The article is based on anthropological and linguistic data obtained through fieldwork with Bulgaria-based Poles. A group of Polish residents permanently living in Bulgaria was interviewed between 1996 and 2001. The Poles, usually married to Bulgarian women, tend to live in big cities. Their stereotype of a Bulgarian is predominantly negative. A Bulgarian is usually viewed as possessing oriental features of character, which stems from the one-time Ottoman domination in the area. The content of the stereotype draws on everyday relations such as those between a man and a woman, husband and wife, a Bulgarian mother-in-law and Polish daughter-in-law, or between parents and children. It is also based on the attitude of Bulgarians to tradition, customs, folk culture, religion, etc. Features which are seen as typical of Slavs, such as hospitality, warm-heartedness and frankness, receive positive evaluation. Kindness to and tolerance of foreigners are emphasized as the most positive features of Bulgarians. A hypothesis is put forward that the predominantly negative stereotype of a Bulgarian entertained by Bulgaria-based Poles does not result from the negative evaluation of Bulgarians, but mainly from a highly positive auto-stereotype entertained by the Poles themselves.
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