Before I get into what it’s like being a black person traveling in Bulgaria, I should let you know that this post is actually part of a series on my blog called Being a Black Traveler in Eastern Europe and Slavic countries.
That is why this summary of my experience as a black traveler in Bulgaria is not so long. So check out the whole Eastern Europe series when you are done.
Disclaimer: I am a tall, thin, make-up wearing, American passport-wielding girl that dresses in mostly dresses, cute skirts and other fashionable clothing. I am sure that all factors into how I am “received” in some countries. As you read my experiences, keep that in mind that my gender and my nationality, I am sure, can sometimes play a part in how I am treated.
Okay, so what is it like being a black girl traveling in Bulgaria?
In all the Balkan countries, I receive a lot of stares. But not as much in Bulgaria. I still got lots of stares, but in the other countries, it can be quite a long stare. In Bulgaria, people look and they get back to their life. In other countries, sometimes, it looks like people have seen a ghost.
My theory on why this could be is because there is a higher population of the Roma minority integrated in Bulgarian society compared to the other Balkan countries. And maybe white Bulgarians are more used to seeing other people that aren’t white all the time. Thus, they’re slightly more accustomed to diversity, even if it is diversity with just one minority group. The Roma population in the other countries are not well integrated at all, which leads to people not often seeing people that do not look like them in bars, restaurants, etc. That’s just my theory to explain the subdued staring in Bulgaria. I could be reading way too much into things though.
Click here to go back to my series on being a black traveler in Eastern Europe and slavic countries.