Dancing in the Streets

This is fun.

Kay Hannahan, who put that video together, also has a number of others about her time in Bulgaria as a Peace Corps Volunteer 2009-2011. If you click on her name you can see the list of her videos. She’s quite an artist with a flip phone. I really liked the one called “bulgaria: the way i saw it.” It got me to thinking… about Turkey and Armenians, the Roma people, Selma, Ferguson, and Baltimore.

Kay was in a different part of the country from Pazardjik where Stormy and I served. She was in the southern mountains, closer to the Turkish border. Her video on the way she saw Bulgaria was colorful, fun, musical and full of smiles. Beautiful sunsets, mountain vistas. It was a delightful recap of a wonderful experience. And yet, in the comments, many of the opinions written by Bulgarians expressed dissatisfaction with the way their country was presented. Ethnic differences, cultures, race. A number complained that it would be like making a video of the poorest parts of the U.S. (or specifically poor and disadvantaged minority neighborhoods) and calling it “America: The Way I Saw It.” (OK, here’s one. No comparison, I say.)

Oh, those Bulgarians! How backward, how incorrect! What, they don’t like people who dance to different music and who wear different clothes? We here in our advanced country, on the other hand, have established civil rights. We no longer express hatred and disgust for people who look different from us or have the wrong religion. It’s great being superior, don’t you think?

We’ve come so far from Selma. But how far, really? As far as Ferguson and Baltimore, with a long, long way to go.

5 thoughts on “Dancing in the Streets

  1. I thought the video was really excellent. I enjoyed seeing how the Bulgarians celebrate weddings. It looked like a ton of fun.

  2. Nothing can be completely represented in one video or picture! Imagine a picture of yourself taken the minute you wake up or after a night of drinking or sitting in a hospital full of worry. Would that totally represent you? On a much larger scale a video of a country can only show what was happening while the camera was running, Of course any country is many other things, but it is also what was captured at that moment and that time. Why do people insist on being so narrow minded?

    • You’re so right! I was tempted to write a flip reply to your closing question, but I realize that coming from such a kind, generous and open-minded person as you, it’s not a question but a sigh of frustration. To answer in the popular mode, I can just say, “Exactly!”

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