Sunday, 26 January 2014

The Village Museum in Bucharest, Romania

This blog is dedicated to Bulgarian communities and cultural traditions, but actually many Bulgarians live outside the contemporary state borders. For instance: in Greece, Macedonia, Serbia, Romania, Ukraine and even Hungary. Therefore I decided to share some photos from others lands where there are Bulgarian settlements too.

In late 2004 I visited several times the Romanian capital Bucharest, and I had the chance to walk in the center of this interesting city and to see its landmarks. 

One of them is the Village Museum. It was created in 1936 when the government moved many old traditional houses in a specially designed park. Today the museum consists 60 houses from all parts of Romania - Wallachia, Transylvania, Moldavia and so on, which present some excellent examples of the Balkan rural architecture. In order to create a more authentic atmosphere, the museum's managers moved even the centuries-old gravestones of one family. 

So enjoy! Muzeul NaČ›ional al Satului „Dimitrie Gusti” 

Even the gravestones were moved.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

The male dance from Kalofer

Yesterday, January 6, Orthodox Bulgarians celebrated Epiphany - one of the most important Christian holidays. The ancient tradition is that the priest throws a cross in a river or spring. According to the belief, the first man who catches the cross, will be lucky and healthy during the year. Sometimes there is a very tough competition who'll reach the cross. 

But there is one place in Bulgaria, where the people are not competitive. For centuries in the town of Kalofer men perform a ritual that unites them and stresses their male brotherhood! This is the male dance! Each year they go in the cold river water and they dance a majestic dance - horo

During the communism, when Christianity was oppressed and the religious rituals were restricted, the men in Kalofer had secret meetings in the early mornings, and they danced in the dimness. In the last years this local tradition spread among other Bulgarian towns. It corresponds with highly valued gender traits in the society. Nowadays many Bulgarians perceive it as a symbol of patriotism and a real manhood, so yesterday in at least ten different places men danced the male dance... But the roots of the tradition lie in Kalofer. Enjoy the video!