Velislava Dureva, publicist: Plovdiv – a tale without an end

Velislava Dureva, publicist: Plovdiv – a tale without an end
Velislava Dureva, publicist: Plovdiv – a tale without an end

Multilingual and multivocal, colorful and generous, colorful and sonorous is my hometown

We searched for people connected to Plovdiv – born and still living there or born but moved to another city. They talk about the Old Town, about their loved ones, about the places of their dreams and, of course, about their love for the unique Plovdiv.

– Vaasco! Gulfie! Solomon! Garabeed! Michaelis! Big Slav!

These are the voices of our mothers. Overhanging windows and balconies, they call us to stop the games to hand us a slice of Lutenitsa each. These sweetest appeals in the world float softly and flatteringly over the steep lane that starts from the Main, climbs up, creeps between the northern slope of Sahat Tepe and the back entrance of the theater, descends rapidly, and reaches our school, which later became Radio-television center.

Opposite the “Korona” bakery is the editorial office – I don’t know yet that after a while I will unlock the glass door and climb the creaking wooden stairs. To the editorial office – Uncle Arakel’s barber shop.

Uncle Arakel and Aunt Araxi (meaning stork) are Garabed’s mother and father. Uncle Arakel walks in one black and one red shoe, shaves with a razor and tells us about Noah’s ark, which stopped on Mount Ararat.

Gülfie and Gülbahar are the girls of Uncle Gülter and Aunt Isechel. Uncle Sammy and Aunt Rebecca are Solomon’s parents. Michalis is the son of Aunt Athena and Uncle Anastasis.

Plovdiv is cosmopolitan, multilingual and multi-vocal, colorful and generous, colorful and sonorous, too rich and too abundant with gods and peoples. An endless celebration reigns on our street. Throughout the year, people come between the houses – they bring the neighbors unleavened bread and baked eggs for Pesach, kosunats and red eggs for Easter, baklava for Ramadan and Armenian sweets.

The back alley is full of wonders. There arrive the platforms with the theater sets. We sneak through the set entrance and watch all the rehearsals and performances. Magical! Who where, we in the theater. We know the entire repertoire by heart. After a rehearsal, the actors like to talk to us, the most loyal viewers. And if children are needed for the mass scenes, we are! Artists!

Beneath our window, on the opposite sidewalk, mad Milieu plays the ocarina. Play for me. I’m always sick and he gives me special serenades. Hristo Stefanov painted the crazy Milio, but the portrait was removed from the exhibition. Offended someone’s aesthetic criteria.

Now in front of the wide staircase to Sahat Tepe, Milio is sitting. From bronze. Again, it offends someone’s aesthetic criteria. Sometimes we listen to what the adults are saying to each other. Politics clear. But if they clarify this policy, then it is cloudy, I tell myself. Indeed.

Dad and I often go to grandfather Zlatyu’s studio. There is always something to help. I am sitting on a three-legged stool, Grandpa Zlatyu is drawing with his left hand and we are chatting non-stop. No one understood what a small child and a genius artist, almost paralyzed and almost speechless, were talking to each other. Only the child and the artist know.

Armed with slices of Lutenica, our famous thug in shorts and rubber boots on bare feet takes his favorite trip to the Old Town. We follow archaeologists and restorers from excavation to excavation and from church to church, and we know more than all the historians and art critics. Even Nacho Culture says we know more than he does. The church is cool, muffled and eerie.

“Have you come, little angels? Sit down and don’t run around the temple. And don’t enter the altar,” says the restorer. We immediately sneak into the altar. The restorer is not angry with us, he is a magician, he resurrects from under the layers of time the images of Jesus, the Virgin Mary and all the saints and they shine before our insatiable and amazed eyes.

On the cobblestones, Father Luben appears, he is a soft-spoken man, and while he watches over us to make sure we don’t get into trouble, he tells a parable from the Gospel. When Father Luben is in a good mood, and he is always in a good mood, we go to the Armenian pastry shop that is attached to the mosque.

We arrive just in time to shout in chorus:
– Good day, uncle Hodja! Good day, uncle rabbi!
– You are welcome! Come on, the coffee has boiled and the mastic has cooled – say the hodja and the rabbi.

Three cups of coffee, three crystallized mastics and three glasses of water appear in a flash. For us – ashure and lemonade in the bottles with porcelain stoppers.
Under the window of the Armenian pastry shop, which is glued to the mosque, which is at the foot of the Old City, where the church is, where the restorer looks into the warm eyes of the Virgin, plays the ocarina.

And if you take a peek, you’ll see crazy Milo on the opposite sidewalk. And grandfather Zlatyu, twisted like an old fig, slung a camera over his shoulder. And Nacho Culture is flying somewhere again. And this story has no end.


The article is in bulgaria

Tags: Velislava Dureva publicist Plovdiv tale

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