Exploring Bulgarian Culture

Contemporary Bulgarian culture is a vibrant blend of millennium-old folk traditions and a more formal culture. Located on a major part of the Balkan peninsula, Bulgaria contains natural wonders like the Balkan Mountains and the Black Sea Coast, and hip, urban centers like Sofia, Bulgaria’s capital. History emanates from Bulgaria’s ancient ruins. The Romans built cities of breathtaking size: bathhouses, walls, and amphitheaters situated in the middle modern cities such as Varna and Plovdiv.

Host a Bulgarian student in the U.S.

People and Community

Family composition in Bulgaria is varied but generally similar to families in U.S. Typically, only the parents and children live in the same household. In some cases, often in rural areas, grandparents are also part of the household. In Bulgaria, it is common for both parents to be professionals, and for both to be financially responsible for the family. Both parents expect to be viewed as equal authority figures in all household decisions.

Meals in Bulgaria may be eaten all together as a family, or separately depending on family members’ schedules. Among siblings, possessions of an individual child are treated as their own and are not understood to be the shared property of siblings. When siblings want to borrow something from each other, it is generally understood that they must ask first.

The types of chores given to high school-aged children in Bulgaria are different depending on each family. In general, there are no chores divided between genders. Teenagers are mostly responsible for taking care of their room. It would be very unusual to have a housekeeper in a Bulgarian home. Cooking responsibilities are not so much gender related as family specific. Cooking as a hobby is becoming trendy among young people in Bulgaria.

Having pets in Bulgaria is very similar to the U.S. Cats and dogs are most common, but people also keep fish, canary birds, small parrots, hamsters.

Language and Communication Styles

Bulgarian is the official language of Bulgaria


n Bulgaria, breakfast is typically light, consisting of coffee, tea, hot chocolate, or milk and a cheese-filled pastry or some other bread item like a sweet roll or toast. Boza (a malt-based drink) is a traditional breakfast beverage typically enjoyed by elderly people in rural areas.

Bulgarians eat pork, chicken, fish, or lamb with most dishes. Yogurt and cheese are also common ingredients. Popular main meals include moussaka (a casserole with pork or lamb, potatoes, tomatoes, and yogurt) and nadenitsa (stuffed pork sausage). Mehana, a traditional Bulgarian eating establishment, is popular throughout the country, and features traditional food, folk music, and dancing.