The Family Meetings in the Region of Smolyan (from the Revival Process to the Present Day) Cover Image

Родовите срещи в Смолянско (от „възродителния процес“ до наши дни)
The Family Meetings in the Region of Smolyan (from the Revival Process to the Present Day)

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

Summary/Abstract: The article discusses the ritual of the family meeting as it had taken shape mostly in the 1980s (during the time of “the revival process”), as part of the socialist policy, which made an attempt at the complete secularization of the traditional system of holidays. By way of the transformation of tradition, new meanings have been invested and new objectives have been pursued, like, for instance, “to prove” and reaffirm the uniform family roots in places with ethnically mixed population (Bulgarians and Turks) or with confessional differences between the groups (Muslims and Christians). The first part of the article discusses the formal line of policy of the ruling party and the ways of ideological impact through various initiatives, presented in great detail in the periodical publication of the Fatherland Front – the Rodopi [Rhodopes] magazine. The second part is based on field research material from the town of Smolyan, describing the history of a family, which has kept on the idea about “the common root” in the wake of 1989, too. The paper makes an attempt to give an answer to the question why “the ideological educative work on the revival process” had been directed precisely to the family and kin and to what changes it has led in the present. The conclusion has been drawn that the family meetings in the region of Smolyan, though having acquired special importance in the 1980s, have had their deep roots. Probably not completely, but they do overcome the socialist models, which have crippled the ritual, and have persisted though without any encouragement “from the top”. They have a powerful emotional charge and their holding is important both for the individual family and kin, and for the settlement community. Through them norms and models of behaviour are brought to the fore.

  • Issue Year: 2008
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 19-35
  • Page Count: 17
  • Language: Bulgarian