“Your messages reach out to all points of the globe! You are listened to and read by many people from various countries who learn interesting facts about your beautiful country Bulgaria on a daily basis. I read and listen with great interest to your Arabic language programs”, writes Fahti Hashifa from Algeria. In October we received close to 800 letters and e-mails and more than 150 phone calls from you, our regular radio listeners and internet users.
In their mail and phone calls in October, the Bulgarians abroad who follow the Bulgarian language programs, talk about various cultural events organized by the Bulgarian communities, as well as about the way the presidential elections proceeded in polling stations outside Bulgaria. “Thank you for the good cooperation and for the interesting topics that you include in the broadcasts. I follow with keen interest everything you broadcast about life of Bulgarians across the world and about life in Bulgaria”, wrote Gergana Tsenova from Spain. „Through you I should like to thank all Bulgarian associations in Spain who helped a lot in opening many polling stations in various points of the country.” Daniela Gortcheva who lives in Holland, talked about the obstacles that Bulgarians in that country confronted on election day given that a single polling station opened there. Toncho Karabulkov from France writes about the initiative of Bulgarian communities abroad for creating a Society of Bulgarian Writers who work across the world. In his letter he voices hopes that Radio Bulgaria could support the idea and work for its promotion. “I have been following your programs on the internet and send links to other Bulgarians in Chicago. It is of great interest for those living outside Bulgaria”, writes Elena Tsaneva from Chicago, the city with the strongest Bulgarian community in the United States.
One of the most active users of the internet site come from the Arab world. They have sent more than 240 e-mails. „I am writing with warmest feelings and joy that I can read every day your commentaries on issues that go across politics, history, economy and culture”, writes Idris Budina from Morocco. Azhar Alum from Damascus, Syria, has also sent his best regards to our colleagues from the Arabic Language Section: „I read your website every day and I like it very much for its diverse information about events across the world and in your country! My favourite themes include history, culture and tourism and I follow them with interest on your internet site. I wonder if you could write in detail about Bulgaria’s historical relations with the Arab world as well as about Bulgarian literature and your most prominent writers.” Writes Mariam Samir from Yemen: “I like very much Bulgarian music, especially folklore, so I am delighted to listen to your program With Bulgarian Folklore in the Heart.”
Radio Bulgaria is proud to have quite a few loyal listeners of its English language broadcasts. „I am writing to you from the USA as a devoted listener and long-time fan of BNR Radio Bulgaria,” Mike Dodge Weiskopf from USA wrote to the English language service. “I've been listening almost since the Radio Sofia days, before I was even a teenager. Nowadays I work as a broadcaster, radio producer and historian here in the United States, and I'm currently writing a book about the broadcasting of music via shortwave radio. The book is due to be published in the spring and will also include a few compact discs featuring music from around the world, including some from Bulgaria.”
His compatriot from Pennsylvania Harry Taylor writes he has been our regular listener for three years and adds:
“Radio Bulgaria programming is consistently professional and covers a broad range of topics. News events in Bulgaria, the Balkans and Europe provides information not available elsewhere. Additionally, your programs always contain informative segments covering music, culture, events, and different regions in Bulgaria. This varied programming is both interesting and informative. I enjoy listening very much.”
Christopher Lewis from Norton Shifnal, England, admits that he listens to English language broadcasts more than five times a week. “I hope that in the coming years Radio Bulgaria will continue to transmit on shortwave as I believe this is a sound method of distributing programs. It also keeps a global audience. I would also like to add that on your web site I read that Radio Bulgaria is seen as the only source of news on the Balkans. This is true and you are a reliable source, too. Many thanks for your interesting programs and features.”
“Hi, I have been a listener to Radio Bulgaria for a long time. The news programmes are very informative and I love Bulgarian folk music. Reception is always very good on at least one of your frequencies. I usually listen at 21 hours on 7400. Just a couple of suggestion I would make re your web and facebook pages. In your broadcasts you often play contemporary Bulgarian music. Unfortunately I usually miss the names of the artists and song titles. Any chance of these being uploaded on the web and facebook?” suggests Mike Ushner from London.
There is a mail from America too - from Otto Schwartz, however, he has chosen to listen to our German language broadcasts. „I enjoy Radio Bulgaria and especially your programs focused on music and culture. They remind me of my childhood in Slovakia when life was merrier with a few occasions to celebrate. Given that Radio Prague and Radio Slovakia International have terminated their broadcasts, I now count on Radio Bulgaria and Radio Romania to keep in touch with old traditions and legends linked to village life. I do not have a computer and my radio receiver is my only connection with the world. I hope very much that Radio Bulgaria will go on broadcasting its programs on shortwave for many years ahead.” According to Berhnardt Henze from Germany, the Balkan Developments feature has become very good. “It adds a comprehensive perspective to comments and reports from Kosovo and other countries in the region”, he writes. „Radio Bulgaria has emerged as a first-class radio station with broadcasts to foreign audiences” comments Siegbert Gerhardt from Germany. “The programs openly criticize phenomena such as corruption and rampant crime. With its varied, informative and interesting broadcasts, Radio Bulgaria is one of my favourite radio stations on shortwave. Besides your programs represent superb advertising of Bulgaria with all its tourist sites of interest and great food. Radio Bulgaria offers diverse programming that is of interest to a wide spectrum of listeners, so we hope its broadcasts on the analog shortwave will go on for many years to come!”
„Congratulations for having preserved this language on shortwave! As you know many radio stations have already stopped broadcasting”, writes Olivier Roben who is a new listener of the French language broadcasts. Another listener from France, Bernard Richard, writes: „Hello! It is such a pleasure to hear one’s name on the air and to get answers to the questions you have asked! Thank you! I am sending you a card from Reims. This year we celebrate 800 years since the famous cathedral was built.” A letter to the French Section has come from Japan too. In it Osamiu Aikava writes, „I should like to tell you that here, in Japan, you have a loyal friend. It is a great pleasure for me to listen to you!”
In October many letters and phone calls have also come to the Turkish Language section of Radio Bulgaria. In them listeners by tradition talk about things that interest them, ask questions and use the occasion to send regards to their relatives who reside abroad.
In October too, the Spanish language emissions have enjoyed new listeners from various corners of the globe: Argentina, Venezuela, Cuba and Japan. „My name is Daniel Santos and I represent Radio AYRE Venezuela that has been broadcasting online from Caracas since 2003. For some time we have been following your station and we should like to have your consent to rebroadcast your programs”, writes Daniel Santos. Toni Morilla Rios from Spain admits: „I have recently become addicted to the rubric At the Roots of Bulgarian Folklore, because every time I discover something new about the Bulgarian roots. And I also like the selection of the music.” Ramon Rivero Llanes from Cuba writes: „I am proud to be part of the family of listeners of Radio Bulgaria. Thank you for your time writing to me and for your warm feelings. It is easy to love, difficult to find and impossible to forget people like you!”
Translated by Daniela Konstantinova