Addressing teachers

I was sitting in the Bulgarian classroom and needed help. So I called for my teacher Helene. When I said her name I noticed that I got strange looks from the Bulgarian students, but why?

  1. Because I had a strange voice?
  2. My teacher had a strange name?
  3. Because I didn’t call my teacher by their last name?
  4. I’m not supposed to call for help?

Explanations

  1. If you look at someone who has a strange voice, you are not very polite person.
  2. Helene isn’t a strange name.
  3. Yes, it’s inappropriate to call your teacher by their first name. In Bulgaria you call them by their last name.
  4. Teachers are there to help.

Paying for a friend

When in Bulgaria, we were at a cafe. I realized I had forgotten my wallet at home, so I said I wouldn´t order anything. A Bulgarian boy offered to pay for me, but I told him it was not neccessary. He looked at me like I was weird and said that it was okay, he could pay for me, no problem. I laughed and said “no, it’s okay” and that I didn´t know if I would be able to pay him back. He kept looking at me like I was a little odd, and asked if that was a Swedish thing. I was a little confused but kept on talking with the others.

Why did the boy think it was weird I didn’t let him pay?

A) Everything was free at that café, he just said that he could pay to impress me.

B) It´s a tradition in Bulgaria to pay for foreigners, and it´s very impolite to say no.

C) It´s a little odd not to let people pay for you.

Burberry_walletExplanations:

A) Probably not possible. It´s not that common that restaurants and cafes serve food and drinks for free.

B) Not entirely impossible. But if it was that strong of a tradition, the teachers probably would have told the students before so they would know.

C)In Bulgaria, young people are more likely to buy small food and drinks to each other, because it´s not that expensive with food, and it´s a nice thing to do. In Sweden, things are more expensive, and your friends expect you to pay them back if they buy you anything.

Drinking habits

158px-Glass_of_wine.svgA Swedish family is visiting one of their friends down in Bulgaria and they are having a nice meal, but the Bulgarian parents are offering wine to the children, but they refuse. The Bulgarian parents look a bit shocked and say  “It’s alright, we won’t tell your parents.” But now the children look shocked and again refuse the offer. Why?

A) The children had hidden cameras in their hair so the parents could see everything.

B) In Sweden nobody drinks alcohol.

C) The Swedish parents had bribed the Bulgarian parents to poison them and the children had overheard it.

D) In Sweden, youths drink a lot less alcohol.

Explanations:

A) Not likely. It’s wrong.

B)While people drink less alcohol in Sweden it’s still there.

C) I hope this isn’t true.

D) Correct. Many Swedish people have a relative who died or is hurt by drugs like tobacco or alcohol and that makes drinking a no-no. Also, we have Systembolaget which is the only company in Sweden that is allowed to sell alcohol and they don’t sell to people under 20.