Parts of the Traditional Culture
"Living Human Treasures - Bulgaria. List of Activities" identifies traditional activities and skills which have been distinguished by the state as important and liable to preservation components of the immaterial treasure on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria.
The List "Living Human Treasures - Bulgaria" has two basic chapters - a national and a regional one. The national list summarises the activities and the skills considered most representative for Bulgaria and the preservation of which is the state's most serious concern. Regional lists follow the administrative division of the country and are more detailed. They include activities and skills typical for the particular regions. The terms traditional, folklore and ancient here are used as synonymous.
Traditional folklore culture exists in a number of local variants. This has brought into existence comparatively independent cultural spaces called here cultural dialects. Local variants determine the varying of folklore aesthetics as a system of norms and rules, forming the criteria of what is beautiful and valuable.
The List is ordered according to the inner nature of the traditional culture on Bulgaria's territory. It starts with rites as collective activities and skills engaging a whole village or a ritual group and continues with activities and skills more or less presupposing individual bearing, performance or practising. Existing along with the other ones, each of the parts has nevertheless its own specifics which have further determined the choice of the criteria in the different parts. Thus the overall aim to unify is not always applicable to the nature of the activities and skills included in the list and has been implied only where it was considered appropriate.
The order of the activities and skills in the List is liable to updates. At the same time all the included ones are equally valued cultural artifices and their placing in the list is a result of the combination of scientific and practical reasons in order to achieve wide understanding.
Certain criteria have also been applied for the inclusion of the activities and skills in the list. Firstly, they should be authentic ones - i. e. performed or practiced in their natural milieu and transmitted to the next generations from living human experience within the processes of practicing and performing. This naturally means that they should not be part of the spheres of professional and specialized art. Secondly, they have to be representative for the community and to have artistic qualities predetermining their uniqueness and their value as cultural activities.
Important condition for the inclusion of a particular activity or skill in the List is its liveliness: it has to be practiced nowadays and to be successfully transmittant to the next generation. The criterion of antiquity is not less important: the activity has to be known either as practiced from "unknown times", to have been brought in its present day locality as a result of immigration or to be known as having started long ago. For the latter the internationally accepted principle of a minimum 50 year long existence has been applied.
Traditional Bulgarian folklore culture is well preserved but it has nevertheless undergone substantial changes - for example in the modern times it has gradually lost its traditional prescriptions for activities which have to be either male or female concern and are forbidden to be practiced or performed by the opposite gender. This strict division is more or less abandoned now. The very folklore culture is realized today in a different cultural context. Thus in the list traditional culture means both the traditional culture of villages and of cities. Special attention is paid to activities which are part of rite or feast complexes and function as part of the living village or city traditions, thus being sustained not only by amateur dance, musical or performative art groups.
The order of the items in the regional lists for traditional dancing and child playing as well as for traditional singing and music playing ranges from the most widely spread to the less widely spread ones.
The lists of activities resulted from the work on the project "Living Human Treasures - Bulgaria. List of Activities".