Bessarabian Bulgarians are the Bulgarians living in the region of Bessarabia, located between the rivers Dniester (Odessa region) and Prut, divided between today's Moldova, Ukraine and Romania.
The Bulgarian ethnic presence in Bessarabia dates back to the early Middle Ages. However, the beginning of a significant Bulgarian presence in this area occurred in the late 18th and early 19th century, when the Bulgarian population moved to Bessarabia during the Kardzhali process in the Ottoman Empire, as well as during the Russo-Turkish war.
Three centuries later, on the 4th of August, 2021, the Bulgarian Folk Song and Dance Ensemble "Rodoliubie" from the town of Taraklia, Moldova, stepped on the stage of the Historical Park and showed us that being a Bulgarian is a vocation regardless of the time, the place and the external environment, as at heart, they are real Bulgarians.
The folk ensemble "Rodoliubie" from Taraklia, Moldova is the guardian and upholder of Bulgarian traditions and customs in Bessarabia. It was established in 1986 and is a treasure trove that has preserved the Bulgarian culture, traditions and spirituality among the Bulgarians outside their homeland, who found refuge in Bessarabia.
The founders of the ensemble are Stefan Stoyanov - coordinator and music pedagogue, Petar Unguryanu - conductor of the orchestra, Lazar Kaloev - artistic director, and Stefan Tanov - director of the ensemble.
The first music and dance productions were lead by Yuri Gorshkov, Stefan Stoyanov and Lazar Kaloev. During all the years of its activity, the ensemble has grown to an ever higher professional level, revealing the beauty of the songs, music and dances of the Bulgarians in Bessarabia, which covers the territory of Moldova and Ukraine.
The first visit of the ensemble in Bulgaria was in 1989. Since then and until now, their participation in festivals and concerts in Bulgaria and in other European countries has not stopped.
Today the ensemble employs many young people who have connected their lives with the Bulgarian folk art. Most of them graduated from the Music College "Stefan Nyaga" in Tvarditsa. The director of the ensemble is Nina Aututova, the leaders of the ensembles are Diana Parmakli, Petar Tyufyak - choreographers, Tsvetan Tsonev - conductor of the orchestra, and Maria Tsoneva - conductor of the vocal ensemble.
In their uplifting concert, they presented distinctive dance masterpieces such as "Thracian Dance", "Rachenitsa", "Shopski Dance", as well as Bulgarian folk songs, carried over the centuries and the lands inhabited by the Bulgarian people. They became our brothers from the past, who seemed to have magically traveled through time.
It is from our roots that we draw strength in difficult times, to which we turn with gratitude when we are happy, and which gives us the strength to lead a dignified life. For centuries, these people have managed to preserve their Bulgarian self-consciousness and pass it on to the generations after them. On the night of the concert, we witnessed something much bigger than their wonderful performance. The ensemble for Bulgarian folk songs and dances "Rodoliubie" from the town of Taraclia restored our faith that it is up to us to preserve and cultivate our Bulgarian roots.
The heroes of the Historical Park exhibited warfare techniques, customs and rites from Ancient Thrace and Early Medieval Bulgaria.
The evening ended with a tradition older than all of us - the Bulgarian pravo horo, which was attended by all whose hearts could not wait to dance during the whole concert.
ABNPT "Patriotism" - Taraklia, Moldova
Director of the ensemble: Nina Aututova
Leader of the dance troupe - Olesya Todorova
Conductor of the orchestra: Tsvetan Tsonev
Conductor of the vocal ensemble: Maria Tsoneva