Spring Meetings in Bulgaria

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Summary of the article announced in  the newspaper  of Kretinga District,
                                             „Svyturys“  ( Engl. „Lighthouse“) ,  Lithuania

 

Spring  Meetings  in  Bulgaria

(Pavasariški susitikimai Bulgarijoje)

Kulupenai M. Valancius Basic School, the coordinating school, has implemented the first part of the  Erasmus+ Project ‚ „ Learning about our countries – we are united in Europe“,  „Sports and Games.
The students of the five countries have collected the materials  about sports and traditional games in their countries and  uploaded the slides on the internet for the partners to learn. SOU „Nikolay Katranov“ in Svishtov, Bulgaria, organised the sports presentations, competitions and games.  Four Students and three teachers from Kulupenai attended the transnationl teachers  – students‘ meeting in Svishtov.

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Lithuanian students  at the airport of Vilnius before  the trip to  Bulgaria

 

On this coast of the „little“ Danube
(the words from a Lithuanian folk song „Šitoj pusėj Dunojėlio“)

Svishtov – the centre of the district  in northen Bulgaria.  The biggest school – SOU „Nikolay Katranov“.

Headmaster Genady Ivanov  presented the classrooms and School history museum where we could see the exhibits of different historical periods.  On the 3rd floor of the school, when  looking out of the windows, we could see the hills of Romania. The river Danube divides the two southern countries of Europe – on this and that cost of the „little“ Danube.

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The centre of Svishtov, the monument to the patrons of the city.

 

Welcome Baba Marta!   (Sveika,  Baba Marta!)

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On 1st of March, Bulgarians celebrate the feast of Baba Marta.  The symbol of this day is  „martenica“.  These are tassels, animal or human figurines, bracelets   made of white and read threads.  People  give them to their friends and family members  when wishing good luck, health, and long life. The teachers  of the partner countries  made some „martenicas“ together with the Bulgarian children. In Bulgarian folklore, Baba Marta is an old woman who can be nice or grumpy. Then the spring weather may depend on Baba Marta‘s moods. Wearing „martenicas“ is one of the oldest Bulgarian pagan traditions.

 

United in sports and games (Vienija sportas ir žaidimai)

During the meeting in Svishtov, the presentations about sports were given by all the partner countries. We presented our basketball team, the swimmer gold medalist Ruta Meilutyte, and  the Dakar  racer Benediktas Vanagas.  We emphasized the meaning of our basketball competitions in Soviet times when  the match of Lithuanian basketball team „Zalgiris“ against soviets in CASK meant  not only sports  competition but a political fight too.  After presentations, all the partner teams presented and taught how to play their traditional indoor and outdoor games.  We noticed that  children of different countries play similar games.
The quiz was organised where students in international groups had to demonstrante their knowledge in sports. The common game was played by all the students.  Sports activities and traditional games helped students to get together and know each other better.

 

Where  history and nature intertwines   (Kur jungiasi istorija ir gamta)

The Project team of SOU Nikolay Katranov had preapared interesting cultural programme for students and teachers. We visited the city of Veliko Tarnovo, the former capital of Bulgaria. The outstanding monument of „Mother Bulgaria“ in the city centre commemorates the people who lost their lives during various wars. The impressive monument for the Kings Assens reminds the long history of Bulgaria and the 800th anniversary as the Bulgarian capital. During the visit in the   city of Russe, we visisted the nature and history museums. On the way to Russe, we admired the Basarbovo monastery in the rocks. In all the trips, we were taken care by Bulgarian teachers and students. They showed us what a beautifyl country is Bulgaria and how history and oustanding nature intertwine.

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The participants of the meeting by the Basarbovo monastery.

 

When words cannot express everything  (Kai žodžiai pasako ne viską)

The week  in Svishtov had  gone  very fast.  We took home the  hospitality and sincerity of  our Bulgarian friends. When late in the evening we arived in Svishtov,  the host families  were waiting for us with a traditional Bulgarian  cake  and  honey.  During  the week in Svishtov, we were taken care by Bulgarian teachers,  students, and their parents.  When on the day of departure, at 3AM all the host families of our students came to say farewell to our group, we deeply felt  that  our Project is much nore than sports and games.  It is something else what the words of gratitude  and farewell  are impossible to describe.  These are feelings, experience  and memories that became a  part of the lives of our students and teachers.

Nijolė Montrimaitė                                                                            
Kulupenai M.Valancius Basic School English Teacher                                                                                                     
Project Coordinator

 

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