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On the Day of the Christian Family

Bulgarian Nora Mihaylova opens doors between different cultures

Photo: Facebook /Nora Mihaylova

Being the wife of a diplomat is not an easy task. To some extent, this is both a vocation and a mission in making the connection between different cultures. This is how Nora Mihaylova sees her role, as in addition to representing Bulgaria in the diplomatic circles, she maintains close contacts with the local Bulgarian communities in a number of countries. She also works as a teacher - volunteer at the Sunday Bulgarian schools.

Her travels around the world pass through Libya, Kuwait, Washington, Syria and Israel. Now we find her in Jordan, where she has been taken by the job of her husband, the Arab studies expert Dimitar Mihaylov. He himself started his career at Radio Bulgaria, and since June 2019 he has been serving as Bulgaria’s ambassador to the Hashemite Kingdom.

"I am currently a volunteer at the Sunday Bulgarian school in Amman," says Nora Mihaylova. "When a person has a positive attitude towards life, they will always find something to do. We organized the learning process voluntarily, with children from mixed marriages between Bulgarians and Jordanians. We currently have two classes as I teach the second graders. I hope that in this way I will give an opportunity to these children to apply in Bulgarian universities."

Nora's impressions of Bulgarians around the world are versatile, and the most recent and warm meetings have been with our compatriots from Mladona in Israel. There she was greeted in the old Bulgarian custom with bread and salt. Their meeting was very exciting.

"To this day, I keep alive the memory of Bella and Haim Eshkenazi, Betty Leon, Rosa. They spoke with such affection about Bulgaria. Their language was preserved, pure. Those Bulgarians who loved all things Bulgaria will always remain in my heart. They have kept their mother tongue untainted. In their families they have preserved a wonderful Bulgarian language, from the the 1940s, when they moved to Israel."

Personally, Nora Mihaylova is the pillar in the family that maintains the connection with the homeland. She complements the knowledge of her two daughters with lessons in Bulgarian language and history as they grew up in different countries and studied in foreign educational systems. On the one hand, touching different cultures enriches them, they meet different people. On the other hand, the constant change of residence deprives them of lasting friendships.

What Nora brings everywhere to remind her of Bulgaria are the Bulgarian spices that her mother always buys for her before she leaves for somewhere:

"When I see the spices, I know the time has come for us to say goodbye again”, Nora says with a sigh. This is the saddest moment. I always take with me a pack of martenitsas and dye for Easter eggs to respect the traditions. Wherever I go, the Bulgarian spirit is always with me and I carry a piece of it with me.”

We are about to have another meeting with Nora Mihaylova, in which we will find out how her dream of becoming a painter came true and why doors are a favourite theme in her works.

English Rossitsa Petcova

Photos: courtesy of Bulgarian Embassy in Jordan and Facebook /Nora Mihaylova

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