Bulgarians Make Light of EU Presidency Campaign
While the Bulgarian government has gone full steam ahead with the promotion of its historic first Presidency of the Council of the EU,
which starts in January, some citizens have taken to social media to voice humorous criticism of the campaign./balkaninsight
The Bulgarian Presidency’s Twitter campaign to promote interesting facts about the country under the hashtag #BulgariaIn30Facts has become a particular target of mockery.
Instead of sharing the official posts with fun facts about Bulgaria’s customs, culture and current affairs, social media users have chosen to create their own collages, which present the country in a less romantic and idealised way.
What especially triggered the wave of mockery on social media were official tweets that many found in bad taste, or to be old-fashioned or factually incorrect.
“Bulgarians are very hospitable and you don’t need to bring presents all the time when visiting their homes, but leaving your shoes by the door makes hosts happier,” the Bulgarian presidency advised future foreign visitors, referring to an old custom, typical mostly of rural areas.
In another tweet, the presidency ascribed the supposed “longevity” of Bulgarians to eating traditional yoghurt, although in fact Bulgarian has the shortest life expectancy among all EU member states, according to the EU statistics agency Eurostat.
In response to the campaign, Facebook and Twitter users have created alternative messages, some of which quickly went viral.
Among them is the promotion of a pepper-baker, a traditional tool for baking peppers for the preparation of “zimnina”, winter bottled and jarred food, which Bulgarians have produced to survive the tough winters for centuries.
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