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Lesson Transcript

Yuri: Iva, what are we looking at in this lesson?
Iva: In this lesson, we will look at Bulgarian television, Bulgarians abroad, music, sports, and international pop culture.
Yuri: That sounds like a lot of stuff. Where should we start?
Iva: Popular TV!
Yuri: Sounds great, but we should say that as popular culture changes quickly and often drastically, this lesson focuses on the most recent trends in pop culture.
Iva: That's right! Please keep in mind we recorded this lesson in 2012.
Yuri: Ok.

Lesson focus

Yuri: So popular TV. In Bulgaria, the main form of entertainment is television.
Iva: There are four major TV channels — BNT, BTV, Nova Television, and TV 7.
Yuri: These four TV channels influence everything from political campaigns to fashion to international relations. One of the most important aspects of TV in Bulgaria is the serial. Right?
Iva: Yes. Bulgarian serials are usually foreign soap operas, but recently new Bulgarian productions like “Стъклен дом”, "Glass House," Are also becoming very popular.
Yuri: I've noticed that many popular daily expressions can be traced back to a particular episode or character in the serial.
Iva: Right. It happens all the time. When a new clothing style is featured in a serial, you'll see people wearing it within a week.
Yuri: Glass Home is a family drama story with criminal features. It shows the Bulgarian society as it appears in the real life. Viewers can see everything that is happening in Bulgaria by watching it.
Iva: So don't miss an episode or you won't have anything to talk about!
Yuri: Right. Content among the TV channels can also vary a bit, but in general it includes kids and variety TV programs in the morning...
Iva: ...General entertainment programs, movies, and reruns in the afternoon...
Yuri: ...And news, serials, sports, films and talk shows in the evening.
Iva: Ok. So our next topic is popular Bulgarians abroad.
Yuri: Oh, that's an interesting topic. Bulgarians often occupy surprising roles on the international scene.
Iva: From Veselin Topalov, Bulgarian Grandmaster World Champion in chess, to...
Yuri: ...Christo Javacheff, known worldwide as Christo, one of the greatest avant-garde artists of our time. Bulgarians are changing the world in unexpected ways.
Iva: With that short introduction to Bulgarians abroad...
Yuri: ...The number four thing you should know about Bulgaria is...
Iva: Bulgarian soccer players!
Yuri: Hristo Stoichkov, Dimitar Berbatov, and, a long time before them, Georgi Asparuhov, nicknamed Gundi.
Iva: That's right. They are all famous around the world.
Yuri: Hristo Stoichkov has arguably become the best-known Bulgarian footballer of all time.
Iva: But now, Dimitar Berbatov currently ranks as one of the most famous Bulgarian football players.
Yuri: Really?
Iva: Yeah.
Yuri: I didn't know that. Cool.
Iva: Gundi also became extremely popular at home and abroad, having had offers from clubs in Italy and Portugal and having won the Bulgarian football player Number 1 Award for the 20th Century.
Yuri: Very cool.
Yuri: So what's next?
Iva: Popular music.
Yuri: Where I'm from, the most popular Bulgarian genres are folk music and classical music.
Iva: Well, the most internationally famous folk music songs are the ones by the women's vocal group “Мистерията на българските гласове” or The Mystery of the Bulgarian Voices.
Yuri: I also really like the singer Varla Balkanska. She has a famous song, doesn't she?
Iva: Yes. It's called “Излел е Дельо хайдутин” and it is very famous. It was included on the Voyager Golden Record.
Yuri: Incredible. So with that the number three thing you need to know is Bulgarian pop culture is that Bulgarian music is diverse.
Iva: That is very true. From rock to rap to pop folk, Bulgarian music has something for everyone.
Yuri: Some famous musicians and bands include Maria Ilieva...
Iva: ...“Каризма”, “Ъбсурт”, “Уикеда”, “Хиподил”, “Азис”, “Изихия”, “Остава”.
Yuri: Just to name a few.
Iva: So what do we have next?
Yuri: Popular sports.
Iva: Are we going to talk about football again?
Yuri: Of course we are. If you know anything about sports, then you know it means soccer.
Iva: We say football in Bulgarian.
Yuri: That's right. Here, football is more than a sport. It's a cultural phenomenon.
Iva: When there's an important football game, it's almost like a national holiday. Everyone is at the stadium or in front of the TV.
Yuri: But, even though soccer is the overwhelming favorite, other sports are played in Bulgaria. Did you know that, Iva?
Iva: Of course! Bulgaria fields one of the leading volleyball teams Europe and in the world.
Yuri: And thanks to Neshka Robeva and others like her, rhythmic gymnastics has always been popular.
Iva: Bulgarians have made many significant achievements in athletics, weightlifting, and wrestling.
Yuri: Ok. The number two most important thing you need to know about Bulgaria right now is...
Iva: Bulgarian winter sport resorts!
Yuri: Even if you prefer only to watch winter sports, visiting some of the Bulgarian winter sport resorts is a great option.
Iva: They offer cheap deals for excellent quality.
Yuri: So if you want to spend the winter in Bulgarian mountain resorts, they present excellent conditions for winter sports.
Iva: Something I highly recommend.
Yuri: You'd better start planning now.


Yuri: So what do we have last?
Iva: International pop culture.
Yuri: Iva, what's your favorite perfume?
Iva: Chanel. It's French.
Yuri: And what's your favorite makeup?
Iva: L'Oreal.
Yuri: And your favorite designer?
Iva: H&M.
Yuri: That's what I thought. As you can see, international brands are very well known in Bulgaria.
Iva: Yes. Louis Vuitton, Jimmy Choo, Prada, and Dior are all very well known in Bulgaria. And a tip for you guys with Bulgarian girlfriends. We, or any woman in the world for that matter, would love to receive one of these as a present.
Yuri: So what's the number one thing you need to know about international pop culture in Bulgaria?
Iva: That we are very connected to what goes on in the international pop scene.
Yuri: Got you. I know that, like anywhere in the world, iPhone is very popular in Bulgaria now.
Iva: Isn't it a mass hysteria?
Yuri: Just like in the U.S. The major mobile operator, Globul, started offering the device in 2009. Before that time, Bulgarians have had to rely on unofficial channels to get an iPhone.
Iva: Well, that's our top five pop culture topics.

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