Isabel Fonseca: Bulgarian Women and Their Struggle for a Sense of Place

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  • Topic: Marriage, Bulgarians, Bulgaria
  • Pages : 2 (597 words )
  • Download(s) : 90
  • Published : January 3, 2013
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Fonseca interviews three Bulgarian women, who reveal their struggles for “a sense of place.” Their struggle” has everything to do with the human landscape, and in respect of its large Gypsy population, Bulgaria is barren—a tundra of human intolerance.” In Bulgaria Fonseca sees with her eyes the outcast life that these people live, how they are being treated like they don’t even exist because of some unwritten laws, how some Bulgarians – doctors for example discriminate them and are or afraid to go to their mahali and so on. Antoinette is a Gypsy woman who has attempted to achieve racial anonymity by coloring her hair, outfitting herself in gadje fashions, changing her name, and even adopting a local religion. Though her attempts have been somewhat successful, she never really seems to blend in; consequently, she appears to be an outcast among her adopted people as well as a pariah among her own people. Elena, a gadje, has learned much about suffering through association; she had had extreme difficulties earning her PhD because her chosen area of specialization, the Gypsies, was considered “unsuitable” by most universities. After accumulating much data and analyzing her results, Elena still is not allowed to publish her findings due to “economic reasons.” “Economic reasons have neatly replaced political ones.” In the beginning Elena describes how she was involved with Gypsies during an excursion on which she was in charge of a bunch of Gypsy children group, because no one else wanted to be in that position. Towards the end of the holiday, a bracelet had gone missing and so Elena’s group was blamed (because it was the only Gypsy group). Elena protected the children and that was the reason that led to her kicking out of the Konsomol club. Elena explains of what had become her life’s obsession. In the 1947 Gypsies had the status of a national minority, allowing them at least to use their language, a status which was scrapped in the revised Constitution of 1971. So...
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