Who Wrestles, How and for What? On the Utilization of
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Кой, как, за какво се бори. За никои употреби на „народната борба"
Who Wrestles, How and for What? On the Utilization of "Folk Wrestling" in Bulgaria

Author(s): Petar Petrov
Subject(s): Anthropology
Published by: Институт за етнология и фолклористика с Етнографски музей при БАН

Summary/Abstract: This paper focuses on wrestling as an element of festivals in socialist and postsocialist Bulgaria. Traditional wrestling underwent radical changes resulting from the ideological concepts and the regulations of the socialist state after 1944. However, people consider the new form to be a tradition. Political and ethnic entrepreneurs utilise this attitude, the audience enthusiasm and the symbolism of wrestling for management of political and ethnic identity. They use wrestling as a mean of self-presentation. By controlling the organisation of wrestling and identifying themselves with popular symbols, they draw the attention of the public, demonstrate their own importance in social life, and establish an image of themselves as persons who have the ability to interpret, produce and perpetuate "old traditions". At the same time they legitimate their political status and build political loyality. They employ wrestling for metaphoric representation of antagonism between political competitors and for communication of socio-political understandings.

  • Issue Year: 2000
  • Issue No: 3
  • Page Range: 28-47
  • Page Count: 20
  • Language: Bulgarian