Sunday, October 23, 2011

Bulgarian Cultural Center

 One of the RADical days events included the Bulgarian Cultural Center being open to the public. 
My brother Patrick served his mission there, so when I saw this on the RADical days event schedule, it was a "must-do". 

Here we are, excited to go in!
(Yea... doesn't Abby look thrilled?)

It was a small, two story building. When we walked in it was eerily quiet, but we ventured upstairs to find someone to direct us to "the event". There were various paintings hung in a large room and they were setting up for something... just not any sort of RADical day event. hahah...greeeaaat. 
Of course, it was a great room for enhancing our girls whines and screams, so we headed down to check out what could possibly be on the bottom floor. This was a small room, lined with display cases along the walls, and filled with tables in the middle of the room. At which, there was what appeared to be some meeting going on. Before we could slip back out un-noticed, and elderly gentleman swooped up next to us and eagerly asked us if we'd like a tour ("of what?" were my thoughts).
Well we walked around the tables of people eating/chatting and briefly caught snippets of Bulgarian history through Abby's wails and screams (she, of course, decided it would be a great time to show everyone she was two, and how else but a royal tantrum?). All the while, the sweet elderly man pressed on with his never-ending facts... which I'm sure were throughly interesting if I caught more than three words in a row. 

I did however find the Martenista tradition pretty interesting. 
It is a tradition where they celebrate the signs of spring and make and give each other these Martenitzas on the first of March. There is no one way to make one, but they are always done in red and white to symbolize purity and truth. Kind of a fun tradition. I thought it would have been cute if they had a small table set up for kids to try making their own Martenitza... but apparently, they don't get much traffic, even during RADical days. 

Sarah thought these were picture worthy, and requested I take some to show Uncle Pat.

I did snag a little brochure with a little bit more info about Bulgaria (some that I could actually read and process when Abby wasn't screaming in my ear). I thought I would share a little about the Bulgarian Rose. Bulgaria is one of the main sources of "attar of rose" the main ingredient in fine perfumes. Bulgaria has an area over twenty miles wide and one hundred milles long known as the "Valley of the Roses", where three-quarters of the world's rose oil is produced. 

Did you know that it takes 60,000 roses to produce just one ounce of rose oil? Crazy huh? 
I can only imagine how beautiful the Valley of the Roses must be in May/June when Roses are at their peak. Maybe one day my brother can take us there?

Anyway. Sarah was great during our brief tour of Bulgarian history and artifacts. 

Thanks for humoring me, lil' family, and bearing with me as I drag you through one lame event after another. Good thing they love me. ;)


Stephanie and Justin Wagner said...

What years did your brother serve during? My brother, and Stephanie's friend's husband served there sometime around 2003-2005, maybe they crossed paths?

Brooke said...

Pat was in Bulgaria from 1999-2001, so sorry, no luck.

Yummm, seeing those pictures makes me crave Bulgairan soup. Fall is here! GIMME SOUP!

Aden and Jamie said...

THe whole time I was reading about you walking through this building I was thinking of vampires and I had to remind myself that vampires are from Romania, not bulgaria. Then when that elderly man swooped up I thought he would surely be the vampire in the story....

Deb said...

At least you tried to learn some stuff! I'll make sure Patrick sees this so you get some brother brownie points. :)