The Bulgarian nation
with its unique language, unified culture and state traditions has been existing for more than 13 centuries. This nation emerged as an alloy out of numerous tribes, most popular of which are Thracian, Slavonic and Proto-Bulgarian tribes. About 15 million people of Bulgarian heritage live all over the world. Another 8 million live in their country.
Ethnical Bulgarians, together with Turks, Gypsies, Jews and Armenians, all form the contemporary Bulgarian nation. Bulgaria is well known for the peaceful living together of its different ethnical groups. Roughly 85% of the population is made up of Bulgarians who speak Bulgarian language and practice the Orthodox Christian faith. Only about 0,6% of them are Catholics. Bulgarian ethnos is not homogeneous in anthropological aspect and the most common anthropological types are Eastern-Baltic, Mediterranean and Alpine. There is also a sizeable Muslim population (13% of the total), comprising both Pomaks (Bulgarians who converted to Islam from the 16th century onwards) and ethnic Turks. Bulgarian Turks are related to the Turk group of nations from the Altai family. Bulgaria also plays host to as many as 500 000 Gypsies, many of whom represent the poorest segment of the population. Gypsies are Indo-European nation who invaded Bulgarian territory in 14th century. The most part of Bulgarian Gypsies are of the “Roma” group and derive from Northern India – Punjab. 85,5% of the Gypsies speak Roma language and 8% of them – Bulgarian. 55% of the Bulgarian Gypsies are Christians and 39% of them – Muslims. Currently, about 14 000 Armenians live in Bulgaria. They entered the country as refugees during the World War I. Armenians live mainly in the cities and about 25% of them speak Bulgarian language. Jewish ethnical group in Bulgaria consists of about 3000 people while in the beginning of the 20th century they were 34 000. After the state of Israel was established, most of the Jews immigrated there. The most important fact about Bulgarian Jews is that Bulgaria was the only European country which preserved its Jewish population during the World War II and no genocide was applied to this population.
The people of Bulgaria are proud soldiers and enlighteners who preserved their Christianity, faith, traditions and culture through the two centuries of Byzantine and five centuries of Turkish occupation. Bulgarians are famous with their hospitality.