site.btaBulgarians in Odessa to BTA: It Is Important to Have Our Voice Heard in Bulgaria
Representatives of the Bulgarian community in Odessa were unanimous that it is important to have the voice of Bulgarians in Ukraine heard in Bulgaria and that the Bulgarian News Agency's (BTA) magazine LIK is helping to make this happen. They attended the presentation of the February issue of LIK titled "The Voice of Bulgarians in Ukraine" on March 3, Bulgaria's National Day, at the Bulgarian Cultural Centre in Odessa. It was presented by BTA Director General Kiril Valchev, Yulia Hristova, Deputy Director of the Bulgarian Media and Communities around the World Directorate, and LIK Editor-in-Chief Yanitsa Hristova.
Dmitry Terzi, Director of the Bulgarian Cultural Centre, told BTA that despite the difficult year, the Bulgarian community in Ukraine is standing firm. "We are standing firm because we hear Bulgaria and it hears us. We try to keep in touch with BTA. We see your coverage of the things we do here and we are very grateful. We hope that things will get better," said Terzi. "Times are very difficult, but we are a nation that has gone through such difficult times with dignity," he added. Children still go to the school in town, despite the anxiety and danger. "Others joined the army and many were killed. I want to do a photo exhibition for all who died, from children to adults," Terzi said.
Prof. Alexander Ganchev, a historian, also commented on the importance of the February issue of the LIK magazine. "Each publication is very important, including from a historical point of view," he said. Such a publication could be read 20, 50 or 100 years from now, and at some point it will become a historical source. "From the point of view of the presentation of Bulgarian culture, especially from the point of view of what is going on in Bulgaria, I think most people imagine the Bessarabian Bulgarians as a Bulgarian culture unchanged from two centuries ago," Ganchev said. What the LIK magazine is doing is very important: "It offers a much broader view of the life of Bessarabian Bulgarians and their culture. Poets and artists are featured, there is an interview with the eminent historian Nikolay Chervenkov. This is a multifaceted presentation of what the Bulgarians in Bessarabia are like, how they live and what their emotions, life and culture are like," Prof. Ganchev said.
Valentina Kaschi, who teaches Bulgarian language and literature at the Bulgarian Sunday school in Odessa, said she believes the February issue of LIK is of particular importance. "I think it is very important because the situation in Ukraine is very complicated now, but the Bulgarian community is there - it lives, works and remembers its country, it cherishes its Bulgarian customs, and loves and longs for its ancestral homeland endlessly," Kaschi said. "The more people in Bulgaria know about the life of Bessarabian Bulgarians in Ukraine - how children learn the Bulgarian language, how rural Bulgarian communities celebrate Bulgarian holidays even in the most difficult times, the more they read about us, the more they will get to know our history here in Ukraine and our traditions," the teacher said, adding that this will promote mutual respect.