Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Getting ready for the 5th meeting

Exploring traditions of partner countries, Part One . Religion



Name of the religion: Christianity Islam
Concept of deity: Most believe in the Trinity; three persons in a single Godhead: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. God (Allah) is one and indivisible. They believe in a strict monotheism. "Allah" means God in Arabic.
Status of Yeshua of Nazareth (Jesus Christ): Generally considered the Son of God, worshiped as God; one person of the Trinity. Very highly respected as the second-last prophet; second only to Muhammad in importance.
Conception/birth of Yeshua: Conservatives: virgin conception.
Liberals: conventional birth.
Virgin conception.
Death of Yeshua: Authorized by Pontius Pilate and executed by Roman Army circa 30 CE by crucifixion. He was neither killed, nor suffered death. Muslims believe that he ascended alive into heaven. 1
Yeshua's location Ascended into Heaven Ascended into Heaven
Identity of "another helper" or "comforter" * Holy Spirit Muhammad
Second coming of Jesus Conservatives: expect in near future. Liberals: varied beliefs. Anticipate his second coming in the future.
Status of Adam: Disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden. With Eve, is responsible for original sin that affects all of their descendents down to all persons alive today. As with Christianity, Adam is believed to have been tempted by Satan and disobeyed God. However, God forgave him for his sins. Muslims have no concept of original sin. Adam is considered a prophet.
Main holy book: Bible, consisting of Hebrew Scriptures and Christian Scriptures 2 Qur'an 3
Original languages: Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek. Arabic.
Status of the holy book: Conservatives: the inerrant Word of God. Liberals: a historical document. God's word and final revelation, dictated by angel Gabriel to Muhammad. He passed it on in oral form. A slightly imperfect copy of a perfect copy in Paradise.
Additional guidance: Writings of the leaders of the early Church. For Roman Catholics: church tradition. The Hadith -- sayings and stories of Muhammad (pbuh), his companions and relatives.
Ethic of reciprocity  (Golden rule): "Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them." Matthew 7:12  "Not one of you is a believer until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself." Fourth Hadith of an-Nawawi 13
A baby's status at birth Various views. One common view is that a baby is born with a sin nature, separated from God. All babies are a born in a pure state of submission to Allah. However, as they mature they are often taught other beliefs.
Life after death: Either Heaven or Hell. Catholics believe in Purgatory as a third, temporary, state. Paradise or Hell.
Basis of determining who goes to Heaven or Paradise: There is no consensus in Christianity. Different faith groups hold Various diverse beliefs: e.g. some combination of: repentance, trusting Jesus as Lord and Savior, good works, church sacraments, baptism, avoiding the undefined unforgivable sin, etc. Once they reach puberty, his/her account of deeds is opened in Paradise. To attain paradise, at death, their good deeds (helping others, testifying to the truth of God, leading a virtuous life)... must outweigh their evil deeds.
Confessing sins: Roman Catholic: to God or Jesus, either directly or through a priest; Others: to God or Jesus To Allah
Probably the most misunderstood term: Immaculate Conception: Roman Catholics believe that the conception of the Virgin Mary, circa 20 BCE, was without sin. Many incorrectly relate it to Yeshua's' conception. Jihad: internal, personal struggle towards the attainment of a noble goal. Many incorrectly equate it to "holy war."

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Our adventures so far

TOPIC OF THE ONCOMING VISIT :Sharing native traditions, rites and customs of a major spring holiday

                                         EASTER IN BULGARIA

Easter is a Christian holiday commemorating the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead three days after his crucifixion on Good Friday. Easter also marks the end of the Lent. A symbol of the Resurrection is the egg out of which a bird hatches.
Easter is the time of springtime festivals, a time to welcome back the tulips, the crocuses and the daffodils. It is also the holiest day in the Christian calendar (followed by Christmas) and is recognized as a legal holiday in most countries with a significant Christian tradition.

The Bulgarian Easter traditions are a variation of traditional Orthodox Easter traditions. Here in Bulgaria, egg cracking is good for more than just eating the egg. The bright red colored egg is the symbol of Easter for the Orthodox Christians all over the world. The traditional Orthodox Paschal greeting is: "Christ has risen!" The answer is: "Indeed He has risen". This is the greeting during 40 days after Pascha. Also, the greeting is exchanged during the ritual tapping of the eggs which is explained below. The first egg is always painted red to symbolize the blood of Christ and should be put aside - either to be buried in the fields to ensure fertility or kept in the home to bring good luck. On Easter Sunday married couples traditionally visit the best man at their wedding and have roast lamb for lunch.
The Christian tradition of the red egg custom is connected with a specific legend. Mary Magdalene, whom Jesus had cured from all the evil spirits within her, was the first one to see Jesus rise from the dead and she went around the world to spread the happy news. She reached Rome and Emperor Tiberius’s palace. According to the tradition, everyone visiting him was supposed to carry a gift to the Emperor. The rich people were carrying expensive gifts while the poor ones offered whatever they could afford. Mary Magdalene took an egg to Tiberius’s palace and handed it to the Emperor with the following greeting:”Christ has risen from the dead!” The Emperor could not believe what he heard and responded: “How could anyone ever rise from the dead?! It is as impossible as that white egg to turn red right now!” While Tiberius was talking, the egg in Mary Magdalene’s hands started changing its color until it finally became bright red. The Easter greeting ever since has remained “Christ has risen from the dead” and Christians all over the world color eggs in red (and various other colors) for Easter to celebrate their belief in the resurrection.

The bright red colored egg is the symbol of Easter for the Orthodox Christians all over the world. It is tradition that the eggs are colored on Holy Thursday after the Divine Liturgy. The eldest woman in the house has the privilege of dying the eggs.

The Easter breads are a worldwide Orthodox tradition as well. These are big or small and decorated. The bread is called "kolache" or "kozunak". One of these Easter breads may be specially decorated with one or more (but always an odd number) of the red-colored eggs. This bread is taken to church on Saturday evening. The church bells begin to ring just before midnight, calling Orthodox Christians to worship. At midnight, a special sequence of services takes place: Midnight Office, Rush Procession, Matins and Divine Liturgy. These are the services of Great and Holy Pascha (Velikden). Following the service, the clergy blesses the breads and eggs brought by the people and they return with them to their homes. The eggs are cracked after the midnight service and during the next days. One egg is cracked on the wall of the church, and this is the first egg eaten after the long Great Fast. The ritual of tapping the eggs takes place just before the Easter lunch begins. Each person will select his or her egg. Then the people in turn exchange the Easter greeting ("Christ has risen!" / "Indeed He has Risen") 3 times before tapping their egg against the eggs of others.

The person who ends up with the last unbroken egg is believed to have a year of good luck.

Friday, 23 January 2015

Work programme of the oncoming meeting in Bulgaria

of the 5th meeting of the YOUTH INVOLVEMENT IN EUROPE Comenius Project Partnership
held  23rd - 27th March, 2015 in Plovdiv , Bulgaria  at Sredno Obshtodbrazovatelno Uchilishte Sveti Sofrony Vrachanski
22nd March
23rd March
24th March
25th March
26th March
27th March
9 o`clock -  Departure from hotel
8 o`clock – Departure from the hotel; packed breakfast
Plovdiv – a city of cultural, religious and ethnic diversity
8 o`clock – Departure from hotel; packed breakfast

9:15-9:55Breakfast at a near-to-school cafeteria

8-10:00 Travelling to Sofia
9:45 Meeting in front of the hotel and going to the Information centre
8-10:00 Travelling to Kazanlak

10:00 -10:30Opening ceremony at school
10:00  Getting acquainted with national symbols -  a sightseeing tour from the St Alexander Nevsky`s  Cathedral to the National Assembly, Presidency, etc.
10:00 – 12:00 Sightseeing in Plovdiv with an official guide
Museum of the Rose ; Archaeological museum, a stroll in the town centre

10:30 – Planet of the Children .Introducing the topic of the meeting
12- 1 o`clock pm - Lunch
12-2pm – Sightseeing with student guides
12:00-1pm - Lunch

11:00- - Presenting and sharing  similarities and differences in ethnic, religious and cultural tradition. Each team  presents native traditions, rites and customs of  a major spring holiday /ppt, performances, videos ,etc./
1-1:30 -  Back to starting point
                       /using another itinerary – more places of interest/

2 pm -  Free afternoon and evening
1:00 – 5 pm – Visiting a rose oil manufacturing complex, Thracian tombs and an ostrich farm in the region. Past and present

12-15:00 - Workshop on the brochure “Unity in Diversity: similarities and differences in celebrating the biggest spring holiday". Sharing customs, traditional activities, tasting  traditional dishes, etc.
Buffet lunch 
1.30-2pm   - A trip to the National Historical Museum

5 – 7:00pm Back to Plovdiv

15:00 -  A photo of the whole team in front of the brochure  in the school lobby
2-4:00 pm                Visiting the National Historical Museum

15:30 – 19:00 Sharing music and dances at  early dinner party at a restaurant
4 -5:00 pm                 Bells Complex/ Peace Banner Assembly   

19:00 – Back to the hotel
5:00 – 7:00  Back to Plovdiv