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1 Heritage of Pluralism or Having Cultural Agency: An Introduction

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the policy and ideology of the vuzhroditelen protses, the Pomak identity crisis it generated, and the political resurrection of the notorious organization Rodina, which served as the revivalist propaganda machine. It recreates the life story of a remarkable person, whom the annals of Ottoman imperial history overlook as petty local governor and Bulgarian historiography neglects quite purposely as "Turkish tyrant". Heritage depends on the prevalent social norms of the day, which (i) if marked by intolerance, support the heritage of the dominant group, and (ii) if promoting inclusion, keep the governing elites in check. It is the responsibility of heritage professionals to work towards brokering pluralistic collective heritage in the public domain that provides grounds for integration. As culture is the lifeblood of every identifiable human group, people need identity and a sense of rootedness to achieve fulfilling existence.

Keywords: Bulgarian historiography; cultural pluralism; ideology; Ottoman imperial history; Pomak heritage



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