Многоезичен училищен проект „Азбука на толерантността” Печат
Понеделник, 18 Януари 2010 15:30

През 2010г. стартира многоезичен училищен проект на тема „Азбука на толерантността”. Нека се опитаме да променим себе си и другите около нас така, че атмосферата в класните ни стаи да е по-толерантна! Ето какво ви предлага екипът на проект The Tolerant Reader:

  • превод на материалите от The Tolerant Reader от английски на немски, френски, български и руски език /работни езици за проекта/;
  • към всяка буква от „Азбука на толерантността” можем да добавим ново понятие и да предложим със средствата на изкуството свои материали /есе, стихотворение, приказка, притча, рисунка, колаж, песен, скеч и др./;
  • да изготвим клипове на обявените работни езици към понятията от “The Tolerant Reader; да развиваме компютърните си умения;
  • да работим в екип, да мислим творчески и позитивно, да поемаме отговорност за това, което се случва и не се случва в училище, да предлагаме нови идеи.

Вашите творчески предложения изпращайте не по-късно от 31 май 2010г. на адрес: Е-мейл адресът e защитен от спам ботове.        

Рисунките и колажите можете да предавате на г-жа Младенка Събева.

С целите на проекта и с част от продуктите от предходните две години можете да се запознаете в училищната библиотека или в продължението на статията по-долу, както и на 22 януари 2010г. от 12.30 часа в каб. 26.  

THE TOLERANT READER

SELECTED TEXTS 

 

In a hectic world of aggression and indifference
a new voice is heard. It’s calling for TOLERANCE.
Humanity rises up from the ashes of hatred and violence
and reaches out a helping hand to lend HOPE to those
who live in darkness and despair.
There is still hope for us. There is future for us.
There is LOVE and COMPASSION for us.
We have not lost our souls.
Tolerance is the key to PEACE and understanding.
We do NOT tolerate violence. We tolerate DIFFERENCE.
We are all EQUAL members of one body
- the body of HUMANITY -
as we all share ONE human soul.

Look at me, not through me. I’m a person, not a thing.
Every creature has its own individual soul.
To prevent losing your own, you should change.
Save yourself by saving someone else.
Be with me even if I think different,
Even if I look different, even if I am different.
The sun shines for all people,
One can’t keep it for himself.
Let me feel its warmth.
Everybody has the right to do the same. I
Refuse to live in darkness and cold
And resist your indifference.
No one has the power to erase my life...
Take my hand and enjoy the sun with me.                               Desislava Filipova, 18

 

Acceptance 

Acceptance is the true thing everyone longs for. The one thing everyone craves. You walk into a room and you are greeted by everyone with hugs and smiles. And in that small passing moment, you truly know you are loved, needed, and accepted.

Acceptance is not submission; it is acknowledgement of the facts of a situation. Then deciding what you are going to do about it. Acceptance is not love. You love a person because he or she has lovable traits, but you accept everybody just because they are alive and human.

Acceptance is the art of making someone who has just done you a small favour wish that he might have done you a greater one. Understanding is the first step to acceptance, and only with acceptance can there be recovery.

Aggression

Why Is Aggression a Successful Strategy in the Modern World?

Aggression has proven to be one of the most successful methods of achieving everyday goals. In order to understand the deep essence of aggressive behaviour we should distinguish between the different types of aggression.

Most people enclose the meaning of the word in narrow frames, including only physical harassment. That type is widely spread throughout younger generations. Examples of this type of aggression are football hooligans, skinheads, neo-Nazis, punks, etc. They seem to form separate communities and they obey their own rules. But this type of aggression is by no means the most popular one.

Everyday we experience mental aggression in our societies. Making errors while driving a vehicle, not having homework done, not having our projects for work completed - almost 90% of these are followed my mental aggression and assault. And that could be far more devastating than physical aggression and could lead to depression or even worse physical conditions. On the other hand, we do it ourselves. Not intentionally, but constantly. Because this is the way things get done nowadays - you should be aggressive and competitive in order to achieve success.

Aggression has proven to be a successful strategy, but it’s not the only one that’s possible. Everyone can achieve their goals and desires by being devoted and willing. Being aggressive sometimes helps, but we should know when to draw the line.

Victor Aleksiev,18   

 

Attitude

Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference. If you don’t like something change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.

Happiness is an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong. The amount of work is the same. The sun shines and warms and lights us and we have no curiosity to know why this is so; but we ask the reason of all evil, of pain, and hunger, and mosquitoes and silly people.

Every day may not be good, but there’s still something good in every day. Ev­ery person has something good to offer, too. All in all, life is great. Don’t let circum­stances and society fool you into believing it is not.    

 

Colour of Skin

Human abilities and dreams are coloured in different tinges and shades. Un­fortunately, we manage to look only through the white and black window today. Along with the social, religious and sexual discrimination the racial bar arises.

However, racism is not admissible for the Christian, who ought to regard people as Divine images. Neither is it acceptable for the universal, humanistic and moral consciousness. Racism is absolutely anti-humanistic; it rejects the patriar­chal values and programs us to treat each other as bitter enemies.

Society has many faces. It is necessary to meet people outside the framework. Difference is a special sign. And only those who have peeped through their own individualism could perceive the characteristics of others.

The European Union suggests that integration could make us contribute to the world progress adding our culture and tra­ditions. That’s why all the countries differ from each other. If we try to understand oth­ers no matter what their nationality, colour of skin, favourite music or team is, we will be able to know more about them and to broaden our outlook and ideology.

Man must try hard to see everything without prejudice! This is the panacea. It is not by chance that the day of Europe is cel­ebrated on May 9th – the end of WWII and genocide. Genocide is man’s gravest threat to man – the maximum of hatred for a mini­mum of reason. Furthermore, the motto of the EU ‘United in Diversity’ has not been chosen by chance. Alliance is strength.

Nowadays we resemble an ostrich hiding its head under the ground and turn out to be blind for the painful truth – a slave doesn’t dream about freedom, he desires to have his own slaves. The concept of someone being superior to another can lead to discrimination. In order to get beyond racism we must first take account of race. There is no other way. And in order to treat some people equally, we must treat them differently. This is the magic key to harmony. We should remember that accomplishments and success have no colour.

To sum up, we ought not to judge people by the colour of their skin but by the features of their character. The world is a giant puzzle and all the nations represent tiny parts. Gathered together, they form a complete image. In the contemporary ep­och of globalization we have to realize at all costs the fact that if we are separated the puzzle will fall apart. And if it disappears the effect will be the effacement of human existence.

Elis Shaib, 18 

 

Difference

THE EFFECT THAT THE BOOK “ALF” HAD ON ME

Books and the fascinating marks they leave on one’s personality. Being made only out of ink and paper, books shouldn’t really mean that much and yet they do – with full power they shape the viewpoints and mindsets of people.

I do not fancy myself spending hours reading books, though I highly favoured such a way of spending time when I was younger. One such piece of art I’ve read is called “ALF” (Alien Life Form) – yes, just like the TV series. Yet I can recommend that everyone should find the written version and read it. Even the group of people who are not “touched” by books will probably find it interesting.

The background is quite unusual – an alien finds itself trapped on Earth, embracing the hospitality of a middle-class American family. At first glance this book might appear to be your typical fiction novel, with little to none accuracy with our current world. And exactly there people are wrong as that is where “Alf” outshines every other fiction book. It is amazing to see an otherworldly being deal with situation to which we are accustomed – doing the laundry, cooking, cleaning and even watching TV. ALF has an entirely different approach to everything – he is cunning in his own opinions. He hardly ever listens to others, and his quests to tour the planet not paying attention usually mean he’s in for trouble. To put it all in a single word – ALF is different.

And that is the keyword. The book taught me that you do not have to do what people want you to. We should use our own creativity. What is expected of us is either too complicated or too unreasonable – ALF managed to understand that and instantly became labelled as “different”. And that is why everyone loves him. So instead of going with the flow, I try to have my own ‘piece’ of mind put into my decisions, be it for good or bad. In the end you just end up as being a lot more joy­ful.

 Jordan Tsankov, 18

A book’s effect upon a person’s life is not necessarily obvious. Is there a book of fiction that has nourished your imagination and has influenced your life? Write about the effects that the book had on you.

Equality

People are born equal but they are also born different. Therefore, equality of opportunity is nothing more than an equal opportunity to prove unequal talents.

However, equality is the soul of liberty; there is, in fact, no liberty without it. All humans are created equal. It is only humans themselves who place themselves above equality. Yet, once the game is over, the king and the pawn go back in the same box. Paradoxically, as equality increases, so does the number of people struggling for predominance. Perhaps the defect of equality is that we only desire it with our superiors.

Nevertheless, the longer we live, the more we find we are like other persons. It is only that our differences are more susceptible to definition than our similarities. Yet the tears of the red, yellow, black, brown and white man are all the same. 

 

Freedom

“1984” CHANGED MY LIFE

The book “1984” by George Orwell is definitely one of the greatest books of the 20th century. The world described in the book is not the real world. It’s a fic­tion story, however the social processes, the life of human beings, their psychology and way of thinking (in some cases the lack of thinking), which are described in the book absolutely fit the reality in our real world. So although the names of the places in that fiction world are not authentic, we can easily find their equivalents in reality. Orwell perfectly described an ideal totalitarian society where, by means of propaganda, brainwashing and manipulation of the truth the system (the image of which is Big Brother) creates an entirely different reality and those who are weak and not able or just unwilling to adapt to this new reality with new “truths” are be­ing “vaporized” – they don’t survive.

I read this book two years ago and I had no idea that by the time I finished it I would have my way of thinking and attitude to reality entirely changed. Back in those years I thought that there really was an ‘absolute truth’, a definite way of thinking which is the right one, only one point of view that is right, no matter how many other views there are… And it was difficult then because I was never able to determine correctly which things are right and which are false. This was confusing. However, Orwell suggested an alternative way of finding the ‘truth’ – in this book he says that something becomes a truth when everyone believes in it or when you make others believe in it…

So then I realized that even truth can be subjective and actually this sim­ple but obviously fundamental knowledge that I gained from the book had a tremendous impact on me. I got very happy and it was a huge relief for me that there isn’t only one eternal truth but many and that I could choose between them and pick the one that suited me best, the one that ‘worked’ for me. Even though some religions are based on that principle - deter­mining an exact way of acting, of living life so that all that subjectivity of life could be decreased to a mini­mum level, an by so doing, creating an ordered and easier life for people, it appeared that I very much enjoyed the opposite - the subjectivity of life, the chaotic range of truths... The book also implies that there could be another, better reality and society where we could live.

To sum up, I would say that the greatest effect that the book had on me was the idea that reality is what we think it is and that people could very easily change reality by just changing their way of thinking. Now I can affirm and say that this idea Orwell talked about is very... true, since I have practically experienced that a book can make you think another way and then change your life.

Aysel Tomash,18

 

Friendship

Friendship is a special kind of love. It is always a sweet responsibility, never an oppourtunity. Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art... It has no survival value; rather is one of those things that give value to survival.

A new friendship is like an unripened fruit - it may become either an orange or a lemon.

True friendship is like sound health; the value of it is seldom known until it be lost.

The secret to friendship is being a good listener. A friend is someone you can trust with all your secrets, someone who believes in you when you have ceased to be­lieve in yourself, who knows the song in your heart, and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words. True friends are priceless.

Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.

 

Generosity

We cannot do great things on this Earth, only small things with great love. What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give. Every person must decide whether they will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness. The value of each of us resides in what we give and not in what we are capable of receiving. We ourselves may feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop. If you can’t feed a hundred people then just feed one. For love is when the other person’s happiness is more important than your own.

Be the change you want to see in the world. Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared. Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can. 

 

Genocide


IN THE 20TH CENTURY:
Governments murdered four times as many civilians as were killed
in all the international and domestic wars combined.
Governments murdered millions more people
than were killed by common criminals.

HOW COULD GOVERNMENTS KILL SO MANY PEOPLE?
The governments had the power - and the people, the victims, were unable
to resist. The victims were unarmed.

HERE IS THE FORMULA:
Hatred + Government + Disarmed Civilians = Genocide 

WHAT MAKES THE ARGUMENT SO POWERFUL?
Two factors. First, it makes common sense: unarmed defenseless people have no hope against armed aggressors. Second, it states the historical truth: evil governments did wipe out 170,000,000 innocent non-military lives in the 20th century alone.  

GovernmentDatesTargetsCivilians Killed
Ottoman Turkey1915-1917Armenians (mostly Christians)1 - 1.5 Million
The Soviet Union1929-1945Political Opponents; Farming communities20 Million
Nazi Germany & Occupied Europe1933-1945Political Opponents; Jews; Gypsies; Critics; “examples”20 Million
China, Nationalist 1927-1949Political Opponents; Army conscripts; 10 million
China, Red1949-19521957-1960 1966-1976Political Opponents; Rural populations; Enemies of the State20 - 35 Million
Guatemala1960-1981Mayans & other Indians; Political enemies100,000 - 200,000
Uganda1971-1979Christians, Political enemies300,000
Cambodia (Khmer Rouge)1975-1979Educated Persons; Political enemies2 Million
Rwanda1994Tutsi People800,000

 

SOME MORE FACTS:
In the 20th century for a period of about fifty years and half a dozen wars, close to 3,800,000 Vietnamese lost their lives from political violence, or near one out of every ten men, women, and children. Of these, about 1,250,000, or near a third of those killed, were murdered.
The Srebrenica Massacre, also known as the Srebrenica Genocide, was the July 1995 killing of more than 8,000 Bosniak men and boys, as well as the ethnic cleansing of 25,000-30,000 refugees in the area of Srebrenica in Bos­nia and Herzegovina, by units of the Army of Republika Srpska under thecommand of General Ratko Mladić during the Bosnian War. After the geno­cide some of the bodies have been found and some of the mass graves opened. Identification has proved almost impossible - just a few hundred have been given names. There are still 20,000 people listed as missing in Bosnia.

A GRIM SUMMARY
With unbelievable repetitiveness, regime after regime, ruler after ruler have been murdering people under their control or rule by shooting, burial alive, burning, hanging, knifing, starvation, flaying, beating, torture, and so on and on. Year after year. Not hundreds, not thousands, not tens of thousands of these people, but millions and millions. Almost 170,000,000 of them, and this is only what appears a reasonable middle estimate. The awful toll may even reach above 300,000,000, the equivalent in dead of a nuclear war stretched out over decades.

 

Will humanity ever be able to solve the problem of Cain? 

 

Illusions

Do not part with your illusions. When they are gone you may still exist but you have ceased to live.

Mark Twain

Contrary to popular belief, illusions are not something entirely fictional and imaginary that our mind makes up in order to entertain us. Illusions are a mere re­flection of our aspirations in life. The fact that children display a far greater sense of creativity through imagination is due to their high interest in everything. At their peak level illusions develop into a self-sustaining world in our heads where ev­erything is just the way we’d like it to be in reality – that tells us that we need toimagine in order to visualize our goals and pursue them.

While being so simple, illusions are still being misunderstood by people. They think of them as a burden that prevents them from concentrating on their real problems, thus withholding them. The irony is that by doing that - putting dreams aside - you lock up everything that is of any relevance to you and begin to worry about things that are not really important to yourself.

That is what people mean by saying that you’ve killed the kid in you – you have lost the spirit, the passion to imagine! What use is it to you to save money for a new car when in fact you have always wanted and dreamed of that marvelous bike? You have seen yourself riding it, you have felt your hands’ grip on its steering wheel. Society is slowly stripping everyone of their true dreams based on desires and enforces fake dreams based on needs. Making the difference between these two is crucial with the difference being so vast that few people figure it out.

 As hard as it may be to believe, some people are quite happy with their lives, even without all the luxuries that life offers us. You can see people call them ‘fail­ures’ or ‘not realistic’ but the truth is that these ‘failures’ are at peace with their imaginary world – it is an exact replica of their current lives. They have managed to preserve the kid, to keep the flame burning. That is a true sign of a life well lived. The devotion to our desires should never be set back. That is what Mark Twain meant by “When your illusions are gone you may still exist but you have ceased to live.” Never let your illusions go!

 Jordan Tsankov, 18 

 

The Holocaust 

The Holocaust remains, and will continue to remain one of the most horrify­ing event that has happened to a group of people in the twentieth century. The abso­lute inhumanity of the Holocaust confuses people even today. Contemporary people wonder just how it happened, how could people be systematically killed, tortured and murdered. The answer will probably never be found, but future generations can avoid something like the Holocaust by studying it and never forgetting it.

The term ‘holocaust’ originally derived from the Greek word ‘holokauston’ which means ‘completely burnt’. The Holocaust is also known as Shoah, generally used to describe the genocide of approximately six million European Jews during World War II who were executed by the National Socialist German Party (Nazi) regime in Germany led by Adolf Hitler.

The Holocaust was the effort of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party to extermi­nate the Jews and other people that they considered to be inferior. As a result about 12 million people, about half of whom were Jews, were murdered. Most of the victims perished as a result of shooting, starvation, disease and poison gas. Others were tortured to death or died in horrible medical experiments.

Hitler took power in Germany in 1933 and almost immediately began the chain of events that led to the Holocaust. The first stage was the persecution of Jews in Germany and in the countries invaded by Hitler. It lasted until 1941 and during this period of time, while Hitler built his power, Jews were persecuted and brutalized but there was no organized effort to systematically murder them. Not yet. When Hitler invaded Poland in 1939, the Second World War began. In 1941 Hitler invaded the Soviet Union and at about the same time he decided that there should be a ‘Final Solution’ to ‘the Jewish question’. This ‘Final Solution’ was exactly the murder of the Jews and was mainly carried out by a military group. They arrested Jews and other victims, ran the concentration camps and organized the murder squads.

During the first part of this extermination 1,500.000 Jews and other people were murdered as the military group rounded them up and shot them. Then, in the concentration camps the prisoners were worked to death as slave labourers and in the extermination camps were murdered in the gas chambers. The most famous of these was Auschwitz which was both a labour camp and an extermination camp.

The Nazis targeted many groups for persecution – Catholics, Poles, homo­sexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Communists – but the only three groups targeted for systematic extermination were Jews, the Sinti and Roma, often known as Gypsies.

Unlike all other Nazi Germany allies or German-occupied countries exclud­ing Denmark, Bulgaria managed to save its entire 48,000-strong Jewish population during World War II from deportation to concentration camps, with Dimitar Peshev playing a crucial role in preventing the deportations, as well as Bulgarian Church officials and ordinary citizens.

Sometime in 1944 the actual extermination stopped but, unfortunately, thou­sands of people continued to die in the concentration camps. The Jews who lived in Europe before the war and millions of other innocent people were dead.

The Holocaust is a history of enduring horror and sorrow. It seems as though there is no spark of human concern, no act of humanity to lighten that dark his­tory.

Compiled by Elena Radneva, 18 and Gabriela Angelova, 16

“We are all different; because of that, each of us has something different and special to offer and each and every one of us can make a difference by not being indifferent.”
 Henry Friedman Chairman of the Holocaust Education Centre, Washington.

Languages

AN ARTIFICIAL INTERNATIONAL LANGUAGE ?

Esperanto is a language devised in 1887 as an international auxiliary language. For its struc­ture and vocabulary it draws on Latin, the Romance languages, English, and German. At its cente­nary in 1987, Esperantists claimed 10–15 million users worldwide.

Esperanto spread from Europe to Japan, Brazil, and especially China. Its structure is com­pletely regular, with consistent endings for nouns and adjectives. The spelling of Esperanto is pho­netic, and stress always falls on the penultimate syllable. The original literature of Esperanto is extensive, and translations include the Bible.

Esperantists refer to Esperanto as a planned language and to the natural languages of the world as ethnic languages. Its stability is assured by an unchangeable basis called the Fundamento, and an international academy. It has survived opposition, suppression by governments, and many other difficulties. Many organizations exist to promote its use. The majority are affiliated to the Uni­versal Esperanto Association, which has consultative relations with Unesco.

Esperanto is probably the most successful of the artificial international languages. The num­ber of Esperanto speakers is estimated at more than 100,000. The Universala Esperanto-Asocio (founded 1908) has members in 83 countries, and there are 50 national Esperanto associations and 22 international professional associations that use Esperanto. There is an annual World Esperanto Congress, and more than 100 periodicals are published in the language. More than 30,000 books have been published in Esperanto. 

WHO INVENTED ESPERANTO?

Dr. Ludovic Lazarus (Ludwik Lejzer) Zamenhof (1859-1917) was a Polish-Jew ophthalmologist, philologist and the initiator of Esperanto. His native languages were Russian and Yiddish, but he also spoke Polish and German fluently. Later he learned French, Latin, Greek, Hebrew and English, and he also had an interest in Italian, Spanish and Lithuanian.

Zamenhof was born in the town of Bialystok, in the part of Poland which was then a part of the Russian Empire, and the town’s population was made up of three major ethnic groups: Poles, Belorusians, and a large group of Yiddish-speaking Jews. Zamenhof was saddened and frus­trated by the many quarrels between these groups.

He supposed that the main reason for the hate and prejudice lay in mutual misunderstanding, caused by the lack of one common language that would play the role of a neutral communication tool between people of different ethnic and linguistic backgrounds.

WHY ESPERANTO?

Its name derives from Doktoro Esperanto, the pseudonym under which L. L. Zamenhof pub­lished the first book detailing Esperanto, the Unua Libro, in 1887. The word esperanto means “one who hopes” in the language itself.  

Sexism

Feminism Unveiled

Being a woman is a terribly difficult task, since it consists principally in deal­ing with men. What is more, women’s chains have been forged by men, not by anatomy. And all women simply ask for is not to have power over men, but over themselves.

That is what feminism really is about - the radical notion that women are people. Feminism directly confronts the idea that one person or set of people has the right to impose definitions of reality on others.

The thing women have yet to learn is that nobody will give them power. They just have to take it. All in all, a person doesn’t have to be anti-man to be pro-woman. History is herstory too. 

Prejudice

HOW IS PREJUDICE BORN IN HUMANS?

Being prejudiced means having an unjustified opinion about a certain matter. This happens because people easily believe in things, which they have not person­ally checked or seen. By why then everybody claims to be different? Actually it is really difficult to answer this question, because sometimes it is difficult to under­stand someone’s way of thinking.

Prejudice is present in the way of thinking of people and they don’t even real­ize it. There are many types of prejudice, for example about blondes, other women, even chocolate, which are always popular, despite the fact that people realize that there is a discrepancy between these types of prejudice and reality.

Where does prejudice come from? Firstly, it comes from the family. This is because when we are young we have absolutely no idea about the world around us. Our parents are our world. We listen to everything they comment on including music, movies, politics, etc and we believe in everything because we have no way of checking it for ourselves. This is how our first opinions are formed. Maybe with the time they change, but who knows, it all depends on the environment one lives in.

The family is a minor thing to worry about, though. The essential source of prejudice is the mass media. Maybe it is the most important one, because nowadays people cannot live without TV or the Internet. This is pretty much brainwashing. When they only show model looking women or advertise appetite reducing pills, it is clear that this will become a stereotype for the appearance of a woman. When they advertise so many different deodorants and perfumes, it has become almost inhuman that one might not smell well. But when you think about it, in the past people neither showered that much nor did they have deodorants. There are many other examples of media born stereotypes, which have caused prejudice with the time but there is no point in listing them all.

The conclusion out of all said so far is that we should at least try to be less prejudiced and more tolerant. The only way of doing this is by reading more books, travelling, communicating with different types of people. Instead of believing ev­erything we hear on TV or read in the Internet, we could try and actually check the information we receive and see if these are true facts or just some vague and unsubstantial statements. We should really think about it!

Tsveta Raycheva, 18

RaceA Race between the Races

 Race is not an easy word to explain. It is a word with two meanings. Both of them are fundamental, yet very different from one another. The first is an attempt to be the first.The second explanation of the word is a group of people who are similar in some way, have the same colour of skin and other common physical features. These definitions are thought to have nothing in common. However, that is not quite right as we are simply not aware of the way these two meanings have been united in the history of humanity.

Nowadays racing among people is something quite normal. Arace between the races. It appears to have grown into a major problem. It’s a constant strife in humans always to prove to others how great they are. Take the Olympic Games for example. This is a race between people from different countries. They go there to represent their own country and they are obliged to show how good they are at their sport. People become addicted to always showing who they are and how much better they are. Nevertheless, life spent in competition and boasting is half life, unwholesome life.

The race between races has been a common practice for ages. Wars are a sad example. Nations fight, people kill each other for many reasons: power, land, money or love; but at the root of everything is always competition - the passion in humans to be the best. I might as well be wrong, but why then is that hate between the different races? Some people try to lie that they do not care about what race the people around them are, but more or less they care. They will always have this in mind. I do not think that competitions between races will ever stop as long as we are humans. It is in human nature to compete for everything.

Iren Ivanova, 18

Rights

1. You have the right to live in freedom and safety.
2. Nobody has the right to treat you as their slave or torture you.
3. The law is the same for everyone.
4. You have the right to legal protection.
5. You have the right to a fair and public trial.
6. No one shall be arrested, put in jail or exiled without good reason.
7. You are innocent until proven guilty.
8. You have the right to privacy to move throughout the world to enjoy freedom from persecution in other countries.
9. You have the right to a nationality.
10. You have the right to marry and have a family.
11. Your government should protect your family.
12. You have the right to own property and possession.
13. You have the right to think what you want and say what you like.
14. You have the right to practice your religion freely and organize peacefully.
15. You have the right to take part in your country’s political affairs.
16. Government should be voted for regularly and all votes are equal.
17. The society in which you live should help you to develop.
18. You have the right to work and to a fair salary.
19. Each work day should not be too long.
20. You have the right to expect a decent standard of living.
21. You have the right to go to school.
22. Education should strive to promote peace and understanding among people.
23. You have the right to share in your community’s arts and sciences.
24. You must respect the social order that is necessary for these rights to be available.
25. You must respect the rights of others, the community and public property.
26. Nobody shall attempt in any way to destroy the rights set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
27. People deserve to know their rights.

After THE UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS 

Teamwork

The Beginning of the World and the Origin of Tolerance

Long, long ago, it was dark everywhere. There were seven gods: Acceptance, Equality, Humanity, Justice, Respect and Freedom. The biggest and the strongest of them was Peace.

Peace and other gods decided to make the Universe brighter. Justice created stars but there wasn’t enough light and he created the biggest thing in the Universe - the Sun. That is why he became the god of the Sun, stars and light. Respect created day and night and Equality - the moon. The strongest of all gods, Peace, created the Earth from a giant grain that he dropped in space. The grain became bigger and bigger.

After a long period of time the Earth was ready. There were animals, oceans and plants on the Earth. Peace dropped two more grains and made the first woman and man. Freedom also wanted to create something but he didn’t know what. Free­dom dropped a grain on the Earth without the permission of the other gods.

After a long time there were many people and children but Freedom created giants and midgets. The giants were strong and ruled people. They worked to feed them but people were stronger than the midgets and they also ruled them. After some time nobody wanted to work for anybody and then giants, people and midgets started to fight.

The seven gods gathered and decided to help people and show them how to be tolerant and to respect each other. Then it started to rain. Never before had these creatures seen water falling from the sky. All of them, even the giants, were very scared. None of them knew what to do, except the midgets. They knew a place where they could hide but this place was far away so they needed the help of the giants and the people for going there. Therefore the midgets rode the people and the people rode the giants. This method was really helpful because they went there, and the fact that all creatures worked together like a team made them understand the place of everyone on the Earth, taught them to respect each other and be tolerant. They all found that they could be equal even if they were different. This is how the world and tolerance originated.

Kyamile Isuf, 17

Tolerance

 TOLERANCE AND FREEDOM

 Tolerance is closely connected to freedom. Only a free person can be tolerant to other people’s differences.There are different people in the world and every one has their own character, ideas… People must be tolerant to each other. They must have the freedom to ac­cept the others with their own understanding, with their different ideas, religions, nationality, color of the skin, language…

Many years ago people did not understand the other people’s differences. Now they are tolerant, because they have the freedom to understand the other’s dif­ferences. Now no one wants the society to accept their ideas by 100%, like many years ago if you did not accept the ideas of a king or politician, you were killed.

Tolerance as measurement of freedom is the result of communication be­tween people. Tolerance and communication must go hand in hand. The way in which people must respect the others and their own understanding and ideas is tolerance.

An example for tolerance is tolerance in friendship in which there is a little “war” between different characters and ideas. I may say that it is of absolutely no importance if your friend is with black, yellow or white skin; if he/she is Bulgarian, German, American, British; if he/she confesses a different religion from yours –that is not important. Nowadays everyone can say his/her ideas without fear be­cause now everyone respects the need for tolerance.

Only a free person can appreciate the differences in other people because only he/she has the real tolerance – to understand and to accept ideas different from yours and not to be timid that someone is not the same as you.

Finally, be tolerant to other people and have the freedom to be yourself! And do not forget that as you are right in your own way the others are also right in their own way!  

Miglena Nedeva, 17

We

Our Fight between Good and Evil 

Mankind – an endless ocean of different tempers and values. Hundreds of people are born every day and each of them will have a unique nature, mentality and behaviour. Each person will grow up, be brought up by their parents, meet friends, go to school, face good and evil, and sooner or later they will make their way to the horizon of their own reveries and longings. However, not each time their strivings will lead them to good actions.

Yes, as many the stars on the sky are, that many the characters on Earth are. But I ask myself some questions: Why aren’t we shining like these stars? Why, if there are too many of us, are we actually glaring so faintly? Why are we ready to betray in the name of our own welfare?

The truth is that we are destroyers. We destroy each other day after day, un­til we realize that we have been wrong. We step away from our happiness when we look down on the people around us with disregard and hostility. We hate each other because we are different. We are impartial to the misfortunes of our society and more or less we lose the mentioned above uniqueness. In this way we reduce ourselves to identical badly-programmed robots, which exist with survival as our only purpose.

As a matter of fact, we have not lost our virtues – we simply refuse to change them. We want to live our lives well enough, without thinking that millions of people are suffering. If we succeed to give a silver lining at least to one of these mil­lions, and we take this hope away from no one, then I would call this an existence of full value. If we succeed to change the relationships among us, we will climb much higher peaks than those in the Himalayas. All in all, it is never too late to become good to ourselves.Let’s fill the human ocean with golden fish, but not like these, which fulfil someone’s selfish wishes, on the contrary, by doing acts of goodness ourselves.

Let the “Earth firmament” be shining, but not because of diamonds, glistering in our hands, but because the sun could smile on our faces. Let the beauty of spring come into our souls. If we embody all the blessing of nature in ourselves, then it will envy us. Let’s just try it!

Zornitsa Mihaylova, 18

Xenophobia

There are not too many words in the English dictionary that start with the letter x. The ones that do have an aura of Greek or Roman antiquity. For exam­ple, the instrument xylophone, which is formed from two Greek words meaning wood and voice, and X being the roman numeral for ten.

The X-ray is an invention that allows us to see through our bodies to study broken bones or other matter; to look beneath the skin so to speak. Xeno­phobia (pronounced with a z) is a word that also goes beneath the skin. Skin in fact is part of the problem with this word, but not the only one. The word home is also a problem. To understand this we need to take xenophobia apart (and also have a closer look at the word home).

The word xeno refers to a foreign­er or something that is foreign and there­fore not from home. A phobia is some­thing that people fear in an extreme way, such as a fear of spiders (arachnopho­bia). So xenophobia is a fear of foreign­ers. Fear of spiders is something that is tangible because the fear is that of the human’s fear of a predatory invertebrate animal which is a different species. But fear of a foreigner is different. Although the person who fears the foreigner (i.e. the person from the home) is different in nationality, they are both human. So where does this fear come from?

This question is not new. Fear of anything is unpleasant due to the effect it has on the human mind and body, but fear that leads to hatred is severely damaging to humans. Nationality can be wonderful as people can feel proud of their nation on special occasions or an­nual events related to that country. But history’s records demonstrate that when people from different nations migrate, there can be pain and suffering.

In a way, xenophobia is a fasci­nating word as it is odd to look at and sounds interesting when uttered. The fact that it is pronounced zen is ironic as xenophobia is as far away in mean­ing from the teachings of Zen (as in the doctrine of Buddhism). But by saying the word, then discussing its meaning, routes and links with other words there is somehow a fusion or spark of realisa­tion at its actual meaning. This could be an opportunity to challenge the negative connotations of home in relation to how we treat others.

In our world today, we seem to try to act the right way, but do we under­stand what it is we think we do? Have we understood the words in our heads or discussed them out loud and in front of each other enough? The word xeno­phobia is a good place to start as it is at the heart of some of the world’s most difficult problems. 

 

YOM KIPPUR

Before I begin to expound the term Yom Kippur and the rites connected with it I want to define what exactly tolerance and forgiveness is. The first thing that comes to the mind after reading this introductory sentence is the question: What do Yom Kippur, forgiveness and tolerance have in common? Actually they really do.

By definition forgiveness is the process of ceasing to feel resentment, in­dignation or anger for accomplished offense or mistake and ceasing to demand punishment or restitution. “To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you”. The hidden message behind this metaphor is that after forgive­ness in return you will receive peace and happiness. What’s more to forgive is the highest and most beautiful form of love.

On the other hand tolerance is defined as willingless to allow people to do, say or believe what they want without criticizing them. No two people in the world are exactly alike. All people even identical twins have their own experiences and their viewpoints. So the question arises: Do we have to agree with people and re­spect their right to have their own opinion? No, it is not necessary but it is advisory. We should bear in mind that being open to see new things and learning about other people without prejudging them is a form of tolerance. Tolerance also means treat­ing others the way you would like to be treated. As a matter of fact these two words: tolerance and forgiveness, which are with simple spellings but with complicated meanings are united in the term Yom Kippur.

Yom Kippur is the most important and sol­emn of the Jewish holidays. It is also known in English as the Day of Atonement. Its central themes are tolerance, forgiveness, atonement and repentance. Yom Kippur is considered the date on which Moses received the second set of the Ten Commandments. At this time the Israelites were given atonement for the sin of the Golden Calf. This is the reason why it is called the Day of Atonement. Jews traditionally observe this holy day with a 25-hour period of fasting and inten­sive prayer, restraining from physical pleasures, refraining from work and often spending most of the day in synagogue.

Generally Yom Kippur is the tenth and fi­nal day of the Ten Days of Repentance, which takes place in autumn, usually in September or October but the date fluctuates each year. During the Days of Repentance Jews seek forgiveness for their wrongs against God and againts their fellow men. At the end of Yom Kippur one considers that God has absolved him of his sins. At the day of Yom Kippur wearing white colours is traditionally required. The white colour symbolizes the purity on this day. Very often Yom Kippur is compared to the Christian holy day of Great Friday. Yom Kippur is seen as the day for atonement of sins as well as Great Friday in Christianity is the equivalent of this event.

Human laws, no doubt, are imperfect because men are born imperfect but they could reach perfection and eminence of their minds and souls through forgive­ness, tolerance and atonement.

Dilyana Karadjova, 18  

  

TOP 10:  THE HEROES 

THE MOST TOLERANT PEOPLE IN HUMAN HISTORY

The survey was carried out among 150 studentsof different age groups at the “Nikola Vaptsarov”Foreign Language High School in Shoumen


1 Mother Teresa was an Albanian Roman Catholic nun with Indian citi­zenship. She founded the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta, India in 1950. For over 45 years she ministered to the poor, sick, orphaned, and dying, first throughout India and then in other countries. She won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 and India’s highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna, in 1980 for her humanitarian work.Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity continued to expand, and at the time of her death it was operating 610 missions in 123 countries, including hospices and homes for people with HIV/AIDS, leprosy and tuberculosis, soup kitchens, children’s and family counseling programs, orphanages, and schools. 
2  Pope John Paul II reigned as Pope and Sovereign of the State of the Vatican City from 16 October 1978 until his death almost 27 years later. He has been the only Polish pope, and was the first non-Italian since the Dutch pontiff Adrian 6 in the 1520s. John Paul II is widely acclaimed as one of the most influential leaders of the twentieth century. He has been credited with being instrumental in bringing down communism in Eastern Europe. 
 3 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was born on January 15, 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia. He was a Baptist minister and political activist who was the most famous leader of the American civil rights movement. He won the Nobel Peace Prize and Presidential Medal of Freedom before being as­sassinated in 1968. For his promotion of non-violence and racial equality, he is considered a peacemaker by many people around the world. 
4 Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869-1948) was the political and spiritual leader of India during the Indian independence movement. He was the pioneer of satyagraha—resistance to tyranny through mass civil disobedience, firmly founded upon total non-violence—which led India to independence and has inspired movements for civil rights and free­dom across the world. Gandhi is commonly known around the world as Mahatma Gandhi (Sanskrit: mahātmā or ‘Great Soul’), and in India also as Bapu (‘Father’). He is officially honoured in India as the Father of the Nation; his birthday, October 2, is commemorated there as Gandhi Jayanti, a national holiday, and worldwide as the International Day of Non-Violence. 
5  Dimitar Peshev (1894-1973) was the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of Bulgaria and Minister of Justice during World War II. He rebelled against the pro-Nazi cabinet and prevented the Deportation of Bulgaria’s 48,000 Jews. 
6 Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He successfully led his country through its greatest internal crisis, the American Civil War, preserving the Union and ending slavery.  
7 Saints Cyril and Methodius are credited with devising the Glagolitic alphabet, the first alphabet used to transcribe the Old Church Slavonic language. They created the alphabet in order to translate the Bible and other texts into the Slavic languages. Through their work they influenced the cultural development of all Slavs, for which they received the title “Apostles to the Slavs”. The early Cyrillic alphabet was a simplification of the Glagolitic alphabet which more closely resembled the Greek alphabet. It has been attrib­uted to Saint Clement of Ohrid, a disciple of Saints Cyril and Methodius. However, recent studies have suggested that the Cyrillic alphabet was more likely developed at the Preslav Literary School in northeastern Bulgaria in the early 10th century and was named so in honour of St. Cyril. 
8  Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (1918-1999) was South African activist, winner of the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize for his active participation in the political struggle against the racial discrimination practiced in South Af­rica. Mandela became an international symbol of resistance to apart­heid during his long years of imprisonment(1962–90), and world lead­ers continued to demand his release. In 1994 he became the first black president of South Africa. 
9 Boris III the Unifier, Tsar of Bulgaria (1894-1943), originally Boris Kle­mens Robert Maria Pius Ludwig Stanislaus Xaver, son of Ferdinand I, came to the throne in 1918 upon the abdication of his father. He suc­ceeded to save all Bulgarian Jews from deportation to the concentration camps. 
10 Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945), often referred to by his initials FDR, was the 32nd President of the United States. He was a central fig­ure of the 20th century during a time of worldwide economic crisis and world war. Elected to four terms in office, he served from 1933 to 1945 and is the only U.S. president to have served more than two terms. Roosevelt played a critical role in shaping the post-war world, particu­larly through the Yalta Conference and the creation of the United Na­tions. Later, with the United States, the Allies defeated Germany, Italy, and Japan.  
 TOP 10:  THE VILLAINS 
 THE MOST INTOLERANT PEOPLE IN HUMAN HISTORY
    
1 Adolf Hitler was the ruler of Germany from 1933 to 1945. He was the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party and quickly es­tablished a totalitarian and fascist dictatorship. One of the foundations of Hitler’s social policies was the concept of ra­cial hygiene. Hitler killed a lot of people. The first victims were children with physical and developmental disabilities.Between 1939 and 1945, the SS (a major Nazi organization under Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party), assisted by collaborationist governments and recruits from occupied countries, systematically killed somewhere between 11 and 14 million people, including about six million Jews, in concentration camps, ghettos and mass executions. 
2 Osama bin Laden and his organization have been major targets of the United States’ War on Terrorism since 2001. Osama bin Laden has claimed responsibility for the 11 September 2001 attacks on the United States. The attacks involved the hijacking of United Airlines Flight 93, United Airlines Flight 175, American Airlines Flight 11, and American Airlines Flight 77; the subsequent destruction of those planes and the World Trade Center in New York City, New York; severe damage to the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia; and the deaths of 2,974 people exclud­ing the nineteen hijackers. 
3 Josef Stalin was the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union’s Central Committee from 1922 until his death in 1953.In the years following Lenin’s death in 1924, he rose to become the authoritarian leader of the Soviet Union.During the late 1930s, Stalin launched the Great Terror. Millions of peo­ple were executed, imprisoned in Gulag labor camps or exiled. During the famine of 1932–1933 in the Ukrainian SSR millions of people were starved to death because of the Soviet policies. Estimates on the total number of casualties within Soviet Ukraine range mostly from 2.2 mil­lion to 10 million. 
4 Saddam Hussein organised cruel persecution against Kurds in Nord Irak and put the nations of one village under genocide. After 1990 over 900 000 Kurds emigrated in Turkey and Iran. Saddam Hussein also organised cruel persecution against Arabian tribes, who lived on the river valley of Euphrates. 
5 Mao Zedong was the leader of China. In result of the practical applica­tion of his ideology, which most famous initiatives are “Great Leap For­ward” and “Cultural Revolution”, about 65 Million people were killed. 
6 Vladimir Ilyich Lenin was a Russian revolutionary, a communist politi­cian, the principal leader of the October Revolution and the first head of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.Lenin had appointed Felix Dzerzhinsky to head the Cheka (the first So­viet state security organizations) in 1917, to commence a “Red Terror”- the campaign of mass arrests and executions. The Cheka killed and abused their victims without mercy. Some were shot, others drowned, frozen, buried alive, or hacked to death by swords. At least 50,000 peo­ple were shot or hanged. Some historians estimate that between 1917 and 1922 up to 280,000 people were killed by the Chekas, of which about half perished through summary executions and the other half through the suppression of rebellions. 
7 Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus ruled from 54 to 68 AD, focusing much of his attention on diplomacy, trade, and increasing the cultural capital of the empire. He ordered the building of theaters and promoted athletic games. Nero’s rule is often associated with tyranny and extravagance. He is known for a number of executions, including those of his mother and adoptive brother, as the emperor who “fiddled while Rome burned”, and as an early persecutor of Christians. 
8 Augusto José Ramón Pinochet Ugarte (1915-2006) was a Chilean army general and later head of state as a military dictator. In December 1974, the junta appointed Pinochet as President. From the beginning, the government implemented harsh measures. At least 80,000 were incarcerated without trials and 30,000 subjected to torture. Another 200,000 people went into exile, particularly to Argentina and Peru, and applied as political refugees. 
9 Benito Mussolini was an Italian politician who led the National Fascist Party and is credited with being one of the key figures in the creation of Fascism. He became the Prime Minister of Italy in 1922 and began using the title Duce by 1925.As dictator of Italy, Mussolini’s foremost priority was the subjugation of the minds of the Italian people. Press, radio, education, films - all were carefully supervised to create the illusion that fascism was the doctrine of the twentieth century, replacing liberalism and democracy. 
10 Shoko Asahara was a terrorist and founder of Aum terrorist group. On March 20,1995, members of Aum attacked the Tokyo Subway System with the nerve gas sarin. Twelve commuters died, and thousands more suffered from after-effects.  

The 10 Golden Rules of Tolerance 

There are different people in the world and every one has their own char­acter, ideas…

People should be tolerant to each other. They should have the freedom to accept the others with their own under­standing, with their different ideas, reli­gion, nationality, color of the skin, lan­guage…

One of the biggest achievements in human development is tolerance – the freedom to accept the others and respect each other with our individual differ­ences.

So now, listen carefully! I will present to you the 10 Golden Rules of Tolerance. If you fall short of any of these rules, do not despair. There is always hope as long as you desire to change for the better.

Acceptance – We are very differ­ent and it is a plain fact. And that is a gift, which helps us to develop in dif­ferent directions and to help each other. But first we have to accept the others.

Humanity – We have to think about the others, to think about our problems and to find their solutions. Only in this way can we change every­thing to good and restore the lost moral values and unwritten rules. Let just be humans!

Respect – Be tolerant to your­self. First you must respect yourself and only then you can respect the others. You should strive to be in harmony with yourself.

Communication - Tolerance as measurement of freedom is the result of communication between people. Toler­ance and communication must go hand in hand. With communication we keep in touch with people from different reli­gions and nationalities.

Patience – When we live more easily and safely we have the patience and the wish to communicate with oth­ers and to be more tolerant and patient with them.

Optimism – In life a person comes into collision with very different things and because of that he loses his optimism and becomes estranged from others. And tolerance is forgotten by that person. He begins to look for dif­ferences between each other and defects in them; he forgets what it means to be tolerant and optimistic.

Friendship - An example for tol­erance is tolerance in friendship in which there is a little “war” between different characters and ideas. I may say that it is of absolutely no importance if your friend is with black, yellow or white skin; if he/she is Bulgarian, Spanish, Polish or German; if he/she confesses a different religion from yours – that is not important. And this is a truly golden rule - the key to real friendship: ‘Do for oth­ers what you want them to do for you.’ Wouldn’t the world be a better place if we really did this?

Compromise – We must have the will to make compromises!

Justice – We do not have to throw back the other races, social belongings, other nationalities, religions, traditions. We have to overcome this and not to be afraid of the differences.

Knowledge and Freedom – Knowledge gives us the freedom to understand all these rules and to apply them. Only a free person can appreciate the differences in other people because only he/she has the real tolerance – to understand and to accept ideas differ­ent from yours and not to be timid that someone is not the same as you. Finally, be tolerant to other peo­ple and have the freedom to be yourself! And do not forget that as you are right in your own way the others are also right in their own way!

 Miglena Nedeva, 17

The Tolerance Alphabet

Acceptance. приеманеAggression. агресияAttitudes. отношенияAgeism. възрастова дискриминация Brotherhood. братствоBias. предразсъдъкBoundaries. граници Culture. култураCustoms. обичаиColour of skin. цвят на кожатаCelebrations. празници Difference. разликаDiversity.  разнообразиеDisrespect. неуважениеDiscrimination. дискриминацияDemocracy. демокрацияEquality.  равенствоEthnic groups. етнически групи Freedom. свободаFriendship. приятелствоFamily. семействоForeigners. чужденциGenocide. геноцидGenerosity. щедростGlobalization. глобализация Humanity.  човечествоHonesty.  честностHostility. враждебностHolocaust.  холокостHuman - Humane   човешки - човеченIntegration. интеграцияIndifference.  безразличиеIdentity. самоличност / идентичностJustice. справедливостJudgement. Съд. ПреценкаJealousy. РевностKnowledge. ЗнаниеKindness. ДобротаKu Klux Klan. Love. ЛюбовLiberty. СвободаLanguages. Езици

 

Majority. МнозинствоMinority. МалцинствоMulticultural competence. Nation. НацияNationality. НационалностNationalism. Национализъм Openmindedness. Непредубеденост/ЛибералностOppression. Потискане/Гнет Peace. МирPrejudice. ПредразсъдъциPatience. ТърпениеPartnership. ПартньорствоPolitical correctness. Политическа коректност.Quality of life. Качество на животаQuarrels. Спорове/Кавги Rights. ПраваRespect. УважениеRace. РасаRacism. РасизъмResponsibility. ОтговорностReligions. Религии Sense of self. Sexism. Полова дискриминацияStrangers. НепознатиSimplicity. Простота/Лековерност/НаивностTolerance. Толерантност. ТърпимостTeamwork. Работа в екипTraditions. ТрадицииUnity. ЕдинствоUnanimity. ЕдинодушиеUniqueness. УникалностVariety. РазнообразиеValues. ЦенностиViolence. НасилиеVictimization. Гонене, преследване, уволнение (особ. по политически причини)We.    Ние                            Women. ЖенитеWisdom.     Мъдрост           Why? Защо?Xenophobia. КсенофобияYou.  Ти - другиятYouth. Младите / МладосттаYom Kippur. Zero tolerance. Нулева толерантностZebras - ebony and ivory. Зебрите