The Bulgarian Way in a Global World

On 3.3 is the Bulgarian national holiday. Yesterday I was at the celebration in Mannheim organized by the Bulgarian Student Organization Bai Ganyo. There was a small lecture from Dr. Blagovest Velichkov. He spoke about one very important notion about Bulgarians. Bulgarians are traditionally a nation which prefers to stay at home. This means that the house, the neighbourhood and the home city have a central place in the cultural and social life of the Bulgarians. To travel further or to change the place of living is even nowadays and even for young Bulgarians a hard decision to take and people do it only if they have no other choice. Even people who already done it are looking forward to settling down. It is more or less the highest priority for every Bulgarian. To settle down, to build a house, to have a family and to live happily there all their life. Like in a fairy tale. This is of course true not only for Bulgarians, but for us it seems to be the focal point of the whole life.

This does not mean that Bulgarians haven’t moved at all. Bulgarians travelled the whole way from the territories of Turan (nowadays in Nord Afghanistan) to the Balkan Peninsula. And there were a lot of movements in the whole history of the nation. But these movements were done always when the people had seen no other choice to survive. These were all inevitable. The Bulgarian moves away from his home only when this change seems inevitable. Some Bulgarians even think, that in order to make a Bulgarian move, you have to burn down his house. A strategy used from some Bulgarian revolutionists in the past centuries. Even after the end of the communistic regime, Bulgarians are mostly moving because the lack of opportunities and first when they see no other possibility. There are nowadays more Bulgarians abroad than in Bulgaria and those always have the aim to settle down where they are or to go back to Bulgaria and settle down there again. And when we have to move, than we move with all our belongings – we take even the traditional Bulgarian tree species with us in order to rebuild our original home where we settle down.

Nowadays we live in a modern globalized world and this Bulgarian behaviour changes slowly. Especially young people are becoming more and more open and getting rid of this notion. But it is not easy to get rid of a tradition and maybe it is not really good. It was very hard for me to move away from home and I immediately settled down again, and then moved again, settled down and so on. Only after the third change of the living place, I’ve managed to get rid of it and started to feel really free and to travel freely all around.

I think that this is the Bulgarian future – to travel all around the world and spread our old settled down culture. To implement a new positive global thinking, combined with the best traditional values of the settle down nations. To make it possible to settle down even for two days and feel everywhere at home and to act everywhere on a local base. To combine local settled down actions with global thinking. Think global, act local! This is the middle way which goes through both extremes and unifies them in a single harmonious, sustainable and holistic way. I think that this is the Bulgarian mission. This is what we can give the world in order to make it better.

There are more Bulgarians outside Bulgaria and at most about 7 million in Bulgaria. From them about 2,5 million are over 55. From the other 4,5 million at least about 1,0 million are Bulgarian citizens not Bulgarian origin, so we can speak of about 3 million Bulgarians under 55 years. So it is actually not sure if Bulgarians have future in the country Bulgaria. I see the future more or less in spreading all around the world. Kind of a global Bulgarian. Actually it is not even sure that there is a Bulgarian ethnicity. In our blood we have a mixture of more than 100 ethnicities, so it is possible that a Bulgarian is more or less a life style than some ethnicity. So, for the Bulgarian nation it is not even important to be concentrated on one place in order to survive. Such a nation spread all around the world, but with a settled down culture could be a good start in overcoming the separation between countries, nations, ethnicities, religions and so on. Can we make a significant step toward unity of all people in the world?