Welcome to www.bulgarianheart.com! I hope here you may occasionally find pearls of beauty to caress your soul, make you smile or enlighten you, in some modest way.
This is the personal site of me – Boryana – a 30-something-year-old from Sofia, in which I share small details of Bulgaria’s culture, history, religion and cuisine, which make me proud to be a Bulgarian, or which have interested me, made me remember things, or have provoked my thoughts.
I am rather a novice – a neophyte if you want – to country love. Throughout my life, I have somehow taken my country for granted. I have grumbled at having had to study obsolete (I thought then!) specimens of Bulgarian literature at school, I have not tried hard enough to connect the dots between the various (some deliberately forgotten or altered) events in the history of my country, I have never really explored its geography and I have not been to many of the museums or historical places an average tourist to Sofia or Bulgaria visits.
The only things I have always totally enjoyed are the Bulgarian cuisine and poetry.
So, the cocoon of my ignorance first started unravelling in my teenage years, when I got interested in books on the life in late 19th century and early 20th-century Sofia. Later I got interested in the Bulgarian Orthodox chant legacy. About a year ago, I moved to an apartment located in what may be loosely called the historic centre of Sofia. I started exploring the plaques that are on almost every building and say someone famous used to live there.
Suddenly, what I had been reading about the Sofia of yore came to life – the buildings were there and even the streets were called the same! My city unexpectedly assumed a new image for me – it became something like a museum of memory – for everything that was still standing; and of oblivion – for the state in which we – the current residents of Sofia, had preserved it and kept it alive for posterity.
So I have been on a quest to discover more about Sofia and Bulgaria since. My modest efforts have made me richer and prouder of my origin and cultural heritage. They have made me stronger because I now know of many instances of spiritual perseverance and military valour that see me through moments of hardship.
Learning about Bulgaria has also made me want to live abroad even less than before, as I believe people have most value where they come from and also have a moral duty to contribute to the society which has nurtured them into existence.
I chose to write this site in English not because I don’t value the riches of my native tongue. Not at all. I chose to write in English, because what I will write about is more or less known in Bulgaria, but may not be known to many foreign visitors or people of Bulgarian background who have been born abroad and are, for some reason or other, not much proficient in Bulgarian. I want to share with them and also of course, with anyone who would read odds and ends about Bulgaria in English and would devote any amount of their time to visit.
PS. The fragment used as site header is from a painting by Bulgarian artist Milcho Spasov, who lives in the north-western town of Berkovitsa.
The squiggly cat appearing as site logo is a fragment of Milcho Spasov’s painting Wedding, which I own.
As a side note, I am not commercially affiliated with any brand that may happen to be visible in the pictures I post.