Customs in Bulgaria
Bulgarian, a southern Slavic language, is the native spoken tongue of Bulgaria.
The currency used in Bulgaria is the Lev (BGL) - nb
Families are a big part of the social structure in Bulgaria. Many homes have extended families all under the same roof. Bulgaria is a hierarchical society and as such they are very respectful of their elders. The eldest is served first at the table, greeted first in social situations and is normally responsible for making decisions for the group.
Customs and Etiquette in Everyday Life and Socialization
Table manners are quite casual, although some basic etiquette should be followed.
When invited to dinner, bring your host a bottle of good liquor and a bouquet of flowers for the hostess, avoiding chrysanthemums, gladiolas and lilies. Make sure there are an odd number of flowers.
Wait to be shown your seat, and only start eating after the hostess gives the okay. They may invite you to start eating first, as you are the guest, but as the Bulgarian society places much emphasis on respecting their elders, it would be good manners to insist that the oldest person at the table begin. Eating a hearty amount is considered a compliment, so fill your plate with a smaller portion initially in order to have room for seconds.
If you are planning on visiting any churches that are open for tours while in Bulgaria, dress conservatively. Before taking photographs, verify that photography is permitted.
When it comes to gratuity, tipping is appreciated and accepted in Bulgaria
• Restaurants: 10% if no
service charge or if service was exceptional.
Customs and Etiquette in Business
Men should wear dark suits, white shirts and conservative ties. Women should wear stylish, conservative suits or dresses.
Upon greeting, a firm handshake and eye contact are a must. Handshakes are used upon departure as well.
Although it is not necessary, business cards should be printed in Bulgarian on side; it shows great attention to detail. If your business has been established for a long time, the founding date should also be included on your business card.
Initial meetings are typically used as a ‘getting to know' you period. Meetings scheduled after that will be focused on business at hand. These meetings will last quite a while, as facts and details must be analyzed.
Displays of emotion are considered unacceptable, so it is best to keep a cool head at all times.