A whimsical look at how technology has changed the Bulgarian village way of life

Written by on November 18, 2017 in Bulgaria - Comments Off on A whimsical look at how technology has changed the Bulgarian village way of life

We live in an age of technological laziness now – fast receding are the everyday skills we needed to run our lives.

As long as we still have nimble fingers, reasonable eyesight, and a basic knowledge of computers and devices, life is here at our fingertips.

We can do our shopping, including our feeding needs, search for bargains, clothes, consumer goods and even buy a house. We can book our entertainment, be it theatre, music or sport and if we want even watch it on our devices. We can book travel to almost any part of our shrinking world, flights, accommodation, car hire, you name it.

We arrange our doctors and dentists appointments. How long before our computer will diagnose our illness and suggest a treatment?

We already joke about children’s addiction to their mobile phones and other devices, but this is the way of the world we live in – my 14-year-old daughter was watching a “talent contest” programme with us on television the other night. Clutching a device in hand, her nimble fingers at work, glancing occasionally down at the device. “Whatever are you doing?” I asked , she raised her head momentarily – ‘”Discussing it with my friends”, was the dismissive reply. Well, her friends are all over town, or wherever, but why not of course?

As I descended into the village all seemed as I had left it. The potholed streets, the villagers sitting in the evening sun on their benches watching the world go by. Not, now, after a hard day’s work in the fields, as they have always done in the past, but now in their retirement.

Bozhentsi village, Bulgaria. Photo: Krassimir Kosev.

They are getting fewer and fewer. Even in the 10 years we’ve been coming here, gone are Baba Danka, Baba Lillie, and my friend and neighbour Stefan, and many I can’t name. There’s plenty of room on the benches now. Technology is changing the village at an alarming rate with LED street lights, cable television and fast internet connection.

The young don’t want to bend and pick up their food any more, they don’t want the hard work or the pain of manual labour and why should they? Man has invented machines to do all this and they prefer the laziness of city life.

Crammed together like bees in a hive, hardly seeing the light of day, feeling the wind on their faces or the rain on their heads. But think what has been lost. The traditions of the village are fading fast , the fetes, special holidays, religious days, all designed to ease the burden of a hard labouring life, but something everyone contributed and looked forward too. The successes and tragedies of life were all here to be shared.

We can see the problems of the old and lonely, but now we live separate lives, how are we able to understand or care for each other as it was in the village?

(Main photo, of the village of Shiroka Luka in Bulgaria: Milalich/flickr.com)



About the Author

David Clark is a retired businessman and sometime writer. Lived in Bulgaria for 15 happy years, married to a Bulgarian journalist. Currently in the UK.