Descendants of the white-clothed people from the region, known as Belodreshkovtsi and called Torlaks because of that particular clothing from the early XX century, met in Salash.
The meeting was initiated by the Torlak club “Zdrebče” – Belogradchik and became possible with the support of national community center “Razvitie – 1893 ” from Chuprene municipality who are good friends to the club and its extremely enthusiastic and pro-active members. The event was organized in such a format for the first time, so now we can talk about the Celebration of the Torlak people from the Northwest. The Torlak forum was also attended by the members of the Torlak club “Timočana – Torlaka”, Miničevo, Serbia. The Bulgarian side was represented by the Chuprene and Chiprovtsi municipalities. In this way was introduced the whole of the territory occupied by the Torlak ethnographic group.
The Serbian side in the event was presented by Dragan Mančič – a chairman of the Municipal Council in the municipality of Knjazevac, Deyan Krstic – a chairman of the Torlak company “Timočana – Torlaka” from the village of Miničevo, Vladan Radovanovic – a coordinator for cross-border cooperation to Knjaževac municipality, Deyan Milkovich – a president of the Association of private entrepreneurs Yoce Isakov – a businessman and the mayors of Novo Korito, Gr″liŝe and Âkovac.
Among the attendees from Bulgaria were Mr. Anton Trifonov – a deputy mayor of the municipality of Belogradchik, Lyubomir Veselinov – a chairman of the Torlak club “Ždrebče”, Rumyana Aleksieva – a deputy-mayor of Salash village, municipal councilors and representatives of business and NGOs. The heads of the municipal councils of municipalities Chuprene and Chiprovtsi – Bogomil Stankov and Dr. July Tsvetkov, the mayor and the deputy-mayor of Chuprene and Chiprovtsi – Vanyo Kostin and Valentine Krastev, and the mayor of Gorni Lom – Ilyan Mihalov – were also among the attendees.
This year the tradition to welcome the guests in Belogradchik was slightly changed. The management of the Torlak company has decided the meeting would be held in Salash as the village was located closest to the border and there were many people with relatives and friends in Serbia. The annual Traditional international gathering is usually held in the area of the Kadu Boaz and usuallly runs for three days with the majority of the participants being predominantly Torlaks.
The guests in Salash were welcomed by the deputy-mayor Rumyana Alexieva and Daniela Ivanova – a secretary of the local community center. The guests were interested to visit the church “The Assumption of the Virgin Mary’ and the ethnographic exhibition arranged in the community center. The vocal group “Rodni zvuchi/Native sounds” greeted the guests with original folklore songs and in one of the halls of the library there were meals from the Torlak cuisine.
The presidents of Torlak clubs stressed that their main goal for the year has been attracting more young people to learn and transmit the traditions to the future generations, to preserve the language spoken by the local people and to expand the range of the people who can be an object of attention and work by the Torlak company. The interest is growing with every year and the participants in the celebration of Chuprene municipality known as “Kada kum prase I ti vrechu” are multiplying. All events held this year have passed under the sign of the 45th anniversary of the twinning of the municipalities of Belogradchik and Knjazevac. This year actions in the area of the economy were also taken. The businessman Ivan Punchev who is an owner of a dressmaking company in Belogradchik registered another company “MIT-Timočanka” in Zaječar. For this period of time many events and initiatives in various sectors of public life were carried out – culture, education, healthcare, firefighting, sports and tourism, protection of forests within the frame of the non-governmental sector and the pensioners’ club.
The opening of the Kadu Boaz border checkpoint again was first on the agenda for discussion. Preparation for the expropriation of any private lands must be launched from the start of this year.
It is difficult to enumerate all the results achieved through the years but the most important thing is the good contacts and friendships that were created.
Press Agency Belogradchik Municipality