Dear Immigration-Minded Bulgarians, Mind the Gap between Flash Mob and Reality
This Thursday surprised Sofia Airport, Bulgaria's largest airport, with a flash mob.
At 12.30 p.m., a group of students from the New Bulgarian University, the National High School of Photography, and young entrepreneurs from Presidential Club Bulgaria mixed with the crowd at Terminal 2.
They danced for 3-4 minutes to the "In Defiance" ("Na Inat") song of pop singer Poli Genova, the Bulgarian 2011 Eurovision Song Contest participant, and dispersed immediately after the performance.
The event was reportedly organized under the aegis of Transport Minister Ivaylo Moskovski under the motto"Let's Stay in Defiance – We Can, We Know, We Want to Change Bulgaria" and was aimed at subverting a local saying about the only exits from the crisis being Terminals 1 and 2 of Sofia Airport.
I can think of two ways this initiative is pathetic, but most likely there are more.
First of all, if we assume that the event is mostly targeted at young people, defiance will hardly be the reason for them to stay in a country with a dysfunctional educational system and substantial youth unemployment, to say the least.
Defiance is likely to be embraced by a much younger age group, sort of the one that refuses to brush their teeth before bed.
Secondly, the very motto of the campaign admits that the state is a mess and needs changing. Provided that the youths do decide in favor of staying, they will have quite an agenda to follow.
Question is, how does one individual, let us say skilful, willing and able, change something as big as a state? By struggling to obtain qualifications, marketable ones, naturally? By putting up with a study-after-work and work-after-study daily regime? By lining up for jobs after graduation? Or by staging protests and being an active voter when it comes to taking power away from corrupt and/or misguided rulers only to leave that power in the hands of the next ones of the same kind?
How does an unpacked suitcase trigger a change?
Rather than asking young people to make lifetime decisions in defiance, it would probably be better for those in power to change the terms of the offer, by including, for instance, quality education that corresponds to the demands of the business world, internships and career programs for students, labor contracts without small print, easy access to professional medical assistance, clean public spaces, and so forth?
Unless they are given a reason to stay here, the young will turn their backs around, even if they could, they knew and they wanted to change Bulgaria.