syncretistic Islam arose that included a lot of non-Islamic elements such as the cult of saints and the crucifix. Rostuše and Lazaropole. speak Macedonian as their . Also. because of these practices. That is why there were a lot of people with two names. Muslims consider Orthodox churches to be holy places (e. In fact.The Construction of Identity in a Multiethnic Community 173 ruin. and the new one is still under construction). even though no Orthodox Christians live in Kosovrasti. they are renovating an old Orthodox church – with the support of the Orthodox population whose ancestors lived in the village. there were Muslim and Christian parts (Rusić 1957). These are Broštica in the Centar Župa commune and neighbouring villages of the Reka region. they visit Orthodox churches. in many situations. in some villages. a lot of elderly people remember bi-confessional neighbourhoods and recall the life of mutual respect and peaceful coexistence in them. visiting churches and monasteries. it is a widespread practice. Basil). People from those villages declare themselves to be Macedonian Muslims. as well as exchange coloured eggs at Easter with their Muslim neighbours. Also. but still practised their former religion. but when it comes to churches. Albanians go to church and take consecrated water: They give it to children and drink it before work. got married in churches and so on (Matkovski 1971: 164). keeping icons in homes and observing both Christian and Islamic feasts and holidays. Also. George’s Day) and Vasilica (the Day of St. I was in a monastery of Saint Jovan Bigorski maybe ten times. where the population is almost exclusively Muslim. No one ever mentioned using a mosque for such healing purposes. in almost every village of the Župa commune. it is the house of God ). For instance. such as Gjurgjovden (St. the inhabitants of this village still observe some Christian holidays. As a result. g. However. such as Debar. until the 1960s or even 1970s. It is a normal thing to do.

our nation (nacija) is Macedonia. Nevertheless. In Macedonian official discourse. First names are typically Muslim: Ismet. the path full of sacrifices for the Muslim population of Slavic origin in the territory of Macedonia. in numerous publications about Torbeši the term Islamized Macedonians is used (Svetieva 2003). We are Muslims. in his writings understood Macedonianness through language. whose name is explained as related to “pain. its official line was: “Torbeš are local people. since they are aware of the negative popular etymology of this word. Ulf Brunnbauer writes that in order “to be able to declare that the Pomaks were Bulgarians and to cope with the fact that they believed in Allah – the god of the former oppressors! – a history of forced Islamisation was invented” (Brunnbauer 1999: 41). măka). in 1958 a book was published “On the Past of the Bulgarian Mohammedans in the Rhodopes” in which one of the chapters was devoted to “the enforced Islamisation of the Rhodope Bulgarians”. They do not want to use the name “Torbeši”. an additional feature that had not deeply changed the social and spiritual life of the Macedonian Muslims. However. And indeed. Bajramovski. customs. the end of which will be the recognition of the Macedonianness of this 7 Traditional dress worn only by women. Islam was. but the Ottomans converted them forcefully. Nijazi Limanoski. Analysing the narratives about the origin of the Pomaks. Moreover. Fata. Nijazi Limanoski. A similar situation applies to the Pomaks. the Macedonian state recognizes Torbeši as Macedonians. After all. . and regard the chairman. origin. attachment to “Macedonianness” very often assumes loyalty towards the state and is not related to ethnicity. they are Macedonians. They stress that their surnames differentiate them from Turks: they are Turkish names with the Macedonian morpheme -ski. and? What is the problem? We have to separate religion from nationality. and folklore common to all Macedonians. The above-mentioned ethnologist and Macedonian Muslim. some of them do not consider themselves to be a different group from Macedonians. as in Ramadanovski. in his opinion. differ from their neighbours in wearing characteristic dress7 and have a strong attachment to traditional customs. Ismailovski. as I noted above. torture” (bulg. Torbeši themselves do not agree with this statement.” Of course. People from Kosovrasti as well as Broštica emphasize that they have the most beautiful weddings and that they are the best of dancers. as a traitor (Oran 1994). As one of my informants from Broštica said: We are Macedonians. Amir. we speak Macedonian and we are loyal to our motherland.174 Karolina Bielenin-Lenczowska mother tongue. Razija. opinion about forced Islamization is widespread – after all. when the state established an organization under the name “The Culture and Science Centre of Macedonian Muslims”. Islamization and isolation of Torbeši from the rest of the Macedonian nation is described as the beginning of a heroic path.

depending on the political context. with the recognition of Albanian as one of the official languages of the Republic of Macedonia. we cannot relate those names with the modern notion of nationality). their vote in demanding minority rights becomes stronger. there is an extremely pejorative attitude towards Albanians linked especially with the conflict of 2001. Islam in Macedonia is predominantly associated with Albanians. and with regard to the Albanian nation having the same status as the Macedonian one. and as Macedonian-speaking Muslims 8 In 2001 an armed conflict between Macedonian security forces and the Albanian National Liberation Army (UÇK) took place in North-western Macedonia (mainly in Tetovo). Such appropriation of Torbeši is a purely political act – if Turks or Albanians can prove that they are more numerous. Nowadays. Also. Moreover. Under the Ottoman Empire. and representatives in Islamic organizations. Both the Torbeši and the Turks complain that they have been assimilated by the Albanian majority via the Albanian language used in worship in mosques. only some Macedonian Muslims agree with Limanoski.8 Numerous scholars drew upon examples of this process of Albanicization. it was only in the late 1970s that a more serious and coordinated attempt to integrate Muslims into the Macedonian majority was undertaken and an organization of Macedonian Muslims was established with the support of the Macedonian branch of the Yugoslav League of Communists who wanted to diminish the influence of the Albanians in western Macedonia.The Construction of Identity in a Multiethnic Community 175 population by the rest of the Macedonian nation (Lubaś 2007: 174). Therefore. As Victor Friedman writes: “In recent years many formerly Macedonian Muslim villages have become Albanian-speaking as Albanian Muslims fleeing violence and oppression in Kosovo have settled in villages vacated by Macedonian Muslims who emigrated to Turkey. Albanian hojas. The millet system segregated the population into Muslims and non-Muslims: all Muslims were considered “Turks” and all Orthodox Christians “Greeks” (certainly. they can be regarded either as Turks or as Albanians. It was concerned with the rights of the Albanian community. then (in the 1950s and 1960s) they were encouraged to adopt the Macedonian national identity. etc. The conflict was terminated with the signing of the Ohrid Framework Agreement on 13 August 2001. and certain gender differentiations bring the Torbeši closer to these Muslim minorities. Torbeši as Turks Religion associates the Torbeši with Turks and Albanians. . rituals. The others do not want to diminish the role of Islam in their collective identity. However. above all with access to public higher education in the Albanian language. religion was the only important factor defining identity. During the time of socialist Macedonia they were first treated as ethnic Turks. customs. Nowadays.

they came from Turkey. methods such as education in the Albanian language. I’m not Albanian. for sure. – So. Yes. They are all … How can they say that they are not Albanians? Everyone here has a mother from Debar [the nearest town inhabited predominantly by Albanians] or from Albania. Those [from Lower Župa] are not Turkish. even in this example: What is your nationality? – Turkish. Then. Nevertheless. – Do you have any Macedonians or Albanians in your family? – Yes. sent an open letter to the Chairman of the PDP on the subject of a “quiet assimilation”. there are Albanians who claim that the Torbeši are in fact Albanian. – Do you speak Albanian? – Yes. Kodžadžik. He accused this party of abusing religion for political ends through attempted “Kosovoisation” and “Albanicisation” of western Macedonia (Poulton 2001: 115). A striking example is Горно Врановци (Gorno Vranovci). The Macedonian state did not take any action to change these names back to Macedonian. which was a Macedonian Muslim village when Нова Македонија9 was first published there in 1944. The only village in the Centar Župa commune where people con- 9 Nova Makedonija (New Macedonia) – the oldest daily newspaper in Macedonia. In 1990 Riza Memedovski. Aneta Svetieva writes that the Albanicization of the Torbeši began before the Balkan Wars and First World War and she connects it to Bulgarian and Serbian propaganda. but which is now Albanian” (Friedman 1993: 89). my mother is Albanian. How can they say they are Turkish? Those from Upper Župa. . Svetieva considers it the sign of vitality of an old formula “An Albanian equals a Muslim and vice versa” and the absence of negative attitude regarding Torbeši’s ethnic background (Svetieva 2003: 53). So. – And Turkish? – A bit. during the occupation of western Macedonia by Italy (in fact – by Albania) during the Second World War. I did not hear one statement admitting Albanian nationality. An activity of the predominantly Albanian Party for Democratic Prosperity of Macedonia (PDP – Partijata za demokratski prosperitet) resulted in numerous declarations of Torbeši as Albanians. However. Elevci or Breštani are really Turks.176 Karolina Bielenin-Lenczowska have shifted to Albanian when the religious factor dominates the linguistic factor in ethnic identity. – How do you communicate at home? – In Macedonian. the use of non-verbal ethnic symbols as the indispensable white hat (keche) for men or the change of names and surnames to Albanian ones were introduced. The Torbeši from Centar Župa highlight either their Macedonianness or Turkishness and make every effort to avoid being associated with Albanians. e. maybe you are Albanian? – No. As one informant said: I’m Macedonian. g. but I have the Turkish faith. maybe I’m Turkish as well. The same situation prevails in other localities in western Macedonia. from Novak. Chairman of the Torbeši organization.

asserted that many Turks in Macedonia had been Albanized under pressure. Sometimes. Or: Are you Macedonian or Turkish? – I’m Turkish. they are not true Turks. The number of “Turks who forgot their Turkish mother tongue” is considerable in the villages of Centar Župa. worried about the rise of Albanian nationalism. for several years. and Mal Papradnik. In 2002 in the primary school “Moša Pijade” in Centar Župa. True Albanians live in Debar. rejoining the Albanian mother nation (Poulton 2001: 118). In turn. the census in 1981 depicted numerous declarations as Muslims. In this school year (2007/08). Golem Papradnik. Such situation refers also to the Pomaks. they reject the statement that they were Islamized by force. deny that “true” Albanians live in Balanci – They are Macedonian Muslims. Following this line of argument. Since from 1953 to 1966 many Muslims migrated to Turkey. who had previously lived in the vicinity of the present village of Balanci. They only pretend to be Albanians. your mother tongue is Turkish? – No.The Construction of Identity in a Multiethnic Community 177 sider themselves to be Albanian is Balanci (although most here are from ethnically mixed families).10 The Torbeši sometimes derive their descent from the Turks who came to Macedonia before the Ottomans (Oran 1994). E. who currently have rejected their Bulgarian background and consider themselves as either Turks or Pomaks. Albanians explain that those people who declare themselves as Turks are in fact “Illyrians turned into Turks” who were now “returning to their flock”. only several children were enrolled in the Macedonian class. However. It is worth mentioning that people from Broštica. g. Albanians or Roma. the number of children who are educated in Turkish in Centar Župa has been increasing. We are Turks who forgot our language. that is. since they do not speak Turkish and they take no part in Turkish cultural events. in Tetovo. – So. 10 . According to people from other villages. after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire they were required to learn Macedonian and no longer used their mother tongue. There is a similar situation regarding “Albanians who forgot the Albanian language” in different parts of the region of western Macedonia – they declare themselves as Albanians only because of the association of Islam with Albanian ethnicity. because I’m Muslim. Macedonian. The Yugoslav authorities. Hence. as we are. Turkish was introduced as the third official language of instruction – alongside Macedonian and Albanian. parents here send one of their children to a Turkish class and another to a Macedonian one (see the statement above about differences in national declaration in an ethnically mixed family).

Torbeši as a group in-between Thomas H. It is claimed that PDP politicians convinced the Torbeši that their religious affiliation was stronger than their ethnicity. regardless of ethnicity (Bosanac. a lot of Macedonian Muslims from western Macedonia vote for the Albanian PDP party. Thus. the religious identity is more important than ethnicity. Moreover. for example I am Muslim. in plural: Bošnjaci). The latter meaning was introduced by President Josip Broz Tito for the Slavs that were practising Islam. but the strategy is precisely the same (here an activity of the Democratic Party of Turks in Macedonia – DPTM – Demokratskata Partija na Turcite vo Makedonija). The latter term is sometimes noted in official discourse in Macedonia. Therefore. not as Muslims (Friedman 1993: 89). Their actual group membership may be open to situational negotiations. It was created in order to single out citizens of Bosnia. and Muslims who are neither Turks nor Albanians (Bošnjak. or the group may form a separate ethnic category” (Eriksen 1993: 156. for almost every one of these people. This was done in order to reduce the number of Macedonians in the censuses. Nowadays in other republics of former Yugoslavia the term Bošnjak is also used. that they declare themselves as predominantly Muslim (as a nationality) rather than Macedonian. Eriksen writes that there “are some groups or individuals who are ‘betwixt and between’. The group of Muslims by nationality is the smallest one in Centar Župa and to identify them is almost impossible since. see also Melchior 2004: 406 who names this kind of identity as “an identity of third way”). in plural: Bosanci). that is. who are neither X nor Y and yet a bit of both. as I noted above. In Centar Župa. Since religion is an indicator of utmost importance. especially in Bosnia-Hercegovina and Sandžak.178 Karolina Bielenin-Lenczowska Torbeši as Muslims In the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia the term Muslim acquired two meanings: religious and ethnic. – And what is your nationality? – Nationality? Turkish. Muslims were recognized as a “nationality” (narodnost) and in 1971 as a “nation” (narod) (Bringa 1995: 27). people who are Macedonian but not Orthodox (the same situation . As I mentioned above. Albanicization is not as prevalent as was Turkicization. it may be ascribed by a dominant group. Albanians are registered as Albanians. most of my interviewees claimed that they are Muslims and only after that they would use one of the nationality categories. but it was not mentioned by any of my informants. we are Turks here. In 1961. I have heard statements such as: By nationality I am Muslim or I am Muslim by nationality because my religion is Islam.

culture. or who just forgot their Turkish. no clear definition is given either by the Torbeši themselves. or their Turkishness. we have only Muslims: Turks. or – more frequently in Centar Župa – as Turks. Albanian Orthodox) could be perceived as liminal. Torbeši are found to be very flexible and their declarations to depend on their needs. Torbeši themselves. the term “Muslim” is ambiguous. This fact again connects Macedonian Torbeši with Bulgarian Pomaks. and are constantly being renegotiated according to the context. used the name “Macedonian” only for Orthodox Christians. It is more comprehensible to recognize them either as Albanians or as Turks due to certain socio-political gains and not to introduce obscure categories. and state. Furthermore. Thus. combining in their culture close (language) and alien (Islam) traits (Lubaś 2007: 173). Albanians we do not have. The only certainty is that Torbeši (at least in Centar Župa) do not consider themselves to be Albanians. Thus. – Do you have Macedonians in your family? – No. but not as Macedonians. Muslims constitute a classification problem for their neighbours. because of their shared confession. Neighbours. but not Macedonian.The Construction of Identity in a Multiethnic Community 179 occurs with the so-called Škreti. g. are redefined. Turks or Albanians. Albanians consider the Torbeši to be Albanian or Turkish. the Torbeši are perceived either as Albanians. In turn. However. name them “Našinci” (derived from naš “our”) or use the term “Torbeši” that is pejorative in most cases. or by their neighbours. Torbeši themselves emphasize either their attachment to the Macedonian language. while she defined Macedonian Muslims as “Našinski”. in-between. Turks perceive the Torbeši as Turks who declare themselves Macedonian in order to obtain certain benefits. For instance. because of their religion. this is an external category introduced by anthropologists. Certainly. Since religion is the most important differentiator. since they do not consider Muslims to be Macedonians. a very isolated Turkish village in upper Župa. In the region analysed. a Turkish lady from Novak. Both groups. E. empha- . in some pejorative stereotypes. since Orthodox Christianity is an important component of national identity both for Macedonians and Bulgarians. as I mentioned above. But we have a godfather who is Macedonian from Skopje. do not want to accept the Macedonianness of the Torbeši. the Torbeši do not consider themselves as an in-between group. Conclusion The Torbeši example confirms the fluidity of the categories that make up identity – it shows how they change. in conversation. Therefore. in Macedonia as a whole. it is starting to become synonymous with “Albanian”. as they are more a religious than an ethnic group. Našinski. Moreover. Orthodox becomes a synonym of “Macedonian”. however. in turn. it replaces ethnicity.

URL: http://www. Matkovski. In: Makedonci Muslimani [Macedonian Muslims]. Analiza doświadczenia biograficznego [Holocaust and identity. Aleksandar 1971: Islamizacijata kako metod na pacifikacija na Debarskiot kraj [Islamization as a method of pacification of the Debar region]. Eriksen.sant. London: University of Chicago Press. Poznań-Warsaw. 223–235. An analysis of biographical experience]. Polish Jews survived “on Aryan documents”. Ulf 1999: Diverging (Hi-)Stories: The Contested Identity of the Bulgarian Pomaks. Sujecka et al. In: Ethnologia Balkanica 3: 35–50. Warsaw: Wydawnictwo IFiS PAN. Victor 1993: Language Policy and Language Behavior in Macedonia: Background and Current Events. Literature Bringa. Melchior. and probably most importantly. New York: Lang. however. Identity and Community in a Central Bosnian Village. Lubaś. Language Contact – Language Conflict. Petko 2003: Gurbetčijstvo/pečalbarstvo v centralna čast na balkanite kato transgraničen obmen [Gurbetčijstvo/pečalbarstvo in the central part of the Balkans as a transborder exchange]. New Jersey: Princeton UP. Christina Kramer (eds. a topic that should be analysed more closely in future research.. dreaming here: emigration processes in the beginning of 21th century]. Nash. This is. the changing of national declaration results from the fact that each ethnic community in the Republic of Macedonia wants to incorporate the Torbeši in order to increase their own number. Tone 1995: Being Muslim the Bosnian Way.180 Karolina Bielenin-Lenczowska size their attachment to Islam. In: Sprawy Narodowościowe [National Affairs]. Anna 2005: The Constructions of Identities in a Trans-Local Context: Inter-Ethnic Relations in a Macedonian Village during Socialism and Transition. Sofia. Polscy Żydzi ocaleni “na aryjskich papierach”. Hristov. Manning 1989: The Cauldron of Ethnicity in the Modern Brunnbauer. and in their collective identity the religious rather than ethnic factor prevails. .). 73–106. Małgorzata 2004: Zagłada a tożsamość. Friedman. Albanians or Turks. da se sanuvaš tuk. Chicago. Thomas Hylland 1993: Ethnicity and Nationalism: Anthropological Perspectives. Special issue ed. Emigracionni procesi v načaloto na XXI vek [Living there. by J. Finally. London: Pluto Press. Skopje. 37–59. Hausmaninger. In: Eran Fraenkel. Marcin 2007: Nijazija Limanoski and the Disputes on the National Identity of Macedonian Speaking Muslims.ox. be it Macedonians. In: Da živeeš

pdf. Basingstoke: Rusić. Macedonia and Kosovo. while some derive their origin from the Turks.The Construction of Identity in a Multiethnic Community 181 Oran. Aneta 2003: Politicization of the Ethnic Identity of the Torbesh (the “Nashinci”). In: Pettifer James (ed. URL http://www. Bulgaria. depending on the political context. therefore. In part they declare their affiliation to the Macedonian nation.pmf. declare their “Macedonianness” by their use of the Macedonian language. The Torbeši themselves are not unanimous in their self-identification. Svetieva. western Macedonia. Branislav 1957: Župa debarska. 107–123. Poulton.ukim. and their visits to Orthodox holy places. mk/EAZ/EAZ_03/EAZ_2004_PDF/EAZ_2003_Ponizeni_Balkan_Ang.iea. The majority. Abstract The subject of this paper is the analysis of the way in which the identity of the Torbeši. however. they are regarded by others either as Turks or Albanians. The example of this in-between group suggests a certain fluidity in the categorization of identity: the manner in which identity change has been redefined and is constantly being renegotiated within particular contexts. Hugh 2001: Non-Albanian Muslim Minorities. The New Macedonian Question. Baskin 1994: Religious and National Identity among the Balkan Muslims: A Comparative Study on Greece. is constructed depending both on the socio-political context and local determinants such as the multiethnic surroundings. their practice of many traditional elements of culture regarded as indigenously Macedonian. URL: http://www.). in part they consider themselves as autonomous ethnic group. . Religion associates Torbeši with Turks and In: EthnoAnthropoZoom. Skopje: Filozofski fakultet na univerzitetot. living in the Centar Župa commune.

 1990–2000 «Identity of the Nation(s). issue: 12 / 2008.ceeol. Identity of the State: Politics and Ethnicity in the Republic of Identity of the State: Politics and Ethnicity in the Republic of Macedonia. pages: 183­213.  Identity of the Nation(s). . on www. 1990–2000» by Nevena Dimova Source: Ethnologia Balkanica (Ethnologia Balkanica).

My analysis is based on interviews conducted in 1999 and 2000 with Albanian and Macedonian elites who actively participated not only in public debates. from its split from Yugoslavia in 1991 to the armed clashes between Albanian paramilitary organizations and the Macedonian police and army in 2001. primitive. through which they reinforce images of modern vs. 1990–2000 Nevena Dimova. and about each other. it nevertheless reproduces modernist images: two national groups competing for their right to create their nation-states. I attempt to show how. although new language is used in the nationalist polemics in Macedonia. Identity of the State: Politics and Ethnicity in the Republic of Macedonia. speakers for different parties. Simultaneously. but who also were engaged in the political life of the country as deputies in parliament. Over a period of almost two years I have met formally and informally with these elites and with . Thus. Furthermore. I analyse the political debates and social commentaries put forward by Macedonian and Albanian political and intellectual elites about the current political events. progressive vs. In the polemics about the state and the populations residing on the territory of Macedonia. illegitimate to claim right to organize the state and deny that right to the other. and the period following the signing of the Ohrid Agreement of the same year. Sofia This paper follows the political developments in the Republic of Macedonia. and undermine those of their opponents. the relations between the two communities. Albanian and Macedonian elites incorporate the concepts of multiculturalism and civil society in modernist discourse. and even as ministers. It shows the debates and behaviours of political and intellectual elites and the general Albanian and Macedonian public in the Republic of Macedonia and how these practices have developed along a more or less straightforward line – that of continuous distancing between the two communities. backward and legitimate vs. In this discussion I follow the political events from 1990 to 2001. intellectual and political elites from both sides utilize the global concepts of civil society. in their social commentary of the current processes in Macedonia. multi-ethnicity and pluralism as discursive tools to put forward nationalist arguments. I argue that multiparty democracy has fortified the relations of distance between Macedonians and Albanians inherited from state socialism by opening space for new voices and new means to be engaged in the debates about the constitution of the Macedonian state.Ethnologia Balkanica 12 (2008) Identity of the Nation(s).

 e. Albanian television and radio programmes. newspaper columns. This put a hold to the nationalist aspirations of some Albanians to unite all Albanians in one state. literary language. cultural.Access via CEEOL NL Germany 184 Nevena Dimova some of them I have established more personal relations. there was an Albanian newspaper Flaka. With help from Belgrade. Kosovo. The establishment of standard literary Macedonian as the official language of the Republic of Macedonia in 1946 was a major contribution to the construction of a distinct Macedonian nationality (Friedman 1975. Clark 2000). The situation of the Albanians in new Yugoslavia was quite different. I have also read and analysed public statements. and publications produced by these individuals. By 1951 there were more than 200 Albanian schools in the Republic of Macedonia employing at least 600 teachers and working with more than 2 600 students. Tito pressed the ethnic Macedonians to include minorities. Albanians were permitted to display their national flag and federal economic assistance was increased. Albanian was recognized as an official language in Kosovo. as a nationality. Self-expression was seen as the right of all peoples of Yugoslavia to create social. Lazaroski 1974: 110). Additionally. this number expanded to 248 schools. while the rest of the Albanians remained in compact settlements in the Republic of Macedonia and Montenegro. where the majority of Albanians lived. history. at first all citizens were considered “Macedonians”. With the creation of the Macedonian Republic as one of the six constituent republics of Yugoslavia in 1946. The Constitution of 1974 allocated more power to local governments and stimulated ethnic and cultural “self-expression”. but not as a nation (narod) – the Albanian national “homeland” being outside of Yugoslavia (Rusinow 1977). Kosovo.. without regard to ethnos. The “Golden Age” of Albanians in Yugoslavia came with the new Yugoslav Constitution of 1974. In addition. especially Albanians in party and state government positions. Danforth 1995: 67). the citizens of the Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. In Macedonia. an idea which has proven to be very potent and vital up to the present moment. the Albanians enjoyed a number of cultural and educational rights (Poulton 1995: 125. Biberaj 2000: 224). was granted the status of an autonomous region within Serbia. After the Second World War Albanians were recognized as a nationality (narodnost) of Yugoslavia. Macedonians embarked on the path of building and confirming the Macedonian state and nation. i. was recognized as a “constituent element” of the federation and was granted wide administrative and cultural autonomy (Rusinow 1977. This was the materialization of Macedonian national aspirations and the endorsement of the Macedonian national project. with over 6 000 pupils (Kantardzhiev. and state infrastructures. 1985. Mertus 1999. In 1968 an Albanian language university was opened in Priština. Vickers 1995. religious or sports associations in . 2000. This was also the beginning of the creation of Macedonian national institutions. like Vojvodina. while by 1973. Yet.

mistrust. and to celebrate their own cultural heritage (Rusinow 1977). and Turkish populations in the villages of Prolog. because there was a long history of tension between the Macedonian majority and the Albanian minority. Thus. in Macedonia it has been decreasing since the early 1970s. around the areas of Tetovo and Gostivar (with mixed Albanian and Macedonian populations. Nikolai Botev studied the intermarriages in Yugoslavia between 1962 and 1989. but predominantly Albanian). while for their daughters. however. and in Macedonia in particular. Several studies capture the relations between the two groups. and increasing alienation. This was mirrored in the continuous relocation (migration and moving) towards ethnically homogeneous settlements. the barrier between cultural traditions was the least permeable in Macedonia. the actual picture of the relations between Albanians and Macedonians was one of segregation. Albanian. The state did not interfere in the ethnic configurations of state-sponsored cultural and sports activities and both Albanians and Macedonians chose to practice homogeneous socialization. and sports teams of Albanians consisted exclusively of Albanians. While in other republics the permeability of the barrier has increased and decreased through time. the percentages were even higher (Josifovski 1974). In Macedonia. shows that 95% of the Albanian and Macedonian and 84% of the Turkish heads of individual households would not let their sons marry a woman of different nationality.. as is the case with Bosnia and Herzegovina. e. Identity of the State 185 their respective languages. and this was for the most part also true for the Macedonian associations. a study published by the sociologist Ilija Josifovski on the Macedonian. as Brunnbauer has pointed out. As discussed. although the aim of the ‘brotherhood and unity’ ideology promoted by the communist authorities was to ameliorate the differences between the ethnic groups in Yugoslavia at large. i.Identity of the Nation(s). Wagner 1983). the cultural associations. The study also proved that mixed marriages between Macedonians on the one hand and Albanians and Turks on the other hand did not exist. Most importantly. finding that there was no upward trend in the proportion of mixed marriages (Botev. physical separation reflected the virtual lack of mixed marriages between the two communities. The parallel existence of the two communities spread to all levels of social life. the socialist policies of Yugoslavia and Macedonia impacted the specific familial and cultural traditions of the two communities in different ways (Brunnbauer 2004: 565). thus marginalizing the Albanians even further and adding to their establishment as a separate community (Brunnbauer 2004: 567). Botev states that there was a considerable regional variation in Yugoslavia in the percentage of mixed marriages. In addition. schools. these policies created significant differences in the reproductive and economic behaviours of the two communities. In their everyday life Albanians and Macedonians practised social distance. According to him. Up to the . and to stimulate interethnic tolerance. Supporting Botev’s argument.

As a result. For my Albanian informants one of the most humiliating state measures in Macedonia was the tearing down of traditional walls surrounding Albanian houses in Arachinovo. the tearing down of the walls of the Arachinovo houses was a deliberate act of humiliation. Traditional Albanian houses are surrounded by high brick walls. . while for Macedonians they are a symbol of backwardness. were reportedly fined for sending their children to private religious schools rather than to state schools (Perry 2000: 275). the Albanian national movement gained strength. At the personal level. which the authorities presumably in part associated with religion. The Macedonian authorities went after Albanian names and prohibited their usage for places and newborn children under the pretence that they were nationalist (Perry 2000). largely Albanian. Also. Josip Broz Tito. mostly since there was no mutual interaction. at times cooperating in agricultural activities. Tensions boiled over in 1988 with demonstrations by young Albanians in Kumanovo and Gostivar. the state forbade the instruction of the Quran to Muslims in schools. demanding that their rights be guaranteed as in the constitution of 1974 (Poulton 1995: 130. or socializing during the cities’ market days. aggression. Albanians experienced renewed repression. in an effort to prevent the growth of Albanian national consciousness. practise their own religions. Albanians and Macedonians lived in their own worlds. Both groups could develop culturally. Families with more than two children (most Albanian families) would have to pay for medical services for the extra children and possibly even suffer financial penalty. Macedonian and Albanian students were integrated and taught in Macedonian. and disrespect of their traditional and cultural distinctiveness. aiming at the reduction and control of the birth rate of Albanians. After the death of the Yugoslav president. which was actually harsher than in Kosovo.). Consequently. in 1987 the Macedonian government announced that instruction in secondary schools was to be carried out in Macedonian only. especially to children under the age of 15 (Poulton 1995: 331 f. some Albanians were imprisoned both in Kumanovo and Gostivar. In 1986 4 346 parents. Furthermore. In the eyes of my Albanian informants. which for Albanians have come to signify their traditional way of life. Biberaj 2000). In Macedonia. a village just outside of Skopje. in 1980 and with the new rotating state presidency system that succeeded him.186 Nevena Dimova late sixties and early seventies. and isolation of the Albanian community. Macedonian officials argued that this was due to the fact that there was a shortage of Albanian-speaking teachers. people from both communities maintained civil attitudes towards each other. closedness. the high birth rate was a matter of concern to the authorities and they introduced measures in 1988. Their cultural and social differences were emanated in the mutual willingness to socialize with one’s own people and more so to exclude the other from social interaction. and speak their own languages in federal Yugoslavia.

What was once peaceful co-existence. explained. was transformed into political competition and sometimes physical conflict.Identity of the Nation(s). in their homeland Macedonia. heroes. Identity of the State 187 During the same period. With the establishment of the independent Republic of Macedonia in 1991. the later policies of decentralization. although in two separate worlds. together with the collapse of the socialist Yugoslav economy. Scholars from both institutions. nationalist parties from both sides made ever more radical arguments in order to justify their concept of the nation-state. and identities became politicized and radicalized under the banner of Macedonian and Albanian nationalisms. The acquisition of a state for the Macedonians. This was accompanied by a process of continuos distancing between the two communities. as in the other parts of Yugoslavia. These images have influenced the relations between the two communities. where Albanians were defined as a minority. The state of forbearance prevalent throughout the existence of Yugoslavia seems to have worsened as the competition between Albanians and Macedonians over the right to define the state ethnically progressed during the 1990s. the Albanian politicians and general public demanded that the Albanians in Macedonia acquire the status of a second nation in the state building project. and the high unemployment rate in . boundaries. On the other hand. Macedonian language and cultural achievements were sponsored and promoted by the government and the media reinforced Macedonian nationhood. the Macedonian nation was seen as the sole bearer of statehood. The establishment of the Skopje University in 1956 and the Macedonian Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1968 marked the most important steps in the creation and realization of the Macedonian national program. who were either members of the socialist government or their advisers. launched a nationwide campaign for producing textbooks that created. By the late 1980s there were already two generations of Macedonians who had grown up with a Macedonian national identity in the new Macedonian state. Those ethnic markers. Group differences grew increasingly pronounced and articulated after the declaration of independence in 1991. ethno-national identifications were created and integrally tied to the organization of socialism. and promoted Macedonian national history. For the Macedonian politicians and general public. Macedonian national identity was growing and asserting itself. The creation of the socialist Macedonian state in 1946 radically altered the dynamics of local concepts of identity. In Macedonia. Eroding economic conditions as a result of the nearby wars in former Yugoslav republics. and culture. both communities and their political representatives put forward competing images of the new state and nation(s). national self-determination and self-expression created two distinct and fixed communities by routinizing the distinctions between Albanians and Macedonians. In the political scene. while the two populations diverged even further in their everyday life.

such as the formulation of the new constitutions of the former Yugoslav republics. anti-Gypsy. the . i. Kligman 1990). associated with the painful and unwanted reforms. after the system crumbled. Hann 1996. Hungary.. she attests that extreme nationalist rhetoric was used by individuals or groups of people who were privileged under socialism and who. Such nationalist rhetoric was often times also justified with “external” arguments by blaming the West. etc. In nearly every former block country. understood in its ethnic connotation. sought to retain power in the new political arena (Verdery 1996: 84–104). The “nation” in post-socialist politics After the fall of state socialism in Eastern Europe. nationalist rhetoric was used to oppose the newly emerging discourse of marketization and reform used by competing political subjects (Verdery 1996. the anti-Semitic discourse resurrected in Poland and Russia) to blame painful transformations on “the other within”. 1998. for imposing its will on Eastern Europe. Sampson 2002). living in other states (Hayden 1992: 654). anti-Semitic. In the early 1990s such nationalist organizations and individuals began to use “internal” arguments. rhetoric all over Eastern Europe (the anti-Gypsy rhetoric was most prominent in Romania. Slovakia. their opponents have appropriated the discourse of ‘return to Europe’. multiparty politics became the central arena where different groups began to utilize nationalist rhetoric and practices as a way of reconstituting political legitimacies and seeking to retain or obtain power. were used to exclude large numbers of the population from citizenship rights and political protection. nationalist practices in postsocialism also included the formulation of the constitutions of the new states.188 Nevena Dimova the country (officially about 35%) in the 1990s also intensified conflict between Albanians and Macedonians over scarce economic resources. Verdery and others have argued that there was a connection between post-socialist nationalist rhetoric and socialist structure of privilege (Verdery 1996. Also. Verdery points out that “the previously privileged groups may resort to nationalist rhetoric because there were no other discursive fields left to them. while including members of the nation. while undermining that of other political subjects. In Romania. e. Hayden has argued that nationalist practices. Besides the nationalist rhetoric of certain political parties directed against the internal “other” or the external “other” or both. leaving them with the defence of the nation as the only means to retain power” (Verdery 1996: 86). and thus threatening the national economy and even the national sovereignty (Sampson 2002). In the multitude of political subjects.

was elected as the party’s president. the tactical use of the national card became the shortest road to retain or achieve power and to undermine the legitimacy of competing political organizations. By opening space for a multitude of voices and demands. which included the independent and sovereign Republic of Macedonia. Lubčo Georgievski. won the single largest bloc of seats in the Assembly. which continue to define the political landscape of the country (Poulton 1991. In Macedonian politics after 1991. The post-socialist multiparty arena fortified the Albanian Macedonian relations of distrust and articulated them as an outright political conflict. styled as a nationalist party. The party to a large extent inherited the ideas and behaviours of the previous League of Communists. in Macedonia it was primarily due to the social divide between Albanians and Macedonians inherited from state socialism. In contrast to other East European political dynamics after socialism. What Georgievski offered was a revival of the Macedonian values of the Ilinden uprising of 1903. The Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization-Democratic Party of Macedonian National Unity (VMRO-DPMNE). as well as providing those voices with means to argue for their demands. Identity of the State 189 premise of the new constitutions has been that the state sovereignty resides in the majority ethno-nation. Burg 1996. Macedonia’s first multi-party election in 1990 saw three main political forces emerge. who in 1992 changed their name to the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM) and elected Branko Crvenkovski as the party’s president (Poulton 1995). Brown 2000). a 25-year-old literature student. Using nationalist rhetoric. and blame of each other. parliamentary democracy facilitated the politicization and further distancing of the relations between Macedonians and Albanians. a state for all Macedonians including even Macedonians from neighbouring countries. but by all political subjects. mostly because it resonated well with the broader society. Second in line were the reform communists. The tactical use of nationalist rhetoric and symbols was due. on the one hand. on the other. . Unlike other East European countries. not in individual citizens (ibid. in which the identity of the nation(s) and the state became the subjects of discord. where societal receptivity of nationalist rhetoric was due to “affinities between the ‘self’ of socialism and a psychic economy in which other national groups become symbols.). Albanian and Macedonian parties tapped into and often times created (Brown 2000) larger cracks between the two communities in order to achieve power and to foster their competing images of the nation(s) and the state. suspicion. in Macedonia the national card was used not only by previously privileged groups. but.Identity of the Nation(s). The very structure of post-socialist parliamentary democracy radicalized that social divide and transformed it into relations of uncertainty. to competition for power over newly decentralized institutions. used for explanation and blame” (Verdery 1996: 101). such as Bulgaria and northern Greece.

particularly with a tendency to improve the bad score of the representation of Albanians inherited from the former Yugoslav practice. Another prominent Albanian intellectual and politician. Departing from a previous political tradition. meant even the creation of a state of their own. at the same time meant big pleasure. the Macedonian and the Albanian national aspirations entered the political scene as opposing political consciousness and goals. a prominent Albanian intellectual and politician. Political beginnings in the Republic of Macedonia are not characterized with political pluralism. fear. In the words of Teuta Arifi. I believe that it is particularly important to consider the process of the politics and the rhetoric of the Albanian political parties in the Republic of Macedonia. from the beginnings of the establishment of independent Macedonia. the events of the early 1990s were a serious turning point for the Albanians in Macedonia: “The last decade of the twentieth century is particularly important for the Albanians in the Republic of Macedonia. While Macedonians enjoyed the possibility to exercise freely their political will to create a Macedonian state for the Macedonians (based on the principle of self-determination). Ismet Ramadani. for some. the third largest bloc was comprised of two parties that shared the bulk of the votes cast by ethnic Albanians.190 Nevena Dimova At the same time. The polarity of the two national ideologies inherited from socialist Yugoslavia started to become an uneasy political competition. the People’s Democratic Party (NDP) and the Party for Democratic Prosperity (PDP). accompanied by great euphoria. Thus. For the first time they have organized themselves into political parties and become an organized political and social subject. describes the atmosphere of the first parliamentary elections: “The election campaign. defined exclusively in ethno-national terms. this was the moment when Albanians in Macedonia also had their chance for political visibility and eventual realization of their national programme which. The rights of ethnic Albanians and their representation in all spheres of society is a priority for the Albanian political subject. the promotion of the programme determinations and the election platforms of the political parties. the first established Albanian political party PDP had more elements of a movement than characteristics of a political party. Thus. and insecurity . the Albanians expressed their political will to determine their own place in the new pluralistic circumstances. The first group of the Albanian members in the Macedonian parliament was the leader of the first promotion of the ideas for equality of the Albanians in the Republic of Macedonia” (Arifi 2001: 136). within which Albanian political organization was considered as a severely punishable sin.

Barbarovski and Dauti (1998: 14) argue. The question that the citizens of Macedonia had to answer was: “Are you for an independent and sovereign state of Macedonia. on the other hand. a pattern. not as a civil category. SDSM partnered with smaller Macedonian parties and the PDP in autumn 1992 to form a coalition government. if for one party its political platform was a pleasure and perspective. Identity of the State 191 for them. the referendum was successful and the Parliament brought about a declaration.Identity of the Nation(s). the SDSM. the statehood and the sovereignty of the Republic of Macedonia. which says that the citizens have their plebiscite confirmed. In the 1990 elections four political parties won almost 90% of the parliamentary seats: VMRO-DPMNE. and the Reformists. Actually. with the right to enter the future Union of Sovereign States of Yugoslavia?” The opinion of most Macedonians is summarized here in a statement from Macedonian journalist Katerina Blazeska: “Despite the strong criticism from the public directed towards the ambiguity of the second part of the question. the Macedonians heard for the first time certain Albanian problems that so far had been a taboo. Rossos 2007). were typical national parties. After VMRO-DPMNE proved unwilling and unable to work with other parties.. that was followed by the other parties. i. VMRO-DPMNE and PDP. to whom does the state belong? In August 1991. e. and expressed their will that it should be constituted as an independent and sovereign state” (Blazeska 2001: 121). They exploited the unstable inter-ethnic situation in the country to secure the largest numbers of seats. Such a phenomenon was caused between the Macedonian and the Albanian political parties regarding the issues that concerned the inter-ethnic relations. In such a tense situation. the first pluralistic Parliament of the Republic of Macedonia was established” (Ramadani 2001: 285). the Referendum for the Independence of Macedonia illustrated the state’s severe ethnic divide. it was fear and insecurity. It can be said that the Albanians for the first time spoke out loud about some of their national problems in the election campaign. the Albanian PDP. then for the others. while Albanians boycotted it (Danforth 1995. Two of these. with matured and transparent inter-ethnic disagreements. but. Only Macedonians participated in the referendum. In this statement Blazeska envisions the citizens of Macedonia as ethnically defined. The question for both groups had become: Who has the right to organize the state. The image Blazeska creates confirms the concept of the nation-state: the . The political competition between the Albanians and Macedonians was thereby based on ethno-national understandings of the political space from both sides and even more so on the view that sovereignty was seen as an ethnic.

. regardless of the views of the other peoples living on the same territory. or the president of the state with the explanation that our requests were unreal. a second nation. As Ramadani.192 Nevena Dimova state guarantees not the sovereignty of all its citizens. The Albanian demands. Serbs organized similar referendums in Croatia and Bosnia. an Albanian intellectual. Proportionally. the difference from the view of the Macedonians was that they saw it as a two-nation state. states: “… we have to mention the Declaration for the Equal Status of the Albanians in the Republic of Macedonia submitted by the parliamentary group of the Party for Democratic Prosperity (PDP). Again. Dauti 1998: 12. Macedonian political subjects and the Macedonian population declared with the Referendum for Independence that they would achieve a sovereign territory. led by their PDP party. the government. The Constitution of 1 See Hayden 1992: 65 for a discussion of similar process in other former Yugoslav republics. Albanian political parties in Macedonia used this referendum as a secessionist threat. Biberaj 2000). with the adoption of certain decisions and actions the feeling of insecurity among the citizens of all nationalities grew” (Ramadani 2001: 286). but of the majority population. also included an image of Macedonia as a nation-state. however was not the view of the Albanians. ethnically defined. the Albanian members of parliament did not vote for the adoption of the first Constitution of independent Macedonia since their suggestions and amendments. In the same way. such as that the Albanian nationality should mean equal status for the Albanians as citizens and as a nation.1 This. Macedonians also used it to accuse Albanian parties of separatism. Since then. Brown 2000. Albanians also did not argue for the organization of the new state as a guarantor of the sovereignty of all citizens. Poulton 1995. Albanian citizens responded to this by not responding to the Referendum for the Independence of the Republic of Macedonia. On their side. such as the Referendum for Independence and the adoption of the new Constitution of the Republic of Macedonia are especially revealing because they illustrate that the divide between the two communities had become a political competition over the right to decide the identity of the state. according to their own visions. Also. but in February of 1992 they also organized a referendum on Albanian cultural and territorial autonomy in western Macedonia. but rather as a guarantor of the Albanians seen as a separate group. were not accepted. which was popularly known as Ilirida (Barbarovski. The Albanians. The main political events of the early 1990s. This Declaration was not accepted by the parliament. favoured Macedonian independence. from the inception of the independent state as presented by Ramadani. ethnically defined.

an important field of social struggle (Dimova R. and the Socialist Party. became completely unacceptable for the Albanian political subjects since the Albanian political aspirations had already gone beyond the legislative definition of a minority. As Rozita Dimova has also argued. the left coalition fell apart. specifically the status of the University in Tetovo. Albanian national symbols should be publicly displayed on Albanian holidays. 1996). and different cultural programmes have become the symbols of Albanian resistance (Kostovicova 2001). but not without guarantees that they would be treated equally. should be resolved. the formation of a state for each of the nations of former Yugoslavia was justified by the principle of self-determination: “… it is clear that the various formerly Yugoslav republics are considered to be manifestations of the right to self-determination – meaning the right to form one’s own state – of the majority. education in Albanian has been. while the Macedonian Orthodox Church was the only one mentioned by name. residing with several minorities. Albanian politicians argued that Albanian should be given the status of an official language in the Republic of Macedonia. and still is. and the question of the Albanian language higher education. especially its Preamble. Hayden 1992. a coalition between the left-oriented parties – SDSM. which regularly accused the govern- . SDSM invited the Albanian PDP to join the government and this coalition survived its second full term. Similarly. Furthermore. after achieving independence. The Constitution. even when some expression is given to the equality of the minorities” (Hayden 1996: 791). In relation to their demands to be constituted as a nation in the Macedonian Constitution. Identity of the State 193 1991. The main critic of the Albanian PDP was the other Albanian party – the Democratic Party of the Albanians (DPA).) and a major pillar of Albanian nationalism. For the Albanians the independence of Macedonia was a desirable event. however. Due to sharp differences between SDSM and the Liberal Party. assigned the Macedonians the position of the sole nation on the territory of the Republic of Macedonia. but rather privileged the nation of the majority (Hayden 1992. However. though giving them equal rights (Danforth 1995. as Hayden has argued.Identity of the Nation(s). Hayden has termed this phenomenon “constitutional nationalism” (Hayden 1992). 2006: 305 f. 1996). VMRO-DPMNE and the Democratic Party pulled out from the second round. titular nation (narod). The second parliamentary elections of 1994 resulted in the victory of the Alliance for Macedonia. The issues of education in Albanian. the governments of all republics of former Yugoslavia adopted constitutions which did not guarantee sovereignty to all their citizens. It gave the Macedonian language the role of the official language of the state. accusing the government of securing victory through manipulation and irregularities. the Liberal Party. thus not treating all faiths equally. Albanian textbooks.

At the same time. escalated to the severe intervention of the police. Brown 2000). nation. and language. in the words of Sami Ibraimi. Although the coalition partner PDP supported this initiative. who not being able to solve this issue institutionally. such as police action against a juvenile cigarette smuggler. The newly formed DPA. functioned as a corrupt attachment of the SDSM and worked against the interests of the Albanians in Macedonia (Blazeska 2001: 125). during which one Albanian was killed (Biberaj 2000. The DPA openly called for the resignation of the PDP from the coalition government on the basis that they could not guarantee the security and normal life of the Albanian citizens of the Republic of Macedonia. would offer faster and more radical changes in the situation of the Albanians in the Republic of Macedonia. the Macedonian opposition during this period. with Arben Xhaferi as its head. initiated mass anti-Albanian protests in Skopje and in all major cities in . presented themselves to the Albanian public as the antipode of the communist nomenclature of the PDP party which. because of the “concessions” it made to the Albanians. the difference lying in the pace of change and in the methods of action that the DPA was willing to initiate. and the Albanian citizens lost their faith in the state institutions when similar events happened” (Ibrahimi 2001: 182). The discontent escalated with the adoption of the draft-law for the languages in which instruction was to be performed at the Faculty of Pedagogy in “Sts. the state sanctions against this “stillborn” para-university. One of the reasons for that was the issue of higher education of Albanians in Macedonia. according to the DPA. led by the oppositional VMRO-DPMNE. became extremely discontent with the governing SDSM party. established their own university in the Tetovo village of Mala Rečica (Biberaj 2000). After these incidents. Most controversial was the inclusion of Albanian as a language of instruction. Pettifer 1997: 176). The split of the DPA from the PDP signalled that the growing inter-ethnic tensions were causing the dissolution of the Albanian political bloc itself. Several incidents. and the imprisonment of the mayors of the predominantly Albanian towns Tetovo and Gostivar (Vickers. The unfulfilled expectations of the Albanians regarding the realization of their perceived rights gave Arben Xhaferi the impetus and legitimation to form the DPA as a party which. brought tensions very close to an ethnic conflict of great dimensions. Cyril and Methodius” University in Skopje. According to what he told me in an interview in 2000. as they called it. The students from the University in Skopje. according to him.194 Nevena Dimova ing coalition of sharing the ideals of the Macedonian Social Democrats from their socialist past (Brown 2000). an intellectual and member of the DPA: “The feeling of insecurity among the citizens was present everywhere. the VMRO-DPMNE. the goals of the PDP and the DPA had always been similar. the killing of three Albanians in the Old Bazaar in Skopje. which still propagated nationalist ideals for the defence of the Macedonian state.

the DPA. and international organizations. The most painful questions became those of the territorial integrity of the Macedonian state and the relations between Albanians . Albanian and Macedonian electorates saw the two nationalist parties as better guarantors of each ethnic group’s position. the core for the country’s stability were the inter-ethnic relations. independence. By the end of 1997. political partners with statements underlining understanding and stability (Arifi 2001: 137). it seemed. independence. Identity of the State 195 the country. the new government was to be a coalition. Stability. The main issues in the 1998 elections were stability. stability. Dauti 1998: 15). As under the Social Democrats. the Social Democrats of President Kiro Gligorov were soundly defeated in the parliamentary elections by the right-wing nationalist VMRO-DPMNE (Rossos 2007: 276). the rhetoric of understanding. together with corruption and slow economic changes. and territorial integrity were once more seen in ethnic terms. inter-ethnic incidents and governmental decisions on ethnic issues. non-governmental organizations. was appointed after three very difficult rounds of elections. and better inter-ethnic relations in practice meant opting for the two more nationalist parties VMRO-DPMNE and DPA for voters from both sides. instead of choosing milder political representatives. as seen by the results of the 1998 elections. the treatment of the inter-ethnic situation in the country by the ruling government was used by the opposition parties of both Albanians and Macedonians to criticize and ask for resignation of their respective parties in the government. the VMRO-DPMNE candidate. However. The protests in Skopje culminated in a few days hunger strike and picketing with nationalist slogans against the “greedy Albanians” and the “government of traitors”. In the 1998 elections. whose demonstrations revealed slogans of the type: “Gas chambers for the Shiptars!” (derogative term for Albanians) and “Albanian. By the year 2000. the politicians from both sides had become radical in their uncompromising views of the state and its structure. became a potent tool for gaining or losing power.Identity of the Nation(s). well manipulated by the political parties. became the causes for general dissatisfaction with the ruling coalition between the Macedonian SDSM and the Albanian PDP. and only Albanian will be spoken” had become. The question of the inter-ethnic relations in the country. The inter-ethnic card became the most effective weapon of Macedonian and Albanian opposition parties against their respective opponents in power. and the preservation of Macedonia’s territorial integrity. this time including also the more radical nationalist Albanian party. independent intellectuals. In a view shared by Macedonia’s political parties. Political parties. both according to the political leaders and to the voters. Actually. especially the delicate balance in the political representation of Macedonians and Albanians (Barbarovski. Specifically. Boris Trajkovski. when the new president.

As a result. and state symbols (Brown 2000). Albanians were a minority. Although since then the country has experienced relative peace. Dissatisfied with the slowness of the political progression toward achieving ‘concessions’ for the Albanians. and completely opposed views of how the state of Macedonia and its relation to the citizens should be defined. as the clashes were described by many observers. Unhappy with the international intervention through which the Agreement was reached. What had started as two opposing national ideals in the making in the early 1990s. The fear of civil war had already penetrated the Macedonian political rhetoric. to the Albanians not much has been done towards putting the Agreement into practice. the integrity of the state could be preserved only if Albanians were defined and treated equally as a second nation in Macedonia. the Macedonians see it as the de facto partitioning of the country. By the year 2000. The execution of the Agreement was left with the coalition government of the Macedonian SDSM and the Albanian DUI. the Territorial Organization Act of the same year increased the number of districts in which Albanians comprise more than . and their rights to separate educational. had by the year 2000 hardened into two very concrete.the Albanian public and politicians had adopted the position that they had nothing to loose and so therefore they would fight for their concept for a dual nation-state with all means available. because they argued for parallel institutions and structures in education. was ended by the signing of the “Ohrid Agreement” by four major ethnic Macedonian and ethnic Albanian parties in the country. connected to the Liberation Army of Kosovo (UÇK) attempted to occupy parts of western Macedonia and claim them as an autonomous part of the state. the Agreement has been perceived as unacceptable by representatives of both communities. which came to power in 2002.196 Nevena Dimova and Macedonians in the country. in 2001 the country experienced events described as civil war. the Albanian-language university in Tetovo received official recognition in 2004. However. their language constituted as official. and they should have certain rights as such. when tensions amounted to armed clashes between Albanian paramilitary groups and the Macedonian security forces. This “civil war”. as defined in the constitution. This agreement was to extend the rights and powers of the Albanians and amend the new constitution so that the Albanian minority could exercise their collective voice in state matters (Brunnbauer 2004: 565). In their opinion. It is seen by the Macedonians as giving too many and disproportional rights to only one of the populations in the country. From their perspective. The Macedonian public and politicians feared that the Albanians wanted to federalize the state. local government. The level of representation of Albanians in state administration has increased significantly. and religious symbols not curtailed (Perry 2000). A discussion or compromise about the constitution was not a possibility in their opinion. definite. radical Albanian elements. cultural.

Tensions boiled to a political crisis when after Greece’s blockage Macedonia did not receive an invitation to join NATO at the Alliance’s summit in Bucharest in April 2008. the ever more radical parties coming to power. However. In political rhetoric. Albanian and Macedonian political and intellectual elites have utilized the global discourse of multi-ethnicity. for the recognition of Albanian as the second language in Macedonia. VMRO-DPMNE’s Albanian partner in the governing coalition DPA seized the opportunity by leaving parliament on 13 March and claiming that many of the Agreement’s treaties had not been fulfilled. the parliament dissolved itself in expectation of new parliamentary elections. this was not seen as sufficient for the Albanians and their political representatives. but to advance their nationalist visions of the Macedonian state. “multi-ethnicity” or “Europe” became a major discursive tool in Eastern European politics after the fall of socialism. It is my contention that. The DPA asked for the immediate recognition of independent Kosovo by the Macedonian parliament. To counter a further deepening of the crisis. Identity of the State 197 20% of the population. the very intentions and practices of nonmixing between Macedonians and Albanians have determined their political behaviour and public discourse. and for further concessions on the use of the Albanian flag in municipalities with a largely Albanian population. and dialogue not as a way to overrun discontent. together with the unilateral declaration of independence of Kosovo and the delay in the accession to NATO add. to a very uncertain future for Macedonia and the populations living in its territory. While throughout the past 17 years of multiparty democracy. although with the constitutional changes following the Ohrid Agreement the multiethnic character of Macedonia was affirmed. Also. With the unilateral declaration of Kosovo’s independence on 17 February 2008. “Civil society” and “multi-ethnicity” in public debates The rhetorical usage of concepts such as “civil society”. in my opinion. The ever more radical demands put forward by the Albanian political parties. the list of demands handed to the VMRODPMNE’s leader and Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski included social benefits for ethnic Albanians who fought in the 2001 insurgency and closure of cases against former Albanian guerillas who fought Macedonian security forces in the same insurgency. Sampson observes that irrespectively of the fact whether pro .Identity of the Nation(s). civility. have signified the will of voters and politicians to pursue ethnically defined political spaces. Albanians and Macedonians have entered into fragile political coalitions. this process has been mirrored by the projection of competing images in nationalist debates. and thus Albanian became the second official language in these districts. but also for a wider integration of Albanians into public office. especially on the Albanian side.

and civil society to further their nationalist claims and to undermine those of their opponents (Dimova. This. “Europe” became a grand symbol and “civil society”. The rhetorical usage of the concepts of civil society. and “democracy” sub-categories around which political intention and even national identity were declared and defined. politicians saw themselves not as partisans of civil society and “Europe”. “multi-ethnicity”. Europe. multi-ethnicity. and “return to Europe” did not mean unlimited support after the fall of socialism. Older apparatchiks. and multi-ethnicity in post-socialist politics (Sampson 2002). Albanian and Macedonian parties (almost exclusively organized on ethnic principles) utilized the ideas and symbols of multi-ethnicity. all political subjects felt obliged to take some kind of a marked position on the questions of European integration. such as the constitutions. reform.198 Nevena Dimova or anti-European forces took the political upper hand. In that sense. However. Irrespectively of left. “Europe” was used by Macedonian political parties and individuals as a symbol of order. as a long tradition of legislative and state practices which have regulated the relations among the populations living in European countries (as majorities and minorities) through state documents. In this manner “civil society”. and Europe. in Macedonia became the language through which all political subjects put forward their claims. as politicians in Poland or Hungary had claimed to be. Thus. which in many East European countries had become the domain of the opposition parties (Hann 1996. and “multi-ethnicity” could be seen and analysed more as a political discourse than as a societal organization. Throughout Eastern Europe. on the other hand. right or central political orientation. the development of civil society. the appearance and utilization of the anticommunist rhetoric of marketization. Albanian political subjects and parties counter used the rhetoric of “Europe” to present it as a symbol of the kind of democracy they wanted to see in Macedo- . To the contrary. “Europe”. but rather used this rhetoric to argue for nationalist ideas. N. Verdery argues that in Romania “political space limits what intellectuals and politicians from the opposition can do with symbols like ‘civil society’ and ‘Europe’ and they are compelled to address the national idea despite their aim of constructing a new political object – democratic society of European form” (Verdery 1996: 105). 2004). Sampson 1996). of seeking to construct moral authority for one’s own party and undermine that of others. In Macedonian political rhetoric. was all part of the larger process of reconstituting political legitimacies. as Verdery (1996) and Sampson (2002) have argued. were left with the defence of the nation. which they claimed to represent in the new political space. since opposition to undesired and painful market reforms appeared as the defence of national values. opposition parties monopolized the rhetoric of the market economy and reform seen as parts of the larger symbol of Europe.

The cultural and educational rights should not be changed. On the other side. we were equal to the Macedonian people then. “multi-ethnicity”. Is Macedonia independent. we already have them. and Stojan Andov from the Liberal Party. Albanians will be loyal to the state as far as the state is loyal to them. or for the development of separate national and state projects. (turning to the Albanian representatives) I want you to want Macedonia like I do. The constitution must not be changed. but as a constitutive nation. A case in point is a round table discussion among the presidential candidates in Macedonia in 1999. Furthermore. This discussion was held on the 29 October 1999. “democracy”. which guarantees all European standards for the minorities. in relation to Yugoslavia? Albanian hymns. no great Albania. became the discursive tools through which some Albanian and Macedonian intellectuals could effectively attack the other group’s national aspirations and make a convincing case for their own national visions. Identity of the State 199 nia: multi-ethnicity. where Albanians would not be defined as a minority. The DPA has no other demands. historical past. the constitution is the best resolution.Identity of the Nation(s). and “civil society” are used by some Macedonian intellectuals to covertly argue for the assimilation of the Albanian community into the Macedonian national and state projects. We have to have a future for all. but we have historical presence in this territory. The categories of “civil society”. with Tito Petkovski. on the private TV channel A1. Boris Trajkovski from the VMRO. civility. Nejepi: We showed so far that the DPA is responsible for the peace in Macedonia and the region (the Kosovo crisis). Albanian flags we use is not asking the integrity of the state. some Albanian intellectuals utilize concepts such as minority or human rights to claim a separate nationhood and argue either for equal participation in a shared state project. This is how the discussion went: Petkovski: Macedonia has a resolution. Albanian leaders want to live as if it was 200 years ago. Halili: Nationality (nacionalnost) is a made-up hybrid category. which were imported to Macedonia with the establishment of independence. therefore we should be . the Krushevo Republic of 1903. “democracy”. and “tolerance”. Not like the PDPA who do not want Macedonian hymns and flags. candidate from the SDSM. no asking for the territorial integrity of Macedonia. and images of Europe as a point of reference and legitimacy. Nejepi from the DPA. they are not real Macedonians. Nezvat Halili from the PDP. the concepts of “pluralism”. in 1878 there was the Macedonian-Albanian league. It illustrates the level of divisions and political strategizing based on ideas of multi-ethnicity. The journalist asked all candidates to comment on the state of inter-ethnic relations in Macedonia.

Multi-ethnic state – it is a reality in Europe . Albanians will have the right of political representation. local government. we can’t federalize the country. like in Europe. In the constitution it says that Macedonia is a unitary state. this raises territorial questions. All citizens should be equal in Macedonia. nothing else. because they brought blood to the Balkans. the break-up of the country is not the goal.200 Nevena Dimova treated as equal people now. in Macedonia. They are symbols of another state. You want an Albanian flag for all Albanians. The European way is with conventions. in Macedonian. Andov: We have to decide all ethnic questions in a civilized way. we want a big Europe. Andov: Bosnia and Herzegovina did not expect what wouldl happen with territorial change. in Bitola also – both universities are ethnic Macedonian universities. we have to have a positive attitude. Petkovski: We are members of the UN and we are in good relations with Albania. with conventions. civil democracy. we can’t do that. neighbours killed each other. at what we are doing. we did that. it leads to Bosnia. Nejepi: We always ask for the Macedonian identity when the split up with Serbia is in question. A two-nation constitution means that all other minorities besides the Albanians will be threatened. why should there not be an ethnic university there? Trajkovski: Macedonia is a unitary state. Petkovski: Why am I so sceptical towards the Albanians? I am not sceptical. this is part of the dream of big Albania. Europe is surprised that we allowed Albanian flags. Halili: In Macedonia it is proven that the constitution is not a good enough frame for ethnic equality. Nejepi: Albania for us is small. We have to do it with the Albanians – non-intervention in other country’s internal affairs in relation to ethnic questions. As far as higher education is concerned – it should be for everybody. It will be bad to ask ethnic questions. sovereignty of the citizen. there should be decentralization as a basis for religious and cultural rights. but transparent. Andov: As far as the nationalities are concerned. 100% of Albanians were in the Ss. Cyril and Methodius University. In Tetovo. but not change the constitution. (to Nejepi) – let’s say farewell to these dreams. Your platform is for a change of the constitution. country of two peoples leads to separatism. We have to go to the strengthening of minority rights. the Albanian flag is for Albanians in Albania. on the other hand. that does not mean great states. The world after the Second World War has decided how to resolve the ethnic questions. to be part of civilized Europe. We have to respect and leave the constitution alone.

discourses of democracy. The Tetovo University is bending the Law for Higher Education. and Europe is used to further the competing nationalist claims of both Albanians and Macedonians. and civil society played a major role in “imagining communities”. the results of such a model can be seen in Europe. Before 1989. references to these structures are often made in political discourse. Furthermore. instead of offering an alternative to conflictive distinctions. Thus. Europe stands also for legislative organization of relations between different ethnic populations. Quite to the contrary. the strategic utilization of the discourse of civil society and Europe in fact reproduces and strengthens already existing differences. Andov using the rhetoric for Europe. civil rights. a symbol of legitimation.Identity of the Nation(s). and market economy) and relate their own communities with this image. multi-cultural. Utilized by local as well as international actors. Thus. primarily politically motivated goals: to . Hayden 1996). all the citizens must respect them. Europe is a point of reference. Identity of the State 201 already. however. According to him. civil society. on the other hand. is that the imported ideas from Western Europe. quite the opposite to what such concepts were intended to bring about. promotes his convictions that there are majorities and minorities in the European states and that their status is well defined in different legislative documents. human rights. As anthropologists of Eastern Europe have argued (Bakić-Hayden. the popular discourse of multi-ethnicity. in Europe have been resolved for 500 years. but the populations in the country are defined as equal groups sharing power in state decisions. Nejepi argues for his belief that Albanians in Macedonia should be the second nation in the state. in the correct way. where these relations are defined according to international conventions. In the world. Hayden 1992. also uses ­Europe as a model for multi-ethnic societies. In the commonly expressed desire of all political parties to join NATO and the European Union. Petkovski: The Macedonian national flag. multi-ethnic state acquire various. Andov argues for a European model of inter-ethnic relations. the hymn. these imaginings have several features in common. In this way. minority or individual rights. but especially after the fall of communist regimes throughout East Central Europe. this image of Europe serves several. freedom. What happens. in the discussion transcribed above. and often times opposing meanings when used by political opponents. using the same popular rhetoric about Europe. Higher education. languages. nobody knows of an ethnically based university. Nejepi. For both Andov and Nejepi. such as civil society. strategically utilized to support their opposing claims. where the education and language of the different ethnicities have had equal status for hundreds of years. The most important is that the new (and also older) political and cultural communities create a positive image of Europe (representing democracy.

backwardness. most dramatically. and “development” are employed in social commentaries and in the interviews I have had with Albanian and Macedonian elites to make modernization and civilization arguments as a tool to present “the other” in negative terms and thus undermine their capacity to organize as a nation and make sound state decisions. While during the socialist era negative slurs and images of other ethnic groups could not be publicly manifested. As Bakić-Hayden and Hayden have argued. One of . However. and essence. The concepts of “pluralism”. human rights. images of Europe are also used to justify political action. perpetuating a congratulatory self-image of Western Europe. In Macedonian public debate. “democracy”. aspirations. Hayden 1996). have served to justify separation for the Yugoslav Republics (Bakić-Hayden. Because of the obvious need for legitimation of such negative images. Simultaneously. “civility”. and civil society are reified quite uncritically by the international actors. the Macedonian as modern One of the major features of the new national discourse after 1991 has been the mutual negative stereotyping between Albanian and Macedonian political and intellectual elites. West and democracy vs. such negative stereotyping is utilized in the Balkans to symbolically create a positive image of oneself and practically exclude others from that image (Bakić-Hayden 1995. the images of democracy. The several Macedonian intellectuals I spoke with in 1999 and 2000 took a favourable position towards the way in which Macedonians have handled the process of co-existence with the Albanian population and the ways they dealt with the post-1991 situation of increased ethnic tensions in the country. in the post-socialist public space negative stereotyping became a rather common tool for degrading the other’s body. Macedonian elites used the discourse of “modernity” and “civilization” to undermine the essence behind all Albanian aspirations – their claim to a nationhood. but also to international audiences. Such discourses have led to many times incoherent and ill-informed politics towards East European countries while. however not as a justification to join Europe but as a symbol of civilization to exclude “the other” from one’s “civilized” self. in the case of Central European intellectuals. The Albanian as barbarian. and the ones to the East and South of oneself in the cases from former Yugoslavia) and by creating a positive image of oneself. Hayden 1992. such images of East vs. The discourses of democracy and civil society are used to solicit eventual economic support from Europe or a support of “liberation movements”. not only to one’s own ethnic public. which has led to bloody wars. at the same time.202 Nevena Dimova distinguish one’s community from a backward “other” (Russia. to claim a rightful desire to join Western Europe. Hayden 1996).

He added. which was to start with the establishment of a ‘parallel state system’”. as a reason for these changes. and a need to develop a modern. etc” with the obvious need “to secure ethnic-Macedonian statehood perspectives in the complicated domestic and regional political and security circumstances”. the same person continued with the excusatory tone in analysing the history of Tetovo University – he argued that the Macedonian side. educated community in a democratic and market oriented society”. Turks. “a clear sense of fear among the Macedonians that. Zarkov 1995 for a detailed analysis on the connection between orientalising discourses and gender. He quoted the different measures the government had taken to secure secondary education for minority females and saw the failure of these measures in the fact that “at the beginning of a new South-East European epoch – democracy – ethnic Albanians in Macedonia were caught between their low level of secondary and tertiary education enrollment.Identity of the Nation(s). he attributed to the falling apart of the traditional Albanian society. ethnic Albanian parents consider that primary education is sufficient for female children”. Romas. Vlachs. did their best to accommodate the needs for education of the Albanian population. taking this [the establishment of the Tetovo University] as further proof of the secessionist intentions among the Albanian minority in the country. the same informant again favoured the Macedonian public with the explanation that “the ethnic Macedonian part of the general public was politically disgusted. In his opinion. if given a status of ‘constitutive people’. represented in this conflict by the Macedonian government and institutions. the Preamble of the Macedonian Constitution. Equally. . He described Serbs and Albanians as the most confused nations in the Balkans which. “because of the traditional or religious factors. Albanians would have asked for federalization of the state as a first step to secession from Macedonia and their accession to the concept of Great Albania”. in his treatment of the establishment of the Albanian language University in Tetovo (a major issue of discord between the two communities). he supported the 1991 formulation of the state as “a national state of the Macedonian people.2 Furthermore. what came 2 See Said 1978. Chatarjee 1989. the Macedonian state had taken all the necessary steps to stimulate education among Albanian females. because of the falling apart of their state. but. In a paper published by the Center for Strategic Research and Documentation. in which full equality as citizens and permanent co-existence with the Macedonian people is provided for Albanians. In this treatment of the issues that divide the two communities. in his analysis of another point of discord between the two communities. in the case of the Albanians. Identity of the State 203 the main editors of the weekly “Forum” pointed out that the changed social conditions after 1991 found Macedonians in a state of distress.

by extension. Macedonian elites were careful enough to say either something neutral or find 3 See Benny Morris 1999 for a discussion of depictions of self-assertion by Israelis and Palestinians. prevent them from exercising reasonable political decisions. the Macedonian community. able to soundly run a state. Chaterjjee 1989). but act small”. Such orientalising statements imply that Albanians are not “real men” (Zarkov 1995. in this discourse Albanian claims to state affairs are diminished. but they will. Even in such a state of vulnerability.. by extension. which equals innocence. “they talk big. The demonization of Albanians goes much further. The descriptions of Albanians by Macedonian elites ranged from moderate compassion to outright demonization. implying that they are more like animals than humans). because the “shiptari” (a derogatory term for Albanians) are such bad drivers that they will splash me on the road. highly modern and developed. Thus. who explained why things happened the way they did. on the other hand. “they will never have the nerve to tell you in the face what they think. Furthermore. because the Albanian community and therefore their leaders do not have the necessary “modern” skills to participate in the organization of the state. are situated at the opposing end. I was warned by a university professor in Skopje to be careful while driving to Tetovo (a predominantly Albanian city 20 miles west of Skopje).204 Nevena Dimova across was the seemingly objective tone of the author. religious. the Macedonians are placed at the far end on the line of development as reasonable state and law makers. where Macedonians already live and function. the image of the Macedonians as threatened exposes the vulnerable side of that community. its political decisions. and. viewed as backward. and “fear” show that the author sees the reactions of the Macedonian public as a natural response to a wrongdoing from “the other side”. Demographic arguments were quite popular among Macedonian intellectuals and the general Macedonian public as a way to portray Albanians as backward. traditional. and. These arguments were used as further proof that Albanians are primitive and “breed like rabbits” (i. such as “distress”. On several occasions.3 At the same time. Albanians are seen as uneducated. the author portrays the Macedonians as victims. The Albanians. where religion and tradition. e. Along the line of progress. Albanians are also seen by some Macedonian elites and generally by Macedonians as cowards. but words. after you turn your back against them”. In this rhetoric of democracy and development. . when the subject of the Albanians was first discussed. In that way. “a need to secure”. are portrayed as accommodating and tolerant. and quite freely selected numbers about Albanian natural growth are often quoted. Albanians need to develop and become part of the modern world. primitive and backward. which is intended to evoke compassion from the audience.

which he found to be a positive trend. e. in Kosovo they are divided  … In 1981 they were 21. cowardliness. In Kosovo. This intellectual concluded his explanation by saying: “I think.” However. But this is only a rhetorical threat. Identity of the State 205 a way not to answer the question directly. and drug use. the young Albanians are more connected to their business than to their family.Identity of the Nation(s). Further in the conversation. they are national romantics. “Albanians constantly express rhetorical solidarity for their brothers. Relations between men and women are portrayed as classically patriarchal. At first.9% of Albanians in Macedonia. when I asked him about his opinion of the Albanians. He clarified that by saying that in his opinion 54% of Albanians are drug users and extremely closed natured. but at familial and personal levels. In this picture the family is a symbol of backwardness. . In his words. Albanians are seen as untrustworthy. they belong to a tribal organization. they are divided amongst themselves. as well. The above statements target Albanians not only at the level of the nation. women stay at home and “have no life”. on the other. men only work away from home.7% and in 1994 – 22. the more nationally radical]”. an active participant in the political and intellectual life in the country. Then he went on to tell me that he sees a problem with the Albanian family. Also. In following conversations. conspirative. There are the old settlers and the newcomers in Macedonia. This is all double coding – on the one hand. “because it is patriarchal. of something that holds progress and development back. the same people did share their true feelings on the Albanians. they say one thing and then go and do the opposite. one Macedonian intellectual.. the most straightforward description of the “evil” and “cunning” Albanian I got from one of the best known public figures in Macedonia. time goes against them. pluralism means conspiracy. however. In his opinion. and men usually go to the West to earn money. are used to attack the individual. the body of the Albanian and depict it as polluted. the claim to nationhood is denied to Albanians on the basis of a “civilizational” discourse.” This intellectual’s statements summarize in essence the attitudes of the majority of Macedonian elites and the opinion of the general public towards the Albanians. clan oriented. secretive. collective voting … Otherwise. The physical degeneration is transferred to the familial relations of the Albanians as well. while the women stay at home and have no life”. Albanians have a dualistic nature – “they say one thing and at the same time they give their support for the other Albanians [i. Accusations of a dualistic nature. “Tribal” and “clan oriented” are images invoked to signify social organization of pre-modern societies. however. told me “together we were partisans” (reminiscent of the “brotherhood and unity” rhetoric) as a way of avoiding this discussion by saying something positive. well? For them Macedonia is the best. ethnically. Thus. he volunteered to explain to me that there are “elements” amongst them. for example. morally and physically.

” He went even further. socially. and social level Macedonian intellectuals attack the ability of Albanians to organize. they fail to perform as such. according to them. now they call us disloyal. A strong argument of Macedonian elites against the Albanian claim to nationhood is that. and afterwards Vice-President of Yugoslavia. In 1966 he was accused of abusing his position in the state security service. This logic of territorial ethnic states has been put forward by other populations in former Yugoslavia (Hayden 1992. where everybody goes to socialize. and Macedonia become problematic”. Albanian elites also see the Macedonian population in negative terms. Again. Borneman 1992). Macedonia and Kosovo are different nations. “how then can the problems be solved?” This alleged intentional ill-treatment can be seen in the words of the media relations director in a major NGO who. A director of an NGO for female. culturally. this argument is used to attest that Albanians do not belong to one homogeneous group. He said that this was done. and that Macedonians were assigned the role of guardians against Albanian nationalist aspirations.206 Nevena Dimova according to which the personal and social structure of the Albanians are allocated to pre-national times. told me that at the central coffee shop in Skopje. such as Vice-President of the Government of Yugoslavia and Minister of Interior (until 1953). and therefore do not comprise one nation. and represent a nation. then the borders between Albania. the waiters do not serve people from Kosovo. because of their inability to internalize contemporary concepts. Kosovo. was deprived of his offices and expelled from the Yugoslav Communist Party. and asked rhetorically. Even in the cases when Albanians act as a nation. Thus. such as “civic”. familial. The images created of the Macedonian population are of intentional aggression and conscious ill-doing against the Albanian population. act as. because “if the Macedonian government sees the Albanians as one nation. was readily taken up by the Macedonians after 1991. After the Second World War he held high political positions. The same person also told me that in the 1960s Rankovic4 coined the term “suspicious citizens” for the Albanians in Yugoslavia. . the Albanian as victim For their part. ecological. portraying Albanians at the bodily. The Macedonian as oppressor. so that Albanians should not have aspirations to unite. such as the elections in Kosovo. and political strengthening of the Albanian population. stated that the Serb propaganda that the Albanians in Albania. explaining the relations between Albanians and the Serbian state before 1991. telling me “I am not a Macedonian. sometimes I identi4 Aleksandar Ranković was one of the leading Yugoslav communists of Serbian origin. 1999. “Albanians are always seen as suspicious in Macedonian policies and in need of being controlled: before they called us ‘anti-communists’. and economically Albanians are divided.

humiliating. e. and educa- . regionally. This logic is used to justify the above-stated position that if the state is “suspicious” of that Albanian. thus denying Macedonians independent political decision making.” The ex-speaker for one of the Albanian parties saw the ill-intended behaviour of the Macedonian population towards the Albanian as “a feeling of identity crisis of Macedonism”. but rather as an institution to which one can choose to be loyal to or not.Identity of the Nation(s).” Portraying themselves as victims has a long history within the Albanian community. Moreover. but live with the problems of the Macedonian state. Besides questioning the practices of the Macedonian policies. the idea is that they should not have intellectuals. The common perception among Macedonians that Albanians are divided amongst themselves by religion. They (the Macedonians) call them ‘shipteri’. Well. Macedonian policies are often seen as an extension of Serbian policies. women as the most unattractive. he does not feel a part of the state. Albanian intellectuals most often see the Albanian community as the victims (Biberaj 2000). but others. ‘fundamentalists’. the Albanian intellectuals denounce the Macedonians’ status as state makers. denouncing the nation of the Macedonians. Albanian rhetoric challenges the motives and practices of Macedonian politicking. brought them to the edge of their patience. Albanian elites do not see the state as something given. Furthermore. In that way. Uniformly. well. In these images. and like the Macedonians. both in Kosovo and Macedonia. Albanian elites challenge what Macedonians hold as an irrefutable fact. They see themselves as being oppressed by Macedonian state structures and policies as a present day extension of Serb policies. based on an alleged shared feeling of Macedonism. Identity of the State 207 fy more with the Macedonian state. In fact. there are also Albanian losers. Again. Macedonians are portrayed as aggressors who attack and violate Albanian rights (discriminate against Albanians in public places) as a group. and difficult. I guess. Simultaneously. we belong more towards one civilization (Albanian). more with the Albanian. their national unity.. Albanians portray themselves as victims. thus questioning the establishment and organization of the Macedonian state. In contrast to Macedonian intellectuals and the general Macedonian public. One Albanian intellectual described how Macedonians treat Albanians: “Albanians get less and less schooling. i. Albanian intellectuals described their life under socialist Yugoslavia as repressed. men are seen as the most uneducated. All of them mentioned that the times of the interior minister of Yugoslavia. In Albanian discourse. Rankovic. such images hold a strong potential for compassion from the international community and were lavishly used before and during the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999. the state is what is under question. it is Macedonian policies which discriminate against the Albanian population most. old settlers/newcomers. But Albanians are very successful abroad. an organized effort by the Macedonian government.

just their methods. but portrayed themselves as the victims of Macedonian political decisions. Hayden 1996). Islam has become such a fundamental feature of Albanian life in Macedonia because of Macedonian politics: “the ex-President Gligorov focussed his treatment of Albanians on their religious side.” Facing a problem common to ethnic groups whose members have been perceived as “backward”. The fact that Macedonian public figures insist on the internal divisions amongst the Albanian population. another Albanian intellectual told me: “Albanian Islam is not so fundamentalist. The complete lack of interest and knowledge of the other can be seen in this one to one ethnic communication which results in a completely closed circle. as a nation. media statements and interviews with me. while simultaneously excluding. they blamed Macedonian policies for these features.208 Nevena Dimova tionally is not shared by Albanian intellectuals. in different publications. creating stereotypes and images out of proportion. but still prevents Albanians from developing. As one Albanian journalist put it: “Each community speaks only to itself. In the debates about who can claim to be a nation and therefore claim rights to state affairs. Otherwise. Albanian intellectuals said that Albanian political parties have identical platforms. but desperately wanting to be presented as “modern” some Albanian intellectuals were critical of trends within the Albanian community in Macedonia. according to all those interviewed there are no cultural or regional differences among Albanians. negative stereotypes are used as political manoeuvring (Bakić-Hayden 1995. Another common characteristic that Albanian intellectuals seem to share in their analysis of the Albanian community is an argument again situated within the discourse of development and modernity: a favourable economic comparison 5 Kiro Gligorov was a member of the Presidency of Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and President of the Parliament of SFRY in the 1970s. and so do the Albanian. Without exceptions.” Criticizing Islam is one of the discursive mechanisms of some Albanian intellectuals for presenting an image of themselves as modern and progressive. as the Arabic Islam. At the same time. In 1991 Gligorov became the first president of the independent Republic of Macedonia and served two terms in this function until 1999. The Macedonian public figures rely only on the Slav Macedonian audience. again shows that each community creates images of inclusion. Yet. . which gave us even more impetus to become religious”. One intellectual told me that Kiro Gligorov5 sponsored the so-called “Gligorov families” – Islamicized (referring to state policies in the late 1970s to create organizations promoting Macedonian Muslim families). and even denying the other such possibilities. for example religion. They used the same language as Macedonian intellectuals. while Albanians were even surprised at such a question. the speed for action may differ. According to some Albanian intellectuals. as a defence mechanism.

Thus. in fact often times serves opposite purposes. while as societal models multiculturalism and civil society are intended to “put a lid” on pre-existing ethnic tensions in Macedonia. as a narrative tool in local politics. like in the other former Yugoslav republics. even though they use the same rhetoric. using the same language as the Macedonian intellectuals. The analysis of current nationalist struggles in Macedonia shows that “global flows”. “Since Albanians are better businessmen than Macedonians. nationality. their strategic use as a discourse. a nation of a compatible standing in the world of democracy and market economy.Identity of the Nation(s). they have firms and private companies. Albanian intellectuals defend themselves as a compatible community. multi-ethnicity. ethnic definition of the state and citizen rights were in direct connection with the constitutional creation and support of national differences during the previous socialist period and the actual living of these national identities. They work abroad and invest money in Macedonia. After independence in 1991. development. but also throughout Eastern Europe and in post-colonial states. parliamentary democracy can reproduce social distinctions and increase the process of separation between the communities. Within the rhetoric of development and the post-socialist stress on market economy. Albanian intellectuals counterpose a negative image of backwardness by presenting a positive image of themselves as mobile. and pluralism are invoked as symbolic constructs in ways that are completely nationalistic. separate. Conclusions In Macedonia. multi-ethnicity. The Macedonian case shows that in a context of already existing inter-ethnic tensions. and discrete units of ethnicity. and thus incompatible between the Macedonian and the Albanian elites and communities. Identity of the State 209 between Macedonians and Albanians. Albanian elites present an image of economic prosperity as a sign of high development and sophistication. Civil society. after 1991 Macedonian and Albanian nationalist debates have been reproduced and played out through the new means of post-socialist global discourses. and pluralism do little to challenge people’s everyday experiences and understandings of life as organized around bounded. loyal to their state (investing in Macedonia) and modern (have private firms and companies).” As a response to public Macedonian accusations that Albanians are primitive and backward. cosmopolitan (working abroad). Furthermore. In several interviews Albanian intellectuals mentioned that Albanians work abroad and make much more money than the Macedonians. in particular. the social divide between Albanians and Macedonian was fostered through the political rhetoric and behaviours provided by the multiparty system. In this way. more specifically the global discourse of civil society. and iden- .

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These concepts are incorporated in modernist discourse through which Macedonian and Albanian intellectual and political elites reinforce images of modern vs. I argue that multiparty democracy has fortified the relations of distance between Macedonians and Albanians inherited from state socialism by opening space for new voices and new means to be engaged in the debates about the constitution of the Macedonian state and nation(s). progressive vs. illegitimate to claim the right to organize the state and deny that right to the other. from its split from Yugoslavia in 1991 to the armed clashes between Albanian paramilitary organizations and the Macedonian police and army in 2001. intellectual and political elites from both sides utilize the global concepts of civil society. national. but also throughout Eastern Europe and in post-colonial states.Identity of the Nation(s). and the period following the signing of the Ohrid Agreement of the same year. Identity of the State 213 Abstract In this paper I follow the political developments in the Republic of Macedonia. and about each other. and legitimate vs. in fact often times serves opposite purposes. backward. and pluralism as discursive tools to put forward nationalist arguments and undermine those of their opponents. their strategic use as a discourse. while as societal models multiculturalism and civil society are intended to “put a lid” on pre-existing ethnic tensions in Macedonia. in particular. Thus. Entering the context of pre-existing nationalist struggles. multiethnicity. In the polemics about the state and the populations residing on the territory of Macedonia. as a narrative tool in local politics. and ethnic units. Simultaneously. I analyse the political debates and social commentaries put forward by Macedonian and Albanian political and intellectual elites about the current political events. “global flows” can actually reify political. primitive. . the relations between the two communities.

  Trans­border Exchange of Seasonal Workers in the Central Regions of the Balkans (19th – 20th Century) «Trans­border Exchange of Seasonal Workers in the Central Regions of the Balkans (19th – 20th Century)» by Petko Hristov Source: Ethnologia Balkanica (Ethnologia Balkanica). on issue: 12 / 2008. pages: 215­230. .

especially in the mountain regions of the Balkan peninsula. Sofia Introduction The reasons for (temporary or permanent) labour migrations among various social groups. Similar problems also arise in the complex research of labour mobility on the Balkans in historical and modern perspective. a few questions may be asked. part of the private sphere and family relations. for the ways in which changes reflect in the migrants’ everyday culture. since such research makes no exception from the common tendency for international migrations to become a focus of political debates rather than an object of analysis in regard to their underlying dynamics and socio-cultural characteristics (Kearney 1997: 324). rather than giving exact definitions and generalizations on the issue of “labour migrations on the Balkans”. migration researchers conclude that even during the 1990s in Bulgaria “temporary seasonal migrations dominate upon the permanent ones” (Guentcheva et al. specifics. Palairet 1987: 33)? How does this “life-inmoving” lead to changes in the everyday life and the cultural specifics of local . with the example of the Central Balkans. cf. and to what extent it is a result of traditional patterns and “inherited” cultural models of behaviour in entire regions. showing its historical roots. characterized by the movement of new waves of labour emigrants and gastarbeiter to Western Europe and America. for migration processes and the dynamics of their progress. Is it possible to speak of traditional cultural models of labour mobility in certain regions of the Balkans? Is there a centuries-long continuity in the development of seasonal (temporary) labour migrations (mainly among men. their concepts and mentality – these are some of the issues that researchers in Balkan migration history have always had to face. a “decade of transition” for Eastern Europe. Thus. This issue became even more up-to-date in the last decade of the twentieth century. 2003: 5). Still. Scholars rarely ask themselves to what extent the urge for (temporary) labour migration is a personal decision. and stages of development. My article focusses on the social phenomenon of male seasonal labour migrations (gurbet or pečalbarstvo) in its socio-cultural and ethnological aspects.Ethnologia Balkanica 12 (2008) Trans-border Exchange of Seasonal Workers in the Central Regions of the Balkans (19th – 20th Century) Petko Hristov.

despite the fact that the local population shares different national identities over the last 150 years. religious. such as the social organisation. as known from historical sources. Malinov 2008: 424–436). When speaking of regional specifics on the Balkans. where today the frontiers of three states come together – the Republic of Bulgaria. 1 . temporary la- The mass of data of my ethno-historical research was gathered in the regions of Trăn in Bulgaria. 2 In the sense of (trans-)ethnic. it is a historical fact that during the last 125 years these regions have changed their state affiliation five times (Hristov 2002: 69–80).Access via CEEOL NL Germany 216 Petko Hristov communities in certain regions. stable cultural specifics. and Kriva Palanka and Kratovo in the Republic of Macedonia. The phenomenon of Balkan labour mobility Seasonal labour mobility and temporary trans-border2 migrations of large groups of male population from the home place to other (“foreign”) regions within the frames of the Balkan Peninsula (typical for the second half of the nineteenth century). I will briefly present the results of my historical investigation and ethnographical fieldwork from 2001 in these parts of the peninsula. Crna Trava and Pirot in Serbia. National and/or ethnic groups are not denoted once and for all. Palairet 1987: 225–235). and the rituals of the life cycle. One of these stable traits of social life in the region during the entire nineteenth and twentieth centuries is the seasonal labour mobility of the male population that shaped the traditional cultural model of local communities and the region. but also by the rhythms of economy and political events?” (Brunnbauer 2004: 131). this region with differently defined borders shows common. and to Europe and America (from the beginning of the twentieth century on) are traditionally called in Balkan languages as gurbet. cultural borders and later state frontiers on the Balkans. gurbetlăk and/ or pečalbarstvo. the Republic of Serbia and the Republic of Macedonia. the feast calendar.1 This region is known from literature as Šopluk – a region with unclearly defined borders and cultural specifics (Hristov 2004a: 67–82. they change in the course of history and “by definition are modified after changes in state borders” (Prelić 1996: 115) – at least this is the way it has been on the Balkans. In general. This region has only sporadically been mentioned in previous studies of migrational movements on the Balkans (cf. as a consequence of the social and economic transformations during the ninetenth and twentieth centuries? Is it possible to agree with the statement that “the lives of mountain people were not only determined by ‘geographic’ time that is hardly touched by change.

male agrarian labour migrations increasingly acquired the characteristics of market production. Demetrius). combined with different kinds of agricultural labour. especially Ljaskovec. delivering their goods to the so-called “Women’s market” in the capital of newly liberated Bulgaria (Bliznaška 1984: 118). 4 Compare with the Bulgarian “going down to Romanja” (“at harvest”). 5 For example: In 1853 the report of the Austrian vice-consul in Sofia. therefore a big part of these would leave the native places in the spring to go elsewhere and seek for opportunities to earn money in Istanbul. for example through (seasonal) labour migration5 and development of trade and handicraft (Brunnbauer 2004: 134). In the agrarian sector. from where they came only as late as in the winter” (Mihov 1943: 331–332). from Arabian-Turkish gurbet – “foreign country”. was also typical of the nineteenth and the first decade of the twentieth centuries. and Trjavna). seasonal migration represented mainly movement of labour force from mountain regions (according to Fernand Braudel zones characterised by “archaism and poverty”) to the rich lowlands and river valleys in the season of crop harvesting:4 a typical process for the entire Balkan and Mediterranean area (Braudel 1998: 30. even Asia Minor. Gerov’s dictionary. The scarce land and its insufficient fertility very often forced mountain villages to open up to the market. but their female version Word in South Slavic languages. von Martrit (published in Vienna in 1853). according to N. In the agricultural sphere. At the end of the nineteenth century19th cent. They also formed the mass of market-oriented agrarian temporary migrants to Sofia. 41 f. seasonal hired shepherding (fixed in the traditional calendar between the feasts of St. 51–53). Brunnbauer 2004: 141 f.).Trans-Border Exchange of Seasonal Workers 217 bour migrations (gurbetlăk3) during the last decades of the Ottoman Empire could be connected to a broad range of economic activities in the agricultural sector and in a number of specific crafts (Palairet 1987: 225–235.). the Bulgarian verb gurbetuvam means “to go abroad” (Gerov 1895: 26). George and St.. later also in Dobrudža and Wallachia) and start intensive production of early vegetables for the market (Palairet 1987: 25. These seasonal migrations for agricultural labour had their age and gender characteristics in the different parts of the Balkans. The need for market-oriented production triggered a fast increase in male agrarian mobility (gurbet) in the central parts of Bulgaria (Veliko Tărnovo region. During the last decades of the nineteenth century. 40–43. 3 . stated that “the Christians citizens of the region around the town of Trăn were so poor that they could hardly pay their taxes. and gurbetčija is “foreigner” (Gerov 1908: 83). Male gardeners from Central Bulgaria developed to perfection the production of early vegetables for the big city market in Central Europe (mainly the Habsburg Empire) and became famous far beyond the boundaries of the Balkans. Gorna Orjahovica. Male gardeners would rent land in the surroundings of large cities (at first around Istanbul.

known as Šopluk: legends were told about masters who can “shoe the flea and split the sole-leather into nine” (Cvijić 1906: 194). connected with the obligation of road-fortification works (Mironova-Panova 1971: 65). Belgrade) and Wallachia to Istanbul and Asia Minor (Izmir) as builders (dung’eri). yet. Petrović 1920: 18. Demetrius’s day). Palairet 1987: 23–46). In the mountain regions of the central and the eastern parts of the peninsula male craftsman’s labour away from home (pečalbarstvo) was popular and traditionally prestigious (Bobčev 1902: 107. potters (kaljavci). masons (dzidari). According to some authors. The maidservant market in Sofia. The seasonal mobility of the pečalbari. However. This referred especially to the region in the heart of the Balkans. Cvijić 1931: 134). which was previously organized and encouraged by the state for the needs of the army in the early times of the Ottoman Empire. MironovaPanova 1971: 65. well documented in the period after the Crimean War (1853–56). the tradition of construction-work migration was rooted in the special status of the local population in the Ottoman Empire. Šumadia. and “crepari” (making flat clay baking pots – crepnja or podnica). organized twice a year at the Djulgerska piazza (a week after St. and from some villages also as stone-cutters (cf.218 Petko Hristov “na žătva” (“for harvest”) was exclusively maidens (Hristov 2005: 87–88). . the woman would stay with her husband and new family at home – the patrivirilocal model of post-marital residence dominated in the mentioned regions even until the middle of the twentieth century. George’s day and after St. the growing needs of the new bourgeois society in the capital forced the quick development of new types of temporary maiden labour – being a maidservant in a rich urban family became important for the socialization of girls from a number of villages near Sofia (Palairet 1987: 34). tile-makers (ciglari). after marriage. it is more probable that the genesis of male seasonal migrations in these mountain regions was conditioned by the decay of well-developed sheep-herding. The intensifying of agricultural production during the first decades of the twentieth century put an end to the seasonal maiden mobility. But traditionally. The Šopluk mountain regions were a constant source of seasonal maiden workers that migrated towards the lowland regions (the lowlands around Sofia in Bulgaria and Ovče pole in Eastern Macedonia) at the time of crop harvesting. Nikolić 1910: 29. became an important topos in the capital of Bulgaria after World War One (Hristov 2005: 87). were predominantly connected to construction work (dung’erstvo) and pottery-making (crepnjarstvo): men were going about “from early spring to late autumn” all over the Balkan peninsula – from Serbia (Morava region.

An indirect proof for the comparatively late (nineteenth century) genesis and growth of the labour migrations (pečalbarstvo) of builders from the central part of the Balkans are the legendary narratives of learning the craft directly from Italian masters (Palairet 1987: 65) or with the mediation of debarčani (seasonal workers from Western Mac- Cf. the central power sent as governor one of the most famous leaders of the Kărdžali bands of soldiers. “Detailed Register of D elepkešani from 1576” in the Bulgarian National Library. 6 . Many of the villages had the privileged status of guardians of mountain passes (dervendžiani) and also of supporting the Sultan’s army (vojnuk). which originated as a new (or cyclic) response to the specific peculiarities in the development of the Ottoman Empire after the eighteenth century (the expansion of čiflik landowning) and in the specific ecological niches of the herding and mixed (herding-agricultural) regions of the Balkans.Trans-Border Exchange of Seasonal Workers 219 Labour mobility in the Ottoman period: motives and growth During the early Ottoman period (fifteenth to seventeenth centuries). and a prolonging of the cycle of complexity in family-kin households (zadruga). Ottoman registers in the central part of the peninsula had fixed a very well-developed network of dželepkešani (sheep-breeders)6 supplying the state. an increase of population. file-number 23. where economic progress in the late eighteenth century was connected to swine-breeding. these mountain regions in the heart of the peninsula developed intensive sheep-breeding. f. and the capital of Istanbul (Grozdanova. the army. Oriental Section. In my opinion this specific development of the socio-economic conditions in the Ottoman Empire is a prerequisite for the popularization in the central regions of the peninsula of male labour mobility for construction-work gurbet after the first quarter of the nineteenth century. caused by the unrest of the Kărdžali marauders and the weakening of the central power7 led to a decrease of pastures and uncultivated lands in the mountain regions. Kara Feiz. who was followed by his son Ali. The destruction of the agrarian system and the profound social crisis in the Ottoman Empire at the end of the eighteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth century. In contrast with some Balkan regions close to Šopluk (such as Šumadia in Serbia). These processes gave Maria Todorova grounds to argue that the zadruga as one of the forms of complex family/household was a late phenomenon. the geographical frequency of the zadruga distribution “invariably follows the curve of the mountain terrain in the Balkans. These services for the Empire’s army brought to the local villages (mainly Christian) tax privileges and local autonomy. And. especially in Western Bulgaria (Todorova 1993: 151). Andreev 1986: 121). 7 In Šopluk. overriding ethnic boundaries” (Todorova 1993: 174). 95. as Maria Todorova holds. granted by the Ottoman government (Brunnbauer 2004: 139).

Traditionally migrant male labour groups followed the norms of customary practice: a hierarchy of masters (majstor). Here I agree with Michael Palairet’s conclusion (Palairet 2002: 147). This peculiarity. journeymen (kalfa). In certain parts of Šopluk (such as Pirot) the growth of pečalbarstvo was also stimulated by the lean years (e. among the village community. 1897–1898) and the devastation of vineyards by phylloxera in the end of the nineteenth century (Petrović 1920: 18 f. g. The presence of these master builders throughout the Balkan parts of the empire was well documented even before the 1870s. Palairet 1987: 28). However.). memoirs. . rarely. the deeply entrenched traditional role models for men and women in this patriarchal socio-cultural milieu inhibited the quick modernization in these pastoral local communities. 1969: 408). forces our choice of research strategy for the historic-ethnographic reconstruction of seasonal cross-border mobility based predominantly on the use of narrative sources. in Crna Trava (Serbia) special three-month courses were organized in the winter period for the preparation of master-constructors (Petrović 1920: 23) and in 1903 in Trăn (Bulgaria) a Construction School was opened which was well known all over the country and is functioning up to this day. as well as the fact that during the entire period after the liberation of Bulgaria the official state statistics did not take into account seasonal workers hired for less than six months (Natan et al. during the construction of the Russe-Varna railroad (Barkley 1877: 56–57).220 Petko Hristov edonia8. mainly Christians. They were based upon the kinship principle and up to the beginning of the twentieth century did not know any written form of regulation (of the guild type). Todorov 1940: 462). The men’s labour mobility. The seasonal “pouring out” of male mountain population (“u pečalbu”. their seasonal absence from their local village communities and their continuous work outside the home region also resulted in the proverbial strength of kinship networks in these regions. cf. “u rabotu”) to other parts of the Balkan Peninsula made for the stability in time of the complex family households (zadruga type) and for increasing the importance of women’s position in the family (Brunnbauer 2004: 144). not earlier than the nineteenth century. from the Mijak region in the southwestern part of the present Republic of Macedonia. the first attempts were made at the centralized regulation of the traditional craft of construction (dung’erstvo) in these regions. scattered information from regional research in 8 Actually these were masters. An important condition for the continuous conservation and the great significance of the familykin structure of the entire village life was the traditional form of organization of the migrants’ groups (pečalbarska tajva) of construction workers. After the 1890s. and apprentices (čirak) was selected mainly among kin and. which at that time was within the borders of the Debar district (vilayet) of the Ottoman Empire (cf. For this reason.

Paračin. Kumanovo. Dobrudža in northeastern Bulgaria. They started their journey on some of the great spring feasts. Constantine and Helen’s Day) they were already at work (u rabotu) (Petrović 1920: 14). Pirot (Zaglavak and Visok). a language they had learnt during their seasonal labour migrations in Wallachia (Nikolić 1910: 28). within the boundaries of the Ottoman Empire it was the region of Zagore (near the Bulgarian towns of Vidin and Lom) in northwestern Bulgaria. and changes The directions.Trans-Border Exchange of Seasonal Workers 221 Bulgaria and Serbia. and oral family history narratives turn out to be the basic source of information for studying seasonal or temporary labour migrations of men from the central Balkan regions. which were especially popular among the Wallachian population (Mironova-Panova 1971: 69–70). the builders in Wallachia had a much higher prestige as craftsmen – they were both better fed and better paid for their work (always in gold) (Petrović 1920: 18). Compared to the hired agrarian workers who spent the entire day on the field and were only fed with mamaliga once in the evening. today southern Romania). but according to tradition mostly on the first Monday of Long Lent. One of the first big construction contractors in Serbia and in the capital of Belgrade came from . Vranje. they reached the villages in southern Romania (Hristov 2007: 465–473). which were already free at the time. the main centres of attraction for the groups of migrants from the regions of Crna Trava. Leskovac. These builders were famous for their houses of rammed earth construction (bienica or punjenica). Caribrod. In the middle of May (St. Stojančević 1995: 283– 331). from where the groups of seasonal migrant constructors went around all over Šumadija. The main stream of construction workers used to set out for Istanbul. Lužnica. towards the end of the nineteenth century the male population spoke Romanian fluently. modernisation. Trăn. Pirot. George’s Day). destinations. Caribrod and Godeč. Before the Liberation of Bulgaria (1878). and the capital of Istanbul. and Čuprija. Over the Petrohan pass. and character of seasonal labour of male migrant groups changed several times in the nineteenth and the first decades of the twentieth century in accordance with the turbulent and complicated history of this part of the Balkans (Manolova-Nikolova 1997: 159–173. The groups of pečalbari for Wallachia used to gather in the town of Godeč in Bulgaria. Mladenci (The Forty Holy Martyrs) or Djurdjovden (St. Jagodina. Liberation. Meeting points for Serbia before 1878 were the (at that time) border settlements of Smederevo. the town of Lom and the ports of Turnu Severin and Četatja on the Romanian bank of the Danube. In a number of villages in the regions of Timok. Kratovo and Kriva Palanka were Serbia and Vlaško (Wallachia.

During the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78. Although divided by the new political frontiers. which broke out after the Berlin Congress in the Bulgarian regions that remained within the borders of the Ottoman Empire. They also participated in the Kresna-Razlog uprising. “free”) Christian Serbia and Wallachia gave them the opportunity to actively organize and join the struggles for the National Liberation of the Balkans. acting in co-ordination with the Russian and the Serbian Armies. His revolutionary detachments. local workers. Vranje (today in Serbia) and northeastern Macedonia to the line Vranje – Kriva Palanka – Kratovo (Petričev 1940b: 163–171. At this moment the predominantly Bulgarian population made its Christian and Slavic identity a priority – the connections already established due to the labour mobility were the basis for the joining of these masters and their construction groups in the Liberation Wars. formed three Bulgarian volunteer detachments of constructors from Trăn. which had to take part in the forthcoming war of the Serbs against the Ottoman Empire (Petričev 1940a: 140).. were the main force of the Šop (or “Trăn”) uprising. who came from the village of Nasalevci. the annual journeys of men from the central parts of the Balkans “for work” and “for gain” shaped specific features of the feast- . The legendary master-builder Grozdan Iliev Nasalevski (called “Captain Grozdan” for his participation in the National Liberation Wars). From the meeting point they split up into groups of ten and went along the roads of Šumadija. Over the course of years. it was in Ćuprija in 1862. The uprising was led by another prominent citizen of Trăn. soon after the founding of the First Bulgarian Legion in Belgrade.222 Petko Hristov the region of Crna Trava (today in Serbia) and Trăn (today in Bulgaria) (Petrović 1920: 23). at the request of Georgi S. the Šopluk population in many aspects kept for decades its common traditional specifics as a cultural region in the heart of the Balkans. Some of the leaders of these male pečalbari groups acquired military ranks in the Serbian army and later participated actively in the Serbian-Turkish War of 1876–77 as volunteers in the “Slavic” Corps of the Russian General M. Iliev 2000: 94–114). hoping for political independence from Ottoman rule. used to lead large groups of 500 of 1000 construction workers to Serbia every year. e. Labour mobility among these men from the central regions of the Balkans and the resulting possibility for them to often pass the borders between the Ottoman Empire and the already autonomous (i. where Grozdan Nasalevski. formerly seasonal workers in Serbia. which led to the liberation of Bulgaria and the independence of Serbia. who was promoted to the rank of officer. which resulted in the liberation of their homelands. Simo Sokolov. Trăn region. liberated consecutively the regions of Trăn (today in Bulgaria). Černjaev. Rakovski.

Michael the Archangel’s Day). These migrant “toponyms of separation” were a type of “lieux de mémoire”. but spent the winter months in their home villages. local folk tradition shows a stable “migrant” ritual complex connected with seeing off and meeting the construction groups of pečalbari. Demetrius’ Day to St. The majority of the seasonal construction workers in Sofia were from mountain villages in the border regions between Bulgaria and Serbia and from the regions of Kratovo and Kriva Palanka. which the men had to walk over to acquire magical protection. At the beginning of the twentieth century. marking the region’s boundary. reaching their culminations in the feasts of Randželovdăn (St. The weddings were similarly concentrated in the winter period. which remained within the boundaries of the Ottoman Empire. The most famous construction contractors in the Bulgarian capital were born in Trăn or in Macedonia (Petrović 1920: 23). the feast of the family patron-saint. the construction workers were still “seasonal guests” in the big city: They worked and earned in the capital. Along with that.Trans-Border Exchange of Seasonal Workers 223 ritual system and folklore9 of the population of these regions. just like in traditional weddings the guests from the man’s side (oglednici) were sent to bring the bride and her dowry (ruba) (Mironova-Panova 1971: 181). Djulgerska Piazza. The seasonal construction workers had “their own” gathering and hiring place. The women used to accompany their husbands and sons far away from the bounds of the settlement to a traditionally fixed place. separating the region of Nišava from the valley of the Morava River (Ireček 1978: 48). if we use Pierre Nora’s terminology. John’s Day. ostavjam raj” (“I go abroad. I leave paradise”). where the groups of the departing pečalbari assembled. The toponyms of such pečalbari spots are most often connected with lamentation and describe touching scenes of (temporary) family separation. an important part of regional migrant culture. . After the liberation of Bulgaria (1878) the new capital Sofia soon became an attractive centre for temporary labour migrants from the central parts of the Balkans. Probably connected to the traditional migrant’s destinations and rituals of seeing off and meeting is the origin of the old name of the Kurbet Mountain. cf. The most important family-kin feasts (of the svetăc type. Soon after the Ilinden uprising it became clear that the dec- 9 A developed song cycle of the type “Tugjina idem. Peševa 1960: 739) were grouped in the period from St. Nikuldăn (St. Nicolas’s Day) and Božič (Christmas) (Hristov 2001: 193). Seeing off the migrants took place in the following way: On both sides of the house gate the eldest woman of the household scattered live coals from the fireplace. which came to be an important place in the capital as early as the end of the nineteenth century (Hristov 2005: 86).

but most of them stayed in America as immigrants. cf. such as the famous Znepole Hotel (for the pečalbari from Trăn) and the Razlog restaurant (for those from Macedonia). Sofia). The seasonal workers had permanent places where they met and communicated in Sofia.10 Organized around the kinship and/or local principle. Belgrade. the best tile-makers from Vidrar. many of these pečalbari from the central regions emigrated to America to avoid military service. and their seasonal moving “from early spring to late autumn” was compared to the flocks of migratory birds (“cranes”. hoping to liberate Macedonia (personal fieldwork records). the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. Hristov 2005: 85). Thessalonika. and led to a drastic decrease in trans-border labour mobility of men from the studied regions. 11 It is still said in Sofia that you can only “steal” but not learn the craft from the Trăn masters. During the inter-war period the Balkan market for seasonal trans-border migrants virtually collapsed – not only was the USA closed as “the pechalbar’s Eldorado”. only further intensified by nationalist propaganda. As early as the end of the nineteenth century. 10 . These craftsmen’s communities were traditionally closed in their specific subculture: the penetration of workers from other regions into their construction groups was a rare exception even as late as in the 1940s.224 Petko Hristov ades-long destinations of the pečalbari also traced the route of the refugees from the central parts of the peninsula. The local population on both sides of the (political) frontiers also accepted the migrants’ groups as specific communities. etc. For example. the masters from different villages of the Trăn region specialized in different constructing operations: The best plaster masters were from Glavanovci. the restrictive national legislation in the individual countries. Their specific dialect came to be their language marker (and an original “secret” language) both in Bulgaria and in Serbia (Cvijić 1922: 219). the groups of temporary migrants (pečalbarski tajvi) developed their specific subculture in the big cities (Istanbul. but also the social situation in Bulgaria. and later on from Bulgaria and Serbia (Petrov 1909: 3–6). Some of these “Americans” returned to their homes in the 1920s. 72 enrolled as volunteers in the “Macedonian-Odrin” volunteer corps of the Bulgarian Army to participate in the First Balkan War.11 In the beginning of the two Balkan Wars and during the First World War. America became an attractive place for free labour forces from the region – at first from Macedonia. Here is only one example: Ofut of 74 construction workers in Sofia from the village of Radibuš (Kriva Palanka region in the present Republic of Macedonia). The new political borders on the Balkans after the Balkan Wars and the First World War. and the complex political environment in most Balkan countries (both victorious and defeated in the wars).

where the men spent the inactive winter months. Becoming city dwellers. which dramatically changed the situation on the labour market and the character of labour relations in Bulgaria. created the social conditions for the permanent emigration to the cities that became a fact after the Second World War and was stimulated by the intense industrialization of the new socialist governments of Bulgaria and Yugoslavia. This new labour mobility still had the traditional characteristics of temporary labour. mainly in the Federal Republic of Germany. though: The men earned money in the city and their families stayed in their home villages in Šopluk. the builders brought to the big cities their families and gradually lost their connection to the land. This also radically changed the model of the (temporarily) separated families in the regions I have studied. with most West European countries successively becoming countries of immigration (Guentcheva et al.Trans-Border Exchange of Seasonal Workers 225 and in Greece drastically reduced the opportunities for labour migration (Palairet 1987: 34). 2003). . the process continued. Labour migrations after World War II: new models and gastarbeiter culture After the end of the Second World War the regions in the central parts of the Balkans became border zones of the new “People’s Republics”. During this period. and Macedonia. however. This was a consequence of the new policy and the new possibilities granted by some European countries such as West Germany. Being invited as legal workers for a certain period of time because of the need of labour force in some sectors of the economy. especially in Macedonia. This led to a change in the model of temporary labour among the men from these regions – their seasonal movement was redirected towards the big cities at the hearts of their own countries. The century-old model of seasonal labour migration was reversed again in the second half of the twentieth century in the regions of former Yugoslavia. temporary migrants from the territory of former Yugoslavia (specifically the builders from southeastern Serbia and the Kriva Palanka region in Macedonia) settled permanently in Western Europe. In the 1960s it began with the recruitment of migrant workers by some West European countries and. The accelerated industrialization of the 1950s turned the seasonal migrants into “socialist workers” and resulted in the mass depopulation of villages. Serbia. the gastarbeiter from the Balkans soon brought their families along and emigrated permanently in their host country. The increase of the internal temporary labour migrations. Only the elderly remained in the villages. West Germany “shared” the model and the term “gastarbeiter” for “temporary” labour migrants with the rest of the West European countries. through family reunions in the 1970s.

Hristov 2004b: 117 f. . the break-up of the former Yugoslav Federation. the formation of new independent states in the Western Balkans. however. “as if the village were still there” (“Kato da postoi seloto”. In the 1990s. Bocev 2001: 113–119. temporary labour migration developed on the classical scheme of “chain migration”. In some cases their families come to live with them in the host country. However. Later. What happens. bringing about new life strategies and expectations among the young generations. and the drawing of new state borders difficult to cross changed the traditional pečalbari/gastarbeiter models in many ways. to these temporary labour migrants (pečalbari) is the object of another research. accompanied by wars and ethnic conflicts.12 12 The first historical-cultural and ethnological observations in this direction for the region of the Rhodopes in Bulgaria are already available in a book titled “Living there. Today. In Bulgaria. the nostalgia for the home place still remains – after retirement some of the gastarbeiter return from all over the world to their native villages in order to die “at home”.226 Petko Hristov The traditional gurbet model of seasonal migration and labour outside the region (the families stay in their home places and the men earn abroad. cf. in the years of transition in the 1990s. many of the pečalbari villages are deserted. dreaming here” (Karamihova 2003). the labour mobility of the Bulgarians reproduced a number of features of the described trans-border gurbet model. the predominant transborder labour migration away from Bulgaria was illegal – men and also women entered the host country as “tourists” and their families stayed back home. was transformed from the early 1970s on into the model of the gastarbeiter culture. Serbia. but send money and spend what they have earned at home). still remains. In Bulgaria. At first groups of several men (recently more and more often also groups of women) leave their home places to work in the countries of Western Europe and send money for the support of their families in Bulgaria. including the desire to show off the success achieved “in gurbet”. but every year the local people return for their patron saint’s feast in order to make the collective offering (kurban) and the common table.). but with some new elements. known from the gastarbeiter culture of the temporary labour migrants from former Yugoslavia. Nevertheless. and the future will show what their perspectives are under the new conditions of Bulgarian EU membership. but even then the wish to return home. and the Republic of Macedonia there are also villages which have been completely abandoned for decades.

Sofia: DIOS. London: Murray.Trans-Border Exchange of Seasonal Workers 227 Conclusion In summing up one can say that the traditional temporary migration of males from the mountain regions in the central parts of the Balkans generated specific transformations of the entire traditional socio-cultural model of the local population – in its social organization. 2. . Bobčev. Sofia: Pečatnica na P. Stefan 1902: Sbornik bălgarski juridičeski običai [A collection of Bulgarian legal practices]. Braudel. 1. In: Veselin Hadžinikolov. The changed socio-economic situation on the peninsula in the last decade of the twentieth century turned some Balkan countries like Greece from countries sending migrants into host countries for seasonal/temporary labour migrants. and in the specifics of the gender roles. in its family models and marriage strategies geared at prolonging the cycle of complexity of the family households. Sofia: Bălgarsko istoričesko družestvo. which are a source of new waves of gurbetčia (pečalbari). Bocev. The Balkan Wars in the early twentieth century changed the course of these temporary migrations and the new migration policy in Europe from the 1960s onward transformed the entire character of the social relations in the regions sending pečalbari from the Balkans. 113–119. under the influence of the new conditions in the region. 113–120. M. Literature Barkley. At the same time the pečalba tradition and the specific gurbet mentality show remarkable stability in a number of regions in the Balkans. Bezajtov. Narodnata kultura v Sofija i Sofijsko [The traditional culture in Sofia and Sofia region]. In: Tošo Spiridonov (ed. 1877: Between the Danube and the Black Sea. Bliznaška. Eva 1984: Vlijanieto na gradskata kultura vărhu razvitieto na zemedelieto v Sofijsko sled Osvoboždenieto [The influence of urban culture on the development of agriculture in Sofia region after liberation]. The entire socio-economic development in the Balkans and the geopolitical future of the separate states will determine to a great extent whether the pečalbari from the region will become permanent emigrants or continue to aspire a return to their native countries. settle permanently in the host countries and become immigrants. Ivanička Georgieva (eds.). Vladimir 2001: Životot vo pustoto selo Papavnica [Life in the abandoned village of Papavnica].) The Border. Sofia: ABAGAR. Fernand 1998: Sredizemno more i sredizemnomorskijat svjat po vremeto na Filip II [The mediterranean sea and the mediterranean world at the time of Philip II]. who. Henry C.

Karl Kaser (ed. 2. Elena. Petko 2004b: Praznikot na pustoto selo (Sliki ot ritualniot proces vo R. The “Serbian” Slava and/or the “Bulgarian” Săbor. In: Biljana Sikimić (ed.). Soziale Netzwerke in Bulgarien (19. Petko 2005: The Market and the Piazza for Hired Hand in Sofia as Places to Exchange Cultural Stereotypes. Vienna: IOM. In: Makedonski folklor 62: 105–122. Hristov. Bugarija) [The feast of the abandoned village (Pictures of the ritual process in the Republic of Macedonia and the Republic of Bulgaria)].). Cvijić. Petya Kabakchieva. Petko 2004a: Granicite na Šopluka i/ili šopi bez granici [The Boundaries of Shopluk and/or Shops without Boundaries]. Gerov. Hristov. Cvijić. Jovan 1931: Balkansko poluostrvo i južnoslovenske zemlje: osnovi antropogeografije [The Balkan Peninsula and the land of the Southern Slavs]. Ulf 2004: Environment. Hristov. und 20. Belgrade: Balkanološki institut SANU. Grozdanova. Jahrhundert). Belgrade: Srpska kraljevska akademija. Jovan 1906: Osnove za geografiju i geologiju Makedonije i Stare Srbije [The basics of the geography and geology of Macedonia and Old Serbia]. Rossitza. Guentcheva. Hristov. In: Ethnologia Balkanica 8: 129–154. Petko 2002: The Use of Holidays for Propaganda Purposes. Hristov. Hristov. 1. 67–82. Stefan Andreev 1986: Bălgarite prez XVI vek [The Bulgarians during the 16th century]. Plamen Kolarski 2003: Sharing Experience: Migration Trends in Selected Applicant Countries and Lessons Learned from the “New Countries of Immigration” in the EU and Austria. Cvijić. Makedonija i R. Sofia: Izdatelstvo na OF. Plovdiv: Pečatnica “Trud”. Najden 1908: Dopălnenie na bălgarskija rečnik ot Najden Gerov [Additions to Nayden Gerov’s dictionary of the Bulgarian language]. Petko 2007: “Vlaško” kato važna destinacija za sezonnite rabotnici (pečalbari) ot centralnata čast na Balkanite [Wallachia (“Vlaško”) as an im- . Belgrade: Knjižarnica Gece Kona. Belgrade: Knjižarnica Gece Kona. 1. Jovan 1922: Balkansko poluostrvo i južnoslovenske zemlje: osnovi antropogeografije [The Balkan Peninsula and the land of the Southern Slavs]. Skrivene manjine na Balkanu [Hidden minorities in the Balkans]. In: Ethnologia Balkanica 9: 82–90. Markets and the State: Human Adaptation in the Balkan Mountains. Vom Nutzen der Verwandten. Plovdiv: Săglasie. Wien: Böhlau. 187–199.228 Petko Hristov Brunnbauer. Najden 1895: Rečnik na bălgarskija ezik [Dictionary of the Bulgarian language] 1. Petko 2001: Ahnenkult in Westbulgarien: das Fest des Schutzheiligen. Sofia. In: Ethnologia Balkanica 6: 69–80. 19th – early 20th Century. In: Ulf Brunnbauer. Gerov.

163–171. Sofia: Družestvo Ruj. Kearney. Ljuben Berov. In: Probleme de filologie slava [Problems of Slav Philology] 15 (Timişoara) 465–473. Cambridge: Cambridge UP. Sofia: Nauka i izkustvo. 1877–1879: The transition between two epochs in the Trăn-Breznik Region]. Karamihova. Palairet. Stojanka 1971: Trănskijat kraj [Trăn Region]. dreaming here: Emigration processes in the beginning of the 21st century]. Nikolić. Nikolaj 2000: Kapitan Simo Sokolov (Trănskoto văstanie ot 1877) [Captain Simo Sokolov (The Trăn uprising of 1887)]. Nadja 1997: Sredna Zapadna Bălgaria 1877–1879 g. In: Thomas Barfield (ed. 424–436. Malinov. In: Srpski etnografski zbornik. Konstantin 1978: Istorija na bălgarite [History of the Bulgarians]. The Dictionary of Anthropology.).).). Michael 2002: The Balkan Economies c. Natan. Lev 1940a: Trănskite dobrovolci v sărbsko-turskata vojna – 1876 godina [Trăn volunteers in the Serbo-Turkish War of 1876]. Sofia: BAN. 23–46. Mihov. In: Elena Marushiakova (ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.) 1969: Ikonomikata na Bălgarija do socijalističeskata revoljucija [The economics of Bulgaria before the socialist revolution]. Dynamics of National Identity and Transnational Identities in the Process of European Integration. Nikola 1943: Prinosi kăm tărgovskata istorija na Bălgarija. da se sănuvaš tuk: Emigracionni procesi v načaloto na XXI vek [Living there. Handwerk in Mittel. In: Klaus Roth (ed. Trănski kraj. Veselin Hadžinikolov (eds. . Austrian consul’s reports]. In: Rodina 3–4: 159–173. Trănski kraj. Margarita 2003: Da ziveeš tam. Sofia: Bălgarska akademija na naukite. 2. Žak. Michael 1987: The Migrant Workers of the Balkans and Their Villages (18th Century – World War II). Vasa 1910: Iz Lužnice i Nišave [From Lužnica and Nišava]. Belgrade: Srpska kraljevska akademija. In: Radoslav Todorov (ed. 1. Zorančo 2008: The Macedonian Shops (Šopi): Borders. Oxford: Blackwell. Sofia: Družestvo Ruj. Munich. Michael 1997: Migration. Petričev. Ireček. In: Radoslav Todorov (ed. Mironova-Panova.: Pre­ hodăt meždu dve epohi v Trănsko-Brezniškoja kraj [Central Western Bulgaria.Trans-Border Exchange of Seasonal Workers 229 portant destination for seasonal workers (pečalbari) from the central part of the Balkans]. Identity and Perspectives. 147–162. 16.und Südosteuropa. Sofia: Izdatelstvo na OF. Petričev. 322–324. Sofia: Propeler. Manolova-Nikolova. Palairet.). Sofia: IMIR. Iliev. Lev 1940b: Šopskoto văzstanie prez 1877 godina na trănskoto opăl­ čenie [The Shop uprising of 1877 of the Trăn Volunteer Corps]. 2: Avstrijski konsulski dokladi [Contributions to the commercial history of Bulgaria. 1800–1914: Evolution without Development.

Abstract This is a historical overview of the destinations preferred by builders (dung’geri) coming from the central parts of the Balkan Peninsula. Rajna 1960: Edin starinen semeen praznik. Sofia: Družestvo Ruj. Trănski kraj.). After the liberation of Bulgaria. Petrović. Novi Sad: Prometej. These changes. Stojan Romanski. Vladimir 1995: Srbi i Bugari 1804–1878 [Serbs and Bulgarians 1804–1878]. and Australia with their families. Ezikovedski-etnografski izsledvanija v pamet na akad. Washington: The American UP. In: Glasnik Etnografskog instituta SANU 45: 101–121. In: Vladimir Lekov (ed. have led to the depletion of entire villages in the regions under scrutiny.230 Petko Hristov Petrov. Eastern Serbia. Maria 1993: Balkan Family Structure and the European Pattern. Jelenko 1920: Pečalbari. Celebrating the svetec in northwestern and western Bulgaria]. Belgrade: Tipografija. 731–754. . particularly from Pirot Region]. Mladena 1996: Posle Frederika Barta: Savremena proučavanja etniciteta u kompleksnim društvama [After Frederic Barth: Contemporary research on identity in complex societies]. Radoslav 1940: Trănčaninăt kato stroitel [The Trăn villager as a builder]. 461–463. when temporary migrants from former Yugoslavia settled down permanently in Western Europe. Gjorče 1909: Emigrantskoto dviženie za Amerika v Makedonija [Macedonian emigration to America]. and Macedonia. In: Radoslav Todorov (ed. Prelić. Todorov. Before the year 1878 the major routes led to both Istanbul as the capital of the Ottoman Empire and to autonomous Serbia and Wallachia.). naročito iz okoline Pirota [Pečalbari. The annual journeys of men from the central parts of the Balkans “for work” or “for gain” (pečalba) over years developed specific features of the ritual system and the folklore of the villages of these regions. Stojančević. America. Sofia: BAN. its new capital Sofia turned into an attractive centre for all the earners (pečalbari) from the regions of Western Bulgaria. In: Kulturno edinstvo 7–8: 3–6. The paper presents both the transformations of local societies and the formation of trans-border communities in the modernized city. as well as the entry of Bulgaria into the EU. Todorova. Praznuvane na svetec v Severozapadna i Zapadna Bălgaria [An ancient family feast. Peševa. The century-old model of seasonal labour migration from the centre of the Balkans was reversed during the second half of twentieth century.

com.ceeol. pages: 231­243. issue: 12 / 2008. Le cas de la zone métropolitaine de Bucarest «The Games of the Construction of a Metropolitan Region in Romania after 1989.  Les jeux de la construction d’une région métropolitaine dans la Roumanie après le 1989. on www. The Case of the Metropolitan Zone of Bucharest» by Dora Alexa­Morcov Source: Ethnologia Balkanica (Ethnologia Balkanica). .

Quel est le résultat ? Aujourd’hui. outre à un morcellement du pouvoir et des responsabilités. La structure a été vidée de son sens pour lui en donner un autre. au fil du temps. Au dernier projet communiste à deux niveaux – la commune et le département – fait pour que le centralisme démocratique soit mieux appliqué. décentralisation. qui ont subi beaucoup de changements et de remodelages selon une volonté politique ou une autre et selon les compromis issus de différents types de conceptions administratives.Ethnologia Balkanica 12 (2008) Les jeux de la construction d’une région métropolitaine dans la Roumanie après le 1989. à travers les structures territoriales administratives. subsidiarité. à présent. Les questions qui s’enchaînent sont liées. Dans ces conditions les villes s’érigent en pionnières de l’innovation institutionnelle en vue de créer de nouveaux espaces de développement et de réduire des déséquilibres entre le milieu urbain et son environnement rural. on superpose maintenant les nouveaux principes de gestion : autonomie locale. se développe un grand débat autour des relations entre « fluidité globale. restent aujourd’hui figées. Ces structures. les collectivités territoriales ont gagné leur autonomie mais. Un des concepts qui s’y rattachent est celui de la métropolisation qui désigne le processus de transformation qualitative. morcellement local et démocratie » (Mongin 2004 : 175). fonctionnelle et morphologique des très grandes villes (Elissade 2004). à la construction d’une action collective par rapport aux décisions politiques publiques des régions urbaines de la Roumanie : quels sont les . à un manque de ressources (matérielles. Après 1989. Bucarest La construction de la Roumanie Unifiée a été réalisée. ces nouvelles formes de coopération intercommunale se heurtent souvent à la réticence des voisins ruraux. Les problèmes de la phase actuelle du développement urbain (à la fois concentration et étalement) sont interprétés comme l’effet d’une inadéquation entre « les territoires fonctionnels et les territoires institutionnels » (Ghorra-Gobin 2004 : 159) et insistent sur les changements des politiques de gestion territoriale – plus précisément son passage au niveau régional. Le cas de la zone métropolitaine de Bucarest Dora Alexa-Morcov. donc. elles se trouvent confrontées. Appelées zones ou régions métropolitaines. humaines et institutionnelles) qui les empêche de bien gérer leur territoire. La Roumanie se trouve dans une situation particulière par rapport aux pays occidentaux. dans les pays occidentaux.

d’ajustement des territoires administratifs (institutionnels) aux diverses fonctions. car il entraîne des unités administratives très différentes du point de vue des ressources économiques. démographiques et politiques. les régions. la réponse pourrait se trouver dans la simple relation entre structure. L’analyse du cas de la constitution de la zone métropolitaine de Bucarest tend à montrer que la construction d’une région-projet n’est pas. Lorsqu’un nouvel espace de gestion. politiques et sociaux dus au processus de mondialisation. en effet. les déconstructions et les reconstructions des relations sociales et politiques survenues suite au changement d’échelle aux niveaux économiques. A travers un processus en cours d’implantation des nouveaux instruments de gestion administrative.Access via CEEOL NL Germany 232 Dora Alexa-Morcov mécanismes ? Quelles sont les logiques d’action des acteurs locaux ? Quelles sont les conditions et quels sont les enjeux ? Un nouveau champ disciplinaire appelé « Sociologie de la gouvernance » (Le Galès 2003) essaie de comprendre à travers une perspective territoriale. Ce cas. démontre que le rôle des acteurs ainsi que leur façon d’agir sont beaucoup plus importantes qu’on pourrait le penser et que « les inégalités économiques et sociales (…) sont une donnée fondamentale pour comprendre le déroulement d’une relation de pouvoir donnée. Friedberg 1977 : 65). fonction et acteurs. présentant des caractéristiques presque idéales pour que l’analyse soit claire. Le concept de gouvernance urbaine développé par ceux-ci se distingue de la gouvernance idéologique lancée comme recette d’une « bonne gouvernance ». l’agglomération urbaine. se heurte à la réticence des acteurs impliqués. il s’agit plutôt d’une négociation entre des acteurs aux ressources inégales et qui exercent des pouvoirs pour améliorer leur position dans un réseau d’acteurs. on peut comprendre le rôle des acteurs individuels et collectifs dans la construction institutionnelle. mais il prend en compte la multitude des acteurs et des intérêts qui s’y associent et vise à comprendre la superposition des nouvelles structures aux anciennes et le résultat qui en découle. le résultat évident d’une régulation fonctionnelle établie entre des acteurs publics locaux autonomes . comme l’intercommunalité. comme c’est le cas de la Zone Métropolitaine de Bucarest. L’initiative institutionnelle à caractère « optimal » de la Zone Métropolitaine de Bucarest – une « politique de l’espace  »? En 2004 la mairie de Bucarest a initié le projet : « Plan d’Aménagement Territorial Zonal – la Zone d’Agglomération Urbaine et Zone Métropolitaine de la . elles ne se reflètent que rarement telles quelles et mécaniquement dans celle-ci » (Crozier.

10 villes et 83 communes de 5 départements et mesure 5 046 km2. Etude non publiée. d’importantes voies de communication qui font partie du réseau européen comme le projet de navigation sur le Danube. sous la condition de « l’autonomie locale ». La Zone d’Agglomération Urbaine et Zone Métropolitaine de la Ville de Bucarest. Ces limites devraient être soumises à la consultation des acteurs publics locaux impliqués. en tant que telle. fonctionnellement et administrativement. les conseils locaux peuvent coopérer dans les domaines suivants : aménagement et gestion du territoire. qui vise à l’augmentation de la capacité de réalisation des objectifs fixés au niveau local. Celui-ci propose une intégration politique et synergétique qui englobe tous les niveaux de gouvernement des organismes locaux.2 Trois éléments de cette initiative me semblent importants pour comprendre les éventuelles réticences ou la mobilisation des rapports de forces : la proposition d’un espace fonctionnel optimal (1) où les acteurs publics locaux peuvent coopérer sur des domaines très divers (2) et une superposition de cet espace aux anciens territoires subordonnés à la ville de Bucarest (3). où les domaines de coopération et les compétences transférées s’inscrivent dans un cadre extrêmement large. de développement économique (optimisation de la croissance et de la Centre de Recherches Urbaines de la Mairie de Bucarest (CPUMB) 2005 : Plan d’Aménagement Territorial Zonal. ayant une population d’environ 2. 2 Parmi lesquelles l’Institut National des Recherches pour l’Urbanisme et Aménagement du Territoire « Urban Projet » où je suis employée et par le biais duquel j’ai pu faire partie de l’équipe qui a réalisé le projet. les principales zones d’agrément. les évaluations et les théories récentes sont de plus en plus sceptiques sur l’existence d’un optimum territorial qui pourrait satisfaire tous les besoins fonctionnels. L’analyse de la construction institutionnelle. ce groupe de professionnels a délimité un « espace optimal » qui pourrait répondre à l’intention stratégique d’assurer la réduction des disparités et satisfaire les conditions du « développement durable » pour la zone qui entoure la métropole de Bucarest. des logements (élaboration de programmes communs de logements. régionaux et centraux. élaboration de politiques de logements sociaux. dont 1 926 334 vivent sur le territoire municipal de Bucarest.6 millions d’habitants. Dans le contexte où les recherches. 1 . les sources d’alimentation en eau et les équipements afférents. Ainsi. Cet espace de coopération intercommunal serait l’espace qui traditionnellement était subordonné.Les jeux de la construction d’une région métropolitaine 233 Ville de Bucarest »1 au sein de son Centre de Recherches Urbaines et avec la collaboration de plusieurs entreprises pour la planification urbaine. nous révèle un caractère général et ambigu du projet. activités d’amélioration de l’ensemble des logements existants). La zone ainsi délimitée comprend la métropole de Bucarest. à la ville de Bucarest et dans lequel sont comprises d’importantes zones agricoles.

Son développement est directement lié à ses alentours car selon plusieurs auteurs la « zone périurbaine » (Iordan 1973) de Bucarest (avec ses dimensions dynamiques dans le temps) a représenté le territoire le plus important dans l’approvisionnement de la ville Capitale. Après 1948. transports publics. mais qu’est-ce qu’ils offrent ? » (Conseiller département d’Ilfov). La zone périurbaine est traversée de rivières comme la Dâmboviţa. Situées au début dans la Vallée de la Colentina. et l’eau est donc devenue une importante ressource pour une communauté périurbaine qui n’évite pas de la négocier : « … Bucarest veut toujours quelque chose de nous comme si c’était à eux. téléphone. Ainsi. service du feu. gaz). elle était la source des produits agricoles pour la Capitale. C’est ainsi que la ville a essayé avec ses premières organisations territoriales d’avoir le contrôle sur les ressources de la zone environnante en développant l’idée de « commune sous-urbaine » (une commune qui se trouve sous la tutelle de la ville).234 Dora Alexa-Morcov diversification des activités économiques). plus sa zone d’approvisionnement s’agrandissait. la politique. et réseaux divers (eau potable. les besoins en eau dus à la croissance de la population et aux changements fonctionnels de Bucarest (comme l’implantation des grandes industries) ont augmenté. les carrières se sont déplacées dans la Vallée de l’Argeş en suivant l’extension des zones . services publics  – voiries. Nommée « la vallée légumière » de Bucarest. éducation et culture. Les besoins en eau de la Capitale n’ont pas cessé d’augmenter jusqu’à nos jours. Ion Iordan montre qu’après 1929 une zone d’approvisionnement vers le nord-ouest se superposait aux limites du département d’Ilfov de l’époque. les services de la santé. eaux usées. la culture ou le marchandage. électricité. la ville de Bucarest a commencé son épanouissement après l’indépendance de 1877. ils ont besoin de l’eau. Plus la ville se spécialisait dans des fonctions tertiaires comme l’administration. l’Argeş et la Neajlov. la Capitale va capter l’eau dans les territoires des communes périurbaines dans les vallées de l’Argeş et de la Dâmboviţa. De 1918 à 1950 la ville de Bucarest appartenait au département d’Ilfov qui comprenait à l’époque 7 « plase » (unités intermédiaires entre le département et la commune) et la ville de Bucarest dont le territoire englobait 12 communes sous-urbaines. ils jettent leurs déchets. gestion des déchets. la zone périurbaine s’agrandissait et atteignait un rayon de 34–35 km. santé et sécurité des citoyens. Ainsi. Est-ce que la réticence des communes impliquées nous montre qu’elles ne comprennent pas l’importance de l’initiative (comme les professionnels l’affirment). Parallèlement à la modernisation des routes et à la croissance de la population. L’existence des rivières a conduit également à l’extraction des matières minérales utilisées dans la construction. ou bien serait-elle un signe qu’un discours fonctionnaliste ne peut plus légitimer des rapports de force entre des acteurs publics locaux ? Devenue capitale de la Roumanie en 1659. environnement.

deux départements de plus ont été créés – Călăraşi et Ialomiţa. De 1950 à 1968 le statut de Ville Républicaine de Bucarest fit preuve de la volonté de l’Etat centraliste de mobiliser tous les moyens pour son développement. etc. équivalents à 5 départements d’aujourd’hui : Teleorman. Les villes républicaines représentaient la priorité nationale selon le modèle importé de l’Union Soviétique. Les communes « sous-urbaines » au nombre de douze n’étaient pas non plus les mêmes. Par cette organisation la ville de Bucarest a assuré son espace vital. La région de Bucarest était composée de 15 rayons. j’ai voulu prouver le lien qu’il y a entre les nombreux changements au niveau de découpage et le besoin d’une grande ville comme Bucarest de préserver son espace de respiration. Pendant la période de l’économie centralisée. L’une des preuves peut être l’organisation administrative même de Bucarest et des alentours. Ce changement a affecté les alentours de Bucarest en ce qui concerne la construction des départements d’Ilfov et d’Ialomiţa. Cet objectif a provoqué l’élargissement du territoire administratif en englobant 28 communes sous-urbaines. Ialomiţa. restaurants etc. campings. les forêts de Vlăsia. Entre 1968 et 1981 Bucarest faisait partie de nouveau du département ­d’Ilfov mais elle n’a plus le contour d’antan mais un autre beaucoup plus grand. Le patrimoine riche en forêts et en lacs constitue des lieux de loisirs pour les bucarestois. son espace vital de développement. d’une beauté reconnue. Ses effets négatifs vont s’amplifier après 1990.) et de transports.Les jeux de la construction d’une région métropolitaine 235 construites. Les nouveaux . Ilfov et une partie du département de Dâmboviţa. Bălteni et aussi de nombreuses constructions résidentielles comme les manoirs et les palais. Cette zone avait attiré l’attention des nobles et des boyards depuis longtemps. Ces richesses nécessitent l’implantation de structures de services (hôtels. des fermes agricoles. toutes ces zones riches en ressources naturelles sont exploitées pour le bien-être de la ville capitale. En suivant les principales étapes de l’organisation administrative de la ville de Bucarest en relation avec ses alentours et avec la dynamique économique de la zone. Giurgiu. L’Etat a créé des industries très diverses (liées plutôt aux ressources de pétrole). les lacs Căldăruşani. C’est ainsi qu’en 1930 ont été aménagés les lacs sur la Colentina. Snagov. motels. Călăraşi. A la suite de cette réorganisation. et qui représentent aujourd’hui le patrimoine culturel de la zone. mais il a créé des grands disfonctionnements au niveau des autres départements (Călăraşi. L’organisation administrative de la Roumanie entre 1968 et 1989 a été d’une stabilité exceptionnelle – on n’observe qu’un seul changement. Après 1989 le seul petit changement au niveau de l’organisation administrative est la transformation du Secteur Agricole de Ilfov en département autonome sans aucune modification au niveau de la forme et du contenu. Le département d’Ilfov est maintenant englobé dans la ville de Bucarest et appelé le Secteur Agricole d’Ilfov qui comprend 41 communes et une ville. Ialomiţa et Giurgiu) par leur découpage très allongé.

comme l’autonomie locale. représentent la Région de développement Bucarest-Ilfov. de l’économie. A l’opposé se situent les départements de la région du Sud dont une bonne partie entrent dans la création de la zone métropolitaine (Călăraşi. dépassent visiblement en développement les autres régions (que ce soit du point de vue de la démographie. elles ne peuvent pas trop tirer profit de cette situation au niveau communautaire. même si les communes dont j’ai parlé plus haut sont assez proches de la ville de Bucarest (entre 15 et 30 km) et si au niveau individuel c’est possible que cette situation ait une influence sur l’emploi ou l’éducation. équilibrage du budget local etc. des transports. conformément à la loi. matériel et humain. D’après cette logique. Toutes les études le démontrent (Popescu 1999) : Bucarest et Ilfov sont en haut de la hiérarchie. Ialomiţa. Ainsi. Cette situation est visible dans les revenus budgétaires au niveau des départements. etc. Les communes moins développées de la « zone métropolitaine » se trouvent au croisement de deux situations défavorables : l’appartenance à un département peu développé dans son ensemble et la position périphérique dans celui-ci (dont la distance jusqu’au chef-lieu du département atteint entre 80 et 100 km). pour une population de 275 893 habitants répandus dans 39 unités administratives (102 villages). 4  millions de lei (~80%).8 millions de lei (~28%) de revenu propre.236 Dora Alexa-Morcov principes que la Roumanie doit appliquer. superposés aux anciennes structures créent beaucoup de dysfonctionnements et d’effets inattendus. d’ailleurs. Les territoires d’un « territoire-projet » Les analyses existantes sur cette zone ont révélé le fait que le « territoire-projet » proposé unifie politiquement des territoires hétérogènes au niveau du capital communautaire. dont les revenus propres sont de 2 075 750. le département d’Ilfov a un revenu total de 2 929 919  millions de lei. car tous les services publiques.). Le département de Călăraşi avec une population de 320 387 habitants répartis dans 48 localités. n’a que 1 804 083 millions de lei de revenu total et 519 819. C’est à partir de cette situation qu’on trouve 5 communes développées sur 26 dans les départements en dehors d’Ilfov. alors que pour une population de 288 018 habitants répandus dans 46 unités administratives. On sait que la ville de Bucarest et le département d’Ilfov qui. sont assurés par leur département. le département de Giurgiu a un revenu total de 1 519 337. la décentralisation ou la subsidiarité. . Giurgiu). de l’accès aux services.6 millions de lei dont 469 793 millions de lei (~30%) représentent les revenus propres. Ils sont parmi les moins développés du pays. transports intradépartementaux.

j’ai essayé de comprendre comment les acteurs conçoivent la situation organisationnelle dans laquelle ils se trouvent. avec l’administration municipale de la ville de Bucarest et avec les administrations voisines. santé publique « difficile » – handicap psychique) sur le territoire d’Ilfov. L’installation des infrastructures sur son territoire lui donne deux types d’avantages : d’un côté l’utilisation de celles-ci et d’un autre côté l’argent obtenu de leur installation dans le territoire. passe sur le territoire d’Ilfov (routes. toute l’infrastructure des transports. . Précisément. C’est-à-dire quel est leur rapport avec l’administration départementale. La sélection des communes a été faite sur la pertinence de leur situation en essayant d’appréhender la diversité des contraintes qui dirigeront d’une façon ou d’une autre les actions à entreprendre. Ilfov est le département le plus petit (en surface) de la Roumanie et ses unités administratives sont localisées uniformément autour de la ville de Bucarest (juste un petit allongement est visible dans la partie au nord du département). aéroports). maintenant.Les jeux de la construction d’une région métropolitaine 237 A l’inverse. Dans un premier temps. autoroutes. en explorant la situation subjective. les communes tirent un double avantage : d’une part le département qui devient de plus en plus riche et d’autre part la municipalité de Bucarest qui installe des infrastructures de services (gestion des déchets. En plus. Cette situation est la résultante du fait que le territoire qui a fait partie de Bucarest pendant 10 ans est. Nouveaux « jeux » dans des anciens territoires En connaissant une structuration « objective » du champ étudié j’ai utilisé une méthode de recherche qualitative. en vue de préserver son territoire. telle qu’elle est vécue par ceux-ci. L’enquête s’est déroulée dans deux périodes de temps : (1) entre le 9 et le 15 Avril et (2) entre le 2 et le 6 Mai 2006. pour dévoiler « les bonnes raisons » des acteurs en ce qui concerne leurs positions face au projet d’intercommunalité. La zone étudiée étant assez grande (94 communes) j’ai réalisé cette recherche après un choix de communes. géré d’une façon autonome. ce qui lui donne la possibilité de disposer de son territoire. 2) les enjeux politiques qu’ils mènent. les entretiens dont les sujets sont les acteurs de l’administration locale – les maires. dont la Capitale de la Roumanie a besoin. traitement des eaux usées. Vu cette situation. vice-maires ou les conseillers envisagent de comprendre les différentes motivations en ce qui concerne leur attitude par rapport au projet. En ce sens j’ai pris trois directions de questionnement : 1) la perspective que les acteurs ont sur leur position dans le système organisationnel administratif tel qu’il se trouve en ce moment. à travers des entretiens semi directifs.

mais je leur donne ici un contenu différent. de routes modernes.238 Dora Alexa-Morcov 3) le fait que le projet ne soit pas encore « clair » au niveau de sa conception. distance par rapport à la ville de Bucarest. Ainsi je peux parler de quatre types de territoires comme ceci : Territoires branchés3 : des communes ou petites villes qui appartiennent au département d’Ilfov et qui bénéficient en même temps d’une proximité de la ville de Bucarest (moins de 15 kilomètres). Elles ont des petits budgets et bénéficient d’un pourcentage infime provenant de l’administration départementale. Ialomiţa. mais qui se trouvent à une distance de moins de 20 kilomètres de Bucarest. Mon analyse utilise la dialectique de territoire zone et territoire réseaux (Veltz 1996) pour caractériser les disparités qui existent entre les territoires envisagés. Giurgiu intégrés que partiellement dans le projet) qui se trouvent à une distance de plus de 20 kilomètres de Bucarest. qui ne bénéficient que des routes départementales et qui ont à la fois des budgets réduits et un pourcentage infime provenant de l’administration départementale. mais qui bénéficient d’une partie assez importante de leur budget provenant de l’administration départementale. Ialomiţa. . Celui-ci pourra m’aider sur la structuration des relations de pouvoir qui lie les divers acteurs. accès à l’infrastructure des transports) et situation (appartenance départementale. chose que je veux investiguer. Je m’appuie sur le concept de capital spatial communautaire à deux dimensions : position (périphérie/centre. de Jacques Lévy (1999). les relations institutionnelles formelles – ayant comme indicateur le taux du budget parvenu à une mairie par la politique du rééquilibrage). Territoires retranchés : des communes périphériques appartenant aux autres départements (Călăraşi. qui n’ont pas un grand budget. les risques et les opportunités d’une acceptation du projet. d’un grand budget et d’une bonne relation avec l’administration départementale reflétée dans le taux du budget provenant de l’administration départementale à travers la politique du rééquilibrage. En général j’ai voulu saisir quels seraient. Territoires enclavés : des communes périphériques appartenant aux autres départements (Călăraşi. dans la vision des acteurs. Territoires accrochés : des communes qui appartiennent au département ­d’Ilfov mais qui se trouvent à une distance de plus de 15 kilomètres de la ville de Bucarest et qui disposent de routes moins importantes (route départementale). mais également ce qui a été compris du projet par les différents acteurs. Giurgiu intégrées que partiellement dans le projet). pour leur expressivité. 3 Les dénominations sont prises. Dans un deuxième temps je mets en relation le cadre des contraintes qui définit aussi les zones d’incertitude et les ensembles des stratégies pour éclairer « le jeu » dans lequel toutes ces stratégies s’insèrent.

au niveau de l’intérêt politique. D’ailleurs il faut dire que tous les acteurs. ni très différentes dans leur nature car elles font partie à la fois d’un jeu de rapport de forces et d’une contradiction des rationalités des acteurs. En plus. Les acteurs institutionnels du département d’Ilfov. Ainsi. Au niveau communautaire les attitudes négatives et positives des acteurs institutionnels locaux ne sont ni très claires. En ce contexte le département d’Ilfov. les acteurs de l’administration et le parti politique auquel ils appartiennent (c’est-à-dire une confusion entre l’organisation centrale du parti et l’administration de Bucarest où se trouvent. ne regardent pas ce projet comme un renouvellement des moyens de gestion administrative. la constitution d’une zone métropolitaine comme une zone de coopération volontaire devient cruciale pour que Bucarest s’assure un espace où elle peut construire des objectifs qui.Les jeux de la construction d’une région métropolitaine 239 A travers l’analyse des actions collectives à l’intérieur des contraintes de Crozier et Fiedberg. à la fin. j’ai considéré les attitudes des acteurs comme des signes des actions stratégiques. avec sa forme d’anneau qui fait de Bucarest une enclave. les acteurs jouent une position territoriale qui devient pertinente dans le nouvel enjeu institutionnel pour gagner une meilleure position dans le système organisationnel territorial (et tirer les avan- . dans quelques cas. que ce soit « pour » ou « contre ». les notables des partis). D’une part Bucarest détient l’information sur les objectifs publics mais elle n’a aucun moyen législatif. la possibilité de tirer tous les avantages politiques impliqués. il faut souligner que les discours des maires ont révélé le fait que l’administration de Bucarest est vue parfois comme une administration centrale. j’ai essayé de comprendre le jeu du pouvoir structuré autour de l’incertitude dans la maîtrise d’un environnement spécifique à chaque partie. mais plutôt comme une réorganisation administrative que le pouvoir central – Bucarest. dans le contexte de l’autonomie locale.veut imposer. pour s’imposer dans la zone environnante en tant que centre – chose qui paraîtrait logique au vu de la force économique de Bucarest – et pour installer ses objectifs d’infrastructure publique dans ces territoires. conscients de leur position spatiale (qui les aide à la fois à utiliser toutes les avantages d’une grande ville et à faire de celle-ci une enclave territoriale. En fonction des capacités spécifiques. a une position spatiale à faire jouer comme zone d’incertitude pertinente. apportent une visibilité importante (c’est le cas de l’implantation d’un aéroport et de la continuation du canal navigable Bucarest-Danube commencé à l’époque communiste). une île) l’utilisent pour renforcer leur situation spatiale c’est-à-dire pour agrandir la marge de liberté par rapport aux autres acteurs territoriaux (leur pouvoir dans un rapport de forces) qui leur donne. En suivant les raisons pour lesquelles les acteurs ont adopté une attitude plutôt qu’une autre. Cette confusion est liée à une limite assez diffuse que les acteurs institutionnels locaux conçoivent entre l’administration.

voient la question foncière et celle des services publiques comme étant les problèmes les plus difficiles. en fonction de la situation et des caractéristiques de l’individu. Par contre. le chômage qui s’en suit et la dépendance à l’administration départementale (en ce qui concerne la manque de personnel. ceux qui n’ont pas connu cette expérience (les maires plus jeunes) sont assez sceptiques en ce qui concerne la possibilité de tirer des avantages d’une structure à l’intérieur de laquelle ils n’ont pas non plus une position trop favorable. ils vont tirer des avantages de cette situation en négociant leur position à l’intérieur de leurs partis. Ainsi. Deuxièmement. Le premier fait référence à l’explosion des constructions réservées aux zones constructibles selon le plan d’urbanisation (dit « intravilan ») et au fait qu’ils doivent assurer tous les services nécessaires. d’une façon ou d’une autre. les acteurs qui ont encore en mémoire l’expérience vécue (en 1981) à l’intérieur du département d’Ilfov ont une raison en plus de croire que même si une nouvelle administration ne va pas s’occuper d’eux non plus. Dans cette situation les acteurs réagissent positivement au projet de l’intercommunalité métropolitaine mais sous différentes réserves. ils essaient de s’assurer le gain le plus sûr que possible. où tout changement peut impliquer la perte de leurs positions. de bureaucratie et parmi eux la dépendance financière qui s’en suit de l’incapacité de ramasser les taxes et impôts spécifiques en comptant presque totalement sur les revenus provenant de l’administration départementale par la politique d’ajustement budgétaire). les acteurs des communautés appartenant aux catégories « Territoires retranchés » ou « Territoires enclavés » voient comme les plus graves problèmes de leur communauté le manque d’infrastructures de transports. Des deux maires que j’ai rencontrés. ils n’adoptent pas des moyens visibles pour s’en sortir face à l’opportunité qui leur est offerte par le projet de création d’une zone métropolitaine mais ils essayent de s’assurer que. avant d’arriver à la mairie. le manque d’information. les litiges fonciers sont de plus en plus nombreux. de son capital de relations etc. C’est ainsi qu’un acteur institutionnel d’une petite communauté ne va pas affirmer ouvertement ses intentions. Leurs discours montrent bien qu’ils se situent dans un réseau financier et politique qui les rend peu . mais il va essayer de négocier le gain le plus sûr pour lui et pour sa communauté. un était. ils vont avoir néanmoins beaucoup à gagner de celle-ci plutôt que de celle en place actuellement. Les acteurs qui gèrent les communautés appartenant à la catégorie « Territoires branchés ». En outre. Mais ils se trouvent dans un dilemme car ils sont devenus maires dans le système actuel. grand entrepreneur dans le domaine de l’immobilier et l’autre sénateur..240 Dora Alexa-Morcov tages qui s’en suivent). Ainsi. j’ai voulu comprendre les attitudes des acteurs institutionnels au niveau communal à travers la situation spécifique de chacun (par l’intermédiaire des catégories établies préalablement) et la façon dont celle-ci est vécue par les acteurs telle qu’elle est révélée par les entretiens. Vu la situation au niveau du département. Premièrement.

Géré maintenant d’une façon autonome. soit personnels (voire leurs propriétés de terrains). David Stark nous montre bien que dans les pays de l’Europe Centrale et de l’Est on rencontre des acteurs « déjà accoutumés à faire avec les ambiguïtés des formes sociales contradictoires. seulement à travers les contraintes qu’elles créent. . à travers leur rationalité limitée. s’adaptant aux nouvelles incertitudes en improvisant à partir des routines éprouvées » (Stark 1999 : 95). Ialomiţa et Giurgiu avec leurs étranges ‘formes’ très allongées).Les jeux de la construction d’une région métropolitaine 241 dépendants d’une administration départementale ou autre. comme dans la théorie classique. en réalité. en outre. De la même manière. Sachant que sans leur accord. sur leur territoire. l’attitude négative qu’ils montrent est plutôt liée aux désirs de négociations en vue d’attirer des grands objectifs. cachent des intérêts plus fins. soit au niveau communautaire (en ce qui concerne le problème des populations tsiganes. le département d’Ilfov peut dire Oui et Non à toutes les initiatives que le Bucarest prétend faire sur son territoire. Selon Stark l’innovation organisationnelle même. justifiées par l’exacerbation des luttes dans le domaine foncier. donc. devienne le pouvoir qui contraint « sans effort’ l’ancien dominateur » ? Son pouvoir réside dans sa position d’anneau autour de Bucarest. un territoire périphérique et oublié devient un territoire décisif à l’heure de la constitution d’un nouvel espace de gestion (le cas des communes périphériques des départements de Călăraşi. qui vont être plus tentées de vendre leurs terrains et de quitter ces communes). donc. mais aussi à travers leur potentiel rapporté à un possible avenir. En suivant ces logiques il est évident que les acteurs utilisent une position spatiale. envisagés par la mairie de Bucarest. Peut-on conclure. une modification. la création d’une Zone Métropolitaine est compromise (voir leur position centrale dans le cadre de cette construction). Les acteurs institutionnels locaux sont conscients de leur pouvoir qui vient. J’ai observé que leurs attitudes plutôt négatives. est. ou pauvres. ils l’exploitent selon leurs intérêts politiques ou économiques et en s’appuyant sur leurs relations. une recombinaison des anciennes caractéristiques qui ne sont plus vues. en vue de garder ou améliorer une situation dans un réseau d’acteurs territoriaux. en fonction de leurs croyances sur ce qu’un tel projet peut leur apporter. La croyance. de la maîtrise d’une position territoriale. les mène à penser que celle-ci pourrait leur apporter des bénéfices. que la constitution d’une zone métropolitaine pourrait accroître les prix des terrains. qu’une « ancienne » structure d’organisation territoriale qui subordonnait Ilfov à Bucarest (cette dernière fournissant à Ilfov des ressources naturelles et économiques).

gouvernement et gouvernance. 1–4: 111–133.htm. Ion 1973 : La zone périurbaine de Bucarest.242 Dora Alexa-Morcov Bibliographie Centre de Recherche Urbaines de la Mairie de Bucarest (CPUMB) 2005 : Plan d’Aménagement Territoriale Zonal. villes et territoires : l’économie d’archipel. Popescu. Mongin. Jacques 1999 : Le tournant géographique : penser l’espace pour lire le monde. Iordan. Bernard 2004 : Métropolisation. even though it was supposed to decrease the development disparities between regions and provide a better func- . Le Galès. La Zone d’Agglomération Urbaine et Zone Métropolitaine de la Ville de Bucarest (étude non publié). Abstract The Games of the Construction of a Metropolitan Region in Romania after 1989. Sofia Manuela Stanculescu 2000: Dezvoltarea comunitară rurală a Zonei Metropolitane Bucureşti. ville globales et métropoles. Paris. Les contraintes de l’action collective. mondialisation. first of all. Crozier. En : Esprit Mars – Avril 2004 : 175. Belin : Mappemonde. Cyntia 2004 : L’étalement de la ville américaine. Bucarest: Editura Academiei Române.presse. David 1999 : Sommes-nous toujours au siècle des transitions ? Le capitalisme est-européenne et la propriété « recombinante ». Patrick 2003 : Le retour des villes européennes. [Développement communautaire rurale de la zone métropolitaine de Bucarest]. Paris : PUF. Bucarest : All Erhard Friedberg 1977 : L’acteur et le système. Corneliu-Liviu 1999 : Autonomia locală şi integrarea europeană. Quelles réponses politique ? En : Esprit Mars – Avril 2004 : 159. URL : http://www. Building a metropolitan area of Bucharest.cybergeo. Veltz. Mégacités. Elissade. Dumitru. Paris : Presses de Sciences Po. Olivier 2004 : La mondialisation et les métamorphoses de l’urbaine. mars 2006. Cristina Huma. Paris: Editions du Seuil. En : Politix 47 : 93. In: Calitatea Vieţii XII. [Autonomie locale et intégration européenne]. an innovative proposal in urban management (including. cooperation between local actors) resulted in numerous conflicts between local and central authorities. Chiriac. Lévy. En : Hypergéo. The Case of the Metropolitan Zone of Bucharest The paper discusses the difficulties of collective action construction regarding the process of urban/regional public decision-making in Romania. nr. Pierre 1996 : Mondialisation. Ghorra-Gobin. Stark. Michel. Société urbaines.

Les jeux de la construction d’une région métropolitaine 243 tioning of public services. The spatial position of villages is the main tool in these negotiations. the old relations of formal and informal subordination changed. . By granting local autonomy to village administrations. This position depends on mental strategies of local stakeholders and on what they consider to be possible advantages (at individual or community levels) of getting involved in such a project. The focus of the paper is on “power games” between local stakeholders. These “games” became relevant when the new proposal for a territorial administration (metropolitan area) tried to change the old management form.

  Physical Expansion and Subregional Disparities in the Growing Metropolitan Region of Belgrade «Physical Expansion and Subregional Disparities in the Growing Metropolitan Region of Belgrade» by Jasna Petrić; Tamara Maričić Source: Ethnologia Balkanica (Ethnologia Balkanica).com. on www. . pages: 245­265.ceeol. issue: 12 / 2008.

the development of the city and especially its physical expansion should require special attention and a well-thought concept of balancing the sub-regional disparities. by the wars in the region in the 1990s. The main holders of the comprehensive development processes of Belgrade are its ten inner (urban) municipalities. At the same time. centralized power pursued to broaden the division of the country’s territory between the centre (capital city) and periphery. S. Although the network of settlements in Belgrade metropolitan region is quite heterogeneous. Belgrade agglomeration is defined as a complex functional system of urban and non-urban settlements whose integration derives from the functional ties and interactions made between their structural elements. but also with an additional economic setback caused. which in the past was seen in terms of the duality of highly developed and less developed countries. Serbia has suffered from an isolated position on the European and global scene. the metropolitan region is characterized by significant peri-urbanisation processes and spontaneously developed edge . Sassen (2000: 210) argues that. Belgrade 1 Introduction As with other former socialist countries in Central and Southeastern Europe that are still fighting their socialist legacy. among others. It can be asserted that many issues of regional disparity of the country replicate at the lower scale within the Belgrade region. The research of S. and territory could be efficiently controlled by methods and techniques of strict centralization (Pušić 2004: 3). the incorporated strong. Considering that the Belgrade metropolitan region is characterized by a distinctive position and status in Serbia. At the same time. However. assets. spatial and functional ties between the settlements stand in a functional hierarchy. Tsenkova (2004: 6) shows that the concentration of the population in large urban agglomerations is a characteristic feature of countries in Central and Southeastern Europe. is now also evident within developed countries and especially within their major cities”.Ethnologia Balkanica 12 (2008) Physical Expansion and Subregional Disparities in the Growing Metropolitan Region of Belgrade Tamara Maričić. something which can be noticed not only in the case of Serbia but in many other countries governed by the political idea that people. however. this situation of disproportionate development between the city centre and its periphery has gradually begun to change. Jasna Petrić. “the geography of centrality and marginality.

such as the commuting industrial labour force. This created urban disproportions in which different groups of migrants ended up at different ends of the spectrum of inequality. The socialist regime of former Yugoslavia had to find creative ways to cope with large numbers of new urbanites. privately-owned houses.Access via CEEOL NL Germany 246 Tamara Maričić. which was partly treated through state companies and institutions that were entitled to develop flats for their employees. which was marked by accelerated economic modernization and intense urbanization. were effectively integrated into the life of the city. namely those who were accommodated in state-owned housing. Its origins go back to the period straight after the Second World War. While this effort resulted in the creation of model settlements on vast vacant sites. g. However. In the recent past. the municipalities of the very city centre (e. g. g. and an autonomous. Novi Beograd. has caused significant residential pressure . it could not fully meet the high demand for housing. while having limited resources to satisfy their housing needs. While certain categories of migrants. Zemun). which is confronted with the need for accommodating the new populations. when observing the share of immigrants in the total population of the central and peripheral parts of Belgrade. Even if the suburbanization of Belgrade may not have been driven by exactly the same reasons as in the more developed countries or in some other former socialist countries. this can be partly ascribed to the property prices which are much lower at the periphery than in the central parts of Belgrade. g. “wild” periphery with a suburban composition of privately built. on average. there are noticeable differences. The state policy thus resulted in the development of two peripheries – a relatively well-serviced. in certain parts of the city’s periphery. Stari grad. certain suburban municipalities (e. Novi Beograd. The rest of the incoming population to Belgrade. Barajevo. For example. Similarly. another considerable wave of an immigrant population that came to Belgrade (as well as to some other parts of Serbia) included war refugees from all over the former Yugoslavia and internally displaced persons from Kosovo and Metohija. which typically continue to grow in a less structured way. every sixth citizen of Belgrade was an immigrant and every fourteenth came as a refugee. e. had to seek accommodation in the former agricultural communities around Belgrade which often became mere “dormitories”. Jasna Petrić settlements. Grocka) have an even larger proportion of immigrants. often illegally. but largely devoid of infrastructure. Recent statistics show that. other categories were forced to build their own homes. it is still a powerful factor that brings about the physical expansion of the city. The population influx created intense pressure on Belgrade’s housing stock. lacking the proper infrastructure and with insufficient transportation links between them and the urban core. especially refugees. organized periphery. The housing deficit in Belgrade. Vračar) have a proportionally much lower immigrant/refugee population than some urban municipalities further away (e.

politicians. which in turn. Ultimately. and with the direct foreign investments being placed rather into the metropolitan periphery of Belgrade. for example. support the idea of the government as a subsidiary. However.). On the one hand. Ibar direction. Avala direction. regionalization has been the focus of attention of Serbian planners. etc. Novi Sad. Zrenjanin direction.Physical Expansion and Subregional Disparities 247 on the suburbs and green-fields of Belgrade agglomeration (e. economists. The key motive for the engagement of the state in the regionalization of Serbia lies in . A resurgence of interest in regionalization as an exceptionally complex and contradictory issue has been apparent over the past decade or so. the Zemun corridor. demographic. For more than a decade. With the international tendency to shift the production and services from the city centre to the periphery. with both advocates and opponents. As Murdoch and Norton (2001: 109) point out. The key issue here concerns the concept that would enable Belgrade to pursue its development and at the same time curb its physical expansion. it is important to stress that such a “boom” of the metropolitan periphery is imminent not only to post-socialistic East European or Balkan countries. etc. on the other hand. 2 Review of some conceptual and practical issues of regionalization Present discourses consider regionalization as an inevitable strategy in guiding development processes that have spatial implications. this would produce a higher quality in the sphere of physical planning as well as the development in the socio-economic sphere. but also to the developed metropolitan areas of Western Europe (Zeković et al. it has been attacked as a concept leading to federalization. Batajnica. and social developments into harmony. the role of the local city authorities should not be just to service the “invisible hands” of the market. which. there are many more arguments in favour of regionalization. the belt of motorways to Surčin. Furthermore. Therefore it could be said that the main task of regionalization is to offer conceptually elaborated solutions that are applicable in practice with the aim of achieving optimal spatial organization.. the complex issue of the sprawl of the Belgrade metropolitan region should be effectively tackled by the future regionalization of the country. according to which central authority should perform only those tasks which cannot be performed effectively at a more immediate or local level. It is one of the goals of regionalization to bring the economic. since the regional modes of governance seem to play a key role both in discussion of new economic forms and in the emergence of new strategies for sustainable development. Still. can potentially cause disintegration of the country. 2007: 24–25). regionalism is now at the centre of attention of academic and policy discourses. g.

county). its tangible and intangible resources. Namely. while the ensuing regional tier may be strongly linked upwards into the nation state.) or planning-statistical component. the latter being formed to achieve the goals of socio-political organization. energy.and inter-regional imbalances. it is often the number of inhabitants which is among the parameters to substantiate the size of a region. the official NUTS (Nomenclature of Territorial Units for . which may ultimately lead to considerable benefits for the whole country and its society. For example. ethno-cultural or civilizational entity. and prosperity in general. under the condition that it is performed not hastily and without any connection to the prior territorial organization of the country. regionalization is fundamentally a political issue. or it arises as a “bottom-up” political or civic demand. Regionalization. Norton 2001: 111). in the case of regionalization that follows a “top-down” approach. While the confluence of economic. regionalization in Serbia is not a panacea to all inherited problems including the new regional “transitional poverty”. industrial. social. ensuring their balanced development. which stands both for the already existing (real) regions and for the planned (nodal) ones. Each form of regionalization is likely to comprise its own strengths and weaknesses. which restrain development and initiate the migration flows and depopulation of large territories.248 Tamara Maričić. understood as the process of forming regions that reflects the way in which the national development policy has been conducted. these trends can take different forms in different contexts (MacLeod. which can fully express the advantages of its uniqueness as well as the harmony with its surroundings (Vojković 2003:  9). the forming of regions could facilitate the realization of pragmatic goals. In formal terms. there may be difficulties in establishing networks into the nation-state and beyond (see Murdoch. where it represents a specialized natural-geographic. regionalization arises either as a “top-down” phenomenon that follows from “functional integration” or “institutional” restructuring driven by the state or economic pressures. whereas when regionalization follows from “bottom-up” political mobilisation. Jasna Petrić the existing huge intra. etc. The Region should be considered as a part of a whole. the region is designated to facilitate the planned development at the mezzo level. Also. Goodwin 1999). economic. a specific group of problems and dilemmas re-opens when one tries to define the region’s size and boundaries. However. functional (tourism. and political trends at the regional level is taking place almost everywhere in Europe. i. it allows for much easier identification of the territorial capital. e. district.. Either as an administrative (province. historical. In most countries. Surely. there may be problems in establishing linkages downwards to local stakeholders. should take into consideration the specific needs of certain areas. economic development. Basically. anthropo-geographic. However.

especially when they are featured by strong function-gravitation links and dynamic population movements. the strength and degrees of autonomy of regions still possess great divergence across Europe. Although we may talk about a “regional renaissance”. and. tourism. and ideas they have in common) and trans-national (cooperation between regions linked by a large territorial system that crosses several states. environmental protection. and other integration in the two following ways: (a) by functional and shared interest among neighbours in tackling the common issues and concerns (traffic. g. extremely uneven regional development. security. On the other hand. the Danube. e. Some of the major issues that lead to the relative lagging behind of Serbia in comparison to its neighbours can be summed up as: 1. functionality. Sava. In a broader perspective. e. cultural. where the Belgrade metropolitan region dominates as a “strong hen among frail chicken”. the region is a powerful institution that can achieve spatial. Alps. above all. Black Sea. it is always essential to fully take into account the local context in which regionalization takes place. 2. which exceeds the ratio of 1:10 between the most and least developed regions. the strict demarcation of regions according to this parameter. and (b)  by thematic and functional cohesion at the three integration levels: trans-border (cooperation between neighbouring border regions). with centralized power at the state level following the “centralist French model”.). under the circumstances of underdevelop- . 3 Regional and subregional differentiation in Serbia Regional disproportions in Serbia have been growing larger during the last decades. the meanings ascribed to the term “region” vary a lot depending on the criteria used for its definition. cultural heritage. problems. trans-regional (collaboration between the regions with themes.Physical Expansion and Subregional Disparities 249 Statistics) system for the region’s categorization given by the Eurostat statistical office in Luxembourg insists upon a hierarchical structure of territorial levels of management and standardization of regions according to their size (Stojkov 2000). Moreover. weak territorial cohesion. geographic homogeneity. and the sequence of autarchy exercised by centralized municipalities which. may seem a short-sighted task with arguable results. etc. infrastructure. economic. and Morava. On the other hand. in the south of Serbia face demographic and economic collapse with significant damage to the country as a whole. g. The backward regions in the east. west. etc. Danube. Therefore. the “economic backbone” of Serbian development is represented by regions along its three major rivers.). etc.

. However. the issue of competitiveness. e. At the time of a “sensitive” political.. etc. However. inadequate use of natural. Here. and insufficient promotion of cultural. human. on the one hand. which is characterized by relatively large homogeneity. 3. Having been constituted by way of “gerrymandering”. the latter not being incorporated in the Serbian state policy (Stojkov 2007: 17). Jasna Petrić ment and the lack of policy (strategy) for Serbian regional development. especially in mountainous and border provinces (Veljković 1998). lead to the weakening of sense and responsibility for the whole. i. we may discuss polycentricity (the network of settlements in the morphological sense) and polycentrism (the policy which sustains polycentricity as a functioning system for urban centres within the decentralized state). insufficiently used. and economic situation. In reference to this. There are two principal regional-geographic units that dominate the Serbian territory: the Vojvodina-Panonian-Danubian macro-region. The Law on Local Self-Government (2007) has strengthened the municipality and city level. the entitlement of local authorities was largely reduced. and natural assets and diversity. social. which implies the level of economic ability of a region or state to enter the open and sometimes quite restrictive competition of the European market with its own resources and products. it is the model of administrative-territorial organization of Serbia rather than its morphological structure that influences the regional disproportions in the country. and the Central Serbian-Balkan macro-region with a much more complex regional structure (Radovanović 1993/4: 92). and material potentials. on the other. The issue of the regionalization of Serbia was raised once again through the preparation of the Spatial Plan of the Republic of Serbia. but with the radical re-centralization of the system in the 1990s. and incapability of the state to successfully deal with the piled-up problems of regional development. 4.1 discussions about macroregions and subregions seemed too complicated for centralized government. and the regionalisation policy in Serbia was based mainly on the stimulation of undeveloped regions. the official regional differentiation in Serbia (since 1992) has presumed the existence of 29 districts (okruzi). the former state (Yugoslavia) was practising one of the most decentralized systems of planning and policy. they rather represent “field/territorial offices” of the federal ministries (Vujošević 1 The Spatial Plan of the Republic of Serbia was adopted in 1996 when Serbia suffered from numerous external (economic sanctions imposed by the UN) and internal problems. ethnic. underused or wrongly used territorial capital. providing the opportunity for Belgrade to enact the Law on the Capital City that would comprehensively treat the position of Belgrade in accordance with its characteristics and needs.250 Tamara Maričić. one should note that several decades before the 1980s. although they have not really been the proper regions.

Podrinje. Priština.6% of the Serbian territory. Apart from recognizing the above mentioned districts. Polycentrism as the national policy could lead to more rapid and efficient regional development as well as to better activation of a region’s territorial capital. 2. but 2 Estimate on 30. Južna Srbija. 3. with its 1. Belgrade region is a complex system of interconnected urban and rural settlements. Užice). and such a situation pinpoints again the necessity to incorporate polycentrism.6 million inhabitants2 (21. according to the model of territorial organization in the 1990s. or 3. 4. Serbia could have 34 districts organized around functional urban areas of regional and subregional importance (corresponding to the NUTS 3 level). which is one of the seven Serbian macro-regions. which has not yet been endorsed in Serbia. one cannot neglect the issue of its adjustment to the Eurostat system. would roughly correspond to the NUTS 2 level. and 23 urban settlements with city status plus the City of Belgrade. Serbia could have 7 macro-regions (Vojvodina. potentially. The metropolitan region of Belgrade. Šumadija. Other towns in Serbia have found themselves more or less on the ‘margins of the system’. the research which was conducted during the preparation of this plan suggested that 1. Timočka Krajina. out of which ten are urban and seven are suburban. Kosmet. and it covers approximately 3 222 km2. demonstrates one of the key issues of imbalance – the concentration of population and political power in the capital city of a country. For example. in present terms. Kragujevac. comprises 17 municipalities. 189 municipalities.Physical Expansion and Subregional Disparities 251 2004: 28). Kosovo and Metohija). and. A number of ideas in this respect also derive from the endorsed Spatial Plan of the Republic of Serbia. When analysing possibilities of the new territorial organization of Serbia. 6. Serbia has 5 macro-regional centres (Novi Sad. 4 Growth of Belgrade Region in the Serbian Context The city of Belgrade (Belgrade metropolitan region). Niš. thus producing its better competitive position in wider surroundings. the situation which is not exclusive to Serbia. Apart from Belgrade as the capital. with a strong hierarchy and diverse functional connections. which represents a special territorial unit according to the Constitution. . 2005: 1 596 919 in Belgrade and 7 440 769 in Serbia without data for Kosovo and Metohija (Opštine u Srbiji 2007) due to the fact that since 1991 the Albanian ethnic group has boycotted all censuses conducted by Serbian authorities.5% of the Serbian population without Kosovo and Metohija). The remaining issue is that Timočka Krajina does not have any macro-regional centres. the Republic of Serbia defined two of its provinces (Vojvodina. and the City of Belgrade) which.

 2005 (Opštine u Srbiji 2007). Greece. and human potential are concentrated. so the majority of workplaces were concentrated in the city centre. The housing density in Moscow’s suburbs is double the density in the city centre. it developed a good public transport system (expressed in number of vehicles/km per inhabitant) almost identical to the one in West European cities (Jovanović 2005: 336).25 million3) of its population live in urban municipalities. while housing density was higher on the periphery. and the latest migrations of “the temporarily displaced persons” from Kosovo and Metohija). The drastic social changes (or “shocks”) in the beginning of the 1990s (civil war. which in turn resulted in high population densities. envisioned to connect the centre of Belgrade with Zemun. this notable centralization (after the French model) is characterized by a domineering metropolitan capital. almost 80% (1. The absence of a real estate market shaped Belgrade quite differently from its Western counterparts: density and land allocation between different uses reflected administrative decisions. Belgrade followed the example of other socialist metropolises – the construction of multistorey buildings. The most intense construction of “social housing” took place in central urban municipalities. Prague) built metro-systems. economic crisis. The main problem here is inadequate quality and structure of public transport service – the rail systems are of a poor standard. However. Having adopted Le Corbusier’s model of urban development. Belgrade always lacked the financial resources to develop such projects. depopulation of rural and periphery regions. Croatia. almost totally financed by the state. trade. in combination with the key processes and factors of post-socialist transition (privatization accompanied by the plunder of social property. where most economic development. Hungary. and vehicles are often overloaded due to high demand. great immigration waves of refugees from Croatia. Budapest. especially in Novi Beograd. and six to seven times larger than in US American or Australian metropolises (Jovanović 2005:  33). and with time it gradually expanded through the inclusion of municipalities or their parts. This kind of spatial distribution was supported with very cheap public transport. Today. . lack of concern 3 Estimate on 30.252 Tamara Maričić. to name a few. The Belgrade urban area today has an average population density which is two times larger than in West European cities. Although there were plans for a underground rail system under the River Sava. Bosnia and Herzegovina. Jasna Petrić can be seen in many other European countries. services. e. three times larger than in Canadian cities. The Belgrade administrative region was formed after the Second World War (when the city experienced its highest economic and demographic boom). g. 6. With the lack of proper regionalization. Many ex-socialist capitals (Moscow.

etc. the emigration of highly educated persons who are facing numerous difficulties at home such as unemployment. – Novi Beograd as an alternative centre suitable for business and commercial activities. These inside and outside pressures have altogether led to the current situation where Belgrade. over 113 500 refugees and over 56 000 “temporarily displaced persons”. That is. Although it has always been considered as the gate to the East and the door to the West. recreation and leisure activities. European. during the last decade of the twentieth century Belgrade has certainly lost its competitive position in the regional. low wages. Belgrade 2006. weak instruments for planning and construction regulation. Hamamcioglu 2006: 29) – the old city centre as a place of cultural identity. European. unhygienic (Roma) settlements in central city districts. brain drain5. but an estimate is that this accounts only for 60% of illegal construction in the city (see Petovar 2007).Physical Expansion and Subregional Disparities 253 for environmental issues. illegal construction6 that led to an “urbanistic chaos”. The most important ones are: an extremely high unemployment rate (officially it is 22% in Belgrade. – the riverbanks as the future multipurpose centres with marinas. Republički zavod za statistiku Srbije. 2005. etc. The Master Plan of Belgrade (2003) and the Regional Spatial Plan of Belgrade Administrative Area (2004) aim towards the activation of urban potentials in creating a dynamic and vibrant city by envisioning (Stupar. is seriously lagging behind in regional (Balkan). 6 When the Law on Planning and Construction (2003) envisaged the legislation of illegally built buildings. The estimates of the number of young and educated people who have left their country vary from 30 000 to more than 300 000. pauperisation of the majority of people (together with even greater economic stratification and loss of the middle class). Opštine u Srbiji. and global economic competition between the major cities. degradation and deterioration. but estimates are that it is running over 30%). because in 2006 it was awarded the title “City of the Future in Southern Europe” by the Financial Times. and – the suburbs as new industrial and commercial areas. the recent positive changes (including economic and social development) have brought Belgrade back in focus. despite its excellent geographic position in the region (link to the European transport corridors VII and X). However. housing shortages.5%4. and global hierarchy. obstacles to career development and a worrisome overall outlook. the prolonged crisis of economic growth. environmental pollution.) have led to diverse problems. 4 5 . compared to the Republic’s average of 28. about 150 000 legislation applications were submitted in Belgrade alone.

Zvezdara. 7 . Grocka. Jasna Petrić 5 The role of socio-economic factors in creating subregional disparities – a case study of an urban and a suburban area in expansion An analysis of the economic activity pattern shows that Belgrade has the same attributes as other multi-million cities around the world. If there had been no refugee immigrants. and functional characteristics (residential suburbia. In order to manage the infrastructure problems and increase its inner connectivity and efficiency. in other suburban municipalities (Barajevo. Lazarevac. Grocka. and Čukarica. GDP. The suburban municipalities8 of Belgrade are quite diverse in terms of size.254 Tamara Maričić. there are noticeable socio-economic differences between Belgrade’s urban and suburban municipalities. where the latter has a tendency of becoming Belgrade’s focal point of business and finance (Galić 2007: 28). the concentration of law firms and shops is the highest in the ten central municipalities. which depends on their geographical position (in the Panonian plane or at the Šumadija hills). Mladenovac. and Sopot) the concentration of population.4% shops). Novi Beograd. Rakovica. the majority of them being located in Novi Beograd (17% of Belgrade’s law firms and 14. 2002). Obrenovac. The average salaries here are much higher (sometimes more than double) than in the suburban municipalities (with the exception of Lazarevac. The economic activity imbalance is expressed at the city level – all business activity is concentrated in two municipalities: Stari Grad and Novi Beograd. Vračar. Mladenovac. Zemun. Savski venac. While all of Serbia suffered from a small decline in the number of inhabitants (around 1. Stari Grad. the population of Belgrade slightly increased in number. Sopot and Surčin. business. 8 Barajevo. As previously mentioned. due to its strong economic base). etc.). Also. weekend-housing. location. Belgrade’s urban municipalities7 are the main development stakeholders. Belgrade improved its road and telecommunication net- Voždovac. a huge number of refugees (around 380 000) came to Serbia in the 1990s. and more than a third of them were attracted by the capital and its perceived advantages. and services is still not sufficient enough to allow a larger autonomy. and Obrenovac) have enough inhabitants and facilities to become secondary development poles. due to negative natural growth and emigration flows abroad (Petrović 2007: 126). facilities. However. Palilula. mainly due to the refugees (7.1% between the last two censuses 1991. industry or mining centres. While smaller settlements in some Belgrade suburban municipalities (Lazarevac. there are more daily migrations of active population and scholars from suburban to urban municipalities than in the opposite direction. urban decline would have been a possibility.1% of its inhabitants in 2002 were refugees). As expected.

namely Novi Beograd as the most developed one. There are several important projects in plan which are supposed to solve the traffic problems in the city area. and high salaries. we will focus on two of its municipalities (one urban and the other suburban). With 217 773 inhabitants in 2002 and presently an estimated 300 000 inhabitants. the municipality has expanded to an area of around 4 100 ha. For further analysis and understanding of sub-regional disparities. with extremely good perspectives. changing lifestyles.Physical Expansion and Subregional Disparities 255 work. and Barajevo which is insufficiently developed. it is the most populated municipality in Serbia and Belgrade (with almost 15% of Belgrade’s population). Revision of the Master Plan of Belgrade in 1939. and spatial patterns in the Belgrade metropolitan region. . population. Only 60 years ago. 5. Mass reclamation actions in Novi Beograd began in 1948. built in 1937. the largest population. It was foreseen as the centre of administration. By a number of criteria (economy. Novi Beograd was marshland which for centuries had served as a no-man’s-land between the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman Empires. when it was constituted. such as a light rail system. It was designed by the most prominent Yugoslav architects in order 9 Appendix to the Master Plan of Belgrade 1923. services) it is today one of the most developed local communities in Serbia (Strateški plan opštine Novi Beograd 2006: 3). and with the lowest salaries in the Belgrade region. and as an expression of radical modernisation and urbanization. in sharp contrast to the monarchy. A common feature of both municipalities is their high percentage of refugees that came in the 1990s and impacted the development in both cases. as the “heart” of the capital of the new socialist state had to represent it in a strong ideological spirit. and economy. the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY). Sketch for the regulation of Belgrade on the left bank of the River Sava by Nikola Dobrović in 1946. the area was mostly neglected until the end of the Second World War. The only structure was the “Old Belgrade Fairground”.1 Case study of Novi Beograd Novi Beograd is one of ten urban municipalities in Belgrade. Novi Beograd. at altitudes between 72 and 110 m. when this vacant site (with no urban history) was designated as the new beginning of the new state. and with an average population density of 5 328 persons/km². It is located in the plain. culture. an inner city ring road. Since 1952. with dominant agricultural activity. a new bridge over the River Sava. planned as a modern and functional urban area. Although there have been some attempts to plan the urbanization of the left bank of the River Sava9.

256 Tamara Maričić. The difference is that these types of high density residential housing areas were not built anymore after the mid 1960s (Bertraud 2004: 48). This mass of collective social housing left no space for commercial functions. Jasna Petrić to differ both from the Soviet model of socialist realism and from the Western international style. with market oriented design. combined with the invention of “contemporary socialist architecture” which reflected the specificity of Yugoslav “self-management” socialism. The prefabricated building of unified urban forms and flat structures led to the loss of identity in the blocks. Only in the recently built blocks. Actually. is there a new approach to architecture: the forms are diverse. their blocks. satisfying both material and spiritual needs (Picture 1). People used to say that “Novi Beograd was built to look great from above”. then there are “Three sisters”. the street network is better adapted to people’s needs. 10 . This made the task of creating an identity of place quite difficult. Many cities in Western Europe built subsidized housing for low income households in distant suburbs. “Mercedes”. this was the prevailing form of housing in all socialist countries. “TVs”. The result was a new concept of urban landscape (largely influenced by Le Corbusier and Hans Sharoun). At that time. there are shops in residential buildings. etc. Sociological studies have shown that youngsters possessed a higher degree of adaptability to this environment and identified much easier with it.10 It should be noted that the use of prefabricated panel systems was not unique to socialist countries. The need for an efficient communication and orientation system stimulated people to create innovative names for the blocks which were initially known only by numbers. Block 28 “Horseshoe”. Stiff zoning emerged from the mega-transport matrix of wide boulevards that forced the inhabitants to focus on their “micro-communities”. For example. thus creating the specific image of Novi Beograd. therefore people were forced to go to the city centre for the purchase even of basic goods. Today there are many facilities that did not exist in socialist times. such as large commercial developments and new churches. “The west Belgrade gate”. The monumental architecture based on the simple expression of primary geometric forms dominated in the massive apartment buildings for the working class. the celebration of the state and party seemed more important than the social life of people in the new city (Blagojević 2007: 172). “Six corporals”. a part of Block 21 is called “Chinese wall”. “The matchbox”. The monotony of the buildings and the absence of human measure led to the alienation of the inhabitants (Savić 2000: 353).

3‰). and 31% have completed higher education or university. owing to the availability of lots. 2009) From 1961 to 1991 the population of Novi Beograd grew continuously. the majority of which have central heating and other facilities. the population of Novi Beograd would have shrunk even more (-7. from 3. and the young ones of under 20 years (19%). Without this group of immigrants. With some 200 skyscrapers and 600 large buildings. Surprisingly. mainly pointed to the tertiary sector (services). the demand is still large.4% of Novi Beograd’s population and thus made a significant demographic contribution. this highly urbanized area has around 86 000 flats. so that the average household size has rapidly decreased in only one decade. they comprised 7. This reflects the latest tendency of having smaller families (instead of three generations there are just one or two generations. followed by the group between the age of 20 and 39 (27%). People are generally well educated: only 1. the residents of Novi Beograd on average enjoy the second highest salaries in the Belgrade region. The age structure shows that the largest is the age group between 40 and 59 years (30% of the population). 900 new apartments were built in Novi Beograd. In 2002. the number of households increased by 14%.7 in 2002. with less children). partly due to negative natural growth of population (-2. Despite the relatively high prices of residential space (1 100 to 4 000 € per m²).6% do not have elementary education. the elderly population of 60+ (24%). 18% higher than the average for . As for the structure of the workforce. In the same period. mainly as a result of the immigration of people from other parts of the country. 50% have secondary education. A large portion of refugees coming to Serbia (14. in 2005. Maričić. Construction never stops. almost 70% of the population are of working age. The main developers are private investors.4‰) in the number of inhabitants between the last two censuses. the population analysis shows that there was a small decline (-0. and 64% are economically active.5%) settled either temporarily or permanently in Novi Beograd. to 2.Physical Expansion and Subregional Disparities 257 Picture 1: Skyline of Novi Beograd (T. Owing to the rapid and huge economic development.2 individuals per household in 1991.4‰) and lower pressure of emigrants from the rest of Serbia. The average size of a flat is 67 m².

11 This highway got its name for running along the valley of River Ibar.258 Tamara Maričić. 5. it has plenty of qualified labour and some 5 000 companies. most of them privately owned. Novi Beograd has had the greatest investments in Serbia and has become the most attractive destination for domestic and foreign investors. The railway from Belgrade to port Bar (Montenegro) runs through the municipality. It is located some 30 km to the southwest of the city centre and connected to the city by a major highway. . With its 213 km2. Barajevo covers approximately 6.2 Case study of suburban Barajevo Barajevo is one of Belgrade’s seven suburban municipalities whose rural character has changed only gradually. The municipality has the highest GDP in the entire Belgrade region. 2009) Belgrade. the Ibar Highway11.6% of the territory of Belgrade region. Since 2000. Radenović. and it boasts the largest number of crafts and trade shops (7 580) in the Republic. Jasna Petrić Picture 2: Single housing of Barajevo (S.

Radenović. which could also be used as a permanent residence after retirement. many houses changed their owners and became per- . One of Barajevo’s main features is the large number of weekend houses not only in the settlements but also on the vacant territory between them. with the economic crisis that struck the country in the 1990s. Barajevo has a much lower population density (116 persons/km2) than Belgrade (489 persons/km2). especially in the southern parts. 2009) The first mention of the name Barajevo dates back to the sixteenth century. However. Because of the Turkish invasion many inhabitants migrated to the lands north of the River Sava.Physical Expansion and Subregional Disparities 259 Picture 3: Collective housing of Barajevo (S. when many Belgraders used their savings for building a second home at the outskirts. while Serbs from southern regions moved in. As a suburban municipality. and in 1960 the settlements of Meljak and Vranić were annexed to Barajevo. There are only a few more densely populated settlements (Picture 3). The modern history of Barajevo begins in 1956 when it gained municipal status and became an administrative part of greater Belgrade. In 1957 the municipality of Beljina. which is due to the dominant type of housing (single-family houses). Most of the houses were built in the 1970s. albeit the terrain is flat or slightly inclined (Picture 2). most of them along the Ibar Highway. The 13 settlements of Barajevo are quite scattered.

This means that Barajevo is economically underdeveloped. but only 45% of them work actively.5‰.5 individuals per household in 1971. although not at a much slower rate than in Novi Beograd. There is a growth of the so-called “mixed households”. The educational structure is not favourable. many of them refugees looking for a better life and jobs in Belgrade. The average size of housing accommodation in Barajevo is 72 m2. Due to the relative proximity of Belgrade.8% of the Belgrade average. The largest age group is the one between 40 and 59 years of age (30%). the elderly of 60+ (24%). The population is growing at an average annual rate of 2%. as the natural population growth is negative (-5. where younger household members are typically engaged in nonagricultural activities and still help the older household members in agriculture.0 in 2002. The GDP of Barajevo is the lowest in the entire Belgrade region.3‰ in 2004).260 Tamara Maričić. approximately one third of them (8 325) living in the municipal centre. and lastly the young ones less than 19 years old (21%). without refugees it would have been just 4. joined by those who only completed primary school (25. to 3. Barajevo’s population is one of the fastest growing in the Belgrade metropolitan region. As regards the building of flats. because they can afford a bigger house and can do some agriculture to support them while earning their main income in Belgrade. pushing up the growth rate to 15.08% of the population) came to Barajevo. Almost 46% of the adult population have secondary school education. The number of households has decreased. followed by those between 20 and 39 years (25%).3% between 1991 and 2002. which is due exclusively to immigration. a problem haunting all of Belgrade. and the average household size has dropped from 3. and the hunting and forestry company of Lipovička Šuma. There are some small construction and electronic companies and a ball bearing factory. a number of Barajevo residents commute daily to the city which offers them better job opportunities. many migrants to Belgrade settle in a suburban municipality like Barajevo. Barajevo has a mill. most of it in the centre and along the Ibar Highway. As a predominantly agricultural area (52% of the total income stems from this activity).7%). there was a lot of illegal construction.9% per year in the municipality seat is not accompanied by an adequate development of the . According to the last census (2002). In addition. it had 24 641 inhabitants. an indicator of which is the low average income per capita of only 52. instead of the proposed 3 000 new flats only one quarter has been built so far. a large orchard farm. as there are many adults without completed elementary education (21%). The high population growth of 2. but the lower housing prices may stimulate programs of housing development. a veterinarian station. Since the price of property is relatively low (250 € per m 2 of residential space as compared to over 2 000 € in central Belgrade). In the period between the last two censuses. 2 730 refugees (or 11. 64% of the population is of working age. Jasna Petrić manent homes for immigrants. but there are merely 6% with higher education or a university degree.

there are (2) problems related to the urban and suburban municipalities in Belgrade. sewage system. such as the undefined status of the municipalities. and social terms.Physical Expansion and Subregional Disparities 261 infrastructure: the road infrastructure. and thus enable growth in the economic performance of this area. the problems of urban and regional development are numerous. the lack of material resources. Apart from the goal to reduce Barajevo’s dependency on Belgrade. cultural. Thus. etc. In addition. Owing to its potentials and comparative advantages. 6 Conclusions Although the consequences of long isolation and economic collapse can still be seen. recent development has created a multi-functional core of business. has not had enough economic power to gain a higher level of autonomy. and slow decentralisation. the lack of laws and their implementation. In one of its most prosperous urban municipalities. housing. as the comparison between Barajevo and Novi Beograd has made clear. . Due to favourable natural conditions and resources. it is evident that Belgrade is “turning a new page” in its history by taking steps forward. it is necessary to offer a higher quality service provision for the whole territory of this municipality. However. Belgrade is resuming a leading role in connecting Serbia with Europe – in political. together with good transport connections. the waterworks. and organized waste disposal are inadequate. and culture – as was envisaged at the founding of this municipality. such as political instability.. Belgrade is in a strong position to become an administrative and business centre of Serbia and Southeast Europe. Novi Beograd is giving strong impulses to the development of the entire Belgrade region. based on sustainable economic development and regional cooperation. nor has it developed urban functions to transcend the threshold which could link Belgrade’s urban tissue with this periphery. in order to retain the population that would both live and work here. which is characterised by a spontaneous functional development as a satellite-dormitory of Belgrade with suburban development. There are (1) obstacles which all local communities in Serbia are facing. and finally there are (3) specific problems in each municipality. high unemployment rates. Barajevo. there is a noticeable imbalance in the development of different Belgrade municipalities. the municipality of Barajevo does not have the required level of residents’ concentration in order to take a more prominent role as a tertiary pole for development in the metropolitan region of Belgrade. Novi Beograd. Even though it is growing rapidly. particularly between urban and suburban ones. economic. the lack of detailed regulation plans. the slow process of EU accession.

present. International Conference 2004. Jovanović. where metropolitan areas such as Belgrade thrive at the expense of border regions or mediumsized towns. Belgrade is trying to reconcile the layers of its past. Godišnjak Republičkog zavoda za statistiku Srbije: Opštine u Srbiji 2005 [Republic of Serbia Institute for Statistics Yearbook: Municipalities in Serbia 2005]. a healthy way of life. Proceedings from the Third Swedish-Serbian Symposium in Stockholm 2004. Sasha Tsenkova (eds. 2006.). Hamamcioglu 2006: 32). and future in order to strengthen its position in the new skyline of new centres of power (Stupar. Sopot). 45–64. Literature Bertraud. Belgrade: Geografski fakultet Univerzitet u Beogradu. Winds of Societal Change: Remaking Post-Communist Cities. Belgrade. Stockholm: Kungl. besides supporting the development of Novi Beograd and other central municipalities. Barajevo.). there is also a lack of an adequate policy for synchronizing the development of urban and suburban regions. Ljiljana 2007: Strategies of Modernism in the Planning and Construction of New Belgrade. . Galić. Blagojević. Jasna Petrić Analogous to the increase of regional disparities in Serbia. Grocka. g. Special edition. Proceedings. Vitterhets Historie och Antikvitets Akademien. especially since few cities have the advantage of such fertile hinterlands. Belgrade needs to pay greater attention to encouraging and promoting programmes and policies for the development of predominantly agricultural suburban municipalities (e. Jelena 2007: Seductive City. which are the main local food suppliers for the city. Stockholm – Belgrade. Thus. In: Swen Gustavsson (ed. A strategic vision of the future perspective for the Belgrade metropolitan region (as a part of the community of European capitals) needs to consider a harmonized economic and ecological development in order to create favourable social and economic conditions. quality housing. March 2007: 28–31. and the broadening of leisure services. Alain 2004: The Spatial Structures of Central and Eastern European Cities: More European than Socialist? In: Zorica Nedović-Budić. The ideal balance between a successful economic centre and a desirable place for living can be achieved by supporting the clean environment. Konferenser 63. In: Ekonomist. Miomir 2005: Međuzavisnost koncepta urbanog razvoja i saobraćajne strategije velikog grada [Interdependece of the concept of urban development and the traffic strategy of a large city]. 165–177.262 Tamara Maričić. Champaign: University of Illinois.

Petovar. Frederic Stout (eds. Eastern and Southeastern Europe].). Konferenser 63. Marko 2000: Novi Beograd – Stvaranje identiteta mesta [New Belgrade – creating identity of place]. Borislav 2000: Procesi regionalizacije u zemljama centralne. London. 117–125. In: Spatium. The City Reader. Mark Goodwin 1999: Space. Proceedings from the Third Swedish-Serbian Symposium in Stockholm 2004. Petrović.). Sassen. International Review 11: 1–6. 44–45. Vitterhets Historie och Antikvitets Akademien. Borislav 2007: Status grada. Stockholm: Kungl. decentralizacija i policentričnost Srbije [City status. Vitterhets Historie och Antikvitets Akademien. Murdoch. Stockholm – Belgrade. In: Progress in Human Geography 23: 503–527. In: Swen Gustavsson (ed. In: Swen Gustavsson (ed. 1. In: Richard T.). Stojkov. Scale and State Strategy: Rethinking Urban and Regional Governance.). Mina 2007: Belgrade Socio-Demographic Development: Recent Changes and Challenges. Gordon. Stockholm: Kungl. Ksenija 2007: The Social and Political Basis of the Destruction of Belgrade’s Built Environment at the Close of the 20th Century. Stojkov. In: Zbornik radova Geografskog instituta „Jovan Cvijić” SANU [Collection of Works of the Geographic Institute “Jovan Cvijić” of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts]. The Changing Institutional Landscape of Planning.Physical Expansion and Subregional Disparities 263 MacLeod. Saskia 2000: A New Geography of Centers and Margins: Summary and Implications. LeGates. U susret novom statusu gradova u Srbiji – realnost i potrebe [Facing the new status of cities in Serbia – realities and needs]. In: Dejan Milenković. Belgrade: PALGO centar. Burlington: Ashgate. istočne i jugoistočne Evrope [Processes of regionalization in the countries of Central. . Konferenser 63. 109–132. Proceedings from the Third Swedish-Serbian Symposium in Stockholm 2004. 208–212. Belgrade: Srpsko geografsko društvo. New York: Routledge. 126–146. Jonathan. Radovanović. 11–24. Savić. In: Louis Albrechts et al. In: Izgradnja 54: 353–357. Milovan 1993/94: Regionalizam kao pristup i princip i regionalizacija kao postupak u funkcionalnoj organizaciji geografskog prostora sa nekim aspektima primene na Republiku Srbiju [Regionalism as an approach and principle and regionalisation as a procedure in the functional organization of geographic space with some aspects of application in the Republic of Serbia]. Pušić. Dušan Damjanović (eds. Stockholm – Belgrade. Andrew Norton 2001: Regionalisation and Planning: Creating Institutions and Stakeholders in the English Regions. decentralization and polycentricity of Serbia]. In: Glasnik LX.). (eds. Ljubinko 2004: Sustainable Development and Urban Identity: A Social Context.

Tsenkova. Since there is a specific disparity in growth of the different municipalities of the Belgrade region. Despite more than a decade-long international isolation and visible environmental. In: Spatium. Aleksandra. Slavka. Proceedings. Aleksandar 1998: Tipovi regiona i njihova primena u prostornom planiranju [Types of regions and their employment in spatial planning]. Jasna Petrić Strateški plan Opštine Novi Beograd 2006 [Strategic plan of New Belgrade Municipality]. Tamara Maričić 2007: Development of New Economic Poles in Metropolitan Areas: Belgrade Example. Sasha 2004: Managing Change in Post-Communist Cities. in this paper we will focus on two of them which in the last decade have been faced with the biggest population growth. Nenad Spasić. Veljković. Special issues of the Geographic Institute “Jovan Cvijić”] 53. Belgrade: Srpska akademija nauka i umetnosti. Miodrag 2004: “A Europe of Regions on Flux” and the Regional Deficit in Serbia: Options in Adjusting the System and Practice of Regional Governance and Planning. International Conference 2004. In: Geografska struktura i regionalizacija Srbije II. In: Zorica Nedović-Budić. International Review 13–14: 27–33. In: Der Donauraum. In: Stanovništvo [Population] 1–4: 7–42. 3–20. Vujošević. Stupar. Winds of Societal Change: Remaking Post-Communist Cities. social and economic problems. Gordana 2003: Stanovništvo kao element regionalizacije Srbije [Population as an element of regionalization of Serbia]. 1–30.1/2: 26–32. International Review 15–16: 21–27. Posebna izdanja Geografskog instituta “Jovan Cvijić” [Geographic structure and regionalization of Serbia II. Belgrade: Gradska opština Novi Beograd. Zeitschrift des Instituts für den Donauraum und Mitteleuropa 2004. border and mountain regions on the one hand. Vojković. In: Spatium. Belgrade has continued with its territorial expansion and facilitated the creation of a further gap between the country’s underdeveloped southern.). and the more developed northern regions on the other hand. Sasha Tsenkova (eds. Abstract The Belgrade metropolitan region has always been one of the key elements of Serbia’s main development axes. Cenk Hamamcioglu 2006: Chasing the Limelight: Belgrade and Istanbul in the Global Competition.264 Tamara Maričić. Zeković. Champaign: University of Illinois. One of the analysed areas belongs to the inner urban municipalities and the other one could be characterized as the suburban one. Their example may serve as a reference point .

Physical Expansion and Subregional Disparities 265 in understanding sub-regional disparities and the process of changing lifestyles and spatial patterns within the Belgrade metropolitan region. .

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PhD Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology. PhD Department of Teacher Training. Vesna Vučinić-Nešković.ac. e-mail: Stephanie Schwandner-Sievers Prof. e-mail: damiana. Christian Dora Alexa-Morcov.ruegg@unifr. e-mail: Prof. ndimova@nbu. nr. e-mail: Prof.kaser@uni-graz. e-mail: Ulf. e-mail: rhayden@ucis. e-mail: Authors and editors of volume 12 Simona Prof. BG – 1421 Sofia Dr. Żurawia 4. e-mail: Keith_Brown@brown. François Ruegg. e-mail: bacas@academyofathens.giordano@unifr.uni-regensburg. e-mail: capo@ief.mpg. e-mail: mbenovska@yahoo. Karl Kaser.. PhD New Bulgarian University 67B Tsanko Tserkovski St. PL – 00-503 Warsaw k. Ulf Brunnbauer. Jasna Čapo-Žmegač. Milena Benovska-Săbkova. RO – 300223 Timişoara adamsimona@yahoo. e-mail: kaneff@eth. e-mail: vvucinic@f. West University of Timişoara Str. University of Warsaw ul. RO – 020961 Bucharest 37 doramorcov@yahoo. e-mail: nicolacon@from. Deema Kaneff. Damiana Otoiu MA.uni-muenchen. Jutta Lauth . MA National Institute for Regional Planning and Urbanism Nicolae Filipescu 53– Nevena Dimova. Klaus Roth.otoiu@icp.Addresses of authors and editors Editorial Board Prof. Keith Brown. e-mail: Karolina Bielenin-Lenczowska. 2– Prof. Nicolae Dr. Robert Prof. Parvan.

Bulgarian Academy of Sciences 13a Moskovska Street. SE – 11000 Belgrade mirjana. BAS ul.yu Aleksandra Marković.markovic@uva. PhD Institute of Folklore. G. NL – 1012 KN Amsterdam a. Markstr. MA Music Centre of the Netherlands Rokin 111. PhD Department of Anthropology.yu. BG – 1618 Sofia evgenia_blagoeva@hotmail. Universität Halle-Wittenberg Kl. RO – 300223 Timişoara melindadinca@gmail. Parvan. BG – 1000 Sofia Prof. 7. Miglena Ivanova. PhD Ethnographic Institute with Museum. MSc Institute of Architecture and Urban & Spatial Planning of Serbia Bulevar kralja Aleksandra 73/2. D – 06108 Halle eckehard.Access via CEEOL NL Germany 268 Addresses of authors and editors Melinda Dincă 2–4.pavlovic@sanu. SASA Kneza Mihaila 35. Evgenia Krăsteva-Blagoeva. nr. Akad. Block Petko Mirjana Pavlović. PhD Department of Sociology and Anthropology. V. New Bulgarian University ul. Bulgarian Academy of Sciences .co. Montevideo 21. Moskovska 6a.yu Eckehard Pistrick. MA Ethnographic Institute. MA Institut für Musik. BG – 1113 Sofia Tamara Maričić. PhD Institute of Sociology. West University of Timişoara Alexey Pamporov. Bonchev. SE – 11000 Belgrade tamara@iaus. BG – 1000 Sofia hristov_p@yahoo.

Department of Ethnology and Anthropology. Ludwig-Maximilinas-Universität München Ludwigstr. V. nr. Parvan. BG – 1113 Sofia nikolai.yu Prof. D – 80539 München K. 2–4. Akad. Klaus Roth. SE – 11000 Belgrade szlat@eunet. PhD Institute of Folklore. PhD Institut für Volkskunde/Europäische Ethnologie. BAS ul. School of Laurenţiu Ţîru. PhD Institute of Architecture and Urban & Spatial Planning of Serbia Bulevar kralja Aleksandra 73/ Nikolai Vukov. SE – 11 000 Belgrade Danijela Velimirović.yu 269 . Ph.Addresses of authors and editors Jasna Petrić.org. West University of Timişoara Str. University of Belgrade Čika Ljubina 18–20. RO – 300223 Timişoara tarulaurentiu@gmail. Vesna Vučinić-Nešković. MA Department of Ethnology and MA Ethnographic Institute. SE – 11000 Belgrade vvucinic@f. MA Department of Sociology and Anthropology. 25.uni-muenchen.yu Prof. Block 6. SE – 11000 Belgrade dvelimir@f. Serbian Academy of Sciences Kneza Mihaila 35. University of Belgrade Čika Ljubina 18–20. Sanja Zlatanović.

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