Bulgaria History, Tradition & People | George Martin Jr

Table of Contents As you travel through the rich Bulgaria history, seeing spectacular views of natural beauty, it becomes easily apparent why centuries of invaders attempted to conquer this beautiful land.The proud Bulgarians have called this their home for thirteen centuries. The scenic landscape in Bulgaria takes on many forms; you have the choice of snow skiing down white-capped mountains or sun bathing beside the coast of the Black Sea.Don’t be taken in by the name, Black Sea, the beaches are sandy white and the water clear blue. The Black Sea has been theorized to be the site of Noah’s Ark and the Great Flood.Age-old tombs are riddled through Bulgarian history to be explored. The Varna Necropolis, a 3500-3200 BC burial site, which holds the oldest example of worked gold lies in Bulgaria.The saying goes in every country, don’t bring up sensitive subjects pertaining to religion, the weather or politics. Here’s a bit of a history lesson to understand where this nation draws its strength-Conquests of Greek, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman Empires engraved their history into the countryside of Bulgaria. Displayed in the magnificent architecture, the conquerors left their mark on ancient monasteries, churches, and cathedrals. Bulgaria also invented the Cyrillic alphabet, second most widely used alphabet in the world.The history of Bulgaria can be traced back to about 3500 B.C. The country gets its name and politics from the Bulgars, a tribe who crossed the Danube River in 679 and took over. Bulgaria formed their language and culture from the Slavs who migrated from the north in the sixth century.Bulgaria was invaded by the Turks in 1396 and endured the Ottoman rule for nearly five hundred years. Russia liberated Bulgaria in 1878 but their independence from Turkey was short lived. They would go to war again with their enemy, fighting over the country of Macedonia, which would be lost.Russia declared war on Bulgaria in 1944 and the Communist Coalition gained control. The political party, Union of Democratic Forces formed in 1991, ending the Bulgaria history of Communist government regime of almost 50 years. 1996 saw King Simeon II elected, after fifty years in exile. Bulgaria became a member of NATO in 2004.Bulgaria Roman StadiumThe tumultuous Bulgaria history in politics changed hands once again in 2005 when a coalition government was formed. Regardless of the power shifts, Bulgaria has stayed strong. It has managed to survive and keep its original name since AD 681. Most of the Bulgarians alive today can claim the first wave of Bulgars who invaded as their ancestors.In 2007, the estimated population of Bulgaria was 7.3 million. Bulgarians remain the majority race and Bulgarian is the major language. Today, the country isn’t over run with warring Khans but vegetables, fruits, wheat, wine, sugar, and sunflowers.Their industries include electricity, gas, water, food, beverages, tobacco and machinery. The value of the Bulgarian Lev is linked to the Euro and the economy reportedly grew a healthy percentage in 2005. As inflation decreased into the single digits, Bulgaria joined the European Union in 2007.The many wonders discovered in Bulgaria history are not only in gold but the preservation of its own cultural heritage through continuous invasions from other countries. That is the real testimonial Bulgaria history offers, the lasting treasure of its hearty and hard working peopleDid you know that Bulgarian people nod their heads to mean no and shake them to mean yes? That’s the first thing to remember when you’re meeting them. That, and the fact that you should shake hands politely rather than kiss them on the cheeks. These aspects aside, it’s actually quite difficult to make too many generalisations about Bulgarian people and their customs.The term Bulgarians, you see, covers a wide range of ethnic groups within the country, all of whom have the right to reproduce their original identities.Of the approximately seven and a half million people – it was a million more a decade ago but many young, skilled workers have left for EU countries, Turkey and the USA – most are Slavonic speaking Christians but there are a significant number of Muslim Turks, Gypsies, Jews, Russians and a wide variety of other backgrounds within the country.The traditions of the people are, consequently, mainly Slavonic but there are also many Balkan connections derived from their Greek, Rumanian and Turkish neighbours which have influenced their culture, customs and cuisine.As in many countries of this area, there are significant differences between the more ‘modern’ lifestyles to be found in the cities, with most people living in apartments, and those in the countryside where people can still be seen working the land in more or less the same way as they did generations ago.Globalisation hasn’t really reached rural Bulgaria – which is one of its undoubted charms – although nowadays many houses in villages are second homes, for professionals from the cities as well as foreign purchasers.But the important thing is to have a little knowledge of Bulgarian etiquette before you meet the Bulgarian people themselves – this should help you to avoid those social gaffes which can cause considerable embarrassment and even scupper business deals.Well, that shaking and nodding thing will take you a little while to get used to, for a start.Bulgarian people are usually, especially the older generation, very formal with strangers, they will want to use – Mr or Mrs rather than first names – that’s Gospodin and Gospozha. They are, however, very proud of their hospitality so don’t be surprised to be invited to their homes. If that does happen, it’s customary to take a small gift with you – nothing too elaborate; perhaps flowers, wine or some such thing.Evening visits usually begin around 8 pm – and go on till quite late – and it’s common to take your shoes off inside the house; you might well be offered a pair of slippers to wear. You’ll almost certainly be given a glass or two of rakiya and perhaps a piece of pumpkin banitsa (layered pastry) or baklava (a very thin pastry with a nutty, syrupy filling).Should you be invited to a wedding whilst you’re there – unlikely I know but it’s a good story – you’ll see the newly weds have a ‘tug o’ war’ with a loaf of bread – the one who rips off the largest section of the loaf is the head of the House!The country of Bulgaria is sport crazy so you will be able to talk about football, basketball and skiing – or at least you will with the younger generations, who are beginning to learn English now, instead of the Russian which was necessary for their parents and grandparents.Don’t be too surprised, either, to meet some older people who feel that the country’s ‘going to the dogs’ with its new ideas and freedoms and tell you life was so much better in the old communist days when you knew where you were and everybody was together.Bulgarian people have come a long way in a comparatively few years but they remain a friendly, hospitable, family-centered nation. **Nothing on this website should be confused with financial or legal advice. If you need this, or any other type of advice, please seek the help of a competent professional. In addition, because real estate laws change all the time and differ from state to state, and even city to city in the same state, everything in these pages should be considered general marketing advice and ideas. Please see link to full Disclaimer at the bottom of this page.

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