With no official visits by representatives from Bulgarian institutions, but very emotionally charged, the National day dedicated to Bulgaria was celebrated informally at Dubai Expo. Since the official celebration had been cancelled, the date February 9, 2022 in the calendar of “Expo 2020 Dubai” remained free. There was no Bulgarian music played on the “Square of Nations” and the national flag was not raised, but in the Bulgarian pavilion and on several stages of the world exhibition, Bulgaria was in the hearts of visitors.

Dozens of greetings on social networks were sent by the teams of the other pavilions. The Bulgarian pavilion became a meeting point for Bulgarians from different parts of the UAE, some of whom had come with their families. They all tried the round bread “pogacha” with savory herbs and some dairy products by Lakrima.

pogacha

The program of the informal celebration included the presentation of our Olympic champions in rhythmic gymnastics, our intangible cultural heritage, and Bulgarian folklore and cuisine.

The “Diamond team” of Bulgaria – the Rhythmic Gymnastics Ensemble which triumphed at the XXXII Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo last year, caused a real furor. The girls were greeted with huge joy and curiosity. Fans of the Ensemble had arrived especially to the Bulgarian pavilion to meet Simona, Erika and Steffi. Unfortunately, Madlene and Laura’s trip to Dubai was canceled at the last minute due to health reasons.

Stefani Kiryakova, Erika Zafirova. Simona Dyankova
Stefani Kiryakova, Erika Zafirova. Simona Dyankova

Local journalists interviewed the Bulgarian girls, and a crew from the Bulgarian National Television covered their participation in two consecutive evenings at Arena Sports Dubai, where their show was supported by the young gymnasts from “Aspire gymnastics Dubai”.

The meetings of our Olympic medalists with the teams of other pavilions at the Expo were quite exciting as they were especially organized for them: the girls were VIP guests to the hosts from the UAE, Japan and Italy.

The Italian pavilion
The Italian pavilion

On February 6, the Bulgarian pavilion welcomed Dr. Irena Todorova, Executive Director of the Regional Center – Sofia, UNESCO. While in Dubai, she met with representatives of some of the 17 countries represented in the centre in Sofia. Its mission is to promote active cooperation in the field of preservation of intangible cultural heritage at national, regional and international level.

The folklore trio TRIGAIDA performed an inspiring concert on February 9 at 8 pm at the Dubai Millennium Amphitheater, which left the audience at “Expo 2020 Dubai” enchanted with the magic of Bulgarian folklore.

Trigaida
Trigaida

Elektrick Me prepared a special multimedia for the TRIGAIDA concert in Dubai, in which they combined elements of abstract art with natural landscapes from Bulgaria.

The cultural program in the Bulgarian pavilion will continue with the participation of the bagpiper Radostin Rusev. He will be playing every night from 6 pm and from 7 pm until February 13, inclusive.

Radostin Rusev
Radostin Rusev