Despite the situation with COVID-19 we were happy to travel in the Summer of 2020, working on our new project. We visited several cities in different regions of Bulgaria and talk with the locals about their experience as being Left-behind in Bulgaria. Our first post will briefly tell about our work in Targovishte, Omurtag and the surrounding villages. Within 5 days we tracked the adaptation of families who have relatives abroad. We focused our attention on the cultural, economic and social dimensions of the impact that emigration in the family has on the people who remain in the country. We were interested in their way of communication, the information they share and the circulation of capital (cultural, social, economic) to and from Bulgaria. In all these places we spoke with representatives of the Bulgarian, Roma, Turkish, Pomak and Allian communities, in the two major towns in the region, as well as in the villages of Vardun, Yablanovo, Obitel, Belomortsi and Dalgach.
Each scholar worked upon a separate topic. Assist. Prof. Plamena Stoyanova, PhD, for exapmle, focused upon parents whose children have left the country and settled abroad. The interviewees maintain an active relationship with their relatives through visits to Bulgaria and visits of the elderly parents outside the country.
A valuable moment in the field research in Targovishte and Omurtag was the opportunity of interviewing respondents from different ethnic groups – Bulgarians, Roma, Turks. In the course of the research, an interesting trend emerged among Roma families – a serious investment in building houses in their native places, purchasing new and old uninhabited properties as an investment and potential for returning
someday. Meanwhile, these families come back to their spacious new houses only in the summer months.