Lovely nature, diverse history, hospitality, beautiful women and strong men are all part of Bulgaria’s image worldwide. But, of course, there is more. Find out about other surprising or not so surprising assets of this country that the world appreciates.
The Bulgarian Bag
Looking for the perfect sports gear that benefits all muscle groups which is also compact and suitable for both men and women? Well, one great option to fit all these requirements is the Bulgarian Bag! This gear which is quite popular in USA is still little known among Bulgarian fans of gym workout, though it was invented by a Bulgarian. This is professional Greco-Roman wrestler Ivan Ivanov. He left for the United States years ago and became a coach. In 2009 the American Wrestling Federation nominated Ivanov Coach No. 1 in the Greco-Roman wrestling for men. One secret for the brilliant training of his wrestlers is the gear weighing from 3 to 38 kilos. Its specific shape is analogous to the body of a lamb that Bulgarians traditional wrestlers threw on their backs during popular wrestling contests. The Bulgarian Bag is impressive with its many handles – main, side and belt ones that make it multifunctional. The original bags are inscribed with the name “Bulgarian Bag” and branded with the Bulgarian tricolor.
The Bulgarian Split Squat
The Bulgarian split squat is a single-leg strength exercise that targets the quads, glutes and hamstrings. Done with the rear foot elevated on a bench, it builds lower body muscles without the additional stress on the back found with traditional squats. Performing the exercise with dumbbells ensures muscular balance on both sides of the body. It is also performed with weights. According to fitness maniacs the exercise has been introduced to USA and across the world by Bulgarian weightlifting coach Angel Spassov.
The Bulgarian Pepper
During the Cold War Bulgaria was exporting huge amounts of farming produce to the former Soviet Union. The Bulgarian origin of products was a guarantee for their superb taste. Since that time the sweet pepper has been termed Bulgarian Pepper in the Russian language, though this term is unknown in Bulgaria.
The Bulgarian Rose
It has been nicknamed The Queen of Flowers. The rose is a sophisticated symbol of Bulgaria across the globe. The fragrant oil extracted from the varieties of the Bulgarian rose is a desirable ingredient in the most exquisite perfume brands of the world. The rose water, obtained when extracting the oil, is used to cleanse and soothe the skin. Bulgarian grandmothers in villages brew the delicious rose jam which is an effective laxative.The Latin name of the Bulgarian oil-yielding rose is rosa damascena, which reminds us that the flower was imported centuries ago from the Middle East. But in Bulgaria there are perfect conditions for growing roses. The area with rose fields between the Balkan Range (Stara Planina) and Sredna Gora Mountain is known as the Rose Valley. Bulgaria is the world’s No. 1 in the production of high quality rose oil sold at prices of 5 to 6 thousand euros per kilogram.
In 1905 the Bulgarian doctor Stamen Grigorov studied the microflora of the traditional Bulgarian yoghurt. He was the first to isolate the microorganism responsible for the fermentation of this healthy Bulgarian product. Grigorov named the newly discovered bacterium after his motherland – Lactobacillus Bulgaricus. Afterwards the Russian Nobel Prize winning scientist Ilya Mechnikov found that owing to this bacterium the Bulgarian yoghurt regulates the influence of harmful microorganisms on the human system and its regular consumption is a prerequisite of a long and healthy life. Today millions across the world consume yoghurt with a Bulgaria starter culture.
English Daniela KonstantinovaPhotos: BGNES, Wikipedia and archive