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by gradinski chai Thu Mar 1st, 2007 at 03:29:36 AM EST

Bulgarian Martenitsa


For an explanation of this strange phenomenon...

Greetings to gradinski chai - afew

Today in Bulgaria is Baba Marta (Grandmother March). As I went around some of the streets of Sofia early this morning I saw the first few early risers wearing their traditional martenitsas. These are small emblems made of red and white string. They are either worn on one's coat or tied around the wrist or ankle. They are a token given by friends and family to remind us that the changes of spring are upon us. You wear them until you see the first tree flowering or until you see a stork. Then you take it off and either bury it or hang it on a tree branch. Taking care to do all of this brings good health to the wearer for the year.

I haven't been around very much recently due to some work and some personal situations that have taken much of my time and drained a good bit of my energy. I'm taking today to make a new beginning here at Eurotrib. While I won't be able to comment and post as frequently as before, I will be around.

I'm quite impressed with how much the community has grown over the past five months. My very good Baba Marta wishes to all of the old regulars who work to keep Eurotrib going and to new members that I hope to meet.

HEY!!! Gradinski Chai is back!!! A number of us were wondering where you had gotten to, so very good to "see" you again! Hope all is well in your world! Any chance of seeing some students join us this spring?

And happy Chestita Baba Marta to you!

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia

by whataboutbob on Thu Mar 1st, 2007 at 03:07:21 AM EST
Khan Kubrat declared himself an independent ruler in 632 CE, denying the power of the Turkut khagan. All Bulgarian tribes living in the region of the Black Sea, the Sea of Azov and the Caspian Sea immediately united under him.
So, Kubrat's five sons went hunting accompanied by their sister Houba. When they reached the Danube River, they saw a silver stag. The stag crossed the river and showed the hunting group a ford. A bird came and brought them bad news. The founder of Great Bulgaria was on his deathbed. Kubrat wanted his sons, Bayan, Kotrag, Asparoukh, Kuber and Altsek, to come home in order to maintain some sort of order between the different Bulgarian tribes. The five sons vowed to defend Bulgaria.
Soon after their father's death, the Khazars invaded their lands. The Khazar's Khan Ashiba succeeded in conquering the capital Ababa. Khan Ashiba had managed to take Houba, Kubrat's daughter, prisoner. In order to give her brothers a chance for freedom, she tried to kill herself. She failed however. Her brothers kept their vows: Bayan stayed with Houba and recognised the rule of the Khazars. Kotrag went north, to the River Volga, while Asparoukh, Kuber and Altsek went south to search for a land without oppressors. The brothers secretly arranged with Houba to send her a message, whenever they were able to find free land.
Then Asparoukh sent word, attached with a golden thread to a falcon's leg. Bayan and Houba decided to escape, but they were spotted. Houba had tied a white tread to the falcon's leg. She wanted to set the bird free. Then, just when the falcon was about to take off, an enemy shot Bayan and blood stained the white thread. Nevertheless, brother and sister managed to reach Asparoukh's newfound land. Asparoukh welcomed his dying brother and his sister and tore pieces of white-and-red thread and adorned his soldiers with them.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Thu Mar 1st, 2007 at 03:24:10 AM EST
Really glad to see you, gradinski chai! And to hear you'll be around more from now on!
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Mar 1st, 2007 at 03:24:42 AM EST
Sometimes things just begin to pile up on one, and it's time for a rest.

I won't be able to be here everyday, but I will make a real effort to reconnect with the community. I'm so impressed with the new faces here. And it's great to see people like afew, Sven, Fran, Nomad, Colman, and of course our dear leader.

I'm not teaching the course this semester since I'm on sabbatical and trying to do some research and a little consulting on the side. I'm also trying to get my bearings fixed regarding the future.

...angst can be so much fun. :)

by gradinski chai on Thu Mar 1st, 2007 at 03:47:27 AM EST

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Thu Mar 1st, 2007 at 05:25:38 AM EST
Welcome back, gradinski chai! We missed you!

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Thu Mar 1st, 2007 at 07:21:15 AM EST
Glad to read you again, gradinski and a great Baba Marta to you!  

Give yourself at least one mental break from angst, everyday.  Trust me, I know.

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.

by metavision on Thu Mar 1st, 2007 at 07:51:18 AM EST
Hi grandinski chai, nice to see you back - you have been missed! Hope things will work out well for you. :-)

And a very good Baba Marta to you too.

by Fran on Thu Mar 1st, 2007 at 08:47:07 AM EST
Interestingly enough we Serbs also call it (March) "BABA MARTA"...and she is known as very "moody"...one minute snow next sunny sky...
Not a surprise cause our people (tribes) are both Slavs and also Orthodox Christians (those who are religious of course).
Nice to see you again...

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Fri Mar 2nd, 2007 at 06:30:35 AM EST

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