Critical Incident .- MY OWN EXPERIENCE
A CRITICAL INCIDENT
My own experience in in the Erasmus+ Project last Year
Last year I was in Bulgaria for a week, doing a student exchange with a school from Stara Zagora. My partner, Darina, was a really nice and open-minded girl with who I got on really well with. We still keep contact and we chat sometimes.
I had an amazing time there but, as they are from a different culture, we had a few misunderstandings. One of them is that when I first had dinner with them, at Darina’s grandmother’s home, Darina did not talk much during the meal so I asked her a few questions to try to start a conversation. The result was not was I was expecting: she answered the questions but did not keep talking. The room was silent again. Although the food was tasty, I was not really hungry but I ate everything because I did not want to be impolite. Darina’s grandmother, who was watching us and smiling to me whenever our eyes met, immediately took my plate and asked me if I wanted more. I quickly said no, and I added that the food was really good. She insisted but I refused again, explaining that I was full. Then she took Darina’s plate, which was not empty at all, and went to the kitchen.
I was surprised by two facts: my partner did not speak much during the meal and she left food in the plate but her grandmother did not say anything to her. As she was really nice and she answered my questions kindly and patiently, I asked her about my observations. In the first place she said that in Bulgaria people do not usually talk much while they are eating. And in second place, she explained that there leaving food on you plate it is not frowned upon, but quite the opposite. If you leave some of the food it means that you are satisfied and you liked it. I told her that here we see this as a waste of food and that it is somehow disrespectful.
If you want to know a little bit about Bulgaria, you can read the following article:
but the best way is to ask your Bulgarian partners in the project.