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LA CORNEMUSE BULGARE GAIDA ET L’IMAGE DE LA BULGARIE AUX TROIS EXPOSITIONS INTERNATIONALES À LA FIN DU XIXe SIÈCLE

Svetlina Denova

Université de Montréal, Québec

An Image of Bulgaria at Three International Fairs in the End of the 19th Century

Abstract: The article examines how Bulgaria presents itself at three international fairs in the end of the XIX century by the means of a single music instrument – the Bulgarian bagpipe “gaida”.

At the first Bulgarian fair of agriculture and manufacture in Plovdiv (1892), the bagpipe symbolizes only the traditional Bulgarian music and dance. One year later, at the second fair, discussed here, the so-called Chicago Fair (1893), Bulgarian bagpipe is already one of the specific Bulgarian symbols. At Paris Universal Exposition (1900), Bulgarian bagpiper is a “type” – an artistically elaborated subject that presents Bulgaria as a modern country that tries to preserve its identity by respecting in a great extent its traditions.

The text proposes a hypothesis why Bulgarian bagpipe has such a significant place in the way Bulgarians imagine themselves as such.

Keywords: Fair, Nation, Identity, Music, Bagpipe