Bulgarian Agriculture

According to the data presented by the Bulgarian Center for Study of Democracy the arable land in the Republic of Bulgaria is 4.1 million ha, 14% of the land is pasture (1.52 million ha) and 35% of is forest (3.87 million ha). Around 2.3 million are used for growing cereals, primarily wheat. The major industrial crops, incl. sunflower and sugar beet, and there are also small areas of cotton and soybeans.
Historically, wheat is the main food crop and about 50 percent of arable land is used for it. Corn, mainly for animal feed, is also extensively cultivated – it takes about 0.5-0.6 million , resulting yields amounted to 4.6 t / ha.

Sunflower oil is a traditional culture. A Bulgarian friend of mine, a worker at a Chinese Translation Houston Services Agency who has been to Bulgaria says, that in Bulgaria there are good conditions for its cultivation. More than 90% of sunflower production in Bulgaria is used to produce oil for the needs of the home market.

Oriental tobacco and its production is concentrated in family farms. In 2011 tobacco production was 17 thousand hectares.
Fruit production is export-oriented sub-sector. The largest relative share have: apples (30% of total production), plums (22%), cherries (15%) and peaches (15%).

Traditionally, the largest in the production of vegetables in Bulgaria is the share of potatoes, peppers, watermelons, tomatoes and cabbage. Another friend of mine, who works for the New York City Japanese Translation Services Agency worker says, that they have very delicious vegetables in Bulgaria. They also grow vegetables in greenhouses, mainly cucumbers and tomatoes, over 90% of which are placed on the European market.

Despite the observed in 2010 and 2011 stabilization in the production of vegetables, the general trend is a reduction in the total area used. Factors limiting the development of the subsector are: lack of funds for consolidation and modernization of production, irrigation problems (poor state of irrigation infrastructure, inadequate irrigation equipment, and high cost of water), population aging in the vegetable growing areas; lack of trade agreements between manufacturers and retailers to place the finished product.

Shall Bulgarians Smoke in Public Places?

A ban on smoking in public places was introduced in many European countries: Ireland (March 2004), Norway (June 2004), Italy (January 2005), Sweden (June 2005), Scotland (March 2006 ), Lithuania (January 2007), Latvia (January 2007), Albania (January 2007), Wales and Northern Ireland (April 2007), England (June 2007), Iceland (June 2007) , Finland (June 2007), Estonia (June 2007), Denmark (August 2007), France (February 2008), Turkey (2008/2009). In Bulgaria this ban became effective as of June 01, 2012. This law caused an ongoing debate whether the measures will be effective or not.

Many of the above countries report good results. And it is not so only in Europe, for example, the Venezuelan Ministry of Health announced that for the past one year of enforcement, tobacco sales have been reduced by 50-percent. According to estimates of experts, there are about 7 million smokers of 28 million people of Venezuela, as ITAR-TASS reports.

Chicago Certified Translators who have studied the issue say, that Venezuelan law is rather strict. it provides penalties for violators ranging from 912 to 190 thousand bolivars. In dollars, smokers or restaurants, which violates the prohibition must pay from 212 to 44 000 dollars. Smoking ban covers all public places – airports, all public transport, offices, restaurants and discos. The text of the law prohibits the cafes and restaurants to be divided into rooms for smokers and nonsmokers because experience from other countries shows that this is a totally useless measure.
The Baltimore Translation Agency workers also note, that cigarette prices in Venezuela alone have a prohibitive effect, too. A package of the cheapest cigarettes costs 18 bolivars, which is more than four dollars. The prices of worldwide famous brands reach to 30 bolivars (about $ 7).

The Venezuelan experience shows that obviously the way to curb smoking which deteriorates not only our health but also endangers the health of people surrounding us is to introduce strict measures and to ensure their effectiveness. Maybe it will be tough at the beginning – but it surely pays.

The Bulgarian Holiday Of St Andrew’s Day

St. Andrew the Apostle and his brother Peter were simple fishermen. Very young, they joined the community of John the Baptist. By the end of its life-time Apostle Andrew preached the doctrine of Christ among the Balkan peoples, especially among the Scythians. He died in pain and suffering on a cross-shaped “X” in the Greek city of Patras.

Bulgarians, as my friends from an Austin Certified Translation Agency evidence,  call the holiday “Growing Day”, or “Mechkin day.” (“Bear’s Day”)  According to popular views and knowledge of astronomy this is the day from which the day begins to grow. The Bulgarian saying is that “On the day of St Andrew the day begins to grow with as much as a grain (wheat, poppy or mustard) is.” This view explains the ritual acts which aim to ensure fertility and abundance in the coming business year. On the eve of the feast or early in the morning each housewife prepares a dish of corn, wheat, beans, lentils, barley, oats, etc. This is done to wish the grains of crops grew as well as a grain becomes bigger when cooked.  All people in the house eat from this dish. It is also given to domestic animals so that they give birth to good offspring. Women give some of the dish around the neighborhood for a fertile year.

In the Bulgarian lands north of the Balkan mountain St. Andrew is honored as a celebration of bears, known as “Mechkin day.” (“Bear’s Day”). According to a popular legend, St. Andrew was once a lonely hermit in the mountains. He had a small piece of land where he grew his food. But a bear ate his ox. The furious farmer managed to capture the beast, hitched it to plow instead of oxen, and so he obeyed his will. Since then he rode the bear and cultivated the land with its aid. That is why the saint is celebrated as the patron of the bears, as their lord. According to a Dutch Translator, worker at the mentioned San Francisco Translation Services Agency,  who has studied this ritual, it is: before sunrise on St. Andrew’s the oldest woman in the family takes a handful of boiled beans and a slice of bread and throws them up in the chimney or on the roof of the spell: “To you, Bear, to eat corn, not to eat it raw and not to eat people and their crops! “

Midwive’s Day in Bulgaria

Midwives’ Day is one of the greatest female folk festivals celebrated in Bulgaria. It is dedicated to the “grandmothers” – women who help in childbirth. Rituals on this day are mainly an expression of the desire to demonstrate respect for them.

Ivan Simeonov, a Bulgarian, who works for the Dallas Certified Translation Agency, The Marketing Analysts, tells us the following about this ritual: “Even before sunrise, mothers with children from one to three years of age place a sprig of basil or geranium in a pot of water, take a bar of soap and a new towel and head to the place of their “Grandma” – the midwife who assisted them to pour the water for her to wash. This ritual is carried out under a fruit tree in the garden, on the chopping-log or in front of the stairs. Every woman gives the “grandma” a bar of soap, pours her water to wash and gives her a new towel as a present. The “Grandma”  gives the young mother a bunch of geraniums tied with “martenici” – red and white thread. Often the “grandma” throws water with her hands up and jump three times, saying: “Let the kids be joyful and lively, let them become white and red! As many drops fall as much prosperity and good health!”

After that women present the “Grandma” with shirts, socks, canvas, which they put on her right shoulder. In turn, the “Grandma” ties on the right hand of the children the birth of who she has assisted a red and white thread with a silver coin and also gives them socks and shirts. At noon brides and young mothers gather for a festive feast at the home of the midwife. Each woman brings a fresh loaf of bread, pies, boiled or roasted chicken and a wooden vessel with brandy or wine. Kisses the hand of her grandmother and gives her the food tray. The daughters and the daughters-in-law of the midwife arrange a long and rich table around which all present sit. “ Then, in the opinion of a Baltimore Translation Services worker, the cheerful feast is accompanied by songs, dances and sometimes quite uncensored jokes and scenes.