|International Marriage and Identity Adaptation. The Soviet Russian Women in Bulgaria|
|In this paper I look at the second wave of the Russian migration to Bulgaria. These are (in the majority of cases) the so-called ‘Russian brides’ - women, who married thousands of Bulgarian men, who had gone to study or work in the former Soviet Union during the second half of the 20th century, i.e. from the 1950s to the beginning of the 1990s. Those were individual acts of migration but they were so numerous in relation to the overall Bulgarian population that they were defined as a migration wave. The women coming from the former Soviet Union were considered ‘Russian’ despite their different ethnic origin: Ukrainian, Tartar, Jewish etc.
I draw on three case studies to show different patterns of identity adaptation among Russian-speaking women in Bulgaria.
In the case of the Russian Jewish women I explore through narrative research how the consequences of the migration and interrelationship challenge the widespread assumption that mixed marriage weakens the Jewish Identity. The Bulgarian context affected the attitudes of the Russian Jewish women towards their Jewish origins encouraging their Jewish consciousness.