My Bulgarian Roots

I believe that certain things come to our lives when they have to and we’re ready for them.

With the time spent in London being treated like an Easter European immigrant, it came to me the idea to start my blog and show a face of a normal Bulgarian girl. London is a beautiful multicultural place and from first sight, you’d easily think that people treat each other with respect and like the variety. If you live there long enough, you’ll notice that it’s not exactly true in certain parts of the town.

With my attitude and pride, I always treat people with respect for what they are and where they come from, even if I don’t like some things they do, so I expect to receive the same. I cannot feel ashamed for where I come from, because I know a lot about the history of my country and people.

It’s interesting how the more I want to learn, the more comes in front of my eyes. It’s like I’ve opened a door.

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I showed you the American Indian embroidery which I saw accidentally in a restaurant and reminded me of similar elements which I’ve seen in the Bulgarian folklore. During my visit in Bulgaria I tried to make some research here. I think it was luck that we arrived first in Bansko for the jazz festival (very close to the Macedonian border in the Pirin mountain). I saw so many interesting things everywhere in this small town which I could recognize, but never knew what they were.

I just had a conversation with my mum this morning, discussing our ancestors and family roots. My mum’s grandfather came from Macedonia and was a great highly educated man. When he was young he moved to Stara Zagora (in the lands of the Thracian) where he met her grandmother and kept going and coming back to Stara Zagora for his whole life. Them two had three children from which the oldest daughter (my grandmother) escaped from an arranged marriage to run away with a young doctor from a small village in South of Bulgaria and they had my mum.

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From my mother’s side I’ve inherited Thracian, Macedonian and genes from one more region which make a very stubborn mixture of characteristics. It’s like this wasn’t enough, so my father comes from natives in Sofia which are known here as “Shoppy”.

Now I know that I definitely need to study each Bulgarian region, its people and traditions. The door is open now and I’m too curious to close it. I see why everything in Bansko was so fascinating to me, even though I’ve never been to this part of the country. I asked many of the people there what the embroidery symbols mean, but it seems like they keep the shapes, but everyone has different interpretation or at least don’t want to share it.

Meantime, my grandmother’s sister (an old lady in her 80s) sent a book for me and a blouse with two belts. She used to do embroidery for many years when younger and now is very pleased that I want to know. This book is written in the old Bulgarian language with phonetic symbols no longer in use, and in French. The issue is from 1930 and is called:

Album of the Bulgarian Macedonian Embroidery

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The blouse was bought by my grand-grandmother and was originally white, but the embroidery has been cut and moved to a more recent garment. I already found the ornament in the old album.

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One of the two belts was made in more recent time (I mean less than 100 years ago) by my grandmother’s sister, copying the old original piece from the blouse. The other belt is bought from Bulgarian Macedonia about a century ago.

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