[Final Exams, then major computer issues. Now phone issues....Oh how the world treats me! haha.]
Anywhoo, Kak si?
I hope this post finds you all well! Before I continue with the last blog post, I would like to dedicate this one to wishing all Bulgarians a very happy (however late) Ден на азбуката, културата и просветата.
Ден на азбуката, културата и просветата is the Bulgarian name given to the holiday that occurs on May 24th -- Bulgarian Education and Culture, and Slavonic Literature Day. This day is meant to celebrate exactly what it's name focuses on, which is something that I of course, think is rather wonderful. According to wiki-sama,(fyi: sama being the Japanese suffix for 'God') There are multiple days of celebration for this holiday, depending on the calendar used.
This day is commonly dedicated, quite naturally to the brothers Кирил и Методий --St.Cyril and Methodius -- the original fathers of the Glagolitic (Глаголица) and Cyrillic alphabets. The Cyrillic Alphabet, which is named after St. Cyril is still in wide use today, while 'Glagolitsa' was used primarily in Old Bulgarian.
I have not read any Bulgarian literature myself, but I would love to be able to someday. I am still trying to learn the language on my own and it seems that currently, my only resort is to take online classes. (I am considering the Mastylo school, if anyone has any comments they'd like to share on this, I'd be forever grateful) But again, my computer is not functioning well enough to be able to do this, so it may have to wait until the latter end of this summer.
My experience with Bulgarian language has been amazing thus far. I have found myself studying into the late hours of the night (circa 3:00 A.M.) memorizing the palatalization of verbs from Old Bulgarian to modern usage. I have acquired quite a bit of reading material despite the lack of resources around me, one of which includes a newspaper written entirely in Bulgarian. I am still unable to comprehend it, but as soon as I can learn specific grammar rules, I should be able to comprehend a small article, with the help of a english-bulgarian dictionary (which I do possess, however it is not the best edition) and the internet (primarily http://www.diri.bg) by my side.
(the previous link should be on the sidebar of this blog, along with other helpful and interesting Bulgaria-themed sites I have come across in my quest for knowledge of anything Bulgarian ^___^)
As far as culture is concerned, I would like to say that I am exposed to it somewhat more than the other New Yorkers around me, but that this does sometimes make me wonder how much of the world we are all missing out on. Every culture has something beautiful that it leaves behind, and one of the fastest and most enjoyable ways that I have been able to familiarize myself with this beautiful culture is through their music. Yes, I listen to chalga, but I am also talking about the 'non-pop' variety of chalga -- Bulgaria's folk music.
Months ago, I found myself on ebay looking for something I had been searching quite a while for. I won this bid for this item I believe for $6.00, making me a very happy 'zhena' (woman) indeed:
Words cannot fully express how much having won this meant to me. It sounds like an over-exaggeration, but were my apartment to catch fire and I could only fun out with a handful of things, this could very well be one of them. This is heightened by the fact that my version is on cassette and not CD. (anyone remember Walkmans?) Having been able to actually buy something (short of an actual plane ticket to BG) that takes me out of New York for a moment and somewhere I can only dream of seeing one day is something I'd want to hold on to. The music is beautiful, and just simply fun to listen to, particularly tracks like: Shopski Tanz [Chope Dance] -- which I cannot listen to without dancing around like I'm doing a 'horo', haha. (It's also nice to know it was released a day before I was born. Hmm. side note: that makes this cassette almost 21 years old...making it even more of a rare find... how wonderful!)
The tracklist and a preview of each can be found here, although I will have to confirm at a later time that this link actually works -- I cannot do that right now with the state my computer is in, but it should be fine. Suzhalyavam! :(
All this talk about this music sung by Philip Koutev's Ensemble of the Bulgarian Republic,makes me want to listen to it in full many times over again. I think I am going to go do that right now, as I grab a cup of coffee, sip and enjoy. If you give it a listen, and enjoy it you will definitely want to check out the amazing: The Mystery of Bulgarian Voices or more exactly: Bulgarian State Radio & Television Female Vocal Choir: Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares. You will NOT be disappointed!
Now go off and celebrate the Education, Culture, and Literature of any place that YOU love! :)
So. I'm not even gonna talk, lets just get right into this. The first locale within Bulgaria is of course, the capital city of Sofia, pictured above. Here are some additional pictures I found, that I hope will explain in and of themselves, why I would want to visit such a wondrous city. I'll have you know, it's listed as my hometown on Facebook, haha.
The above is a picture of a market in Sofia. It looks like everyone seems to be into suit jackets/blazers, haha.
Here is a picture of a hotel in Sofia:
So now that you've seen some pictures of the more modernized Sofia, here are some pictures that show the history that is also very characteristic of this capital city.
here is one of the amazing cathedrals I am just dying to visit: St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, in Sofia, Bulgaria: There are definitely more where these came from, and I will post them in the coming days, but sit tight! Priyaten weekend!
Sorry about the big pause in posting. Midterms rolled around and I was going through some hectic times here at home, but things seem to be better so I'll get back on the blogging roll quite soon! Look out for the next post! :)
Today I was thinking about the motherland, and I remember that at one point, last summer, after reading a Frommer's travel guide to Eastern Europe (though I think Bulgaria should have it's own edition!!) while standing up in a Barnes and Noble bookstore and covering the entirety of the chapter on Bulgaria and taking some notes I do believe I have since then lost, I made it my task to make my 'intended itinerary' of things I would like to see and do while on a visit to BG.
Mind you, the security at the store was staring at me like the whole time.. I had to be standing in that one spot for about an hour and a half, just reading, smiling, and copying things out of a book....I think the guard just wanted me to buy the book already, but I didn't want to because it was a bit of money and wasn't exclusively about BG-- though I may reconsider when I have some cash because I do want to see Greece and Romania and the like, and don't know if those countries have their own travel guides.
After reading, I had all thees names, and places, and streets in my brain, and I realized after a few moments of thinking, that I really want to do see many many things and places, which is fine with me because once I find the financial means to travel abroad, granted I don't have any outstanding obligations, I would love to stay in Bulgaria for quite some time, no shorter then 2-3 months, and even perhaps a year.
Because I have lost the sheet I wrote on -- my mother probably threw it out thinking it was trash because she can't read Cyrillic, haha-- I want to re-start my itinerary here. I would love any suggestions, reviews of places, etc.
I love to eat, so any restaurants/cafes are great I love music, so any local musicians, music halls are definitely something I'd wanna see, regardless of genre (I'm into everything) I love dancing, so any clubs that you know are fun I love books, so any good stores, markets, or libraries
This is just a start, I would love an impossibly long list... a) because I can't run out of things to do -- though surely there WILL be days where I just want to sit back, and be captivated by everything around me, and relax b) because it would be a reason to go back (amongst many, many others)!
I'll see what I can come up with in the next post! ^___^
So in our last extremely brief history lesson, I left off with World War One and Two. Discouragingly enough, Bulgaria has been on the losing side in both both World Wars, leaving it at a disadvantage. As Bulgaria's history has confirmed, war isn't pretty and can ruin economies and the well-being of people by slowing cultural growth.
In World War One:
Prior to the war, both the Central Powers (Austria-Hungary, Germany) and the Entente (Russia, France, Britain) were pressuring Bulgaria to join their respective sides in the escalating conflict. Ultimately, however, Bulgaria made a 'secret treaty' with the Central Powers. 1918 saw much revolt in the land. Under Radoslavov, Bulgaria in the midst of war was doing poorly in terms of its ability to stay afloat internally. War had tired the people, and none of the territory that was supposed to be granted to Bulgaria according to the promises of Radoslavov were there. Needless to say, in time, the Radoslavov government resigned in this same year, and Entente forces moved in.
In World War Two:
In World War Two, Bulgaria managed to maintain neutral from 1939 until 1941. It was still hoping to gain territory, especially that which it had previously lost. It regained Southern Dobruja which had become part of Romania. Bulgaria, in 1941, joined the Axis Powers, though still at the outset, remained fairly passive until an invasion of Greece and Yugoslavia was underway. Germany later caused Bulgaria to move against the US and the United Kingdom. Repercussions followed in the bombing of Sofia, and other Bulgarian cities. While a member of the Axis Powers, Bulgaria managed to keep relations with Russia intact. Shortly after, by September 5th, Russia seized Varna and Bourgas. There was a political resistance movement taking place in Bulgaria, called Fatherland Front. The Fatherland Front was crucial in that it staged a coup and then (wih Russia), retaliated against Germany and the other Axis powers.
A later post will be dedicated to current issues in Bulgaria just out of curiosity and as a point of reference.
**If there are any inconsistencies, please let me know, keep in mind, I'm no historian though I'm sure that's obvious by now, and would like to be as accurate as possible. :) Blagodariya (Thank you)! **
Happy March 3rd! Today commemorates the Liberation of Bulgaria from Ottoman rule, thanks to the The Treaty of San Stefano, signed between the Turkish Ottomans and Russia on this day in 1878, in San Stefano -- or what is now known as present-day Yesilkoy. This treaty, established Bulgaria's autonomy as a principality, and is the last step before Bulgaria was to fully achieve independence as a state much later in September of 1908.
The above is a video of some great footage, I love the music!! :)
Happy Liberation Day to all Bulgarians everywhere!
I hate doing these, because I don't ever think I write them well enough...whatever that means. I am thoroughly convinced that I was Bulgarian in a past life, and Japanese in another. I overwork myself a lot of the time, my professor has called me a masochist, but for some reason, that makes me smile, so I guess she's right.