Bulgarian-Moroccan Folklore Feast
A real Bulgarian-Moroccan folklore feast was the event organized on November 16 at the residence of the Kingdom of Morocco Ambassador to Bulgaria, H. E. Mrs. Zakia El Midaoui.
The motto of the event was “Show the tradition! Gift a feast!”. Ambassadors and diplomats from foreign missions to Bulgaria, artists and journalists attended the event.
In her speech H. E. Mrs. El Midaoui pointed out:
“I thank all the partners of this joint cultural event called “Show the tradition, let’s celebrate together the cultural diversity”, initiative launched 10 years ago by 21th century Spectre Association.
This present event will, no doubt, contribute to spread the wealth of the Bulgarian culture and learn about the Moroccan cultural diversity heritage.
I am particularly grateful to the 21th century Spectre Association whose co-chairmen are Mrs Ekaterina Pavlova and Mr Hristo Paskalev.
I am also grateful to Mrs Snejana Todorva, President of the Union of the Bulgarian journalists, and to Mrs Rosita Bakalova, the creator of tapestries and President of the Club called “The friends of the tapestry, the Bulgarian embroidery and other arts” and as well as to the Professor of ethnology, Dr in musicology and dance, Mr Nikolay Nikov.
Today, our collection consists of Moroccan and Bulgarian traditional costumes, handy craft products, photographs, tapestry, and embroidery exhibition
Maybe they are not always aware of it, but artists are often our best ambassadors. They create, amongst nations, a better knowledge and hence understanding of each other; because Art reminds us that values are not only monetary.
That why tonight’s joint cultural event reflects also the friendly sentiments of Bulgarian people for the Moroccan people. Cultural exchanges are indeed very significant part of the cooperation between Morocco and Bulgaria, given their role to enhance mutual understanding, trust and friendship between both friendly countries and peoples.
Finally, on behalf of the Moroccan Embassy to the Republic of Bulgaria, I am pleased to welcome all of you here this evening. Tonight’s event marks the 62th anniversary of the three glorious celebrations of the Kingdom of Morocco, which are the Return of Late King Mohammed the Fifth from exile, the Renaissance and the Independence Day.
All these three celebrations symbolize the triumph of the will of the Throne and the Moroccan people in the national fight for the freedom, the independence and the unity.
The guests were greeted by Mrs. Ekaterina Pavlova (right), co-chair of Spektar 21 association. She reminded that the association’s initiative under the motto “Show the tradition! Gift a feast!” has been implemented for several years jointly with various diplomatic missions to Bulgaria and the Union of Bulgarian Journalists. The aim is to achieve mutual awareness of Bulgarian and foreign feasts and traditions. Mrs. Pavlova pointed out another initiative of Spektar 21 association dedicated to the Bulgarian Presidency of the EU Council – the finalization of the Eurosongs project which includes the creation of a music album with songs from 15 European countries sung by Hristo Paskalev aka Paskal, and concert shows under the same name in the whole of Bulgaria and abroad.
In her greeting speech, the UBJ President Mrs. Snezhana Todorova (left) expressed her gratitude for the presentation of Bulgarian and Moroccan traditions at the residence of the Moroccan Ambassador to Bulgaria. She added: “I am very glad that the Union of Bulgarian Journalists has been a partner for several years now of that wonderful initiative of Spektar 21 association. Naturally, we gladly accepted their invitation once again. For me it’s a great privilege and honour to say that in its activities the Union of Bulgarian Journalists has always strived to build, not to destroy. We create bridges and opportunities for mutual familiarization, so I would allow myself to thank once again the esteemed Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco for her hospitality tonight.”
Among the participants was the well-known designer Rositza Bakalova, President of the Friends of the Gobelin, the Bulgarian Embroidery and Other Applied Arts club. She is a laureate of many Bulgarian and international awards including the Enlightener of the Year honorary title bestowed upon her recently. Her gobelin exhibition was displayed in a hall at the residence.
Next came a show of female national costumes from Morocco and Bulgaria. H. E. Mrs. Zakia El Midaoui personally told about the Moroccan Kaftans:
The ethnological diversity of the Moroccan caftan is partly due to climatic differences. Its trend of modernization is based on the imperatives of our time without losing its character, its splendor and its beauty.
The Caftans vary according to the different tribes and human groups and the regional styles are transformed and reach a very high level of perfection.
Moroccan caftan has undergone various influences from the Phoenician dress, from the Roman and Greek draperies: long, wide with pleats that encircle the body with a lot of style.
As Morocco is geographically at the crossroads of the worlds and stops in the Atlantic Ocean, it was influenced by the historic trade routes, the Arabic sea routes, the caravans crossing the Silk Road and the trade across the Volga River in Russia. This explains the different origins of the caftan, which aims to highlight the beauty of women.
The Moroccan caftans are, generally, hand-made with silken thread, silver or gold thread, by handicrafts designers. They are worn throughout all seasons and at any age and their prices vary depending on the quality of the fabric, the design and the work of the handicraftsmen.
The embroidery on the sleeves, the collar, the front and the sides of the caftans are the most expensive part of the caftan because they require a lot of work and time to be realized by the special designer. Simple caftans are worn by women at home and the most luxurious ones are worn at weddings and other similar occasions.
The Moroccan princesses wear them during official ceremonies, and women Ambassadors wear caftans when they are received by His Majesty the King during their appointment and when they present their letters of credence to the Head of State of the country in which they are accredited.
The Bulgarian costumes were presented by the Professor of Ethnology Nikolay Nikov who is also a Doctor of Music and Dance Art. He drew the attention towards the details in the male and female costumes which speak without words about their owners. The textile decoration is placed on the open parts. It may signal that a woman is eligible or that she is married and has a certain number of children.
Male and female costumes from Shoppe, Macedonian and Pirin regions were presented. Girls and boys from the Svetlina folk dance ensemble of the Svetlina 1940 Cultural Centre not only showed costumes from various Bulgarian regions but performed dances from those regions, as well.
Finally the guests tasted Moroccan specialties and the country-specifiic peppermint tea.