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Ask A Bulgarian

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Tolina, Jun 22, 2014.

  1. Domen

    Domen Misico dux Vandalorum

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  2. luiz

    luiz Trendy Revolutionary

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    We're only good at collective sports (football, volleyball, basketball). We are below crappy in most individual sports, and since those hand out far more medals, we suck at the Olympics.

    Ironically enough, in these parts we always compare ourselves (unfavorably) with Eastern European medal-winning machines (granted, only during the Olympics, because nobody cares about individual sports the rest of the time - reason why we suck at them).
     
  3. cybrxkhan

    cybrxkhan Asian Xwedodah

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    So, what's Bulgaria's national animal symbol? Sort of like how Russia is a bear, America is an eagle, China is a dragon/panda.

    Also, how does public education in Bulgaria work? That is, how is it organized?
     
  4. Cheezy the Wiz

    Cheezy the Wiz Socialist In A Hurry

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    I don't believe Bulgaria went through the same phase of economic and social restructuring that much of Central and Eastern Europe did after the end of the Warsaw Pact. There was never any real outpouring of anti-communist sentiment in Bulgaria like there was in Romania or elsewhere, they just sort of went along with the flow of things because that's where the rest of the bloc was going, so why not? So I don't believe they dismantled much of their public programs, however mediocre they were before.

    Which brings me to another question: what is your opinion, and what are some popular opinions, about Dimitrov, Zhivkov, et al, and the communist period?
     
  5. shadowplay

    shadowplay your ad here

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    Do you like Sting?

    Do you find that western pop music from the 1980's is very popular in your country?
     
  6. Tolina

    Tolina trust the pillars with your s e c r e t s

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    Technically, absolutely anyone with a border could actually claim Macedonia, as on eve of the Berlin Congress, there wasn't exactly a totally dominating culture there.

    It would be a lion, if we're talking in strictly nationalist nonsense that for some reason, even the Commies picked up with their coat-of-arms.

    In truth, however, it would be a horse tail, as, supposedly, the flag of the ancient proto-Bulgarians. Of course, just like the yurt-living Bulgarians who went from one place to another, until they settled in for a century or so in Crimea, and then having to find a new place. Fortunately for them, and kind of unfortunate for us, currently, they crossed the Danube, and the rest is history.

    Elementary (1-4). At Class 4, you hold a matura, and if you pass it, you go into Middle (5-8). In first grade, you study only until 24 May, the celebration of the Slavic script and culture. The rest of Elementary study (2-4) study until May 30. Once you reach Class 7, you hold another matura, which is for pretty much everything stressful and hard we've studied during the year (Physics, Bulgarian, Chemistry, Biology, History and Geography) (weirdly, our dear governments have decided to pick seventh instead of eight grade), with which results you could move out to another school. You study until 15th June. To be fair, they'd be better off if they move 8th grade to the High, because there's no real difference, but hey. Then, the last phase, High (9-12) begins. On a side note, our wonderful educators have decided that we should experience the stress of lacking the proper textbooks from 8th grade, because from then on, we have no more free textbooks. What can I say, we're good at teaching our children. Anyway, in 12th grade, you go to the last and final matura (where you can pick one, but the other is mandatory - it's always Bulgarian) subject, which actually truly matters, as you gotta remember stupid things that you learnt in 5th grade. The fact during 9-11 grades (ha-ha, you can make your joke here) we're not learning anything important for the matura in Bulgarian.
    And we're using numbers and words for our marks in the markbooks, unlike you barbarians.

    Ugh. This came off as an unreadable wall of text.

    Dimitrov is kind of buried. Not by the following post-1989 governments (although, they do have some participation, too), but probably by Zhivkov and Co, who wanted only the Comrade Zhivkov to be in the minds and thought of our dear population. Unfortunately, the only things I know about him is a pamphlet released for the 45th (more or less) anniversary of his death. I am unsure on it's objectivity, but the Leizpig court presented him as a hero, and I enjoyed that part. How much of it is true, remains to the future historians.

    Zhivkov, eh. He's complicated. Or maybe not. He was the leader of the partisan squads that started popping out as everyone saw this whole World War II affair was about to end about as good as the previous World War did for Bulgaria. Once the glorious Red Army crossed Danube, and everyone suddenly hailed our liberators with flowers in the ruins of a once great country, he of course was the first candidate (as appointing a Russian would backfire hilariously) for that post. After Dimitrov, that is. Fortunately for Comrade Zhivkov, he died in 1949, and after some clean-up, he came up to the power. Afterwards, it's quite clear - our country, the most loyal Russian satellite.

    And for a while, things did seem nice. Heavy industry (at the expense of debts, but hey, if you're Communist, would that bother you once you reach utopia?) flourished, the city of Dimitrovgrad, by the labour of brigadiers, appeared in Southern Bulgaria, in honour of Georgi Dimitrov. Of course, that also came with a darker side. Everyone stole. It was the custom. Steal from the government, it's giving it out all for free. Lands, machines, anything that from owner G, went into owner X, where owner X could be literally anyone.

    These times, however slowly started to end. Clouds, in the end of the 70s started to appear. People were hearing rumours about things not working. Something was slipping.

    As the war in Afghanistan, fought by the Soviets, went nowhere, and the perestroika that was also running at that time, Gorbachev realised, that he can't actually run the entire Russia, alongside the Eastern Bloc, and so, he slowly started cutting down the support for everyone, including us. Energy regimes began. TV could be watched only on a 3-hour shifts. Lines grew, and the products certainly weren't first grade.

    Things accelerated, and in 1987, in Ruse, mothers decided that they want their clean air. Romanians, unlike Bulgarians, who built a factory so far away from the sea or major routes, were a bit more savvy in building factories. They built one near the Danube, which is coincidentally the country border, and smog eventually flew into our country. This was the first peaceful protest, and many others (but perhaps less civil and certainly more violent) followed. The Party, in 9th November, following the news coming from Northwest Europe about a wall collapsing which separated a nation, decided it was best that Zhivkov has to go, and they decided they could perhaps take the power. Alas, for these conspirators, it was too late. The right (which was basically, anyone not communist) showed that they'll either have elections, or there'll be blood. And so, on 10th June 1990, the first democratic elections followed(ironically, the renamed Communist party won these). Democracy triumphed!

    Right?

    Well, that's how I'd resume the years 1944-1989. Possible that it's wrong, so take it with a bit of salt.
     
  7. Cheezy the Wiz

    Cheezy the Wiz Socialist In A Hurry

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    Not at all, I'm always interested in the perspectives of people from the region I study.

    Although Bulgaria's fate in WWII was even more dramatic: when Romania suddenly changed sides as the Red Army massed in Moldova for the attack, Bulgaria, who was also a German ally, suddenly found itself backed into a corner, and also suddenly switched sides! The Bulgarian Army then jointly helped the Soviets to liberate what was left of occupied Yugoslavia, Albania, and Greece. They paid war reparations for a few years after, mostly the Dimitrov years. USSR got so much of a say in Bulgarian politics because it was an Axis nation and not a liberated nation, and Churchill and Stalin spent a lot of time negotiating just who got influence in what. Stalin became wholly responsible for Bulgaria, because Churchill really wanted control of Greece. Dimitrov spent most of his life running the Comintern, because IIRC he got kicked out of Bulgaria in the 1920s.


    During that time Stalin tried to get Dimitrov, Tito, and Xoxe to join their countries into one state. Dimitrov even wanted to include Greece, but Stalin told him that was stupid (Dimitrov was actually a pretty sweet man, and Stalin was so mean to him about it that even the Yugoslav delegation noted it in their private writings).

    What is the ruling party's relationship to that past today? Have statues and monuments been torn down?
     
  8. Tolina

    Tolina trust the pillars with your s e c r e t s

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    Not actively tearing down the monuments. We, the Bulgarians, like to save money. So, we leave it to a collective of drug addicts and weather conditions to slowly tear down any of them which aren't located in major cities (i.e Buzludja, which is breaking down as we speak). Some are still prominent, like the Monument to the Unknown Soldier, which last year got a slight repaint ala Superhero style.

    Communism, is really something we'd like to pretend that never happened. Or so most people like thinking so. Sometimes, (actually, quite often) the right uses the "communist period" as a method to wash their hands of their own inadequacies during the so-so called Prehod (transition, passage), to which the left responds that everyone was happy during the communist days, that we were foolish to get out and etc etc.

    Also, you're studying Balkan history? Man, you're in for a long rollercoaster ride of bull.
     
  9. Domen

    Domen Misico dux Vandalorum

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    Bulgaria was in theory Axis ally but were there actually any Bulgarian military forces involved on the Eastern Front ???

    If so, how many soldiers fought on the Eastern Front (and other fronts) in WW2 as Germany's allies? How many died?
     
  10. Tolina

    Tolina trust the pillars with your s e c r e t s

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    Up to 1941, we weren't neither Ally or Axis. Sadly, afterwards, it got rather ugly. In 27th January, our genius germanophile ministers decided to pass the Law for Protection of the Nation, i.e - all Jews must be on a strict watch. Fortunately, no actual deportations of Bulgarian Jews occurred (now, of Greek and Yugoslavian..). Week earlier before that, we already were part of the Tri-Partite pact.

    On Eastern Front - no. We weren't intended as such an ally (that's Romania) - we were put due to a certain Italian man's failure to take over Greece and Albania. We were actually a replacement for Italy in the Southern Front.
     
  11. r16

    r16 not deity

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    as just as a historical thing , Bulgaria was only needed by the Axis first as a springboard for the invasion of Greece -just like Yugoslavia before the pro-Allies coup . And a possible source of manpower if we joined on the side of Allies . Berlin was not sure about the Russian resistance after the Soviets fell -which was an absolute "reality" at the time and the Anglosaxons were certainly still in the game 1941 ; as such Bulgarian "ownership" of the Istanbul to be achieved by a Panzer Division was fraught with many issues . Germans could get on their own when they cleared their plate afterall .
     
  12. cybrxkhan

    cybrxkhan Asian Xwedodah

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    So I've been thinking, how do Bulgarians see Vlad the Impaler?
     
  13. LoneRebel

    LoneRebel Chieftain

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    Has this been asked already? How related, or how similar (or how different), are the present-day Bulgarians, that is to say, the citizens of the modern nation-state of Bulgaria, to the historical Bulgars?

    EDIT: Just checked the previous pages and wow, it does seem complicated.

    I mean, the Bulgarians are supposed to be a Turkic people, yet the Bulgarian language is classified as a member of the Southern Slavic branch of the Indo-European family. Weird.
     
  14. Tolina

    Tolina trust the pillars with your s e c r e t s

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    OK. Let's make a distinction.

    In 681, the Year One of the Bulgarian Khanate, there were no Bulgarians. We have, on one side, the plethora of Slavic tribes inhabiting the Balkan peninsula, and one of the several sons of Khan Kubrat which were fleeing from the impending Khazars that would destroy the Great Old Bulgaria, situated in where currently Ukrainians and Russians are bickering about. A legend says, that on his deathbed, Khan Kubrat wanted to see his sons. He told them that only if they remain unified (by showing how easily one stick could be bended, but how impossible it is to break them together), they will prosper and live. Unfortunately, they refused to listen to him. They spread to the four winds. Kotrag, one of his sons, founded the Volga Bulgaria. Bat-Bayan, stayed in Great Old Bulgaria. Two sons went - Kuber to Macedonia (that part later became part of Bulgaria in the reign Khan Krum and no, he's not Macedonian, or founded a state that would stay forever or something.), and Alcek in Northern Italy.

    And of course, the most famous of all of them - Asparuh, went down towards Danube, where with several Slavic tribes, would begin forming the state of Bulgaria. After beating Constantine IV in the Battle of Ongula, a laughable affair, because the Byzantines were stronger, better and, possibly faster. Sadly, one of these weird and bizarre events happened - the emperor was sick and left, which lowered the already bad morale of the Byzantines, due to the fact they were seiging an island in a middle of a river, which is why they ran away, and afterwards, great losses were inflicted upon the fleeing Byzantines. This forced the Emperor to sign peace treaty, which is the start of the Bulgarian Khanate.

    Unfortunately, that didn't exactly mean that the Byzantines meant that they are considering the invading Bulgars and Slavs as an actual and existing state. Quite the contrary. It would take a certain Khan Tervel to help Justinian II to ascend to the throne in 705 (receiving the title of caesar (or kaiser) in the meantime, being the first foreigner to do so) and then, later in 717, to help the Byzantines halt the Arab threat, that the Bulgarian state would be recognized. And even then, the Byzantines held their antipathies.

    In truth, however, the Khanate was really just a tribal union between the Bulgars and the Slavs. It was by no means a real state as we'd imagine them. It would take some 200 years from the inception of the Khanate, to the establishment of the Patriarchy, until Bulgaria emerges from the past.

    And so, after a period of weakness, a new, strong Khan appeared. His name was Krum. Yes. That Krum. The one who created the fashion of drinking wine from the skulls of his enemies. He created laws - brutal, but necessary laws. The Slavic princes weren't exactly obedient - in fact, they were constantly bickering with each other and with the Bulgars. He knew, that if this does not cease, it would mean doom. They mandated punishments for thievery (left or right hand), and for repetition (the other hand that wasn't cut off last time), that beggars must receive enough, so that they would not beg again. And my personal favourite - if someone is spreading lies, their tongue would be cut off...
    During his rule, most of the lands of modern Romania that the weakening Avar Khanate occupied, were taken, Serdika (Sofia, or Sredets) was conquered in order unite with the Kuber Bulgarians (did I mention they're not Macedonians and anyone who's telling you that is a bloody liar?). He also planned to take on Constantinople, but he died, before even reaching the lands.

    His successor, Khan Omurtag (the Builder), who made numerous fortresses and built the Pliska palace, introduced the system of provinces (also known as Komitati).

    After him, a peculiar person came to power - Khan (but not for long. He later became Knyaz) Boris I.

    But, I feel like most of you have probably entered a lethargic sleep, so I'll cut this post shorter, and continue on (if you want, that is.). So, until later?
     
  15. Takhisis

    Takhisis is it fall yet

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    up yours!
    MOAR! MOAR!

    And also, given the growing enthusiasm of people for my stuffed peppers, I shall need to examine Bulgarian pepper-cooking techniques more closely.
     
  16. Tolina

    Tolina trust the pillars with your s e c r e t s

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    Have you ever tasted peppers with eggs and cheese? And of course, the classics - rice with some meat.



    And so, the crowd demands more. Are you not entertained?

    But besides that. As I was mentioning, Knyaz Boris I wasn't always a Knyaz. Or Christian, for that matter. This got us into big troubles, and Boris I was intelligent enough that if we aren't christened in due time, eventually a hostile Christian state would end us. And of course, by the time of his reign, Bulgaria grew big - but we were still filthy pagans which refused to listen to the word of God. And so, after a lost war with Byzantium, we had no choice - we had to convert to Orthodox, in the fine rituals of Byzantium. Before that, of course, we diddled a bit around with the Catholics, but only to make the Byzantines more inclined to give us a greater freedom of our Church, which was autocephaly (in essence, a bit higher than a Bishopric, but a long shot from an Archbishopric, or a Patriarchy).

    Sadly, there was a problem. There was no Bulgarian language. Or, to be exact, there was no written language. There was a separate Slavic and Bulgar language, something not a factor for creating a stable country. That, of course, would mean the Greek missionaries that would eventually come to Bulgaria to christen the population would also speak Greek, which would overcomplicate the already bad language problem.

    And so, now let's go a bit southern from Bulgaria. To the city of Solun (Or, for the rest of the world - Thessaloniki). There, two brothers were born somewhere in the start of the 9th century. Their names were Kyril and Metodius, and their fate - to change the history of Slavs, by creating the glagolic.

    However, it is their disciples, that create the Cyrillic alphabet that we know today - reading a text in glagolic would be impossible for anyone living today. They were greeted warmly by Boris I, who gave them whatever they needed in order to create the language that today we're using every day.

    And so. This is when, the Bulgars and the Slavs stopped being simply allies in a loose tribal union, working towards defending each other from a common enemy - Byzantium, and they turned into the Bulgarians. With Krum's laws, the provinces introduced by Omurtag, the christening by Boris, and then the creation of Cyrillic alphabet - this is when, the Bulgarian ethos finally appeared on the stage of history.
     
  17. Takhisis

    Takhisis is it fall yet

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    up yours!
    Moar! Moar! The story of the two Emperors, Basilios and Constantinos, must be heard.
    Rice and meat, with some fried onions, leeks and red peppers (all finely chopped up), and some cheese poured onto it.
     
  18. Tolina

    Tolina trust the pillars with your s e c r e t s

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    Until you've tasted this, you have no right to speak about peppers.

    Spoiler :


    And what would "the story of two Emperors, Basilios and Constantinos" mean? There's a lot of Emperors named Constantinos and Basilos in Byzantium, as Kyriakos can surely approve.
     
  19. Takhisis

    Takhisis is it fall yet

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    up yours!
    :drool: I need the recipe… must control myself…
    The two emperors, Basilios and Constantinos. They were brothers who jointly held the throne. The former earned himself the nickname of 'the Bulgar-slayer', the latter was an effeminate fop. I do think that, as you say, Kyriakos would at least approve of Basilios.
     
  20. LoneRebel

    LoneRebel Chieftain

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    Ahh. So the present-day Bulgarians are basically a fusion of the Slavic Slavs (Department of Redundancy Department) and the Turkic Bulgars.

    And of course, who doesn't like some Game of Thrones-style skull-cup-drinking action?

    http://www.badassoftheweek.com/krum.html

    Naturally, Krum the Fearsome has been featured on Badass of the Week.

    http://www.badassoftheweek.com/basil.html

    But then, just to be fair to all parties involved, so was this guy, the Basileios Takhisis was referring to.
     

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