I am a Bulgarian, I know that for sure (my passport says so). But I just can’t stop asking myself what makes me a Bulgarian in my heart and mind?
As I was leaving Bulgaria to come to Germany for my study, I thought being a Bulgarian is a good thing, because Bulgarians are smart, responsible, hard working, capable of coping with just about everything and capable of having fun too. And I really thought that the combination of these qualities was typical for (almost) all Bulgarians.
I’ve been living in Germany for 4 years now and in that time I had to realize, that the Bulgarians that I knew are actually not really “the Bulgarians”. I’ve seen lazy, irresponsible, stupid Bulgarians, I’ve been reading and hearing mostly about such Bulgarians, I’ve also met some amazingly cool Bulgarians, who don’t really want to be Bulgarians etc. So I’ve got confused.
I don’t mind people to know, that I’m a Bulgarian, I don’t hide it in any way, because I have a nice mental presentation of “the Bulgarian”. Since this mental presentation is simply not true, what are the qualities, that make me a Bulgarian? That I speak the language? (no, that can’t be it, a lot of people speak the language and are not Bulgarians, although language may has some influence on how people think. My blog is in English, is that “not patriotic” in a way?). That I have “Bulgarian value system”? (do I have one, what does this thing look like anyway?) That I love the music and I grew up with the dances? (well, a lot of foreigners could do that too).
I often say, that I don’t want my kids to grow up in Germany. But well, lately I can’t really imagine them growing up in Bulgaria too… May be the world will end in two years and the “problem” will be solved. (of course, I know, that there’s no such thing as “the Bulgarian” or “the Bulgarians”, I’m talking just about my personal definition of “Bulgarianhood”)
If you have some kind of answer about the mental definition of your nationality for yourself, please share, it could give me some ideas 🙂