Cultural exchange and Social entrepreneurship

Cultural exchange

Bulgaria has a rich folk art tradition and showcases it for natives and tourists alike. Gabrovo, Bulgaria hosts an ethnographic and architectural complex. Near Troyan, Bulgaria, visitors can visit a permanent exhibit of folk art. And in Veliko Turnovo, there is the Samovodene Market. At these various places, visitors can find their special mementos of Bulgaria, from rugs, to pottery, to jewelry. Bulgarian customs are rooted in antiquity and are closely tied to the country’s history and particular expression of Eastern Orthodox Christianity. Dancing on live coals is an ancient Bulgarian ritual still practiced in a few villages in the Balkan Mountains. The ritual in its authentic form is performed on the name day of Saints Konstantin and Helena – 21 May or (3 June according to the old calendar. Fire dancers prepare for their dance by spending hours locked in a chapel, venerating the icons of these two saints while listening to the beating of drums and the music of gaidas (Bulgarian bagpipes), which is a special melody associated with fire dancing, after which they often fall into trance. In the evening they perform their special dance on live coals. During their dance they always hold aloft in both hands an icon of Saint Konstantin and Saint Helena. Amazingly, they never get hurt or burn their feet.

“Mummers” is another local tradition that also found in other societies in the world. The Mummer games are special customs and rituals conducted most often on New Year’s Eve and at Shrovetide. They are only performed by men, who wear special masks and costumes that have been made for the occasion by each of the participants. The mummers’ ritual dances are said to chase away bad spirits and demons at the beginning of every year, so as to greet the New Year cleansed and charged with positive energy.


Social entrepreneurship

Bulgaria has some experience in establishing and improving a social enterprises (SE) of NGOs and SMEs. Economic and business models nowdays bring prosperity to profit corporations and market countries, but this leads sometimes to social inequalities and emerging of social problems. In Bulgaria the level of development of SE is low – around 1%. That's why BCCID supports NGOs and SMEs in creating social enterprises. BCCID has huge experience in supporting SE through improving of knowledge and competences of NGOs and SMEs for development of SE and arranging activities for improving a visibility and recognition of the SE sector and to make friendly the legal and regulatory frameworks for SE.