By Theodora Dragostinova
In 1900, a few 100,000 humans dwelling in Bulgaria―2 percentage of the country's population―could be defined as Greek, no matter if via nationality, language, or faith. The advanced identities of the population―proud heirs of old Hellenic colonists, dependable electorate in their Bulgarian native land, participants of a much wider Greek diasporic neighborhood, religious fans of the Orthodox Patriarchate in Istanbul, and reluctant supporters of the Greek executive in Athens―became entangled within the transforming into nationwide tensions among Bulgaria and Greece through the first half the 20th century.
In Between Motherlands, Theodora Dragostinova explores the transferring allegiances of this Greek minority in Bulgaria. assorted social teams contested the that means of the kingdom, shaping and reshaping what it intended to be Greek and Bulgarian in the course of the gradual and painful transition from empire to realms within the Balkans. In those a long time, the zone was once racked through a sequence of upheavals (the Balkan Wars, international warfare I, interwar inhabitants exchanges, international conflict II, and Communist revolutions). The Bulgarian Greeks have been stuck among the competing agendas of 2 states more and more bent on constructing nationwide homogeneity.
Based on vast learn within the information of Bulgaria and Greece, in addition to fieldwork within the nations, Dragostinova exhibits that the Greek inhabitants didn't blindly persist with Greek nationalist leaders yet used to be torn among id with the land in their beginning and loyalty to the Greek reason. Many emigrated to Greece in accordance with nationalist pressures; others sought to take care of their Greek id and traditions inside Bulgaria; a few even switched aspects whilst it appropriate their own pursuits. nationwide loyalties remained fluid regardless of nation efforts to mend ethnic and political borders via such ability as inhabitants hobbies, minority treaties, and stringent citizenship principles. the teachings of a case similar to this proceed to reverberate anywhere and each time states attempt to modify nationwide borders in areas lengthy inhabited by means of combined populations.
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Extra resources for Between Two Motherlands: Nationality and Emigration among the Greeks of Bulgaria, 1900-1949
2004), 17; and Rogers Brubaker, Margit Feischmidt, Jon Fox, and Liana Grancea, Nationalist Politics and Everyday Ethnicity in a Transylvanian Town (Princeton, 2006), 10. 23. For a criticism of the presumption of “national awakening,” see Paschalis Kitromilides, “ ‘Imagined Communities’ and the Origins of the National Question in the Balkans,” European History Quarterly 19 (1989): 149–192; and Jeremy King, “The Nationalization of East Central Europe: Ethnicism, Ethnicity, and Beyond,” in Staging the Past: The Politics of Commemoration in Habsburg Central Europe, 1848 to the Present, ed.
Nevertheless, people continued to challenge the policies of the state with their everyday practices. At the local level, inter-ethnic solidarity and actions beyond national affiliations were evident even during the most severe political crises of the twentieth century. This trend was especially valid in the case of the Bulgarian Greeks whose uneven experience of displacement and pronounced willingness to adapt to nationalization demonstrate that ordinary individuals often made choices that defied the priorities of the nation-state.
52. Michael Herzfeld, Cultural Intimacy: Social Poetics in the Nation-State (New York, 1997). Introduction | 15 social integration, personal enhancement, or even their own physical survival. 53 Frequently, when individuals claimed that despite their Greek origins they wanted to be Bulgarians, this trend reflected their willingness to use the national idiom as a language of social legitimacy. The instability of nationality was characterized by the coexistence of primordial and constructionist discourses and practices of national belonging.