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Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Lavender ........... "There is such a people" ??

Ever heard of – “There Is Such a People” !?!?

Bulgars, semi-nomadic warriors -  migrated in the 7th century to the Volga River, where they founded the Volga Bulgaria; - the modern day Bulgaria – a country in South eastern Europe is bordered by Romania, Serbia, Macedonia, Greece, Trukey and Black sea.  Some countries that share common borders are hostile and in most places – there are curbs in travelling or crossing the border.   

Bulgaria has banned UK travellers from entering the country due to concerns about the growing number of coronavirus cases in Britain. The ban came into force on Monday - the same day Bulgaria movef to the UK's green travel list, meaning quarantine-free travel for passengers arriving in the UK from Bulgaria. The southeast European nation has put the UK on its high risk "red zone list" along with Cyprus, Spain, Fiji and Kuwait, health minister Stoycho Katsarov confirmed.  It will mean that only Bulgarian citizens, long-term residents and their immediate family members will be eligible to enter the country from the UK.

Lavandula (common name lavender) is a genus of 47 known species of flowering plants in the mint family, Lamiaceae. It is native to the Old World and is found in Cape Verde and the Canary Islands, and from Europe across to northern and eastern Africa, the Mediterranean, southwest Asia to India.

Many members of the genus are cultivated extensively in temperate climates as ornamental plants for garden and landscape use, for use as culinary herbs, and also commercially for the extraction of essential oils. The most widely cultivated species, Lavandula angustifolia, is often referred to as lavender, and there is a color named for the shade of the flowers of this species. In  recent years, Bulgaria, the former communist country in Eastern Europe, has overtaken France to become the world leader in lavender oil production. In the heart of Bulgaria's Rose Valley, in the foothills of the Balkans mountain range, the fields around the small village of Tarnicheni turn purple every late spring.

Meanwhile, French lavender production has suffered big losses in the past decade, due to a bacterial infection. Bulgaria snatched the crown back from France in 2012, and its lavender plantations have expanded to cover 180sq km (69sq miles) from less than a fifth of that a decade ago, according to InteliAgro.  Cheap labour, a good climate and a long tradition of growing lavender are Bulgaria's main advantages, says Krisztof Glowacki, economist at the Center for Social and Economic Research (Case), a think tank in Central and Eastern Europe. Bulgaria has the lowest hourly labour costs in the European Union, at €6.00 ($7; £5.47), compared to €36.60 in France, according to EU figures. Mr Glowacki says this helps to make Bulgarian lavender oil less than half the price of its French equivalent. So as French production has fallen, he says that the cheaper cost of Bulgarian oil has been attractive to buyers such as large cosmetics companies.

In Bulgaria firms are busy distilling  this year's flowers to produce the lavender oil. The flowers are steamed, and this moisture is collected and concentrated to form the oil. Almost all of the oil will then be exported, as will the lavender water that the company also makes. The latter is produced by adding flowers to water, and bringing it to the boil.

There Is Such a People, sometimes translated as There Is Such A Nation, is a populist big tent political party in Bulgaria established by Bulgarian singer, TV host and politician Slavi Trifonov.  Self-described as a "political product", the party is named after one of Trifonov's own musical albums.

Stanislav Todorov Trifonov  is a Bulgarian TV host, musician and politician. Trifonov is mainly active in the traditional Bulgarian folklore music genres, but he has experimented with other genres such as hip-hop in collaboration with the Australian-based producer Yasen Subev, and pop-rock and punk as a part of Ku-Ku Band.  His name is associated mainly with the Slavi's Show, Exiles, Canaletto and KU-KU.  In March 2020, Trifonov donated 100,000 leva to go towards the salaries of the medical personnel in the Alexandrovska Hospital in Sofia who are battling the COVID-19 pandemic in Bulgaria, but has also been criticized for initially downplaying the extent of the pandemic and publicly opposing many of the pandemic control measures.

Trifonov originally attempted to set up a party under the name of "There is No Such State"  but the application was turned down, causing him to change the name to "There Is Such a People". In 2019 he set up the populist There Is Such a People (ITN) party,  which has supported the 2020–2021 Bulgarian protests. The party participated in the April 2021 Bulgarian parliamentary election and ended up second, winning 17.4% of the popular vote, which amounts to 51 seats in the National Assembly. When no party was able to form a government, another parliamentary election was held in July 2021, at which ITN emerged as the strongest party, winning 23.8% of the vote and 65 parliamentary seats. Trifonov announced he would form a minority government.

Interesting ! 

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
19th July 2o21


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