Changing the narrative, one Horo at a time
Founded by the former vice-president of the European Commission Kristalina Georgieva in 2014, this is the second year Eva is in charge of organising the Grand Horo. In 2018, it was also added to the official cultural programme of Bulgaria’s presidency of the Council of the European Union under the patronage of the President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani.
The Grand Horo is more than just a celebration – it aims to introduce the citizens and visitors of cosmopolitan Brussels to the Bulgaria that is not often in the news – one that is attractive, talented and capable. Speaking from the stage at the Grand-Place, Eva said ‘There is no way we could let the attention and opportunities that come with the presidency go to waste, without taking this first significant step towards changing the perception people have of our country. I want everyone to know that there is a side to Bulgaria that we should not hesitate to shout about, and that we should be proud of who we are today. I think the horo, with its infectious energy and message of unity and cooperation, is a great way of drawing people in, and one of our most universally attractive traditions.’
The audience in Brussels’ Grand-Place was also introduced to a number of successful young Bulgarians, including Gergana Stankova, designer of fashion accessories brand Shevitza, inspired by traditional patterns, and Iva Tsolova, creator of the Jamba education and employment platform for young people with disabilities.
‘It is positive examples like theirs that underpin the symbolism of the Grand Horo. We are a country full of talented people, and I invited them here today because their entrepreneurial spirit, creativity and values continue to inspire and amaze me. I see fresh, beautiful minds like Iva and Gergana on a daily basis, and I’d love for you to get to know them better’ said Ms Maydell.
Guest of Honour
We were delighted to welcome Bulgarian minister for the EU Presidency Lilyana Pavlova as our guest of honour in 2018. Wearing a beautiful traditional dress, Ms Pavlova had the following to say to the Horo’s guests:
‘Bulgaria has come a long way and is now a full and respected member of the European Union. We are teeming with potential, and lucky to have so many talented young people changing the world’s mind about our country. I am proud to work alongside many of them on Bulgaria’s presidency, and hope that today’s celebrations will do even more to show the beauty, richness and opportunity Bulgaria has to offer’
The Grand Horo concluded the 12th edition of the international balkan music festival Balkan Trafik. Other highlights included the introduction of Plovdiv as Europe’s Capital of Culture for 2019 and performances by students of the Plovdiv Academy for Music, Dance and Art, the ‘Tarnovska Tzaritza’ (‘Queen of Tarnovo’) ensemble and Rakovski’s ‘Kukeri’.
Watch this space for more details about the sixth annual Grand Horo in 2019.
Find more about the event’s 2017 edition here.