YA Bulgaria 2010

Running out of time

It may sound ordinary but it’s true – sooner or later everything comes to an end. Without even noticing it we spent a whole week in Bulgaria discussing different religions and the co-existence and cooperation between them. It was an interesting, inspiring and enriching experience, which helped us discover new paths of knowledge and get some unforgettable memories. The last days of academies are usually a bit sad, it is the moment when the group has already grown together and knows that it will have to split soon. In order to fight that sadness we did our best to keep busy. We started with an intense discussion in the morning, where we covered all elements we have discovered throughout the week. Not only that we discussed the co-existence of religions in Bulgaria critically, we ...[Read More]

The Rose of Sofia

So, here it is; the movie produced during the academy in Bulgaria with the bloomy title: The Rose of Sofia. The movie is dealing with the BIG topics: love, family, religion, tolerance… Watch it here…

Time to move some boundaries!

After many new impressions that we had gained the previous days, Friday was our chance to present the new knowledge in a special virtual laboratory. We spent the whole day in the National History Museum of Plovdiv, where the atmosphere became really creative and everybody was activelly involved in achieving our main goal. With a bit of technical help  the participants created a virtual world where all four religions – Christian Orthodox,  Muslim, Armenian and Jewish – exist together as equals. Of course we realize that this is only the beginning of a long term discussion. We also know that much more work is supposed to be done on the way of achieving our purpose – informing young Europeans and helping them get access to the rich variety of religions in the Balkans. We wil...[Read More]

The Last Judgement

After meeting representatives of different religions we all thought there was nothing more that could impress us any more. And of course, we were wrong! 🙂 A whole new world invaded our minds when we arrived at Bachkovo’s monastery situated close to the city of Plovdiv. Once we entered past the monastery’s walls it was the calmness and silence which stroke us. We couldn’t even believe it is possible in our modern dynamic life to find a place where you can actually hear the silence. We had a tour in the monastery and the premises belonging to it. We had a look at all important icons and wall paintings. The whole Bible was painted on the walls in an astonishing way which impressed everyone. A sip of holy water at the yard and a group picture – that was the way we ended...[Read More]

“This is absolute nonsense!” – visiting the synagogue in Plovdiv

The next group, represented by Мeta, Martin, Nikola and Benjamin,  visited the Synagogue in Plovdiv. That is how they experienced the interview: “We met the guides early in the morning, and walked around the city on a short tour guide and a visit to a little history museum, which had exhibits from 500 BC to the end of the middle ages. When we arrived at the Synagogue four elderly Jews from the spiritual Jewish council in Plovdiv were waiting for us. After a bit of introduction from both parts the interview began. The atmosphere was very relaxed compared to our experience in the synagogue in Sofia, and the Jews weren’t afraid to kid around. We felt right at home. The interview went smoothly without any bumps on the road. We had all of our questions answered properly and they eve...[Read More]

“Only the peak of the iceberg” – visiting the mosque

The last, but not least group spent the morning researching the Muslim community: “Today (even if it was a rainy day) was a special one for us concerning the topic religion, taking into account that we all belong to religious communities different from the one we had the occasion to “discover”: the Muslim community. The person who helped us finding out more about Islam was Kemal Rashid. What did we want to know? What did we actually get? Some of us do not feel we really received all the information we wanted because of the lack of time of our interviewee. We had the occasion to understand Islam better and that was what we actually wanted. Now we know that the word “Islam”  refers to brotherhood, love and peace, we know that Muslims have to wash their feet and hands in order to be cle...[Read More]

A city in the city – the Armenian community in Plovdiv

Mara, Alina, Nils, Jane, Ida who visited the Armenian church share their experience: “The Armenian Church is located in an idyllic area of Plovdiv, just next to the Armenian school. We were introduced by a very kind Armenian woman who was daily related to the church. She had the church doors especially unlocked for us, and we went in, feeling very wet from the rain but also very welcome. The room was well lit by beautiful chandeliers in the high ceiling, casting shadows on the religious icons decorating the church. The woman showed us into the small exclusive museum in one of the back rooms of the church, exhibiting old relics and treasures from older times. From the start we all agreed that we felt very welcome to ask freely and she had nothing against it, also we were allowed to bo...[Read More]

It’s worth its weight in gold

Thursday started with a raining morning, but there was no time to think about how not to get wet. It was the day when we starting discovering different religious communities and overcoming some religious myths. Research was also on the top of the list in order to gain as much material as possible for the final presentation. So when we finished our breakfast we left the hotel in 4 groups, guided by the students from Plovdiv. 5 hours later, when we met again, each group had a rich experience to share. We will give you a quick insight from the 4 groups, a preview before we will publish the information within the virtual museum, starting now with the )Orthodox church. Anna, Carmine, Sofia and Marta went out on the rainy streets of Plovdiv to find out more about the Orthodox Church. SS Constant...[Read More]

Love or Religion? The eternal dilemma

What was life like in the 19th century in a small multi-religiuos town from the Balkans? Since this morning our Eustorians already know that. They all spent the morning playing their special parts in an astonishing role play called Balkania. Our participants formed three religious  communities that had to overcome their differences and prejudices in order to live in peace and harmony. Of course they had one major problem to solve and that was the marriage between partners of different religions. All the possibilities and consequences it could bring were analysed in order to find the optimal solution. Discussing that topic without even knowing they made a bridge to what was expecting them in the late afternoon – a meeting with a non-typical couple. Mr and Mrs  Hodzhevi, both doctors a...[Read More]

How religious is Europe?

Tuesday morning was gloomy but after our international energizing games we were all feeling enthusiastic. Although there were clouds outside we had a sunny atmosphere during our morning discussions. Everyone finally got the oppurtunity to present his/her homework for the academy and talk about  the religious situation in his/her own country. Feel free to compare, Eustorians! 🙂  We had two aims and we achieved them both – we learned new information and prepared ourselves for what was coming up next in the seminar. Everyone was so inspired by the topic that we almost skipped lunch but then we realized we needed some calories if we wanted to make it through the day. 🙂 In the afternoon we had the honour to meet a really special lecturer – Momchil Metodiev, doctor in History from So...[Read More]

From a cup of good mood to a deserved dessert

Good morning Guys, it is time for your morning coffee! We are having our cup of good mood in our World Cafe and now we are ready to start sharing some experience on how to join a Youth Academy. What motivated us? What topics did we choose? What difficulties did we met? Was it worth doing it? – plenty of questions found their answers. During this process we found out that we have much more in common than we thought and suddenly we became friends ready to explore the city and get to know its religious diversity. Thumbs up – we are ready for work After a quick lunch we headed to the first stop of our program for today. You would never believe how many different groups of Jews there are! After an interesting talk with president of the Bulgarian Jewish organization in the central sy...[Read More]

Here we gooooo! :)

Hi, virtual Eustory friends! We are Mila and Vaya from Bulgaria – the EUSTORY alumni who are going to keep you in touch with everything going on this week during the last but not least EUSTORY Academy for the year – the one in Bulgaria. We are getting the information straight from the horse mouth and giving it all to you. Enjoy! 🙂 10.10.10 – the happiest day of the year is the date we chose for a flying start of our Youth Academy in Sofia. The cold weather didn’t stop us from making a warm welcome of our new friends from all over Europe. Although today was only our getting-to know-each-other day we already started to conquer Sofia. Alina and Diana from Romania, Sofia and Benjamin from Finland, Jane from Estonia and Lenka from Slovakia are now showing off their photo...[Read More]

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