Friday, 06 December 2019
History of The Federation

The Federation of Cultural and Educational Societies of the Sarakatsani in Bulgaria (FCESSB) is the organization presenting the sarakatsani to Bulgarian society. It has been established in 1990 in the town of Sliven and during the past 20 years has been recognized as an organization with high public image and ethics. FCESSB strives to show and present the sarakatsani as a constructive force in our society. The federation has its substantial part for integration of the sarakatsani in the civil society.

  1. Cultural and educational activities.

Priority in the activities of the Federation is the study of the mother tongue – the Greek language. The forms under which it is conducted are FCS (Freely Chosen Subject) at school and club structure in the societies. Currently, nearly 100 children study Greek language. In Sliven there are groups for adults too. All of the teachers have completed courses of study in Greek universities.

Learning of traditional sarakatsani dances is another important priority for preserving our culture. We have 10 dancing units which contain totally over 200 children. In 2009 under a program of EU – “Leonardo da Vinci”, the dancing instructors of these units have completed a course for dance study of traditional sarakatsani dances in the towns of Aleksandroupolis and Komotini in the Republic of Greece. Our dancing units take regular participation in national and international festivals and events, making our rich folklore popular.


  • Emblematic event for FCESSB in Bulgaria is the Traditional sarakatsani fair which is conducted each year in the Karandila, a mountain area outside Sliven. It is a famous meeting place of thousands of sarakatsani from Bulgaria and Greece. Through the years, we have been honored with the presence of many representatives of the local and national authorities, guests from the country and abroad.
  • Another significant event is the Traditional review and round-up of the sarakatsani folklore called “Flamboura” (the name of the sarakatsani flag) conducted in the winter period. Participation in it take not only our dancing units which present what they studied during the year, but also authentic performers of sarakatsani folklore.
  • Every year the Federation strives to secure children’s camps in Bulgaria and Greece. Over 1000 children have visited such camps over the years. That has helped them acquaint with the history of their land of origin, touching its ancient culture. Other important activity of our organization is facilitating of youth gatherings for sarakatsani children from all over the country with the sole purpose to know each other and unite. The Cultural Information Center in the town of Sliven in which the office of the Federation is seated has also a museum with permanent exposition of clothes, customs and traditions of the sarakatsani.
  1. Mission of FCESSB and its place in the modern life.

The authentic culture of the sarakatsani has to be preserved as part of the Balkan and world cultural heritage. This is exactly the role, purpose and mission of the FCESSB. Through the years of its existence FCESSB has a great contribution for the revival and preservation of the cultural values of the whole sarakatsani sociaty.

In addition, the sarakatsani gave and still give their contribution for establishment of friendly relationship between Bulgaria and Greece in all the spheres of public and economic life. The organization enjoys an excellent cooperation with the Whole Greek Federation of the sarakatsani. We also have a very good interaction with the National Council for Collaboration on Ethnic and Demographic Matters – part of the Council of Ministers (the Cabinet), with the local and national authorities, as well as other ethnicities.
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