“Thank you for the job that you do. In this way you always keep me informed about the developments in a country I do not know from first-hand experience but which does intrigue me very much through the magic of the radio scale and through your voices”, writes Miguel Angel Mendez Burlon from Uruguay in a letter mailed to the Spanish Language Section of Radio Bulgaria. Close to 800 conventional letters and e-mails have reached us in November. More than seventy listeners chose to call us over the phone to ask about their favorite radio hosts. We are very grateful to all our listeners who regularly send over reports about the transmission quality of our emissions. In November they were close to 1000. Fritz Andorf from Germany writes: “Following the launch of the new frequency schedule I immediately tested various frequencies in different times, and I must tell you that your technicians have done a great job! Reception is invariably of very good quality, and is best on the frequency of 7400 kHz. Well, I am really glad to see that Radio Bulgaria does its timing based on local time reception, so that listeners won’t have to change their listening habits.” Another German, Helmut Matt, writes, “The reception of your broadcasts is satisfactory and often very good. However, your programming is more than satisfactory. I still have a soft spot for Bulgarian folk music. Besides, I really like the wide range of your programs, and their diverse content. I think that one could tune in to Radio Bulgaria every day – the broadcasts are interesting, deserving attention, as well as useful and enjoyable at the same time.” Our listener from France Jean-Francois Meile confirms that with the new waves reception has improved. Vladimir Pivovarov from Ukraine, who has been following our Russian language emissions, writes: “I continue listening to your programs and I enjoy writing mail to you, including regular reports. I recently got new QSls of Radio Bulgaria and already have 100 in my collection. I try to tune in to you every day. Unfortunately, your station too, has started to slash broadcasts on shortwave.”
In November too, Radio Bulgaria has welcomed many new listeners. They come from various parts of the world – Europe, the Americas and Asia. There is a newcomer to the station from Argentina, Andres Crespo who writes: “I have been virtually glued to the programs of Radio Bulgaria since I discovered them on my receiver. I should like to assure you that here, across the Atlantic, we are loyal to your broadcasts on shortwave that come across loud and clear. I hope that your signal remains as strong in the future too.” A new listener from Colombia has addressed our colleagues from the Spanish Section in a most friendly way: “Hi, friends at Radio Bulgaria. My name is Pedro Fernando Salamanca Lara. I’m 18 and I come from Colombia. I’ve been listening to you for quite a long time now and now I decided to write to you. I am a novice in the fascinating world of radio amateurs and though its golden age is gone, I intend to enjoy it as long as I can.
Radio Bulgaria’s English Section has also got a few new listeners. James Obrien from Wales, UK, admits he is a fan of Bulgarian folk music. Howard Barnett from Northhampton, England, UK, is interested in the fate of the Radio Bulgaria broadcasts on shortwave: “I heard a report on the EDXC conference in Bulgaria this August and there were reports of BBC World Service and Voice of America intending
to end their broadcasts by 2014. Are these changes definite?” Grant Skinner from Dagenham, England, UK writes: “I have been a listener of Radio Bulgaria for a long time and I find your station one of the best on the air, you have found the perfect balance of being informative, interesting, entertaining, and friendly. It is and always has been a pleasure to listen to your station”. “The most interesting piece was on the high IQ club. Your own country’s lady with an IQ of 192 is amazing, you should be so proud. It’s great that over 100 countries are part of this and that using such talent for not just serious issues I think is so important.” writes Alan Anderson from the United States.
By tradition in November too, we have a great many e-mails from the Bulgarian communities abroad, as well as lots of phone calls that have turned some listeners into foreign correspondents telling about various events in the respective countries. For example, the show Meeting with You featured Desislava Oppel, telling about the newest Bulgarian school abroad that opened doors in November. It is Graz, Austria, and has been named after great Bulgarian 20 c. poet Nikola Vaptsarov. One of the most active youth organizations of Bulgarians abroad is Bai Ganio Student Society in Manheim, Germany. Its chairman Chavdar Bashev announced their latest initiative – founding a theater company of the Bulgarian students. On 29 December they will guest-perform in Sofia with a presentation of the classical Bulgarian comedy Phony Civilization. The proceeds from the show will be used for charity. Simeon Simov from Germany has called the Bulgarian Language Section of Radio Bulgaria to thank for the congratulations for his 70th birthday. In fact the Radio Bulgaria greeting was a performance of a folk music band, part of which Simov had been before leaving Bulgaria. Political scientist Emilia Zankina said: “Thank you for the invitation. It was a pleasure for me to join your show, and I am open to other invitations from your station.” Emilia was the guest in Studio Politics that focused on 10 November 1989 that triggered the democratic changes in Bulgaria.
“I follow on a regular basis the online emissions of the Bulgarian National Radio in Turkish. Until recently I didn’t know about them. Do not be misled to think that we, the Bulgarian Turks who now live in Turley, have forgotten all about Bulgaria. On the contrary, as time goes by, we become increasingly homesick. I love dearly my home village Gurgulitsa in the region of Kurdjali and I am very sad to find out that it is now depopulated and may disappear from the map of Bulgaria.” This is what Shaban Uozturk from the town of Gezbe, Turkey, has written in his letter. Singer Hasan Rodopolou from Izmir, sends his regards to our colleagues from the Turkish Section on the occasion of the great Muslim holiday Kurban Bayrami. There is plenty of feedback from the listeners of the Turkish language broadcasts beamed to regions in Bulgaria with large population of ethnic Turks. Azis Murad from the town of Ardino, Southeastern Bulgaria, has shared his pride with us, for receiving a prize in an international competition for poetry and short stories. He has been singled out for his short story My Invisible Classmates published in the book Night Meridians. “Best regards to all of you, the members of the Turkish Language Service, for Kurban Bayrami. I hope you will be healthy and will continue broadcasting good programs”, wrote Naim Selimoglou from the village of Airovo, Kurdjali region, Southeastern Bulgaria. He continues in his letter: “My dream of dreams is an end to all wars in the Muslim world. An end should be spelled to the fratricides in Tunisia, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia and Afghanistan. Every dictator should get the punishment he deserves.”
A regular listener to our broadcasts in Albanian, Ms Fatbardha Seferij who lives in Italy, has dedicated a poem to Radio Bulgaria. “It’s great that you send regards to the listeners that write to you. I am grateful to you for informing us about your country. You are an incredible team”, she writes too. Antiana from Northern Albania has sent an e-mail that reads: “Congratulations for your emissions that I follow on the Internet! I like them so much! I’ve been to Sofia and it is one of the most fascinating places that I have ever seen!” Special greetings have also come from Shqiponja Radio and from the Albanian Association for Chinese Martial Arts on the occasion of a feature devoted to Bulgarian Stancho Stanev. Our compatriot was back with six gold medals from an international Chinese martial art tournament held in Hong Kong.
A listener from Algeria, Abdul Hamid Djabbari, has also written to Radio Bulgaria. “Warmest regards to the team of the Arabic Section! I am sending my Poem for My Beloved Radio – it is Radio Bulgaria that I follow regularly on the Internet”, he wrote. Idris Abudiina from Morocco thanks the Arabic Section for the in-depth and diverse information offered on the Arabic language version of Radio Bulgaria’s website. Another listener from Algeria, Bezazel Ferhat Bin Rabih, Chairman of the Club for Friendship and Peace, writes: “Warmest and friendly regards to my dear Arabic Section! I am in love with your programs and I wish all the best to the team – health and wellbeing! I live so far from you, but I feel very close to you!” His compatriot Fariid Bu Mashal says he is a regular listener to Radio Bulgaria and follows our programs on a daily basis.
Wolfgang Heerwig from Germany writes: „I am always looking forward to the Minutes of the Correspondent program as it intrigues me to hear the views of other listeners. The latest show with listeners’ opinion from across the world was very interesting”. I liked the wide range of topics in listeners’ feedback. I also find quite good the Balkan Developments feature of Radio Bulgaria. It offers concise and varied information from a region that lacks in any media coverage in Germany.” Angel Oquendo, a Bolivian living Sweden, writes: “I listened with pleasure to the Mailbox program – a very good show that I’ve been listening to with interest for its diverse music greetings and answers to listeners’ questions regarding to Bulgarian culture.”
Longtime listener from France Giles Cikurel says: “I should like to thank you for the worthy content of your emissions. I’ve been listening to you for more than 40 years now, and you have helped me a lot, though unwittingly. I am disabled, and I deeply regret the fact that I won’t be able to come and see with my eyes the beautiful places that you describe in the rubric Do you know Bulgaria.
Translated by Daniela Konstantinova