“Experience Bulgaria” magazine draws inspiration from Bulgarian tradition

Pazardzhik ensemble for folklore songs and dances

The second issue of the magazine “Experience Bulgaria” for 2019 is about to come off the press. “The focus this time is on embroidery,” says publisher Dr. Svetlana Radeva.

Dr. Radeva is under the spell of Bulgarian embroidery thanks to her grandmother, who put a needle in her hands when she was just four. This issue of the magazine will highlight embroidery patterns by Masha Kazandzhieva. Who is she?

“A woman from Croatia who lived in Kyustendil about a century ago with an exceptional contribution to traditional Bulgarian culture, though, unfortunately, her name is known to but a few in this country. The embroidery patterns are 27 in number. For each one there is a description which part of Bulgaria they come from and what kind of thread was used. Masha Kazandzhieva was educated in Germany and most of her work was published in Germany, even those parts of the album we are presenting were published in Berlin. I would especially like to emphasize that the article was made possible thanks to the Regional Museum of History in Kyustendil.”

What else do we know about Masha Kazandshieva and her contribution to the preservation of Bulgarian embroidery?

“After going through heaps of catalogues in libraries the only information I found about her was in the year-book of the girls’ school in Kyustendil from 1911-1912. At the time she was a teacher at the girls’ junior high school in the town, she taught German to 7th grade girls. It says that she had a university education – painting – and that she was born in Croatia. What is known is that she came to Kyustendil in 1908 when she married a local man.

In 1912 Masha Kazandzhieva submitted a hand-made album of Bulgarian embroidery to the ministry of education for approval but it has been lost. She made a second album of which two copies have come down to us. They are extremely useful to anyone who is fond of embroidery. Even beginners will be able to understand embroidery techniques and colours. The album includes 55 patterns and each one has instructions what part of an item of clothing it is intended for – sleeve, skirt, bodice. To my mind this album is very valuable from another point of view as well – the period it was created. That was a time of major shifts in the population of Bulgaria, and Masha Kazandzhieva takes a snapshot of the times – what was being worn in the region of Kyustendil, or Bansko and Razlog.”

On the cover of the new issue of “Experience Bulgaria” is the Pazardzhik folk song and dance ensemble founded in 1962. Ivanka Paunova, conductor of the choir, presents traditional recipes from the region of Pazardzhik – ilyaznik (a pumpkin, milk, eggs and sugar desert), Nikulden (St. Nicholas Day) carp with sauerkraut etc.

Filip Kutev ensemble

A fresh look at rakyia with original anecdotes about this typical Bulgarian alcoholic beverage is offered by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Angel Yankov, Director of the Ethnographic Museum in Plovdiv. We also take a look at another traditional Bulgarian drink – boza – until recently made in the original way in the region of Radomir. We also publish an article about the library in Turgovishte which marked its 60th anniversary.

The magazine is in Bulgarian and in English and is available online, and in hard copy in Bulgaria.

“To improve the magazine’s circulation we are offering discount subscription*, and for the price of four issues - 19.96 Leva – our readers get the two leaflets from last year free. The price also covers delivery to any point in Bulgaria. Our offer for the e-version is similar.”

*subscription – payment by transfer to the bank accounts held by the magazine: BG90UNCR70001523289554 BIC: UNCRBGSF

For more information: Tel. 0894360345 и 0887320239

and e-mail: radeva_66@abv.bg


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