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International Herald Tribune: The luxury of Bulgaria's rahatluk

10 April 06

"The luxury of Bulgaria's rahatluk" - by Matthew Brunwasser - International Herald Tribune.

Foreigners are attracted to the beauty of the houses and the way of life from past centuries that they represent.

Rahatluk is part of this, a concept treasured by the Ottoman Turks that roughly is translated into "pleasure from comfort, and not doing much at all."

In homes, the concept is reflected by the chardak, a large shady porch where the resident can greet guests, drink tea or nap, and the minder, a large couch lined with pillows used for much the same activities.

Stoyanov said rahatluk is a spiritual condition that goes beyond simply relaxation, laziness or comfort. "Health, happiness and business need to be taken care of before you can have rahatluk," he said. "It is an oriental idea."

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