Thursday, June 9, 2016

Carpe Diem #973 Bulgaria

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

After we have visited the so called "Inner Six" (the founding countries of the EU) we are now starting to discover the other countries that are part of the EU. These are all countries I haven't visited myself so I just try to bring those countries closer to you.

Today we are visiting Bulgaria which became part of the EU back in 2007. Let me tell something about Bulgaria.
Bulgaria, officially the Republic of Bulgaria(, is a country in southeastern Europe. It is bordered by Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, and the Black Sea to the east. With a territory of 110,994 square kilometers (42,855 sq mi), Bulgaria is Europe's 16th-largest country.
Organized prehistoric cultures began developing on Bulgarian lands during the Neolithic period. Its ancient history saw the presence of the Thracians, Greeks and Romans. The emergence of a unified Bulgarian state dates back to the establishment of the First Bulgarian Empire in 681 AD, which dominated most of the Balkans and functioned as a cultural hub for Slavs during the Middle Ages. With the downfall of the Second Bulgarian Empire in 1396, its territories came under Ottoman rule for nearly five centuries. The Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78 led to the formation of the Third Bulgarian State. The following years saw several conflicts with its neighbors, which prompted Bulgaria to align with Germany in both world wars. In 1946 it became a one-party socialist state as part of the Soviet-led Eastern Bloc. In December 1989 the ruling Communist Party allowed multi-party elections, which subsequently led to Bulgaria's transition into a democracy and a market-based economy.

Bulgarian Flag

Bulgaria's population of 7.4 million people is predominantly urbanized and mainly concentrated in the administrative centers of its 
28 provinces. Most commercial and cultural activities are centered on the capital and largest city, Sofia. The strongest sectors of the economy are heavy industry, power engineering, and agriculture, all of which rely on local natural resources.

As you all know haiku is the art of describing nature in just three lines. Nature is the main theme of haiku. So after this little introduction about Bulgaria I love to dive into Bulgarian nature and what I have seen on images ... that nature is breathtaking.

Kamchia Biosphere Reserve
It's an awesome reserve and the nature is really beautiful. The Kamchia Biosphere Reserve, is a UNESCO-listed biosphere reserve on the northern coastline of Bulgaria, comprising the floodplain at the mouth of the Kamchia River. Consisting largely of alluvial longose groves, (or the Longoz as it is also known), but also featuring some of the Black Sea coastline,

Kamchia Biosphere Reserve (2)
babbling of the river
resonates through the forests
ah! nature's perfume

© Chèvrefeuille

This Kamchia reserve makes me think ... this must be how the earth looked in prehistoric times ... awesome.

The Black Sea
as far as I can see
the blue sea surrounded by mountains
black like the night

© Chèvrefeuille

This Bulgarian nature is really overwhelming and breathtaking ... must be easy to create haiku on this beautiful nature.

As I do in every episode of our Europe Ginko I try to find haiku poets living (or from) the countries we visit. 

The first Bulgarian haiku poet which came in my sight as I was searching the Internet was Ginka Biliarska, a very gifted haiku poetess who unfortunately died in 2007. Short before her death she wrote a "jisei" or "death poem":

Къде ли е сега Душата ми?
Дано да е на топло
в някой бъдещ спомен …

Where is my Soul now?
Hopefully somewhere warm
in a future memory …

© Ginka Biliarska

Ginka Biliarska (1946-2007)
Here are few other haiku created by Ginka:

Паутины трещин,
паутины морщин -
в зеркале все сохранилось.

Web cracks,
web of wrinkles -
all preserved in the mirror.


Неизказаните думи – като прилепи
предусетили с ужас
че се развиделява

Unspoken words - like bats
realizing with horror
it’s getting brighter


Прокапва роза
Животът се скъси –
макар с едно листенце

dripping rose
life gets shorter -
albeit with a leaf



и трясъкът от паднала висулка
точно в полунощ

drop, drop, drop…
a falling icicle is marking


зайче в клетка
сама тревата идва-
два пъти на ден

rabbit in a cage
only the grass is coming -
two times a day

© Ginka Biliarska

The above haiku by Ginka Biliarska were found at: The Living Haiku Anthology a wonderful website by the way, worth visiting. It will be one of my sources this month.

I hope I have inspired you. This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until June 14th at noon (CET). I will try to post our next episode, Cyprus, later on. For now .... have fun!


  1. Carpe Diem European Ginko #973 Bulgaria:

    a Bulgarian folktale
    in a forest clearing
    great stone mushrooms