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Multi Kulti Map (Unofficial translation)

Thematic
Target Group
  • AGE
  • MIGRATION REASONS
  • RESIDENCE STATUS
  • EMPLOYMENT STATUS
  • GENDER

Geographic Area

Bulgaria

LRA Sheet

Sofia in Bulgaria:

City

Sofia

Language

English

Type of Information

Communication

Organisation

Multi Kulti Collective

Contact Person

Bistra Ivanova (Login to send email)

Contact Person Function

Deputy Chair

Project Start

01/11/2012

Ongoing Project

No

Summary

The Multi Kulti Map is a bilingual digital and paper map that shows authentic migrant and Bulgarian restaurants and food stores in Sofia, Bulgaria and shares the personal stories of their owners from Bulgaria, the EU and third countries.

Issue/Challenge and Goal/Assumption

Bulgaria is developing at a steady rate from an emigrant country to a country attracting more and more immigrants from the EU and third countries, and refugees who have been granted protection by the state. For much of Bulgarian society, however, all these foreign communities are still unknown or wrapped in stereotypes, which leads to discrimination, racism and xenophobia. The purpose of the map is to make visible the cultural diversity in Sofia, Bulgaria and show the positive human face of foreign communities we live with. It takes a step towards building a society that appreciates the cultural diversity of foreigners in Bulgaria and so in the long run promotes the two-way process of integration into Bulgarian society.

How does it work

Authentic migrant, refugee and Bulgarian restaurants and food stores in Sofia, Bulgaria are listed on the map. There is general information about each spot, photos, interviews with the owner and an illustration of him/her. The public is invited to suggest spots that are not yet on the map. Multi Kulti Collective checks weather they are eligible to be included and then collects all the necessary information, makes an interview with the owner, translates it into English, takes photo, creates an illustrated portrait of the owner, updates the website and promotes it. Furthermore, the map helps Multi Kulti Collective to enrich its network of partners with the restaurants and food stores supporting us in organizing tasty Multi Kulti Kitchen and other public events, culinary courses, catering, etc.

Results

Soft outcomes:

  • The Multi Kulti Map promotes migrant businesses that might not necessarily have been known to Bulgarians before and allows the latter to visit places where they will directly interact with migrants in a spirit of mutual enrichment and exchange.
  • Migrants present their restaurants and shops through their personal stories and their journey to and within Bulgaria which creates a general understanding for and appreciation of the difficulties of being a foreigner in Bulgaria, re-establishing oneself and re-building a life in a new place.
  • In the restaurants and the stores, people find out about each other, overcome stereotypes by having the opportunity for a day to day dialogue with members of the migrant communities.
  • The Multi Kulti Map is a one of a kind tool for the connoisseurs to discover and try different cuisines, spices and drinks.
  • The Multi Kulti Map also has a measurable impact on the economic integration of migrants by showcasing successful businesses and has already attracted a significant and loyal fan base.

Measurable outputs:

  • 20 000 distributed copies of the paper map using the Sofia Municipality’s Tourist Center, the daily Free Sofia Tours, the culinary Menu magazine, all the restaurants and food stores included, different cultural centers, cafes, bars, shops in Sofia.
  • 10 000 unique visitors to the website in 3 months.
  • Wide media coverage (more than 25 national and local TV channels, radios, magazines, newspapers, online media)

Evaluation

The Multi Kulti Map’s contribution to migrant integration has been highly appraised by the owners of businesses themselves, the visitors of the places and the wider public as well as the professional community working on migrant integration. It is considered a good practice by many institutions and organizations including Sofia Municipality, the Bulgarian Red Cross, the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee, the Council of Refugee Women in Bulgaria and the UNHCR among others.

Who will benefit?

Bulgarians, EU citizens, third country migrants, asylum-seekers, refugees, tourists.

Source of funding and Resources used

The pilot version of the map is financed by Sofia Municipality’s Culture programme for 2013 and by Workshop for Civic Initiatives Foundation’s Development Giving Circle. Now it is updated with new spots every month by the efforts of volunteers (interviewers, translators, photographers, illustrators, etc) coordinated by Multi Kulti Collective.