Who are Our National Heroes beyond National Borders?

  • Lina Gergova Assistant Professor at the Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Studies with Ethnographic Museum, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
  • Yana Gergova An Assistant Professor at the Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Studies with Ethnographic Museum, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
Keywords: National pantheon, national heroes, monuments, migrant communities, national festivity

Abstract

The focus of this article is on monuments to national heroes built at the initiative of the Bulgarian nation state, political party or migrant community beyond the national borders. Three analytical perspectives are presented: geographical, cultural and social, given that monuments are both physical objects and represent non-physical relations. The place of a monument is essential in the interpretation of its function, reflecting intercommunity negotiations and the views of community elites regarding the place of the in the host society. Another basic issue is who Bulgarian national heroes are abroad, who has selected them, and what means and procedures brought them there. Our hypothesis connects the core of the national celebrations (both pantheon and calendar) within the national territory with its periphery in what is a dynamic system. These reflections are illustrated with three case studies: Botev’s monument in Beijing, Vazov’s bust in Moscow and Levski’s memorial plate in Yeniköy (Romania). An inventory and a map of all the monuments dedicated to these three figures are attached.

Published
2021-12-23