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Radio Bulgaria's online quiz shows that:

Greek and Turkish speaking audience know well the story of legendary song "Izlel e Delyo Haydutin"

We asked the audience of Radio Bulgaria in ten different languages: when did Valya Balkanska record the song "Izlel e Delyo Haydutin", which flew into space?

The most popular opinion seen in the answers to the quiz is that the song that flies on-board the "Voyager 1" space probe was recorded in 1977. However, this answer is wrong as the song was recorded 9 years earlier, back in 1968. Here is the story of the recording:

American ethnologist Martin Koenig first came to Bulgaria back in 1966. He says that he was completely captivated by what he saw - the magic of Bulgarian music, the folk dances and "the vitality in people’s eyes." He returned to Bulgaria several times. During these visits he shot unique photos, recorded old Bulgarian folk songs and authentic customs.

In 1968 he met then 26-year-old Valya Balkanska. Captivated by her voice, he decided to record her performance in a classroom in her home village. Later, this recording was chosen from thousands of other sound samples from the planet Earth to fly into space onboard Voyager 1.

"She just sang the song in a magical way. And I think that the Bulgarians needed Valya, her fame, because that made them feel more significant," Martin Koenig said half a century later upon his return to Bulgaria in order to present his photos of Bulgaria from the past.

"This song has found its place, Bulgaria has found its place", the exceptional singer Valya Balkanska says.

We want to thank everyone who participated in our quiz! We have received answers from distant America and Vietnam, from European countries like Germany, France, Bulgaria, as well as from Ukraine, Russia, Turkey and Greece. The audience of Radio Bulgaria speaking Greek and Turkish gave the biggest number of correct answers to the question about Bulgaria’s "space" song.

Do not stop being curious about Bulgarian culture, history and traditions and continue to participate in our quizzes. The new question will be available on our pages soon.


Compiled by: Elena Karkalanova

English: Alexander Markov

Photo: archive

Listen to the daily news from Bulgaria presented in "Bulgaria Today" podcast, available in Spotify.

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