Issue 154

ARCHITECT IVO DIKOV: BUILDING FUTURE

Architect Ivo Dikov is the embodiment of the rule that youth and success can go together. He opened his first company in his 20s, in the midst of the 2009 crisis, and quickly demonstrated that with dedication, talent, work and knowledge it is possible to succeed even in harsh environment.

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WHO ARE THE MAIN PLAYERS IN BULGARIAN MEDIA?

Under Boyko Borisov, Bulgaria, ostensibly, has all the trappings of a democracy. Elections, generally pronounced by international observers to be free and fair, are being held once in a while. Freedom-of-speech is a constitutionally guaranteed right. Arbitrary arrests of dissenters are supposedly a thing of the Communist past. Everyone, in theory, has access to justice. There are televised debates, policy platforms, endorsements.

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WHO WAS PETER DEUNOV?

Since the construction of a cable car to Seven Rila Lakes, visiting one of Rila's most beautiful locations at an altitude between 2,095 and 2,535 m is easy. Hundreds of trekkers and casual tourists do it on a daily basis. However, the people who gather at one of the lakes on 19 August are are not tourists.

Dressed in white, they perform a strange circular dance on the green meadow, under the blue sky. They are the Universal White Brotherhood, Bulgaria's best-known esoteric teaching.

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WHAT IS YOUR EGN?*

The National Revenue Agency people have asked the taxpayers to change their EGNs.

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A guy asks: "Are you not scared anyone now knows your EGN, your salary and your taxes?"

"I don't give a damn," his friend replies. "They will drop dead laughing."

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The National Revenue Agency has just released the names, EGNs and mobile phone numbers of all 25 people who had not had their personal data hacked.

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A Chinese tourist asks a Bulgarian: "How many million people live in Bulgaria?"

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BEST BULGARIAN VILLAGE TO DISCOVER IN 2019

Going on your summer vacation to Greece? Returning from the Aegean? Whatever brings you to the southwest of Bulgaria, do take the time to divert from the main road and head to Teshovo.

To say that Teshovo is an out-of-the-way, off-off-off-the-beaten-track destination would be an understatement. Tucked into the hills south of Gotse Delchev, a mile at most from the border with Greece, it is an end-of-the-road settlement. It is now quiet and severely depopulated, though in the Communist period it sported a shoe factory.

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STEFANO BALDI: ITALIAN AMBASSADOR ON POSITIVE VIBES AND CROSSING ROADS IN BULGARIA

With a strong interest in the history of diplomacy in general and Italian diplomacy in particular, Baldi has authored dozens of books, written hundreds of articles and participated as speaker in many conferences and events. His strong interest in the arts has prompted him to help organise major exhibitions in Sofia the two most recent being Colourful Visions of Ancient Rome: Mosaics From the Capitoline Museums and Leonardo, the Gentle Genius.

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REVIVAL PERIOD PLOVDIV

The colourful houses lining the cobblestone streets of Old Plovdiv are arguably the city's most recognisable sight. The only thing that can distract from marvelling at their painted façades, projecting bay windows and verdant gardens is the pavement. Polished by the feet of generations of passers-by, it is slippery even when dry, as traveller and historian Konstantin Jireček noted as far back as the late 19th century.

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QUOTE-UNQUOTE

Unemployed IT specialists? There is a high demand for shepherds in this country.

Prime Minister Boyko Borisov in 2011

The hackers have to be recruited to work for the state as they have unique brains.

Prime Minister Boyko Borisov in 2019

Mr Borisov takes care of the whole country.

Borislav Mihaylov, President of the Bulgarian Football Union

 

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CROSSING BALKAN RANGE

Dividing Bulgaria into two almost identical chunks, the Stara Planina mountain range, sometimes referred to as the Balkan, has influenced this nation's life and history for many centuries. The massive land barrier protects Bulgaria's south from northerly winds. In the Middle Ages, it separated Bulgarians from their main enemy to the south, Byzantium, and consequently all the major capitals were located north: Pliska, Preslav, Tarnovo.

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CHILDREN OF IMMIGRANTS

Writers often find their true material through the subconscious mind. The obsession that has guided me to my truest writing always emerged more intuitively than consciously. A writer develops, over time, this ability to tap into a reservoir of knowledge, imagination, memory, and feeling that exists both at the individual level and the collective. You go into a dark, place full of buried treasure, where anything is possible, and begin your quest for your true story. You are fuelled, all along, by the particular energy of your subject.

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DEVELOPING POTENTIAL

 

People are important and without them the success of a company is impossible. Everyone in the field of business says that in one way or another, particularly during corporate events when managers face the employees for the usual speeches and addresses.

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LAND OF HEALTH

 

The strive of modern people to eat healthily and to use nature-friendly cosmetics is not just another fashion and a whim. The planet is suffocating under the tonnes of plastics that humanity generates by the minute, and the effects on the organism of artificial colourings, additives and preservatives in mass food and cosmetics are yet to be studied.

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HUNTING IN BULGARIA

 

Humans have hunted since they appeared in this world. Hunting provided them with the calories needed to develop their brain, stimulated them to discover fire and to create complex weapons, taught them to cooperate and to plan as a group, inspired their cave art and their mythology. With time it became a symbol of skills, power and strength, so it is hardly a coincidence that the first kings in the world, the men who ruled over Ancient Sumer and Egypt, were depicted as mighty hunters of lions, bulls, birds.

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