Sozopol Foundation, as an international non-governmental organization working very actively for the preservation and promotion of intangible cultural heritage, took part in the international event – XXVI edition of the International Festival of Masquerade Games SURVA 2017. The festival tool place in Pernik from 27 to 29 January 2017, under the patronage and with the support of the Ministry of Culture.
This masquerade is one of the greatest performances of traditional folk games and customs with masks in Europe and worldwide. The town of Pernik was elected as a Member of the Federation of European Carnival Cities in 1995 because of it. It was added to in the Representative List of the UNESCO for intangible world cultural heritage on December 2, 2015, under the name “National holiday Surova / Surva in Pernik”. For the importance of involving national element in the Representative List of UNESCO speaks that it consists of all those forms of expression (customs, dance, song and craft traditions), which testify to the diversity of intangible cultural heritage. The inclusion of element in the list, alongside national conservation measures ensuring the conservation and transmission from generation to generation of the living cultural-historical heritage of the Bulgarians, its sustainability over time and enhancement of its visibility among the public.
Start of the festival gave an international scientific conference “Masquerade in the village and in the city”, organized by the Municipality of Pernik, Regional History Museum – Pernik and BAS in the Palace of Culture, city of Pernik. Representative of Sozopol FOundation during the scientific conference was the experienced expert Dr. Zdravka Korkutova at RHM-Pernik.
The official opening of the event of global significance took place on the evening of January 27, 2017, on an open stage with flamboyant show “Fire of Surva” organized by the Municipality of Pernik and “Friends without Borders” – a concert of foreign groups. In the next two days kukers and carnival groups from Bulgaria and abroad (8 countries) marched around the city.
„Pernik was the most beautiful and jolly place on earth during these three days. Thank you!“ – with these words, at the closure of the festival, the Mayor of Pernik Dr. Vyara Tserovska expressed the pathos of the experience and our pride that we are Bulgarians. A worthy nation preserving and honoring cultural heritage with millennial traditions, capable of sharing it with the world in a compelling way.
Sozopol Foundation, as an organization, which works actively for the protection, presentation and promotion of cultural heritage, currently is implementing Project “Kukeri ritual in Bulgaria and Serbia – cultural tradition of the two neighboring nations”, funded under the Participation Programme of UNESCO 2016-2017 and co-funded by project partners – Sozopol Foundation and Rings Balkans Association. Leading goal of the project is to promote and develop cultural diversity, intercultural dialogue and achieve consensus in a clearly visible and pronounced impartial manner. With the envisaged project activities and the emphasis on events concerning kukeri tradition, both organizations strive to achieve the results, by ensuring their sustainability over time.