East European Communities: The Struggle for Balance in Turbulent Times

By David A. Kideckel | Go to book overview

decars? This is the total size of the lands of the village. Who is the one who has so much land in Bulgaria?"

As a veteran member of the Nikola Petkov Agrarian Union Hristo Paskalev was severely disappointed with the leadership of his own party. In his view, the leaders who are supposed to deal with the fate of the ordinary people are unfamiliar with their problems. Moreover, they are in constant conflict among themselves. It is true there are significant differences between the agrarian unionists belonging to the two agrarian parties, and that the "red" agrarians have always been "authorities' informants" during the totalitarian period. However "a single stone does not build a house." For this reason Hristo thinks that unless the agrarians unite and take their well-deserved place in parliament, there will be no improvements in Bulgarian agriculture. As of now, however, only the inertia of the reform process currently on-going in the villages provides people with some optimism. As Hristo believes "This (reform in agriculture) will never stop!" Thus hesitatingly, and sometimes with a lot of guess-work, the movement forward continues.


Notes
1.
According to statistics in 1946 the share of the rural population as part of the total population of Bulgaria was 75.3%. Of these 62% owned up to fifty decars of arable land, 27.3% from 50 to 100 decars, 9.2% from 100 to 200 decars, 1.4% from 200 to 500 decars, and 0.1% over 500 decars. This clearly indicates that the rural poor were predominant in Bulgaria. The processes of rapid industrialization accompanied by collectivization of lands which followed 9 September 1944 led to subsequent massive urbanization. As a result the population structure was heavily unbalanced in favor of urban settlements. According to the 1975 census figures the rural population comrpised 42% of the total. The social structure itself of the rural population, however, has also been changed. Thus, 62,2% were registered as workers, 8.2% as employees, 1.5% were involved in other professional activities, and only 28.1% were cooperative farm members. For more information refer to Entsiklopedia na Bulgaria, vol. 6, Sofia, 1988: 153-154.
2.
Here I would like to acknowledge Vesselina Slavova and her parents for the assistance that I received during my work in the village of Panaretovo. The interviews there were recorded and subsequently archived with the Audio-archives of the Institute of Folklore with the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences under call numbers 1097, 1098, 1099, 1100 and 1101.
3.
An agrarian-industrial complex is a conglomerate of agricultural collective farms joined with other units that provided them with technical services.
4.
A village located in the vicinity of Sliven.

References

Bertaux, Daniel. 1993. "The Biographic Approach: Methodological Value and Perspectives". Bulgarian Folklore 2: 19-29.

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