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About Bulgaria - The Culture, Language and People

Where is Bulgaria and what language do they speak? Here we run a series of articles about Bulgaria and take a brief look at the Bulgarian language, population, history and more.


Where is Bulgaria?

Bulgaria is a relatively small country in Southern Europe with a land mass of just under 111,000km2 which makes it approximately half of the size of the UK and the same size as the U.S state of Tennessee.

This Balkan country has the Black Sea to its East and shares national borders of Turkey, Greece, Macedonia, Serbia and Romania.

To the North of Bulgaria lies the famous River Danube and this forms a water border with Romania for much of the country. The Danube runs from the Northwest to the Black Sea in the Northeast.

Bulgarian Language

The Bulgarian language is southern Slavic and is very similar to the Macedonian language. Some similarities also exist between Bulgarian and Serbian and Bosnian languages.

Bulgaria was the first country to write and use the Slavic language which dates back to the 9th century. The Glagolitic alphabet was first used until later when the Cyrillic alphabet was adopted. Over the centuries the Cyrillic alphabet has taken on many variations and in the 18th century the Russian Cyrillic became the standard alphabet. The various changes since the introduction of Russian Cyrillic have seen the alphabet reduce in its letters from 44 in the 19th century until the present day of just 30.

In 1878 Bulgaria became independent and their language became standardised although several words from other languages had now been adopted; During the Ottoman rule Bulgaria borrowed parts of the Turkish language and they are still in use today. Other adopted words in the Bulgarian language come from Russian, French, German, Latin, Italian, Greek and more recently English which is said to be increasing.

Bulgarian People and Culture

Bulgarian's are very proud of their country and heritage and even today maintain their many traditions of Folklore and historical events.

Families are extremely important to Bulgarian people and close social family units are normal in their culture. It is quite common to see many generations of a family still living in the same home.
Bulgaria has many holiday days per year which are to celebrate anything from the pruning of the grape vines (Trifon Zarezan) and Valentine's Day (both on February 14) to Army day. All villages' towns and cities have their unique celebration days.

Bulgarians belong to the Bulgarian Orthodox Church religion which contrary to almost being destroyed by communism rule, the Bulgaria religion has since been restored to almost its previous state and is still gaining popularity among the people.

Next article of About Bulgaria coming soon