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Bulgaria is topic of International Brown Bag Lunch Feb. 6
Monday, January 30, 2012

Fire Dancing
Bulgarian fire dancing, or fire twirling.

By Roger Coda

A unique look into the venerable European country Bulgary will be presented by Dr. Reneta Barneva, Computer and Information Sciences professor, at the Monday, Feb. 6 International Brown Bag Luncheon at noon in the Fenton Hall English Reading room.

Her talk, “Bulgaria – The Best-Kept Secret,” will reveal little-known information about Europe’s oldest country that’s also one of the newest members of the European Union. 

For example, the inventor of the contemporary electronic computer, John Atanassof, is of Bulgarian origin and historical figure Spartacus was born in the Bulgarian town of Sandanski. Found in Bulgarian history and folklore is the mysterious phenomena of Nestinarstvo, or fire-dancing.  

The ancient Thracian tribe worshipped the god Dyonissios as the patron of wine and have traditions of grape cultivation and wine production. A winery found in the region of Preslav dates back to the 7th century.  

A Bulgarian song was one of 10 songs designated as being representative of Earth and placed on a laser disc that the 1970s Voyager spacecraft carried on a mission to communicate with other planets. The country’s Valley of Roses ranks as one of the biggest producers of rose oil in the world. Environmental artist Christo is of Bulgarian descent.

Bulgaria, located in southeastern Europe, has a population of 7.5 million who reflect Slavic, Thracian and Bulgarian roots and encompasses nearly 43,000 square miles. The language is Slavic and the Cyrillic alphabet was specifically created for Bulgarian language near the end of the 9th century AD.

Drinks will be furnished at the luncheon; visits may bring their own lunch or a snack. The event is free and open to the public.

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