Monday, November 9, 2009

Remembering the fall: Biliana Velkova, Canada

This week we are remembering the fall. If you would like to share a story, please send me an email at petya.kirilova [at] gmail [dot] com.

On the day the Wall fell, I was coming home from school, at that time I was in grade 8 at the Fine Arts High School in Sofia (Hudojestvenata Gimnazia). The streets seemed strangely deserted, it was already dark, and I just wanted to get home to my grandmother's stuffed peppers. Back then we all lived in an old Sofian apartment, three generations on top of each other, plus our small dog Gigi. I remember my mom pulling me inside the apartment and excitedly but quietly telling of what had happened. We had to be quiet back then because "even the walls have ears". I didn't really understand the importance of the event but I could feel it was of great significance as all of my family members were quietly celebrating. The news of the events was on TV, very short and to the point as most of the news from the West was reported back then. Sofia was dark and quiet but on TV we could see fireworks and people cheering in Berlin. I didn't know it then but this event changed the fate of my family and myself and all of the world, really. Two years later, we left for Vancouver, Canada. I still go back to Bulgaria fairly often and to this day, my hometown is frozen in those days for me. My Bulgarian friends tell me that I have a great memory, but I think it is because this is all I have. My memories are forever time-capsuled in that dark, cold Sofian evening with the fireworks flickering from our black and white TV.

Thank you, Petya for letting me share these memories. I am including a photo from those days (maybe a little earlier).

This is from a class trip to the Archelogical Museum and I am in the middle, bottom row. I remember getting in trouble because I was wearing white clogs, which did not go with my Pioneer's uniform.

Biliana Velkova, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

P.S. For the record, please note that none of the kids are smiling.


  1. Biliana - thanks for sharing your story! And by the way, I have that exact photo of my class, I guess we all took one there...

  2. Thank you Eva! It is great to open this dialogue. And yes, it seems we all had the same photos, uniforms, Petya even said she might have had the same clogs as me!

  3. I definitely had the clogs! And the Russian ribbons of the girl standing one person over to your left. ;)

  4. A bit off topic - there is similar picture in the Historical Museum in Bern, Switzerland. A group of 8-10 years old schoolkids and only one is smiling - Albert Einstein.