Issue 163

P1422193.jpg

NANCY SCHILLER: PHILANTHROPY IN ACTION

Since her arrival four years ago Nancy Schiller has become a well-known personality through Bulgaria. Seen in tiny villages in northern Bulgaria and at major archaeological sites like the Bishop's Basilica of Philippopolis, from her offices in central Sofia to locations with difficult-to-pronounce names that aspire to have US-style marching bands Nancy Schiller has skilfully managed one of the largest and most important non-governmental organisations in this country.

Thu, 04/30/2020 - 09:43
0 comments

BULGARIA'S RESPONSE TO COVID-19

Since 13 March 2020 Bulgaria has been run by three generals and a sheriff. First and foremost comes General Ventsislav Mutafchiyski. A surgeon installed to manage the Military Medical Academy in Sofia, Mutafchiyski rose to prominence when he was appointed the head of the emergency National Operative Headquarters. Neither a virologist, nor a psychologist he is seen at daily news briefings where he utilises his military schooling to give out what is in essence increasingly restrictive commands to ban citizens from moving about and gathering together.

Thu, 04/30/2020 - 09:42
0 comments
 (3)_800x600.jpg

SAFECHARGE: WELCOME TO THE FUTURE

As in any crisis, there is a silver lining in the Covid-19 outbreak. The unexpected situation forced individuals and businesses to quickly adapt to the new environment of balancing between protecting public health and staying active. Wider adoption of cashless payment is one of these adaptations. In mere days both customers and sellers realized the power of e-commerce not only to make selling and buying faster, but also able to save lives with replacing a potential contamination agent with a more secure one.

Thu, 04/30/2020 - 09:36
0 comments

QUOTE-UNQUOTE

I think of myself as a tool in the hands of God.

Chief Prosecutor Ivan Geshev

Current punishment is severe, but we will make it more severe.

Justice Minister Daniel Kirilov on changes in Penalty Law for DUI

We cannot just start throwing money out of a helicopter over Central Sofia.

Finance Minister Vladislav Goranov

For some time we can go without freedom of speech.

Thu, 04/30/2020 - 09:13
0 comments
cb0e1b464e3b5c1afaf2aa277dff6070_XL.jpg

SATIRE, MUSIC & TAIL-LESS CATS

Bulgaria is hardly on the list of the world's most famous carnival destinations such as Rio, Venice and New Orleans, and even less famous local ones such as the carnivals in Greece. Its distinctive kukeri, or mummers, dances are not always performed at the beginning of Lent, when carnivals are generally held.

A city in the Stara Planina mountains fills the gap: Gabrovo, a place famed for the locals' quirky sense of humour and telltale frugality.

Thu, 04/30/2020 - 09:00
0 comments

COMPOTES FOR COMPUTERS, DATES FOR FOODSTUFFS

One of these traits, the Bulgarian inimitable propensity to make a hash of things because someone, somewhere did not understand what was going on, and as a result suddenly hurdled themselves in blissful yet innocent astonishment, made the rounds in the sunset days of Communism when this country was supposed to start manufacturing... personal computers. The joke went on something like that: "It has transpired that the computers we were supposed to export to Japan turned out not to be computers but compotes. And we didn't export to Japan, but Japan sent them back to us."

Thu, 04/30/2020 - 08:59
0 comments
46a6d3fa3730bbc176c46dd1be92fe9e_XL.jpg

WHO WERE CYRIL AND METHODIUS?

The image of two men, one young and sporting a dark beard and the other older and white-bearded, with books and parchments in their hands, are to be found all over Bulgaria. There are countless statues and posters, church murals and icons. Their images multiply on 24 May, when long processions of students crowd the central streets of every city carrying posters, usually decorated with flowers.

Thu, 04/30/2020 - 08:50
0 comments
traditional-village.jpg

BULGARIANS TAKE WHICH PLACE IN THE EU IN WASTE RECYCLING?

 

1. In Bulgarian tradition, St George, whose high day is 6 May, is the patron of...

A. Soldiers and shepherds

B. Bankers and fishermen

C. Winemakers and publicans

2. The Bulgarian language belongs to which group?

A. Ilirian

B. Daco-Thracian

C. Slavic

3. Bulgaria organised its first presidential elections in...

A. 1879

Thu, 04/30/2020 - 08:46
0 comments
d5983bb71ac089893bdb47b02778b646_XL.jpg

FLOWER TURNS BULGARIA RED

Travelling around the countryside in Bulgaria is a true joy in late spring and early summer, when the days are long, the sun is bright, and lush greenery brings life to the empty villages and abandoned industrial ruins that still define the local landscape outside the big cities. One particular flower makes travelling even more of a joy, as here, there and everywhere, in the fields and around ruined buildings and beside roads and railway tracks bloom blindingly red, and sometimes orange and white, wild poppies.

Thu, 04/30/2020 - 08:41
0 comments

IN THE EYE OF THE STORM

"Dimitrina?" I have not heard from her for more than a month, which is unusual.

"Почина."

"Po-chi-na?" I type the word phonetically in an online translation tool. "What?"

"Почина. Me, Dimitrina sister. Bye."

I met Dimitrina on 19 October 2018. She had fallen asleep standing up against the wall of Second Hospital in Sofia, on the corner of Slivnitsa and Hristo Botev Boulevards. A woman with bright fuchsia sneakers the sort teenage girls wear and two blood-red scars on her nose.

Thu, 04/30/2020 - 08:37
0 comments
nestinari-firewalkers-bulgaria.jpg

WHERE IN BULGARIA ARE YOU?

Held every year on the same date, 3 June, in a village deep in the Strandzha in southeastern Bulgaria, the walking-on-fire is the culmination of several weeks of preparations accompanied by minor and major performances by locals in what is a characteristic amalgamation of Christian and pagan rites.

Some folk-themed entertainment venues in Bulgaria put up commercial shows meant strictly for tourists, but the real thing happens once a year, in one particular village. 

Thu, 04/30/2020 - 08:35
0 comments

SAN SALVADOR

If somebody's heart stops due to a trauma, such as a car accident or a fall, CPR cannot save them. I know this, but I don't know if it is the same with cycling. I know you should ask the victim if they're okay and shake their shoulders firmly between two hands. Jerry is on his back, one foot clipped into a pedal, legs across the frame like he's resting. It is hot and sweat drips from the tip of my nose onto his face when I bend over. I shake his shoulders and ask, Are you okay?

Thu, 04/30/2020 - 08:26
0 comments

PROPERTY IN BULGARIA: OPPORTUNITY FOR SMART INVESTORS

Where to invest is a question that in the current months took a new shape. The situation looks unstable and the behaviour of international markets rarely can be described as inspiring optimism about the future.

But even in turbulent times there are solutions that have proven through the years and the constantly changing economic cycles as sensible, pragmatic and with good return. In Bulgaria, invariably, this is real estate and in 2020 the market is better for clients than usual.

Thu, 04/30/2020 - 08:21
0 comments

THE BUSINESS THAT RESCUES IN TIMES OF COVID-19

As a result, the actions of the private and the NGO sector created the feel of community, in which individual citizens and organisations make a whole organism. Everyone in it understood that they are responsible not only for their own health and wellbeing, but also for the health and wellbeing of the others. In a couple of weeks Bulgaria became a country where companies took some financial burden off their employees and clients, firms donated money, PPE and medicines to hospitals, volunteers brought food to lonely people, and actors and musicians gave away their art.

Thu, 04/30/2020 - 08:20
0 comments