Issue 55-56

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KOTOR BY NIGHT

You may simply be a carefree tourist heading for Kotor with the sole purpose of immersing yourself in the Medieval atmosphere of Montenegro's most beautiful town. You might equally well be looking forward to the spectacular drive along the perilous winding road from Cetinje and the stunning views that open up to Kotor Bay, a miracle of nature, with its crystalline water surrounded by steep mountains.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 10:34
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The gold mask also used as a drinking vessel was buried 2,300 years ago with its owner - presumably the Thracian king Teres II (351–342 BC). It was discovered in 2004 in Svetitsata tumulus near Shipka. The mask weights 670 grams

THRACIAN TREASURES

The stories all begin differently. A villager goes out to plough the fields that his father and grandfather had ploughed before him for years, never getting anything besides grain in return. With a backhoe, a construction worker digs a trench for a canal. An archaeologist sinks a shovel into a burial mound. Or an imanyar, or illegal treasure hunter, scouts around with his metal detector and digs where the device squeals the loudest.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 10:02
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STUDYING HOW TO STUDY

You may have various reasons for choosing public education in Bulgaria, either for yourself or for your children, ranging from an inability to afford the fees at private educational institutions to being unable to access their services because you live, for example, in Hotnitsa. Here's how you can receive a public education in Bulgaria.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 09:25
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LEGALISE IT!

Whether you are buying property or marrying a Bulgarian, you will certainly come to a point when you will need to get documents officially translated and/ or legalised. Higher education diplomas, personal documents or a certificate that you have no criminal convictions are only part of the long list of documents that you might need to get officially recognised on various occasions. Any document that was issued outside Bulgaria and is to be used within the country and, likewise, any Bulgarian document that is to be used abroad, must be translated and legalised in order to be valid.

Tue, 05/24/2011 - 09:15
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TOLERANCE

I didn't know I had a problem until the telephone call. It was 2:31 am. I know the exact time because we have a digital clock by our bedside phone. I lay in bed next to Linda in my mismatched pyjamas because we'd come home slightly drunk at midnight from Baltazar, and I couldn't find a top to match the bottom. My three glasses of wine helped me forget the evening's unpleasantness at the Booth Theater, and I had just drifted off to sleep behind my cloth eye shades. That's when the phone rang.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 11:07
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IN THE DEVIL'S FOOTSTEPS

Travel agencies often use the word "paradise" to describe Bulgaria’s natural landscape and holiday hideaways. If you consult any Bulgarian about somewhere in the countryside you are thinking of visiting, you will probably hear the phrase "a piece of heaven" at least once. Even in the national anthem Bulgarian land is referred to as "Heaven on Earth". However, as you become more familiar with the country's geography and history, you'll come across fewer signs of heaven and many more of hell. The Devil and his kingdom appear in the names of rivers, caves and natural phenomena.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 10:13
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Icon of the Batak martyrs

BULGARIAN ORTHODOXY GAINS NEW SAINTS

Acting with unusual agility, the elders of the Bulgarian Holy Synod, headed by nonagenarian Patriarch Maxim, bent their own rules and canonised 120 Bulgarians killed in 1876 at Batak, in the Rhodope, and at Novo Selo, near Lovech, when Bulgaria was still a part of the Ottoman Empire. This act, which might take the Pope in Rome, adhering to very strict guidelines, several centuries to accomplish, was finalised by the Bulgarian clergy in less than a month.

Mon, 05/23/2011 - 08:10
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Swastikas appear on the Jewish cemetery in Shumen

ANTISEMITISM IN BULGARIA

Unfortunately, Bulgaria has never eschewed the sort of antisemitism prevalent in the rest of Europe in general and Eastern Europe in particular. That said, over the centuries antisemitic sentiments have rarely turned violent. Bulgaria has never witnessed Russian or German-style anti-Jewish pogroms, and even in the darkest years of the Defence of the Nation Act, the state’s enforcement of anti-Jewish regulations was at worst tepid.

Sun, 05/01/2011 - 09:48
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CATCHING THEM REDHANDED

The Slovene gets excited. He's wearing a T-shirt sporting one of those Finnish heavy metal bands known only to a handful of fanatical admirers. Is it really true that there is a special music festival devoted to this kind of heavy metal in Bulgaria? (Thrash Till Death. Location: Kavarna). But then he has second thoughts. "I'd love to come, but I don't think I will," he tells me. "Why?" "Because of the traffic police. If they stop me four times between the Serbian border and Kavarna and then four more times on the way back, and each time I have to give them 20 euros…"

Sun, 05/01/2011 - 09:10
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Suzanne Farrell

WHITE SWAN

At the age of 16 she joined the New York City Ballet and soon became a principal dancer. 50 years later she's the artistic director of her own ballet company and stages performances all over the world. "People have betrayed me but ballet hasn't," smiles Suzanne Farrell, who is to be envied not only for her prominent career, but also for her vital energy and enthusiasm.

Sun, 05/01/2011 - 08:29
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HOW MANY BULGARIANS ARE THERE, ACCORDING TO THE LATEST CENSUS IN 2011?

1. How many Bulgarians are there, according to the latest census in 2011?

A. 6,351,234

B. 7,351,234

C. 8,351,234

 

2. The name of which Bulgarian city means "wisdom"?

A. Burgas

B. Sofia

C. Stara Zagora

 

3. Which alphabet did the brothers Cyril and Methodius create in the 850s?

A. Glagolitic

B. Cyrillic

Tue, 04/26/2011 - 10:58
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THE INVISIBLE LINE

His short stories were nominated for the debut book competition of Ars Publishing House and his play Separation at First Sight was one of five nominees for the Slavka Slavova chamber play competition of Theater 199 in the spring of 2010. He was one of the top five in the Sofia Poetics Festival contest. In the same year his play The Eyes of the Others was one of the five nominees in the competition of Theater Sofia.

A baby's howl rang out from the neighbouring room.

Tue, 04/26/2011 - 10:48
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SO MANY, SO FEW

Bulgaria, they will assert, stands unique in Europe and the world in that it did not allow its Jewish citizens to be transported to extermination in the Nazi death camps. Christians, Jews, Muslims and Gypsies lived in peace and harmony, they will add, reinstating the Bulgarians' "proverbial" hospitality and tolerance. Your Bulgarian in the street will probably omit to mention the Bulgarian State Railways cattle cars that brought over 11,000 Jews to Treblinka and Auschwitz from the then Bulgaria-administered territories of Aegean Thrace and Vardar Macedonia.

Tue, 04/26/2011 - 09:57
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WHERE IN BULGARIA ARE YOU?

In a way, its remoteness and inaccessibility did something positive for it: the town eschewed the fate that befell similar Bulgarian settlements that were either rendered derelict as a result of the collapse of planned economy or were rapidly turned into concrete tourist complexes of the sort seen on the Black Sea coast.

Now it advertises itself as the only Bulgarian "private open-air ethnographic museum." A nearby ostrich farm is a major attraction for kids, and a newly-opened border crossing with Greece makes the journey from southern Bulgaria to the Aegean invitingly short.

Tue, 04/26/2011 - 09:41
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GETTING EMERGENCY HELP IN BULGARIA

Three young Finns set out in May 2010 to trek over the mountain pass at Bachkovo, in the Rhodope. The day started well but ended up as a nightmare when one of them fell and was injured.

The young men called 112. Over the next couple of hours they remained in constant touch with the operators while the police, the Civil Protection Service and the Mountain Rescue Service were trying to find them. This story has a happy ending: the police found the Finns, who were alive and in reasonable condition.

Tue, 04/26/2011 - 09:19
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BOZHIDAR DIMITROV GAINS IMMORTALITY IN ANTARCTICA

Dimitrov, a former agent for the Communist-era secret police, or Darzhavna sigurnost, is now the director of the National History Museum in Sofia. A historian by education, he is often referred to by the media as "professor," although some members of the academic community cannot recall him ever being awarded that title.

It was not immediately clear on what merits the Bulgarian Antarctic Committee, the body in charge of Bulgaria's chunk of Antarctica, decided to add Bozhidar Dimitrov's name to that continent's toponymy.

Tue, 04/26/2011 - 08:06
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BOZHIDAR DIMITROV GAINS IMMORTALITY IN ANTARCTICA

Dimitrov, a former agent for the Communist-era secret police, or Darzhavna sigurnost, is now the director of the National History Museum in Sofia. A historian by education, he is often referred to by the media as "professor," although some members of the academic community cannot recall him ever being awarded that title.

It was not immediately clear on what merits the Bulgarian Antarctic Committee, the body in charge of Bulgaria's chunk of Antarctica, decided to add Bozhidar Dimitrov's name to that continent's toponymy.

Tue, 04/26/2011 - 08:06
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QUOTE-UNQUOTE

I am like a magician. I put my hand in my pocket and take out a ribbon.

Prime Minister Boyko Borisov about his inauguration activities

By signing the contract for the Belene Nuclear Power Plant the government is buying a pig in a poke.

Ivan Kostov, leader of DSB, or Democrats for a Strong Bulgaria

Tue, 04/26/2011 - 07:58
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