Young Bulgarians play bagpipes during the third Chinese-Bulgarian yoghurt festival in the village of Momchilovtsi on September 8, 2017. (AFP / Dimitar DILKOFF)
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The Bulgarian villagers hunker over their books, struggling with their Mandarin words and characters. But they are not going to China -- the Middle Kingdom is coming to them. This summer Momchilovtsi played host to hundreds of Chinese visitors attending the village's third Chinese-Bulgarian yoghurt festival.The 1,200 inhabitants of Momchilovtsi already host about 1,000 Chinese tourists annually out of a total of 5,000-6,000 visitors, mayor Siyka Surkova told AFP.In 2014, the Chinese version of reality TV show "Survivor" was set in Momchilovtsi, with seven contestants thrown in with a local family armed only with a Chinese-Bulgarian dictionary.But with just 18,500 Chinese visitors last year, Bulgaria is seriously lagging in the Europe-wide drive to attract Chinese tourists.
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