The Bulgarian Buzz in London: Get On Board

The Bulgarian community is growing in London; between the years 2001 and 2014 Census in the United Kingdom, the number of Bulgarians in the United Kingdom rose from 5,351 to a whopping 65,000. 

The reasons for the vast increase of Bulgarians in London are due to the desire to work, study and start up businesses in the United Kingdom as well as more UK citizens acknowledging their Bulgarian ancestry.

The growth of the Bulgarian community in London has resulted in a number of institutions promoting Bulgarian culture. Whether you want to join your own community in London, rediscover your roots or find out more about Bulgarian culture for your own pleasure, there are plenty of opportunities to do so.

The Bulgarian Cultural Institute London

The newly created institution is dedicated to enhancing knowledge of Bulgarian culture as well as appreciation for the country itself within London. The idea behind the institute is to be able bring Bulgarian culture to London through their programmes, creative arts and workshops. There is a vibrant programme of cultural activities including: theatre performances, film screenings, literary evenings and discussions.

The institute itself is also a rich resource for information on Bulgaria as well as a library full of classic Bulgarian literature, films, music and other archives.

Dance To The Bulgarian Beat

There is a huge variety of different Bulgarian dances, with a combination of quick and slow beats and complex step work, it is very distinctive. Bulgarian folk dance are intimately ingrained in Bulgarian culture. 

Bulgarian Folk Dance Group Tanec

The word “tanec” is an ancient word meaning entertainment through the medium of dance. The word also resonates the spirit of the ancient Balkan culture which has transcended time. 

The Tanec dance group was founded in 2004 by Martin Spasov, supported by the Bulgarian Embassy in London. Regular classes for advanced levels take place on Thursday and Fridays from 19:30 - 21:30 at the Bulgarian Embassy led by the current choreographer Dragan Draganov. Boiko Andanov, born in Sofia in 1981 moved to London in 2002 to run Bulgarian dance workshops. Andanov organises regular classes for beginner and intermediate levels, through Tanec.

Bulgarian Orthodox Church

Interestingly, the St Ivan Rilski church was actually set up at the request of the Bulgarians living in London. 

The Holy Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church gave his blessing on 1 March 1981 to allow the Bulgarian Eastern-Orthodox ecclesiastical community to be set up.

The St Ivan Rilski church holds weekly services at 10.30 am on Sundays. The services are held in the Bulgarian language.

Meet  Fellow Bulgarians in London

With over 1000 members, the Bulgarians in London meetup group is thriving. The group is designed to bring together all Bulgarians studying, working or visiting London founded by Dessy and Boyko.

“We started this group to meet up with other Bulgarians or their friends/partners in London, learn about their life in this great city, share migrant experience and ideas for successful integration in the UK, and make our free time enjoyable.”