Acta Universitatis Danubius. Communicatio, Vol 10, No 1 (2016)

The folklore - nationalism relationship in the Balkans Case study "WHOSE IS THIS SONG? "By Adela Peeva

Lorena Nedelcu


This article analyses a 2003 documentary titled “Whose Is This Song?” by Bulgarian movie director Adela Peeva, in the purpose of understanding the relationship between the folklore and the nationalism in the Balkans. The theme of the documentary is the director’s quest to trace the roots of a folk song that she had thought was 100 percent Bulgarian since her childhood. The documentary follows Peeva’s journey with a camera in hand around Turkey, Greece, Macedonia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Bulgaria, where she discovers that the song is sung by all of these nations. The documentary can be interpreted as showing how an ordinary song could become an instrument of fanatical nationalism and that it reveals mutual strife instead of Balkan unity. In a region defined by ethnic hatred and war, what begins as a simply investigation of the true origins of a song, ends as a sociological and historical exploration of the deep misunderstandings between the people of the Balkans.


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