Life in Bulgaria
Poverty and hardship are one side of everyday Bulgarian life that many Bulgarians know. Cohesion and hospitality are another aspect that also belongs to the country. The family is important to many people, and the weekend is spent doing things together. Because there are not enough jobs and the wages are very low, many young Bulgarians go abroad. Sometimes parents also go to another country. It also happens that mother and father go away and leave the children with their grandparents. They see no other solution to escape economic hardship.
There are many isolated villages in the countryside, where life is different from what it does in the city. Your own garden in the country is the most important source of food. Almost every family grows tomatoes, peppers, melons, peas and potatoes. Fruit trees provide apricots and peaches. As much as possible is preserved and boiled down for the winter. In the country, wood is used for heating. Sometimes you see abandoned houses whose residents have moved to the city or abroad.
Most people in the cities live in prefabricated buildings or apartment buildings. Purchases are made in the market and in small or larger shops and supermarkets.
Everyday life of the Roma
As in all the countries in which they live, the Roma often fare badly. They are expelled from society. They are despised and abused. They live in poor conditions. They get a worse education and find work more difficult than others.
Eating in Bulgaria
What do you eat in Bulgaria?
According to softwareleverage, Bulgarian cuisine is closely related to that of the other Balkan countries. Wheat and maize are widely used, and rice too in the south. Meat is preferred from beef, pork and sheep. Lamb is especially eaten in spring. Typical vegetables are cabbage, also as sauerkraut, spinach and legumes such as beans. Apricots can be found in many recipes, as can plums, chestnuts, and figs. They are also used as dried fruits.
Soups – sour, hearty or cold
As in neighboring countries, sour soups, the chorbas, are popular. There are many variations, for example with meatballs or with tripe. Tripe soup is then called Schkembe Tschorba in Bulgarian. Incidentally, tripe is offal, it can come from sheep or beef. A dish that children usually don’t like that much, at least here with us. Other types of soups are hearty, like the bean soup we know as Serbian bean soup.
A cold soup that is often served as a starter on hot summer days is Tarator. Yogurt, cucumber and grated walnuts are their main ingredients. Another typical starter is the Schopska salad. This is a mixed salad, usually it contains tomatoes, cucumber, peppers and shepherd’s cheese grated on top.
Sarma, stuffed peppers and other typical dishes
Meat is an important part of most main dishes in Bulgaria. Kavarma is prepared in a clay pot and contains pork or mutton and vegetables. Grilled meat on a skewer is called kebab. Kebaptscheta is the name given to the grilled meat rolls. Sarma is the name of cabbage rolls, for which leavened cabbage leaves are stuffed with minced meat. Paprika are also often filled with such a mass.
Baniza and other pastries
Baniza is a pastry made from puff pastry that is usually filled with sheep cheese. But spinach or chocolate can also be fillings. At Christmas or New Year, baniza can be bought that, like fortune cookies, contain a message or an interpretation of the future. A yogurt drink is often served with baniza. Bake a baniza yourself. You can find a recipe under participation tip.
Other typical types of pastry from Bulgaria are mekiza (unfilled donuts) and pogatschen, a round salty bread.
Children and School
How is the school in Bulgaria?
In Bulgaria children attend a preparatory class when they are five years old. The actual school then begins at the age of six. There are general schools that you attend up to 12th grade, but also a two-tier system. Then you go to elementary school up to 7th grade and then to high school for four years. After the 4th and after the 7th grade, students have to take a test.
The school year always begins on September 15th with a celebration. First graders bring flowers to school. The flag is hoisted, the national anthem is played and when the bell rings, the new students go to their classes. The school year ends in June of the next year. It is divided into two semesters.
Did you count The summer vacation actually lasts three months in Bulgaria! There is then a week of winter break in February, a week of spring break in April, a week of autumn break in October and a week and a half of Christmas break.
Most students learn English as a foreign language. But German, Spanish, Italian and French are also popular – even before Russian. Until the dissolution of the Eastern Bloc, Russian was the first foreign language for everyone. Since 2008, school books up to 7th grade have been free.
Many schools work in “shifts”, which means that the children either come to school in the morning or at noon. There is a lack of space to teach all students at the same time. At the half-year, there is a change: Those who previously went to school in the morning now go in the afternoon and vice versa. It starts either at 7.30 a.m. or 1.30 p.m.
Teachers are paid very poorly in Bulgaria. That is why not so many want to take up this profession and there is a lack of teachers. An increase in salaries was decided in 2019.
Grades are given from 2 to 6. But be careful: A 6 is the best grade in Bulgaria and a 2 is the worst. So if there is a 6, the joy is great here.