Monday, June 14, 2010

Happy Belated May 24th! :]

[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 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! :)

Ciao, Priyaten Den!