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"The Rhodope song is first cried and then sung!" Georgi Chilingirov

Every Bulgarian or foreigner who come to the Rhodopes for the first time remains fascinated by the magnificent mountain beauty, by the numerous natural and historical landmarks, by the old houses covered with stone plates... But he is not less admired by the people in the Rhodope – people, nurtured with love for the mountains, preserved their rich soul, preserved ancient traditions. Adding the lyrical Rhodope song and its unchanging musical accompaniment - the kaba bagpipe, traditional cuisine and the famous Rhodope hospitality, it becomes clear why one remains forever captivated by the mountain and its inhabitants.

Our first ethnographers note that the most archaic ethnographic group in the Bulgarian lands are the “Rupci”, who also inhabit the Rhodopes. In the past, neither foreign domination nor imposed religious differences could destroy the Bulgarian language and the freedom-loving spirit of the Rhodope people. A typical example of this is the traditional clothing, which survives the vicissitudes of time and retains its ethnic characteristics until late. The men's costume is black, and the women's - sayana or sukmanena. In the Middle Rhodopes, the older saya lived among the Bulgarian Mohammedans, while the Christians wore the sukman (pinafore) that appeared at the end of the 18th century. Its monochromatic nature is diverse by the colorful plaid apron, which combines the colors of the sun, the rainbow, the earth and the mountains. Of course, in this vast mountain labyrinth - from the most eastern to the most western parts of the mountain, you can immediately see the richness and diversity of the Rhodope costume, caused by different local or regional specifics, religion, climate, altitude, etc. .n. But all these invariants are above all a testimony to the creative abilities of the nameless Rhodope girls and brides, who create with both hands the beauty of the Rhodope costume.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Angel Yankov, ethnologist, director of REM - Plovdiv

"BELA SAM, BELA, YUNACHE" is a calendar with authentic Bulgarian folk costumes from the Rhodope region. The remarkable exhibits stored in the museums of the region fill each month with the variety and splendor of the Rhodope costume. WITH THE PURCHASE OF THIS CALENDAR:

  • You support the activity of the museums in Bulgaria, as some of the calendars are donated by us for realization in favor of the museums with which we have worked on them;

  • You are participating in the charity initiative of the Bulgarian Roots and the Dimitar Talev Foundation, for the purchase of the native house of the great Bulgarian writer Dimitar Talev in the town of Prilep and its transformation into a Bulgarian museum. We donate part of the amount of each purchased calendar to the Foundation for this purpose.

  • You also support the activities of "Bulgarian Roots" to cover and promote important Bulgarian folklore events and participations in the coming year.

  • You will support the young talented musicians, whose performance you will be able to see with the QR code on the back of the calendar.

In search of the most typical in the Rhodopes, the work took us to different parts of the vast region and met us with cordial collectors and museum workers from museums in Smolyan, Kardzhali, Ardino, Velingrad, Zlatograd and of course our friends from the Ethnographic Museum in Plovdiv. Working with such people is a real pleasure and inspiration. And the touch of the unique beauties of the fabrics and embroidered embroideries, created by the hand of the Bulgarian woman, made us think with affection about the past, but unforgettable time of the centuries.

The team of "Bulgarian Roots" would like to thank all the consultants, friends and participants in the initiative, who with information, advice and assistance contributed to the implementation of the project:

  • Assoc. Prof. Dr. Angel Yankov, ethnologist, director of REM – Plovdiv

  • Grozdelina Georgieva-Savatinova - curator at REM - Plovdiv

  • Vanya Yordanova - Head of the Ethnography Department, RIM Smolyan

  • Tanya Mareva - former director of RIM Smolyan

  • Taner Chobanov - Director of the Municipal Museum - Ardino

  • Georgi Kumanov - Editor-in-Chief of IM Velingrad

  • Sonya Kostadinova - Editor-in-Chief of the Ethnography Department, RIM Kardzhali

  • Zdravka Cholakova - Zlatograd

We truly thank the young beautiful girls who enlivened the costumes with their beauty: Daniela Krivuleva, Jivka Todorova, Hristina Popova, Ani Kotseva, Vyara Mihaylova, Galatea Hadjieva, Anelia Krumova, Teodora Trendafilova, Tsvetelina Zhelyazkova, Elena Ilieva, Gergana , Velichka Ilcheva. We also thank the charming guy on the cover Borislav Tonev.


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