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A Month of Celebration - 19 Oct 2010
            
  I am still quite new to my life in Samodiva, and although I have been here for over 2 years and the holidays happen every year. As each celebration passes I am getting more involved. I suppose intergration into a foreign culture is not something that is done over night, but is a slow gradual process.

I have previously detailed my on adventure during the first Bairam festival that happens at the end of the month of fasting of Ramadan. Well unknown to me, until now at least. The month leading up to the next Bairam (Sacrifice) is pretty much spent holidaying. That is not to say that normal work etc is not happening, just that almost every weekend there is some festival, party, or food offering on the go. This weekend just gone, my village of Samodiva had one of those such celebrations.

I tried to find out the reason for it but it just seemed to happen as the Irish would say for the craic! Good enough for me.

This weekend, every household was invited to donate 10 Lev (5 Euros) which would be spent on food, and all other nearby villages were invited to attend the feast. The main dish (and only dish) was of beef and rice. From what I could tell a whole cow was used and enough rice to feed China for a week. My village probaly only has 200 residents, and certainly more than half did not attend due to work or other commitments. However at least 200 guests turned up to enjoy banter, and a good fees. Not a drop of beer in sight.

After everyone has had there fill, we were each given a bag of the beef and rice to take home. Mine was so big that I have only just finished it 3 days later!

The best thing about the celebration was not the food, or even the gathering of half the village together in one place. More importantly to me, was the fact that not only did I get invited to go along, but I was asked by no less than 4 of my neighbours if I would come along just to make sure. It may have taken nearly two years but I really do feel part of the community of the village rather than some daft foreigner living like an expat!




 
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