Take time to smell the roses: Bulgarians love bomb London to counter British hate media

Bulgarians Soho square

Bulgarians after completing the planting of the damascene roses in Golden Square Soho in London Pic credits: Boyko Boev


The Bulgarians have not had a good press -particularly in the  Sun, Daily Mail and the Daily Telegraph.

The Sun sent a reporter to Sofia to portray them as rushing to  hand out Britain just to claim benefits. The Daily Mail quoted a survey by a gambling company saying Bulgarians were the laziest people in Europe. The Daily Mail and The Telegraph have repeatedly highlighted that Britain is being flooded with them under EU rules.

Yet very little is known about the Bulgarians in Britain..until now. Bulgarian academics at Warwick University and the University of Florida  have carried out a detailed survey of  151 Bulgarians living and working in London for a report which has gone to Sadiq Khan, the London mayor. It is not a representative survey but it is full of insights.

And it coincided with a remarkable gesture by the Bulgarians – who have planted their national floral pride – the Rosa Damascena –  the perfumed rose grown for centuries in Bulgaria -in Golden Square, Soho – re-enacting  a gift to London  from Sofia 95 years ago-in 1923.

The report says: “After 2013, this community was caught unwittingly in the crossfire of an especially heated immigration debate around Brexit, feeding off of public discontent and strong activity of the opposition. Bulgarians and Romanians have been collectively sneered with reference to perceived combination of cultural and social traits. This form of bias is still highly discriminatory, even if not directly versed in common understandings of racism (of quasi-biological labels and insult).”

Bulgarians planting roses

Bulgarians planting the roses

What the survey did was examine groups of Bulgarians living in London from their 20s to their 50s and 60s. One fact that shows the media coverage suggesting Bulgarians are here to claim benefits is completely refuted. Just four were out of work.

The second suggestion that Bulgarians are lazy gets equal short shift – it turns out one of the favourite pastimes of Bulgarians in the capital – whether 20 or 50 – is going to the gym. Hardly couch potatoes then.

And a lot are highly educated with university degrees or high school diplomas – they are not always able to get jobs suitable to their qualifications.

Highly educated women were most affected  “Many work as housekeepers, babysitters, care providers and “personal assistants”, says the report.

But younger Bulgarians were getting jobs suitable for their qualifications. These included marketing or public relations coordinator, accountant, sales representative, teacher, programmer, as well as jobs requiring manual labour, such as a cook, car-mechanic, construction worker, barman, and stage worker in the theatre.

Living in London also changed the attitude of some Bulgarians Those in their 30s said  that their new life in London has changed them for the better, and that they have become more ‘tolerant towards diversity,’ ‘patient,’ ‘more open’, ‘exposed to more travel,’ ‘walking more often than earlier in Bulgaria’ and visiting more cultural events,

The report added: “there are also statements indicative of closing socially, due to extremely busy schedules: ‘I am becoming more productive due to the quick pace of life, but also more mindful of my private time, which is a limited resource.’

The report does pick up damage done by right wing media coverage which meant that many were reluctant to work outside London because they thought the rest of Britain would be more intolerant about them being there.

The report also says the majority were happy living London despite it being more stressful than their native country.  One recommendation  to the London  mayor is that London helps ,particularly older Bulgarians, to become more fluent in English by laying on language courses. This would help the older generation of Bulgarians here become more integrated than they are.

There is a 11 minute video from Warwick University academic Maria Koinova which gives the background to the study.




5 thoughts on “Take time to smell the roses: Bulgarians love bomb London to counter British hate media

  1. Pingback: Take time to smell the roses: Bulgarians love bomb London to counter British hate media | David Hencke – leftwing nobody

  2. David, I began chatting with a Bulgarian girl over the internet all of ten years ago, she was no more than sixteen when we started chatting – I was decades older. I watched her go to university in Sofia, work in the USA during holidays, grow up and mature, and enter the working world.
    Then she married and had a child, and announced three years ago that all three of them were removing themselves from Bulgaria, to the UK. To the point, I met her for the first time, and was not disappointed, and met her husband as well. Both are outstanding individuals, smart, cultured, honest to God decent people who put to shame many (and I do mean many) native Brits.
    They have still not settled after three years and pine for home, and it is open whether they stay or return to Bulgaria. If they return it will be our loss, and Bulgaria’s gain, they are spiffing people.


  3. I have visited Bulgaria and dated a BG lady off on for 3 years. I am mixed race make middle class who lived worked studied in Caribbean USA Jamaica Europe. I found them to reluctant to integrate and curse blacks on the quiet but face they chat nice. They like going gym for true. But they are tidy organised people but they like it their way or it is highway. Highly strung confrontational people and most of their work quality is questionable as it looks good but of poor standard and needs be redone within 12 months. Yes.. I am private subcontractor work for housing association and hospitals for last 8 years.
    They think they always right and only BG is great and rest of world is bad. BG is worse place in nearly some 50 placed I have visited and explored in last 10 years from nice hotels local people streets community etc.
    Small percentage are very good .. not a survey but I say 4 of 10 are worthwhile and rest exploiters of our society. The few very well educated trained BG are in good jobs here and speak understand English and the culture of the West but most hate western people be it Europe USA UK etc. The ladies are pretty but most young think men on West world owe them life of luxury to stay home etc. Most do not travel and when they do it is only if they can find other BG people to mingle with. In other words their social skills are poor. Sad as most think BG is greatest place and rest world is rubbish.
    Despite that I will still look out for the open minded educated genuine BG lady to become a partner in life.


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