Before I came to live in Bulgaria I had little notion of what pop folk, or Chalga, is and what kind of connotations it has. In order to improve my Bulgarian I decided on buying a television; a thing that I have managed to resist for the past 15 years of my life. In any case, I got acquainted with this phenomenon long before I could understand the lyrics or base my opinions on other people's judgement.
It sounded interesting to me, although I must confess that most singers look dangerously like porn stars. But maybe that's a matter of taste. I have grown to like some of this so-called pop folk. But upon mentioning this, I found out it is a reason for heated discussions. My mother, who is Bulgarian, despises it with a passion. In her view this music is for drunks and low class people. Furthermore, it deprives Bulgarians of their culture since, except for the lyrics, there is nothing Bulgarian about it. Considering the 500 year Turkish occupation, she thinks it's a disgrace to label oriental sounding music as a national product. My very intelligent thirty something friends are also not part of the fan club. To them pop folk is similar to a sect, displaying a womanising and very animalistic way of life. All this made me determined to do a little research.
Some friends of friends had a relative visiting from the States who insisted she wanted to spend her first evening in Bulgaria in BIAD. I jumped at this idea and planned an evening on the far side of the world. Dressed for the occasion, I hailed a cab. Upon mentioning the coordinates of BIAD, Gurko and Rakovksi street, the taxi driver frowned. "You are not going to BIAD, are you?!" the man asked with horror in his eyes. I asked for the reason for his reaction. "Normally I don't take people going to, or coming from BIAD. They only give me trouble and more then once, I have thrown them out of my car." Reassuring him that I was an under-cover journalist, he relaxed and smiled. He was part of a conspiracy now, and dared to talk freely.
He gave me the whole low-down of things I have heard before. Arriving at the address he said: "Look out for yourself, and be careful." So there I was, huge bodyguards asked to look in my skimpy bag. There was nothing more then money, cigarettes and my house keys. I paid the three leva entrance fee and descended into the venue. There were bodyguards everywhere, ones that worked for BIAD and ones that had private clients. BIAD is said to be a favourite hang out for the underworld. Our party had reserved a luxurious Turkish lounge that gave a great view. People were dancing wildly on the tables. A live gypsy band supported the already loud music. As entertainment, belly dancers were dancing with clients. I could very clearly see, the seeing and being seen vibe. But although the venue is quite nice, most of the public could have spent a little more time in front of the mirror before leaving. Men with shaking beer bellies, dressed in slippers, a t-shirt and shorts, were making strange oriental movements. I guess the fact that they have a lot of money in those shorts, makes the doormen lenient on the dress code. Most women weren't dressed any better. I would have expected more plastic women, but an informant told me most of them were still at the seaside.
Finally, I spotted some Anna Nicole Smith look-alikes, who I thought to be very young. They were nervously giggling eyeing the wrong types of men. It all looked like the meat market from hell. After an hour or so, I had seen enough and decided to leave the people to their table dancing. I think the most important thing about this debate is not to tell the youngsters that they are degenerates if they listen to pop folk (because a lot of them do), but instil in them the importance of Bulgarian culture and traditions. Like anything in life, the fact that one goes to McDonalds once in a while doesn't mean one doesn't appreciate a good foie gras. True, McDonalds attracts a certain type of person, just like pop folk does, but it doesn't mean every visitor has the same way of life.
Does not pose a threat to life on the planet. The Sun is entering an increasingly violent period of its normal 11-year cycle. This interval of high activity, known as the solar maximum, is expected to peak in 2013.
Sofia Echo Media is part of the Economedia Group.
The news and information content on this website is provided by our editorial team and is copyrighted.
Any unauthorised reproduction or use of it is strictly forbidden. Reproduction of this website's content is permitted only
with prior written permission from the Editor-in-Chief, should be propertly acredited and provide an active link back to our site.
Comments posted by the website's visitors are independent of the editorial materials and do not represent the views of sofiaecho.com.
Sofia Echo Media cannot be held responsible for the statements contained in visitor comments.
The percentаge change in the shares' prices are based on the price of the last transaction of the current session compared to the
price of the last transaction of the previous session. Bulgarian Stock Exchange data is not real-time, but updated every 15 minutes,
and should not be used as a basis for decisions about buying or selling stock options.