Football and politics in Bulgaria

I love listening to the news in Bulgaria. For an innocent Westerner the stories of open corruption, political lies and threats are mind-blowing.

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Out with the cows and pigs!

But I love even more listening to people’s opinions. I ask my friend Ivan how he feels about the protests in the streets of Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna and Blagoevgrad.

Ivan says to me: “I feel stuck between cows and pigs.

He is eluding to the football hooligan fans of Levski and CSKA. The two Sofian teams that are arch rivals. One’s blue whilst the other one is red. They both play bad football by European standards and are always mired in stories of match-fixing, mafia and politics. They are as bad as each other.

And the average Bulgarian feels stuck in between reds and blues that are all one and the same bunch of hooligans destroying their beautiful country.

About the author: Julien is Bulgarian at heart and contrarian by nature. I always like to look at things from different angles. A coin has more than two sides… Julien is a Travel Therapist at JMB Travel and a private tour guide for Bulgaria and the Balkans.

I like to give the inside story on Bulgaria in all its natural beauty, ancient customs and present day reality.

Oldies 1 – 0 Youth

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There is a War of the Ages in Bulgaria between Old and Young. And the Young have lost another battle.

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Youth, be young!

A teacher at a school in Plovdiv was fired for fraternising with the enemy. He danced with his students to the tune: Harlem Shake. He is dressed all in white in the video from this link.

When the director of the school fired him the students came out in his support and so did their parents. But the other teachers who are oldies by age or by mentality backed the director saying that they were embarrassed to work with him.

Then the new Minister of Education stepped in backing the people who really matter in Bulgaria. Not the young that carry its future or will pay for the pensions of the oldies or alternatively will run away from Bulgaria, NO, he weighed in with the people that really matter in Bulgaria, the ones who vote, make or break governments, the oldies.

The sin of this teacher was not to have danced with his students. I have seen many teachers dance traditional Horo with their students. Not even was his sin to load up the video on YouTube because you could find video clips of students and teachers dancing together. No, his sin was to move his body to a new dance, something that had not been approved by officialdom and reached mainstream media coverage on the television which is viewed by the oldies.

His sin was to live in his time. He danced to the latest craze, uploaded it to the internet and rode the wave of its social media potential. But it was blocked by the old guard.

It is bad enough that the education system which was designed over 100 years ago is completely out of sync with young people, technology and businesses that need a modern labour force. But anybody stepping out of line is treated like a terrorist and eliminated.

The old people should remember who is paying for their pensions… And the people in government should remember that Bulgaria needs a future not just a past.