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Culture & Identity of Bulgaria

Introduction

The culture and way of life in Bulgaria is one that is based on historic culture, but also that is changing due to an ever evolving economy as many people are moving to the cities and today nearly three quarters of the population lives in cities today.

Today most jobs in Bulgaria are in the cities and there is a significant loss of agricultural jobs and a growing number of jobs in the industrial and services sectors. This movement to the cities and jobs in industries with more regular hours means the way of life in Bulgaria today is growing more and more similar to the way of life found in many other European countries.

Today a huge number of people work from about 9:00 am to about 5:00 pm as schools also have a regular schedule. These standard hours mean life is more segregated into work time and personal time, but life is still all about family, friends, and community.

Although jobs and schedules have changed, free time is consumed with family and friends. While many people still spend this time at home, as entertainment options expand, especially in the cities, how free time is spent is changing.

Identity

Most ethnic Bulgarians see themselves as "Bulgarian," which is primarily defined by their ethnicity and language. This leaves any ethnic minority in the country, even those with citizenship, outside the definition of being "Bulgarian." The ethnic Turks who live there accept this, as they generally see themselves as being Turkish, but other minorities in the country struggle to find an identity as there is no large group to unite with a distinct identity.

Some people view themselves as "Bulgarian," tying themselves to the nation, but the ethnic Bulgarians don't generally define the term in this way so don't generally include ethnic minorities in this definition, adding to the struggles of minority groups to find a unique identity.

This page was last updated: November, 2013