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Bulgarians from all over the world celebrate Bulgarian language and culture

The tongue of times of yore,

Of sufferings, dispair...

The mothertongue, whose lore

Of poisonous woes we bear.

Ivan Vazov’s poem "The Bulgarian Tongue" was written in 1883 in Plovdiv in response to "fashionable" claims that the Bulgarian language was coarse and devoid of musicality.

For little do they know

Thine splendor glorious, mighty,

With which thy rich tones flow

And ring in chimes enchanting.

In a few days, the verse of the Patriarch of Bulgarian literature will ignite the fire of passion for Bulgarian culture in the heart of every Bulgarian around the world. May 24, the Day of the Holy Brothers Cyril and Methodius, of Bulgarian writing, education and culture and of the Slavonic script, is one of the most sacred, unifying and true holidays of our nation.

It is a holiday that makes us feel even more proud to be Bulgarians," say the staff of the St. Kliment Ohridski Bulgarian Sunday School in Luton, UK. It is in these strongholds of Bulgarian identity that this spirit seems to be felt most strongly across physical and political borders.

Bulgarian communities around the globe will celebrate Bulgarian history and culture this weekend, while some festive initiatives were carried out beforehand. And just a few days ago, a festive meeting on the occasion of May 24 brought together Bulgarians in Slovenia.

At the event, the kids showed what they have learned during the year. Chargés d'affaires ad interim of the Bulgarian mission in Slovenia Rada Goranova presented them with diplomas and books provided by the embassy. The Slovenian "Ljele" choir sang Bulgarian folk songs. In the end, all the guests and performers danced Bulgarian horo dance.

An exhibition of the artist Nikolai Yanakiev, the only artist to have his paintings presented in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence during his lifetime, opened this week at the Bulgaria Gallery of the Bulgarian Cultural Institute in Rome, the BCI said.

An interesting initiative took place in the Canadian city of Vancouver, where graduates of the local Bulgarian school "St. Cyril and Methodius" challenged all Bulgarians to write their name in Glagolitic - the first Bulgarian alphabet created by Constantine-Cyril the Philosopher. The first Bulgarian literary works and the first translations of Christian literature were written in this alphabet, with which the holy brothers Cyril and Methodius and their disciples spread Christianity in Bulgaria in the 9th century.

The graduates of the first Bulgarian Sunday School in Greece - "St. St. Cyril and Methodius" in Athens have another idea for the celebration - to have part of the hymn "Vurvi, narode vazrideni" written in the most beautiful letters. It will be ready on May 21.

This Saturday the Bulgarian schools "Azbuka" in Dublin, Ireland, and the First Bulgarian School "Ivan Vazov" in Arma, UK, will celebrate together. A special graduation ceremony will be held for the first class of twelfth graders from both schools.

A Parade of Cyrilic Letters was also planned by our compatriots from the Spanish city of Valladolid and its surroundings with songs, dances, poems and theatre. The organizers from the association "Stara Planina" and the school "Sts. Cyril and Methodius" invite all Bulgarians to join the celebration.

The Bulgarian School in Krakow will offer a true feast for Bulgarians in Poland this Saturday. It will be under the patronage of the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Bulgaria in Krakow, Mr. Wieslaw Nowak.

One of the largest Bulgarian communities is located overseas in the USA, where the Association of Bulgarian Schools is holding a contest for the best handmade greeting card for May 24.

In Chicago, the great Bulgarian football player Hristo Stoichkov will take part in the second Parade of Bulgaria, this Sunday - May 21, which is organized by the Consulate General of Bulgaria in the city. The footballer will award the participants in the Hajduk Games, which are part of the program.

Singer Maria Ilieva will be a special guest at the parade in Chicago. But the big stars of the program will be, of course, the children from the Bulgarian schools and all the folklore groups from the Windy City and its surroundings.

Bulgarian Society of Nevada is also organizing its annual gathering at Bruce Trent Park this Sunday at 2 p.m. local time.

The venues, participants and festivities are sure to be many more than we have covered. A fact that can only please us Bulgarians. Even more so when we are celebrating our language, culture and identity.

Happy holiday, dear compatriots!

Text by Vessela Krasteva

Photos: Facebook/kliment.ohridski.luton, Bulgaria's embassy to Slovenia, Facebook/IstitutoBulgaroDiCultura, Facebook/BG School Vancouver, Facebook/BNUKiriliMetodii, Facebook/bgschoolie, Facebook/doragabekrakow, Facebook/bulgariansocietyofnevada
Translated and posted by Elizabeth Radkova
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