614 Bulgarian Festivals; Paul Theroux Travels; Checking In

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When travel writer Paul through gets ready for an adventure. His first stop is at the library. Anyone's traveled should begin with reading I. Think Reading about travel looking at maps in a library reading ingest a bit. Paul tells us some of what he's learned from a lifetime of global travels I got shot at in Musavat northern. Kenya. I got robbed. It was difficult but I had something to write about there's a mask wearing tradition that goes back centuries in Bulgaria, it's. Part of a festival where people in elaborate costumes go door to door to scare away evil that winter can bring all the people in the villages village put on masks, and every village actually has unique masks may defender made a for different beasts heads scary. They celebrate the culture they celebrate the folklore by this in the middle of the streets in the yards of the houses and listeners share their travel dreams with us in the hour ahead come along travel rick speed. He's been called the world's most perceptive travel writer coming up Paul through tells us how he's been exploring the world for more than fifty years from Peace Corps stint in. Africa to taking trains across continents and road tripping the hinterlands of Dixie and Mexico, and in just a minute guides from Sofia, tell us about the colorful festivals Bulgarians enjoy to celebrate their history and usher in the changing seasons. Later in the hour, we'll check in with listeners to hear how they're handling canceled travel plans and what they have to look forward to, and they can safely go overseas again. Bulgaria is a small and mysterious country. It's one of those lands that Americans just don't visit very much. It's long faced east impact in communist times it was famously subservient to the USSR. But. Of course, there's lots more to see in Bulgaria and you can learn about a fascinating culture. When you go there to Bulgarian guides, joined us in our studio to help give us a better insight and a little better appreciation of the cultural. Bulgaria. We're joined by Stephan Bush job and you're. Stephanie thanks for being here. Thank you our pleasure now. Americans we don't know as much about Bulgaria as we know about Poland or Germany or Italy, or Greece that. It's not in the news it's signing country of about seven million people probably, not not a lot of Bulgarians have emigrated to the United States like Polish people. So many know when I think of Bulgaria I think of a back in the communist times a little country that was more friendly with Moscow, than the other countries in eastern Europe in fact, your leader little sort of an communist dictator two-door shifts of Shipka He. Actually proposed that Bulgaria joined the USSR and become the Sixteenth Republic. Is that true that? Yes that's still in the early nineteen sixties shifts for wanted us to be so close to the Soviets. So he proposed to become the sixteen republic. Why so subservient? The USSR you know because as a small country, we have always tried to find our big brother because you're right there in the middle of the Habsburgs and Russia and and. The meat of all those crossroads and your. Little so easy to gobble up if you're a big giant country absolutely, but fortunately, the Soviets were in the middle of the Cuban missile crisis saw they were busy and they were not interested in having trouble themselves Khrushchev or whoever was the dictator say There's a joke in becan communist time. The biggest animal in the world was the Bulgarian pig because the head was in Bulgarian. The body was in Moscow I. Was that funny. So many years ago he mentioned the pick when you have the body of the pick of the good meat is there. So we produced Oh the good stuff food and it was expected to the Soviet. Union. So practically, this is the reason why still nowadays in Russia they remember all those fruits and very funds legal, Gary, all good stuff that came from Bulgaria. So the big shot in Moscow and wind as well. Of course, all the Bulgarian wine. Oh, the best bogere in one when Russia. Well today you don't have that problem. You've got wonderful traditional food and drink and and Yuri. What is one thing we should remember about the food of Bulgaria when we visit incredibly fresh everything is fresh. What's been out of the garden? What's IT traditional? A traditional meal I I remember some beautiful soups. You must have a salad. You must argue with Salads and a little bit of Brandy. As world it goes with the Salads. We always have the strong alcohol first, and then we go to the wine and then we go to the beer you start with the strong alcohol yes, we do. We do. Why is that Stephan? It is deep tradition. What my parents belief is that when we have a trunk alcohol to open your perceptions the food, this is the best way to taste it when you have a few sips of follow traditional. Brandy. Code. Of Akia. So when I'm cooking, if people have the strong alcohol, I can actually eat my food. It helps it helps a lot. Gary is the only country in the European Union that has this surreal alphabet I was in Bulgaria when you're on May twenty fourth, that's big celebration. Why does Bulgaria have this unique alphabet and what's the cultural background of that? I remember that day because we were actually fuming Bulgaria episode into our in my hometown. So it is really important to understand these different alphabet because this is an alphabet which helped to spread the Christianity because it's surreal religious named after Saint. And who was his side and his brother Metallica's Methodius and Cyril. So they innovated this alphabet so they could write down the holies holy scripture scriptures and people could read them exactly in idea to have the Christianity. Kuo's to the heart close the. So to understand the holy wisdom to understand the words written, what century was that this was in the eight, hundred, eight, hundred, fifty, five, and to this day, it is more than a religious thing. It's a cultural thing to celebrate the fact that you have this. Unique. Well, it's not that unique other other countries have it. It's the same in Russia is the same in Russia, the same as in Mongolia Rick actually choose all the way to Mongolia and everybody. School holiday the children are dancing and celebrating dancing celebrating their own in the streets. Actually, this is the happiest festival holiday in Bulgaria, much more important than all the other political. I'll call it days because people they celebrate with heart they celebrate the Alphabet, they celebrate the literacy. So as a Bulgarian today where you feel really good, I would imagine you yesterday what is the name of the holiday actually? Name of the holiday is the day of the Cyrillic Alphabet and the Slavic culture also it is Slavic. Culture as well as ceramic and we need a little extra promotion for that because you're surrounded by a lot of other absolutely influences

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