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Doni: In Tibet everybody discovers the answers he has searched for all his life

Date: 13.09.2006

Famous Bulgarian pop-singer Doni has just returned from his second trip to the mystical East. In 1996, he was a member of the group of Bulgarian actors who reached the foot of Everest. This time he travelled through India, Nepal and Tibet, searching for answers about himself and the crossroads of different cultures.

- Doni, must a man be an adventurer to join a trip like that for a second time?

- Of course. People, who think of the East as of an "easy reader" opened for all willing to become wise and patient, make a big mistake. The first thing that strikes the tourists is the overwhelming poverty.

- Tell us about your 28-day-long expedition.

- We travelled through Delhi, then reached the northern parts of India where Tibet and Pakistan almost meet. His Holiness the Dalai Lama has settled there in Dharamsala in order to be on refugees' road.

- Have you met with him?

- During our previous trip each of us touched him. This time we attended a joint prayer. The thing that astonishes me is that he preaches a religion that makes people smile: even during the prayers he made jokes and amusing remarks.

- Does anyone mention the Bulgarians at the approaches to Katmandu?

- There is a man named Maish who lives in Katmandu and graduated in Sofia. He is a real sponsor of all the Bulgarian expeditions. No Bulgarian mountaineer comes here without visiting his place. People in Nepal know the Bulgarians while the locals in India are totally uninformed about our country.

- What was the feeling when you set foot on Tibetan soil?

- When we landed in Lhasa, we were amazed. I'm colour-blind, but I think that I saw what blue was. There's no sky like that anywhere in the world. The landscape is unearthly. People are like nowhere else on the globe: in their behaviour there isn't a hint of aggression or nervousness because of poverty.

- Is it true that their everyday life and culture are similar to ours?

- The old Balhara was situated in the northwestern part of Tibet, near Tadzikistan. The ancient Bulgarians came from the Valleys of the Pamir mountain and the neighbouring Valley of Tarim situated between Tian Shan and the north side of Tibet from where their dispersion began to other parts of the world. In Pamir they organized their earliest states - the ancient Balgar and Balhara.
Even today there tea is tea, the round loafs, the low sofas and the carpets are just like ours. There are villages called Wigurchin and Bansko - the same names the Bulgarian towns bear.

- Do you think that the Bulgarians still keep something of this civilization's wisdom?

- We still cherish some of the East's eternal values. But we are quite embarrassed by the 50-year Communist rule the consequences of which will pursue us for a very long time. Deep in our souls we are good, but it's not obvious. The truth is somewhere in-between - between the Western and the Eastern culture, which is still a mystery to us.

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