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History of the Museum
WHY BREAD FOR SOCIAL CHANGE?
There are various Bread Museums around the world, but what makes ours unique is that bread is experienced as a tool for social change. Why? Because bread is one of the world’s most positive symbols – of peace, sharing, friendship, and home! And as such, the founder of the Museum and of the global Bread Houses Network, Dr. Nadezhda Savova-Grigorova (cultural anthropologist from Princeton University), has travelled the globe (National Geographic Traveller with a Mission of the Year 2016 Award) researching bread traditions and innovating unique methods for community-building and therapy work with vulnerable groups around breadmaking.
The Museum is housed at the century-old family home of Nadezhda. The historic house is located in “the shortest street in the longest city in Bulgaria”, as we like to joke, typically for the spirit of Gabrovo, which is famous as the World Capital of Humour due to the rich local folklore and the international Museum of Humour (walking distance from the Bread Museum).
In the humorous spirit of Gabrovo, our Museum’s mascot is NadEzhko, the good-spirited, adventurous, traveling hedgehog “Baker Without Borders”! His name in Bulgarian is a play of words and means “to be above pricking others (above anger)”, which we translate in English as “HedgeHope”. NadEzhko is the main character of the series of children’s books illustrated and written by Nadezhda, which you can purchase at the Museum or online and it is also the name of our family social enterprise bakery “NadEzhko” in the capital of Bulgaria, Sofia. With our mascot NadEzhko, we develop all educational and game materials.
The Bread for Social Change Museum is the first in the world Bread House, founded in 2009, and it serves as the model bread-related community cultural center for the whole global Bread Houses Network. The Museum is also a central point on our Bulgarian and European Bread for Social Change Cultural Route.
At the Museum, you will have a life-changing experience why bread is so uniquely powerful in teaching us about:
PEACE, HISTORY, VALUES, THERAPY, SOCIAL BUSINESS…
1. World History seen through the metaphor of bread
Any visitor can explore our hand-painted world map of bread and leave their imaginative “bread (and humour) recipe for happy life”
2. Bread-related Religious Traditions in Bulgaria and across the globe
Bread is central in most Christian traditions around the world, and also holds a special place in other religions
3. BREAD FOR PEACE: Method for Peacebuilding and Conflict Prevention
Bread is a unique global symbol of peace and we have developed it as a method for peace-building in various feuding communities around the world, from Israel and Palestine to Afghanistan, South Africa, favelas in Brazil and low-income ghetto communities like Harlem in New York.
4. BREAD [Red] NOSE Program: Humor therapy incorporating breadmaking
This is our method inspired by our friendship with Patch Adams, the world pioneer of Humor Therapy (at the Museum, you will find puppets and literature characters from around the world that we use in special puppet theater performances with the fire of our oven as a background and live drawings in flour projected on the wall)
5. SLOW BREAD Program: Reviving ancient grains and sourdough baking
As members of the global Slow Food Movement, we have been promoting a global movement towards Slow Bread, reviving ancient grains and sourdough baking. You can find out more about ancient, heritage types of grains and wheat, some of them planted in the Museum garden.
We look forward to welcoming you at our Museum!
About the Museum Founder
Dr. Nadezhda Savova-Grigorova
Dr. Nadezhda Savova-Grigorova is a cultural anthropologist (Princeton University, USA), who has explored diverse cultures across 77 countries and was awarded Traveler with a Mission of the Year 2012 by the global National Geographic. In 2009, Nadezhda founded the international organization Bread Houses Network (www.breadhousesnetwork.org) with the mission to “knead” peace and friendship among isolated and even feuding communities around the world by inspiring them to make, bake, and break bread together. Along with the series of children’s books “The Adventures of NadEzhko”, she created the educational game “Bakers Without Borders” (thegame.bakerswithoutborders.net), which won the prestigious global “Intercultural Innovations Award-2016” by the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations. Nadezhda and her husband Stefan founded the unique social bakery model “NadEzhko” (www.nadezhko.com) in Sofia, Bulgaria, where they live. Nadezhda, whose name means “hope”, is mother of two daughters, called Love (Lyubov) and Wisdom (Sophia), and believes that children can teach us best how to love and forgive with no limits. Nadezhda also loves to write poems and paint Byzantine-style icons, some of which can be seen at the BSC Musem.