This life approach is mainly attributed to people from the Shopluk region. It alludes to the cunning way in which they’re said to get their work done and to their relaxed attitude on life’s hardships. Basically, they’re always in search of the easy way.
This is another piece Shopluk of wisdom that has been part of the urban folklore for several decades. On many occasions, their mischievous character and strict beliefs might cause them to act irrationally at times.
Similar to the man who walks into the bar in many Western jokes, Nane, Vute, and Pena are mainstays in colloquial jokes in Shopluk, which often start with something to the effect of, “Nane meets Vute and …” These jokes tend to be made at someone else’s expense, and most Bulgarians will confirm that they have a tendency to tease others for their failures, especially if they feel it’s been deserved. It’s at these times that people might say, “It’s not important that I’m OK, it’s important that Vute is bad.”
When Bulgarians receive a present, they are grateful for their luck. There have been many times in Bulgarian history when the people have faced poverty and deficiency, and today they appreciate all the free things in life.
When you know that something can’t be perfect, you should let it be as imperfect as it can get.
Saving money seems to be in Bulgarians’ blood, and having a savings is considered a necessary precaution for tough times. Even today, when the economic situation has considerably improved compared to the first years after the communist era, Bulgarians are not as eager to get loans and credit cards as perhaps the Americans are, for example.
This proverb reflects the very widely held belief that everyone should stay within their own circle and shouldn’t mingle with those outside of it. As a whole, trying to aggressively climb up the ladder is considered suspicious and is frowned upon.
This literal translation is true, and it serves as a metaphor to say that if you want someone to do a favour for you, then you should give them something first. However, the origins of the saying are rather fascinating. The horo is the national dance of Bulgaria, and there was once a show that travelled the country with captive bears who were taught to do the dance to traditional gadulka music. The shows were banned in the late 1990s due to the cruel treatment of the animals, and the remaining tamed bears are cared for at a recovery centre in a town called Belitsa, which is on the narrow-gauge train route.
For everything someone doesn’t like, there is someone somewhere in the world who does. This expression is used in situations when something seems so absurd and illogical that you can hardly believe it could be useful. Then you remember that every train has its passengers.
This funny twist of the original proverb, “Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today”, is a perfect example of the laid back approach Bulgarians take to life. Although they take pride in being a hard-working nation, working yourself to death is not considered a virtue. Being diligent in what you do and knowing how to enjoy a good meal and a drink after is equally important in the Balkan country.
There are things that you can’t change because they are simply out of your control – such as a dog barking at a convoy; your efforts to stop or change the direction of events are sometimes futile. This expression is mainly used when talking about the political situation in the country, as corruption scandals are a regular part of the news.