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Bulgaria’s Trinity of Alliances »

Just two decades ago, Bulgaria’s politicians praised it as the Soviet Union’s closest ally and American commentators condemned it as a slavish communist satellite. Now, the Cold War era of poisoned umbrella assassinations is over and pragmatism is the common denominator of foreign policy. Bulgaria, a transitioning country, places its faith in a trinity of […]

Bulgaria’s Trinity of Alliances »

Just two decades ago, Bulgaria’s politicians praised it as the Soviet Union’s closest ally and American commentators condemned it as a slavish communist satellite. Now, the Cold War era of poisoned umbrella assassinations is over and pragmatism is the common denominator of foreign policy. Bulgaria, a transitioning country, places its faith in a trinity of […]

Bulgarian Christmas »

In Bulgaria, Christmas (Koleda or more formally Rozhdestvo Hristovo, “Nativity of Jesus”) is celebrated on 25 December (unlike in some other Eastern Orthodox countries) and is preceded by Christmas Eve (Badni vecher). This is a quick photo-entry in which I recount how my family spent Christmas Eve. If you are interested in Bulgarian Christmas cuisine […]

SCANDALOUS!!! But really? »

On November 19, the ancient town of Kuystendil was shaken by controversy. A large billboard of two bare-chested men, in an erotic embrace, greeted some 50,000 citizens. The ad showed one of the participants biting his muscular partner on the chin, their naked bodies set against a black background. Was this a protest for gay […]

Commemorating All Souls’ Day »

On the 5th of November, Bulgarians honored the male St. Archangel’s “All Souls’ Day” (Архангелова мъжка задушница). The day is commemorated the Saturday before St. Archangel’s Day, thus the name. The religious festival is one of the three Major All Souls’ Days (Големи Задушници), which orthodox Christians mark annually. On this day, Bulgarians pay their […]

What is in a letter? (Еуро / Евро) »

A few weeks ago, a piece of news concerning the newly independent country of Montenegro surfaced. Bulgaria had threatened to refuse signing their “Stabilisation and Association Agreement” (SAA), which was one of the fundamental steps for Montenegro’s EU application to advance. Why? Because of a letter.

Vote buying = jail? »

On Friday, Bulgaria’s parliament adopted an amendment of the Criminal Code, which provides for strict punishment for everybody who tries to bribe in any way the voters on all upcoming elections in the country. The penalty for receiving payment for a vote stands at a maximum of 1000 Bulgarian levs ($724) or a minimum of […]

Passive Child Smokers Prevalent »

According to the campaign “Active for passive smokers” 76.8% of children are passive smokers and 65.8% fall within the category in discotheques and internet clubs. Only one-third of the students in the country live in an environment free of smoke. Children in families with smokers are three times more likely to become ill from asthma […]

The Bulgarian Ambassador’s Blog »

Greetings to everyone reading this introduction! I am Ivo Dimitrov and I have been involved in World News as a writer and editor since my freshman year (I’m now a junior). I was born in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, and I study Spanish (philology) and history at Willamette. I enjoy competitive debate, Konditorei (excellent […]

Bulgarian Muslims Protest Peacefully »

Ivo Dimitrov The Ottoman yoke in Bulgaria lasted for 500 years and affected the make-up of the population in profound ways. Indeed, almost 13% of Bulgarians converted and have remained an integral part of the population. Though a substantial minority, these Bulgarian Muslims have integrated well within the population and have built bridges of friendship […]

Ivo Dimitrov »

Bulgarians and the Harry Potter connection If you are a Harry Potter enthusiast like myself, you will surely know the name of Viktor Krum. The ‘dashing’ magician will compete in the TriWizard tournament; there have been strongly-supported rumors that he and Hermione Granger are shifting into the romantic. Yes, Krum is Bulgarian (kind of), but […]

Hristo Pavlov »

Another 75 Days of Agony for the Bulgarian Nurses The Supreme Cassation Court of Libya postponed hearings on the AIDS trial against the five Bulgarian nurses for January 31, 2006. New pleading will be heard in the courtroom. Thousands of Libyans attacked the building of the Supreme Cassation Court, shouting death for the nurses. The […]

Ivo Dimitrov »

Bulgarian President calls Libyan President You may have read an earlier post of mine in which I described the huge international AIDS scandal involving Bulgaria and Libya (click here for the article). Although the situation remains dire, intellectuals and civil groups from both sides of the divide are trying to establish a friendlier climate of […]

Hristo Pavlov »

Amazing 6.5 / 7 by Topalov in first RR The best Bulgarian chess player Veselin Topalov is playing the games of his life in the Chess World Championships in San Luis, Argentina. In the first half of the competition, the Bulgarian grand master won 6 of his first 7 games and drew in the other […]

Ivo Dimitrov »

Greetings to everyone! My name is Ivo Dimitrov; I was born in the capital of Bulgaria, Sofia, and I went to Beaverton High School. I have declared a Spanish philology major and I concentrate on my History major (which is dearer to my heart). I enjoy reading the classics, debating, and trying out different kinds […]

Hristo Pavlov »

Wow, year #4 is under way. I cannot believe what is happening, I am already in my last year of my Willamette experience, and it seems to me as if I started a few days ago. It is also my fourth year of writing for Willamette World News, the place where all of the campus […]

Hristo Pavlov »

English Family Became Kardjali’s Talisman This article briefly describes the story behind the decision of a British family to settle in Kardjali, a town 30 miles from the Bulgarian border with Greece. Nine years ago, after visiting Bulgaria for the first time, the family just decided to settle there for good. There also are a […]

Rositsa Atanasova »

BSP Runs at the Elections in Rap Rhythm In the upcoming general elections the Bulgarian Socialist Party is changing strategy – it will draw young voters with rap music. Rap is particularly popular among the 18-year-olds and the BSP Leadership hopes to take advantage. The party is however worried that they may lose the support […]

Ivo Dimitrov »

Clock towards European Entry is ticking This brief article talks about the newly constructed clock that will countdown to Bulgaria▓s entry into the European Union; it highlights the motives of the governing party and the Bulgarian people to become integrated in the European community through the EU. Is Europe becoming One as more countries join […]

Hristo Pavlov »

300,000 Delinquent in Paying Health Insurances Remitted After deliberating for a long time, the Bulgarian government finally decided to exempt Bulgarian citizens who have lived abroad for more than 183 days in the last calendar year from their health insurance payments. Anyone who has spent more than half of the days in 2004 in a […]

Rositsa Atanasova »

The legend behind the “Martenitsa” March 1st is a traditional holiday unique for Bulgaria. People exchange and pin to their clothes ⌠martenitsas■, tassels made out of red and white weaved threads. The symbolic significance and function of the “matenitsa” range from an amulet for protection from evil spirits to a symbol of the coming spring. […]

Hristo Pavlov »

Americans Queue to Buy Martenitsas at $1 This article shows how Bulgarians currently living in the US found an original way of incorporating a profitable business with continuing their traditions in a foreign country. They have started selling martenitsas √ bracelets made of interwoven red and white threads, worn after March 1st until the beginning […]

Rositsa Atanasova »

Hello! My name is Rositsa and I am coming back to World News for a third consecutive semester. For this period, I have joined Hristo Pavlov in an effort to bring to you the most interesting events which color the daily social, political and cultural life of our home country √ Bulgaria. I hope that […]

Ivo Dimitrov »

Bulgarian Muslims Protest Peacefully The Ottoman yoke in Bulgaria lasted for 500 years and affected the make-up of the population in profound ways. Indeed, almost 13% of Bulgarians converted and have remained an integral part of the population. Though a substantial minority, these Bulgarian Muslims have integrated well within the population and have built bridges […]

Hristo Pavlov »

France Proclaims Bulgaria Competitor in Wine-making According to the latest issue of French “Viti-Net”, specialized in the field of viticulture and winery, Bulgaria is a pending competitor in the field of wine-making with the country’s EU accession slated for 2007. This is an important acknowledgement for our wine industry which has struggled in the last […]