Bulgarian Guide to Indian Happiness
The story about the journey of a Bulgarian woman into the Indian society
Time has brought humans closer and power, on the other, is breaking everything apart. This project is a small effort to bring back the joy in this torn apart world.
A Bulgarian woman living miles away from the land of Gods has a special connection with India. This is her journey into the Indian society and everyday life. India lives in her mind and few Indians, inside her heart.
A 41-year-old woman living in the Bulgarian port city of Varna. Her bloodline is purely Bulgarian yet she found her forever family in India. Iglika has a Punjabi brother with his family in Chandigarh, a Rajput son whose family lives in Hyderabad and best friend from Mumbai. She has never met them in person yet this family means the world to her. Iglika has forever tied her Bulgarian soul with India. It is this Indian family that make sure she has a reason to live every day. She knows India better and deeper than many Indians. From oceans away, Iglika can see country aching for joy and peace. She witnesses the culture and society of both the countries and wants her Bulgarian roots to guide Indians towards happiness. The words below are a translation of her embellishment towards India.
One person pierced her heart so deep that it was enough to let souls from another country find serenity inside her.
What bonds you with this country?
It has changed my life since 2013. I was heartbroken by an Indian during that time. He planted the seed of Indian lifestyle inside me but never stayed back to see it grow. I grew sick and helpless after he left. My brother, whom I met along at the same time, mailed me Indian medicines and helped my spirit to revive. He was my savior back then and he is my savior today. Then I met my son and other friends as well. Eventually, friends and families of these people became my family as well. This bond is getting stronger with each passing day. Before these people, I knew India only for the movies. But now, I feel I live in this country among millions of other Indians. I have my parents and real brother back here in Bulgaria but I call my Indian family my home.
It takes a lifetime for someone to love what is not their's but it took her just one moment to find what's unseen
What should India learn from Bulgaria?
India has colors of life on one side but things are darker on the other. There is hardly any gender equality, child safety or respect for women. Awareness resides only among the pages and nobody cares to implement them. People should learn the values of being polite with others. Respect never lowers your status and Indian's don't understand this. They respect those whom they please to. They celebrate the festivals and then forget the compassion. Love and care can bring in peace, safety, and joy among all. Somehow it gets hard for them to share these with everyone else. There is an ardent need to teach Indian kids about sexual education and chronic ill-effect of social prejudices like dowry and superstition. Bulgarians are depressed and pessimists but we understand the importance of values. We cherish the Indian cultural vivacity. That is why it hurts more to witness when this beautiful land suffers from her own people.
Perfection is a rare bounty, ever rarer to share and she did it.
What is a successful India according to you?
India needs another Independence and this time, from what's holding them back. I want an India where people can live and not struggle to live. I cannot emphasize enough on the fact that India is the greatest country to live in and this country has some of the best people (few of them are my family) but Indian themselves have to realize this also. Success would be when liberal views are not hated, social prejudices are erased and law wins over religion. No country is perfect in this world but no country is special like India. I want each and every Indian to feel this with me. Indians know what to do to make things right but not taking enough measures to implement them.
She is driven by the fire waiting to douse the darkness spread across the Indian society.
What is an impactful education in India?
Studying only to earn money after growing up is not education. A country with real educational values always knows what is good for them and what is not. Education has the power to successfully upbring a society. Indian educational system is flawed I feel. Children have good marks but hardly any ethics. I feel parents should be their first teacher, not school or tutors. Women education is hugely lacking in India. They should be made aware of their true power. Education is the only solution to poverty, rape problem, communal bloodshed and all the hatred among Indians.
She knows the trail and all she now wants is to show others how to follow.
How can Bulgaria teach India to respect women?
Respecting women should be inherent. We contribute as much as men do. In India, women are taught only to become mothers. Men can become soldiers, writers and players but women hardly can dream about becoming anything else. They are educated only to be married and raise a family. Here, equality leads our society but not in India. Sadly, most of these women raise their kids in the way they grew up. Bulgarian kids are always taught about these values of equality and respect in their school. I feel India should make concurrent changes as well. It is in the hands of a woman to nourish the future of a country by equal contribution.
India is one big home to her one big dismantled family.
What is the impact of western culture in India?
I find Indian have lured themselves to the easy ones. Western culture is not all about movies, dress, and technologies. Bulgarian children are taught philosophy in their class, we learn to have an open state of mind and love other life forms. I feel this should also be an impact of western culture in India. Sexual desire is an inherent nature of a human and Indian should learn to deal with it like we all do. On the flip side India has impacted the world in ways Indians can't imagine. People are fascinated by Indian culture, cuisine, and their spirituality. I myself pray to Indian Gods even though I am a Christian.
She also has a religion and it teaches how to live and love.
How do you solve Hindu-Muslim problem in India?
Indians need to be Indian first. It is their own country, their culture and their people who are suffering. God exists in every country and inside each individual but I don't know why some Indians fight over it. Religion is too powerful in India, here it is laws. In Bulgaria, men are not allowed to practice polygamy, children cannot be beaten and no public display of bloodshed. We live by the rules and we are at peace with everyone. It is not that hard to greet people with a smile and be proud of your country.
Her goals were clear and her feelings for India, even clearer.
Where do you want to lead India?
India is truly a special country. It is so close to me I can't imagine my life without Indian influence. My family is my biggest inspiration that Indians are one of the nicest people on Earth. They have true spiritual power and can show you what is true love. I want every Indian to be like my family. I want every kid to be like my India son. I can only imagine the atrocities women and children go through in that country. I live alone in Bulgaria yet I always feel safe in here. I really want Indians to be proud of their country. My dream is to spend the rest of my life in India with my Indian family and educate Indians who are deprived of their soul.
Patriotism can never be taught and her love for India can never be broken.
What is the Indian version of being alive?
This is only why I fell in love with India. It taught me how to live, love and forgive. Nobody but Indians know the secret of happiness, I feel. Amidst all that's shaking the holy land, these people always find a way to smile. There is darkness in every country. But nothing stops Indians from celebrating, sharing and spreading the small bits of love. Indians bring their country wherever they go because no other country can dig deeper into the roots of the emotional universe better than an Indian. India might be a developing country to the world but look inside them, you'll see a different picture.
From the Author's note
There are 195 countries in this world and Iglika found her tranquility in India. She is disturbed because she cares, she is speaking because she knows and she is connecting because she chooses. Her wits say memories are repairable with Indians and her smile says everything else. Her power believes in selfless love can change blemished time. Beauty can be forced, mistakes can be punished but a true heart can never be forged. Her dreams are clear as the spring water which is to live in India among her family and educate the underprivileged ones.
She can be reached through 'Inquiry Form' in the Contribute column. She would love to get an opportunity to share her knowledge and kindness among her Indians.
- Thank you
If you loved what you read, you can buy the soft copy cover.
Every contribution makes a difference.
Art of Outdoor Poetry
Baithak and Beyond
"Poetry encompasses everything" - Ankita singh, co-founder
This world has infinite ways to create a masterpiece and one of that way is how they all got created. Few things bring these people close which are friendship, joy, and love. But only one thing binds them together and that is poetry. Let's embrace their journey with them.
"all of us have a cathartic experience"- saad ahmed shaikh, co-founder
What is Baithak and Beyond?
What it is, is fairly simple to explain. It is a group of people who come together to share the joy of poetry. But what it can become has no simple answer. These people have unequivocal powers to control something great yet simple i.e human emotion. They know their words can entice other souls to get lured into poetry.
Kala Kollective, Pune
This is one of the places where they host their event once every month. They have only one requirement for their location: ambience. Sometimes they move under open sky, sometimes in a garden and in this particular case a paid location in the city.
different roads yet one milestone
People come here from various backgrounds. Students, employees, engineers, poets, accountants and the list is long. When religion, caste, and the color is making differences to the outside world, here it strengthens their love for the poetry. Their identity is their words in here. And the only rule is to share. Sharing can be through reciting, appreciating or simply listening.
"There is a civilization in poetry also"- shahid khan, member
What they have to say?
Watch this video that iterates their journey in their words.
"art should beget some sensational value"- dhruv kalita, member
Fun is watching and learning
Baithak and Beyond is different because here you learn how to meet and mix with people of various mentality and ideology. Also, they are special because they teach you how to express yourself with words. And by teaching, they mean encouragement. They make you realize the importance of poetry by participating, expressing and evaluating with them.
Reward is applause and a cup of chai
Here, simplicity prevails till the end. These people know some deep secrets and one of them is how to enjoy your surrounding. There is no flabbergast cheering, gift or podium finish. You come here with your poem and you'll leave with an urge. The urge to participate in the next Baithak and Beyond session. There is the comfort of tea, natural breeze and some talented souls keeping you warm with their poetry.
Enjoy few of their collections
"I get redemption in two lines only"- Ankit singh, member
support is constant along with their bond
These people are not here just for the applause and words. They are a family where trust and friendship lead everyone. For them, relationship means laughing together, love means their bond and respect earns them the gift of expression. If they can't define the power of poetry then nobody will.
Baithak and Beyond was initially started by Ankita Singh and Saad Ahmed Shaikh of Wadia College, Pune. They first came up with this idea to bring together a group where they share their poetry, stories, and letters, and then engage in conversation, laughs and eventually end up making new friends. Now they are an ever growing tree that has grown new branches in the form of new members.
And few more!!
"it gave that slight touch of professionalism"- Adwait mehta, member
What to learn from Baithak and Beyond?
Learning is an integral part of Baithak and Beyond. They are closest thing to saying 'restrictions are only for the weak'. Because here nothing holds the mind from reaching infinity and the heart from feeling it. There are so many open mic and stage poetry shows being held across the country but they are special.
Because they show you how to be special. They show that making mistake is an integral part of growing up and there is no shame in committing one. They teach you how to love the rain, the cold breeze and the sudden jolts of appreciation. They tell you, your creativity matters in this wide-open world. Most important, they make you find a home away from your home.
Simple!! their words will grab your heart and make you feel you belong with them and there. They know the magic to steal your stale face into a smile. Ask them what is the magic and they will tell you: just express yourself.
Baithak and Beyond is available on Facebook. They would love to hear from you
From the Author's note ~
Baithak and Beyond truly holds the potential to be the greatest community of poets and orators in India. Their beauty is how they prudently engage themselves in conversation and appreciating the work of others. It feels one can learn million different ways to show humanity and share the love from them. Being a community of growing members, they always make sure to take care of each other. Most important, creativity and culture receives limelight amidst them. This is something Global Culture Project always yearns for.
Care for this world the Palawan way
Palawan is an archipelagic province located in the Philippines. There are places in this world where humans still keep a peaceful symbiotic relationship with nature. Palawan is a prime example of one such place. It is a place where Mother Earth is still in her pristine form and people still care for this world. An exclusive interview has revealed how these people have made it possible to keep their part of the world a Heaven teeming with life.
What is life there?
Mari Felices has grown up in Taytay, Palawan in the Philippines. Her childhood is filled with memories of her beautiful island home, those clear blue water and engaging in communal cleaning activities of the place. She has graduated from Palawan State University and earned her Bachelor of Entrepreneurship. Presently she is working in Hong Kong as a governess. Mari dreams of opening her travel company in Taytay, Palawan. Her hobbies include poetry, photography, and singing. Mari mainly expresses herself with words. She is one of those great human beings alive who shows what's important on this Earth right now.
what's special about taytay, palawan?
What is Palawan?
Palawan is happiness and peace. Palawan is an unmatched beauty. It is a place far away from overcrowding, pollution, and material dissatisfaction. People give back as much as they receive from Mother Earth. There are well preserved natural resources and ancient history. Every sight feels like a flawless painting. There is a perfect balance between sustainable development and exploitation, something we need to learn.
what connects you with Palawan?
Palawan is the best place to live in, why?
Because Taytay, Palawan is a paradise still unexplored. This is a place where you'll witness what is natural beauty. Everything you need to survive co-exists in this beautiful balance of topography. People here have passed on the importance of their place for generations. Words are not enough to describe the incessant breeze of satisfaction, ecstasy, and calmness lurking in this part of our world. There are communities failing to preserve their environment, leading to a destructive chain of events. Palawan can pose a fine example to such communities.
Poblacion, Taytay, Palawan : Mari's hometown.
What is life there?
What is there to do in Taytay?
Food is the best part of Palawan experience. There are delicious seafood, lobsters, crabs, shells, and fishes to die for. It is a haven for fresh and cheap seafood delight. Apart from food, there are activities that both thrilling and mesmerizing. Island-hopping, snorkeling, swimming in hidden lagoons, kayaking, Dolphin watching (in Malampaya) are some of the experiences you can have in this place. Then there are numerous waterfalls, caves, and beaches to visit and see the time fading in tardiness.
Underground Rivers of Puerto Princesa, Palawan is one of the 7 Wonders of Nature
What can Taytay teach this world?
How does Taytay care for the environment?
It's not that hard to care and love for our environment. It should start with the government officials. They run the country and they have the power to motivate their people towards anything, and here its conservation of nature. There are always few among the mass who act as a pest towards a positive ideology. Here in Taytay, this 'few' have engaged themselves in illegal logging and cutting, fishing by using dynamite, cyanide etc and other destructive methods. Thus in Palawan, there are sea patrols who look out for such crimes. The government takes strict care and initiatives to allow the people to realize their duties and responsibilities.
Attraction in Taytay: Fuerza de Santa Isabel (Taytay Fort)
Every house should be responsible for their own garbage disposal. How?
"Tapat Ko, Linis Ko" campaign by Philippines government to ensure clean and green environment.
What are the differences between Palawan and rest of the world?
It is the differences that actually unite us all. There are various rituals, beliefs, traditions and customs in every community. But they all should have the similar motive to ensures a safe, clean and happy life. In Palawan, people from the young age are made to know the value of environment, cleanliness and their beautiful homeland. Every country is beautiful in their own way. But Palawan is the most beautiful place on this Earth one can ever dream to visit and settle in.
How do you feel when you see Taytay and other parts of Palawan?
Describe Palawan to those who have never heard of the place
Taytay, Palawan is a very simple place. It is for people who want simple things to enjoy life with. There is everything here you need to find peace and have a satisfied and fulfilled life. Needs and desires of a man have very simple definitions out here. Nature has kept everything in sync. Here people are not hungry for power and money. Laws protect and restrict the consequence of human activity. There is greenery, ample food sources, clear blue water, magnificent landscape and seascape, and generous people that make this place complete in every way.
From the Author's note
Mari has witnessed nature is the purest form, something most of us only imagine. She has seen how simplicity has the power to maintain and sustain the very basic amenities required for survival. Her place Palawan is devoid of major pollution, crowd and devastation, all that has led to something very beautiful, called happiness. It is high time that we dig hard into protecting our nature and welcome anybody who can inspire. Mari has done the same to Global Culture Project and thus she can do the same to all.