Today’s post comes from Jim Tjepkema
I have been keeping in touch by Facebook with a friend from Bulgaria. He posts all kinds of information about Bulgaria on Facebook including the You Tube video found below. This video about village life in Bulgaria reminded me of the villages I visited there as an agricultural volunteer. I visited in person with a number of people who had a life style similar in many ways to the couple shown in the video.
Many of the Bulgarians living in the villages I visited own livestock, although they might not have as many animals as you see in the video. Farms, like the one shown, are located in Bulgarian rural villages and are not scattered around the countryside as they are in our country. Even farms larger than the one shown seem to operate out of farmsteads situated in villages. When I was in Bulgaria they were trying to recover from their years behind the Iron Curtain when all the people who owned farms were forced to give up their land and work at cooperative farms. However, during the Russian occupation people in the villages were allowed keep small plots of land and small numbers of livestock to provide themselves with food.
In the video you see the sheep return to the homestead for the evening. I suspect that the sheep had been taken out to pasture by a herdsman from the village that looks after the livestock of the villagers during the day. I saw villagers going to meet their livestock that was brought back to the town in the evening by someone who had been watching them during the day. During the day I saw livestock being tended by shepherds as they grazed in open fields along the roads.
Apart from the sheep, some other livestock are shown that are being cared for including a donkey. That donkey is probably used to pull a cart. I saw people using donkey carts the way we would use a car or a truck, although some families did own cars and trucks. The sausage, wine, and fermented cabbage shown in video were probably all products of the farm. I think I was served homemade wine at every village home I visited. Also, in many homes, I saw wood burning cook stoves like the one used by that older couple.
Village people in Bulgaria live much the same way small farmers lived in this country many years ago. Most of the occupants of the villages are older. Some are young, although it seems that many of the younger ones have moved to big cities. As I listen to the campaign speeches of some of our Presidential candidates, I wonder if I wouldn’t be better off living in a Bulgarian village producing my own food and wine. I believe that many places like the one shown in the video are now for sale because the older generation of people living in those places is dying off and the younger ones are moving to big cities.
If you decided you no longer want to live in the USA, where would you go?