On 14th of December there was a pre-Christmas and New year meeting in the Community center of Chernichevo. One of the highlights in the event was the performance of the local amateur folk group. The small village from the Eastern Rhodopes is struggling to preserve its traditions and folklore. This year the group won a silver medal at the international Balkan Folklore Festival in Nedelino town.
The building of the Community center is just like everything else in the village: well built few decades ago, but badly maintained today. As you can see in the video, the conditions in the Community centers are miserable - a falling plaster, a damaged electrical installation, a leaking roof. In this poor mountain area where the closest town is 25 kilometers away, life is hard. Private and public properties bear the signs of decline because of the lack of funding, but the singers deserve admiration for their devotion and will! What do you think drives these Bulgarian women?
I think there are two reasons: first, they really want to keep and share their cultural heritage. Since their songs are part of their local culture and identity, by singing them, they build their sense of satisfaction from who and what they are, and strengths their sense of community. This is a very healthy approach. And second, their participation in the folklore group makes their life more diverse and interesting - they hold weekly meetings, or travel for some fests around the region, and they even have sung in a TV show.
Lets wish them good luck!