How charitable is Bulgaria?

Like last year at the same time, today was a big charitable event in Hanoi, the Annual Charity Bazaar held by the Hanoi International Women’s Club. They raise about 100,000$ with this (quite an amount for Vietnam) and support three or four good causes with it.

Every year (nearly) ALL foreign embassies in Hanoi participate with a “country table” where they sell food from their country and distribute information/brochures. Even countries like Moldova or Albania were represented! The only country that was missing was Bulgaria!

Last year I wrote something like: “It  pisses me off that “our” country not only does not give a shit about others but that it does not even want to be a member of the international community here. Appalling and disgusting! I feel compelled to pay a visit to the yokels at the Bulgarian embassy next week and ask them for the reason why we did not participate. Of course, after you see the state of the embassy here and meet its staff you stop being surprised by anything.” I also complained to some people I know in the ministry.

When I contacted the IWC-organisers some weeks ago to see what the situation was this year, they told me that this year theBulgarian embassy would participate with a stall. Whether my moaning and groaning had anything to do with this I don’t know but in any case I was shocked in a very positive way.

So, when I went to the Charity Bazaar today one of my first tasks was to visit the Bulgarian stall.

It is really a huge event and covers the vast grounds of the United Nations International School. It would be wonderful if we could organise something like that in Sofia. Of course, it is privately organised. Here by The Hanoian International Womens Club. We do have such an animal in Sofia but there it is all very low key, “Kaffeekränzchen”-like and no women really want to get involved on a bigger scale.

Here we are: Bulgaria – sandwiched between Brunei and Angola :)

The stall surpassed all my expectations! They had made musaka, meat balls, meat skewers. There was even sirene and kashkaval cheese and Bulgarian red wine! Also some kind of banitsa. I was speechless!

Everything was grilled on the spot. And some “Bulgarian rose” products were on sale – and a little exhibition of our “Martenitsi” and their purpose…wonderful! I am proud of our people at the embassy! There were even some who speak English!

Here is the consul and vice consul. I had visited them already last year at the embassy, shortly after they took up their posts in Hanoi (and luckily before the charity event, otherwise we probably would not talk any more). They look quite Bulgarian, don’t they? :) – But maybe so do I nowadays :(

And our ambassador Evgeni (who cannot afford a Vietnamese hairdresser with his Bulgarian salary – I have recommended mine to him :) )

So, for me this was a great event! One of these rare occasions when I can be 100% proud of and contempt with my Bulgarian fellows, without reservations. My thanks and respects! This gives me new hope again.

May this be the beginning of a new era in the way Bulgaria shows itself to the outside world!

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