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Bulgarian-Macedonian National Educational and Cultural Center

Three Rivers

Bulgarian-Macedonian National Educational and Cultural Center

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Location Details

PHONE: 412-461-6188
ADDRESS: 449 W. 8th Ave
West Homestead, PA 15120
HOURS: Tues-Thur 10am-1pm; Sat 9am-noon; other hours by appt.
COST: free

Event Details

Soup Sega

Description

When Patricia Penka Jordanoff French was a child, her mother would make her go to Bulgarian classes every week. “Of course, I fought against it,” she recalls. “I wanted to be outside playing with my American friends. But now, as an adult, I thank my mother every day of my life. Because of her, I can speak Bulgarian fluently. She made sure that her children kept their identity.”

French has continued to follow her mother’s example. Recently, she transformed the Bulgaro-Macedonian Beneficial Association, founded in the mid-1930s to help first-generation immigrants adjust to their new country while giving them a place to enjoy their ethnic traditions, into a new organization. Now, French and her fellow members are looking beyond their own backyards, having set their sights on keeping Bulgarian-Macedonian traditions alive throughout the United States.

Renamed the Bulgarian-Macedonian National Educational and Cultural Center (BMNECC), the organization hosts monthly public vecherinka (evening) events, featuring authentic Bulgarian food, music, and dance. From September to May, Saturday mornings are devoted to Soup Sega (Soup Now), a sale of homemade soups using family recipes from different regions of Bulgaria.

With its membership growing once again, the BMNECC has started an archive and museum. As part of its mission, the Center maintains ties with educational and cultural institutions in the homeland and hosts frequent visits by the Bulgarian Ambassador to the United States, as well as other dignitaries. Pat French’s mother would be proud.

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