You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘UK’ tag.

Greetings from London! My semester “further-abroad” has set off like fireworks (I’m an international student from Bulgaria at Boston University studying abroad in the UK)! For the next four months, I will share my views on the American and English culture from the perspective of a proud Eastern European.

In England, royalties are also celebrities.My semester “further-abroad” has set off like fireworks (I'm an international student from Bulgaria at Boston University studying abroad in the UK)! For the next four months, I will share my views on the American and English culture from the perspective of a proud Eastern European.

One of my first lectures in London brought up a very interesting issue: what are the factors that define the seemingly similar American and British society.

As stereotypical as it sounds, the American society is defined by race even nowadays. How so? Open any tourist guide for any major city in the States and you will find suggestions for the top restaurants in Little Italy (NYC)/North End (Boston), the cheapest deals in Chinatown, the best Irish pubs in Southie (Boston), or how to avoid the black part of town.  Read through a few blogs, and you will find quite a few negative comments about the influx of Chinese tech-gurus and the always illegal-and-low-skilled Mexican immigrants.  It’s no surprise that the prospect of having a black president evoked even more heated debates among Americans than the prospect of having a woman president, although other countries in the world have had female presidents or presidents from the non-dominant race long before the States. Electing Obama was not as controversial to the rest of the world as it was to the American society, which finally felt itself ready to overcome its deeply rooted racial reservations.

What is more controversial to Americans, a woman president or a black president?

Race, on the other hand, has never been a segregating factor in the UK simply because historically, the British Empire extended to India, Australia, the Middle East, South Africa, the Caribbean, and North America.  Different races and cultures simply had to learn to coexist. Class was what defined the British society. Probably the only country in the world where social hierarchy is more important than that in Great Britain, is India.  To understand this social structure, simply take a tour of London: compare Chelsea and Kensington, whose mere architecture reminds us of the aristocratic past of that part of town, with the Docklands, which were the main source of wealth for the middle class of merchants; take a boat trip to the Greenwich Observatory to get a sense of the English scholars and intelligence strata;  visit London’s exquisite cathedrals and churches to understand the importance of the clergy for the English nation. Today, the structure of the Parliament, the function of the Queen, and the aristocratic titles are remnants of the social segregation that the British claim to have left in the past.

Vasil Boshkov is probably the richest Bulgarian, with estimated wealth of about $1.5 billion. He owns businesses in the fields of roads infrastructure, tourism, gambling, and insurance. He was the owner of one of the two best Bulgarian football teams.

Neither race nor class are issues in the modern Bulgarian society. This is probably because we don’t have any other races besides the occasional black foreign soccer player, who usually becomes a celebrity for the girls in Sofia’s clubs. We also dethroned our royal family a long time ago, with the arrival of the Communist government in 1946 (which is too bad because our royalties were actually part of a very powerful European royal dynasty, Saxe-Coburg and Gotha).  I think that what truly defines the Bulgarian society is money.

The face of Bulgaria’s modern society was shaped after the fall of the Communist regime in 1898. This is when former members of the Party were able to receive portions of the no-longer- national enterprises and thus became successful businessmen.  Those who had connections appropriated various ventures and took control over entire industries. Notably, the insurance business became a synonym of the mafia. Today, these people are filthy rich. They are some of the richest people in Europe and are very well connected with their Russian mafioso counterparts and ironically, with the democratic government.  They have a culture of their own,  that of the porn-like chalga culture and the thick-necked businessmen, and comprise a separate social strata.

But then, there is of course the rest of society: the open-minded and ambitious young Bulgarians who make up one of the most vibrant and interesting European peoples.


Enter your email address to subscribe to Zikata's blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 73 other followers

Follow me on Twitter!

Share this Blog

Share |
September 2019
« Jul    

Read it? Rate it!

RSS Getting curious:

  • ViacomCBS has a role to play in the NFL's youth movement
    Welcome to another edition of Ad Age Sports Media Brief, a weekly roundup of news from every zone of the sports media spray chart, including the latest on broadcast/cable/streaming, sponsorships, endorsements, gambling and tech. Young Guns The NFL isn’t expected to officially begin renegotiating its media rights contracts until after it locks in a new collec […]
  • Little Caesars is hot-n-ready for a new creative agency
    Following the collapse of Barton F. Graf, Little Caesars has opened a review to find a new creative agency of record, people close to the business tell Ad Age. According to two people, Goodby Silverstein & Partners is pitching the business alongside three other undisclosed agencies. GS&P did not return multiple requests for comment. The review is bei […]
  • Agencies and Brands skip work, donate ad space for Global Climate Strike
    Employees at ad agencies, tech companies and brands skipped work today to join the Global Climate Strike, a protest of government and corporate inaction on climate change. Today's strike, scheduled just ahead of the U.N. Climate Action Summit in New York, is the third event in a series of global protests that began with student walkouts last year. New Y […]
  • Agency Brief: Leo Burnett Chicago makes employee cuts as industry readies for Advertising Week New York
    Shrinking client budgets are continuing to put pressure on creative agencies, and Leo Burnett is the latest to take a hit. This month, the agency’s Chicago office let go at least four creatives working on its Allstate account, according to one senior person affected by the cuts. That person tells Ad Age the decision was due to the client cutting back on its […]
  • Google rolls out massive shakeup to ad biz
    Google’s top ad chief is shaking up the company’s organizational structure, which will impact everything from consumer privacy, ad fraud, measurement, as well as how ads are bought and sold.  Prabhakar Raghavan, who oversees the company’s $100 billion advertising business, is spearheading the effort following  Sridhar Ramaswamy departure as the senior VP of […]

Your Green Eyes