University of Librarian Studies and Information Technologies (BULGARIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2020 Proceedings
Publication year: 2020
Pages: 849-855
ISBN: 978-84-09-24232-0
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2020.0248
Conference name: 13th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 9-10 November, 2020
Location: Online Conference
The report examines the cultural institution of the school as a tradition passed down from the Motherland to the foreign environment and its fundamental role in preserving identity. The analysis focuses on the formation of the Bulgarian diaspora (the profile of emigrants) and the construction of Bulgarian schools abroad with the typical Bulgarian education curricula and standards, parallel to the educational programs and standards of the host country. The results of the study highlight the common specifics for preserving the identity, valid not only for the Bulgarian but also for each diaspora - in a foreign environment the community imagines itself by establishing a cultural institution as a symbolic space of connection with the Motherland. For the Bulgarian diaspora, the school, along with the specific educational tasks, becomes a place of vivid cultural memories. The formation and development of Bulgarian schools abroad turned out to be an important educational and cultural act of the Bulgarian communities (historical and contemporary): along with the education in native language, native history and native geography, children from the diaspora learn the educational programs and standards of the host country. Thus, the school abroad is transformed into a center of multicultural communication, it is established as a place where the diaspora symbolically achieves its unity, but also paves the way for its full participation in the new cultural environment. In chronological terms, three periods of construction of schools abroad can be indicated, which also correspond to the waves of emigrants. The first period is from 1835. until 1878 - the time of the emergence of the first Bulgarian school (1835) until the Liberation of Bulgaria (1878). Since in the 19th century Bulgaria did not exist as an independent state (part of the Ottoman Empire), the emergence of Bulgarian schools abroad (mostly in Bessarabia, the Russian Empire) became a symbol of the emerging We-identity - a place of unification. and an expression of national self-confidence. The second period (1878-1944) covers the free Bulgarian state. Then outside Bulgaria remained large territories inhabited by Bulgarian-speaking population and as a sign of belonging to the population that began to build their schools. During this period, active emigration was directed to Central Europe, the United States and Canada, related to the opening of Bulgarian schools there. The third period is related to the period from 1944 to 1989. The newly opened schools are mostly state-run and operate as diplomatic missions. The last period began after the changes in 1989 - to this day and it is characterized by the mass opening of Bulgarian schools abroad. It turns out that the existence of the Bulgarian diaspora in the foreign cultural environment is closely related to the formation and development of the Bulgarian school, which as a cultural space begins to be loaded with symbolic meanings of the imaginary ancestral homeland. In the course of learning, these symbolic meanings of cultural memory are expanded and conceptualized. The Diaspora not only develops its We-identity, but also preserves its unique cultural affiliation in a multicultural environment. On the other hand, the school itself - a symbolic space of the Motherland - is further established as a place for cultural dialogue, cultural interpenetration and communication.
emigration, Bulgarian diaspora, school, cultural model, curriculum, community