In October, the beginning of the practical classes in Activity 3 of the project “United in diversity”: Tutor session in the National Library “St. St. Cyril and Methodius”. Four lessons were held with fourth and fifth grade students from the 75 “Todor Kableshkov” School and 76 “William Saroyan” School in the city of Sofia.
The sessions began with a talk by an in-house expert and a look at the permanent exhibition in the History of the Book hall, which includes 13 information boards and 17 display cases with originals and copies of manuscripts and old printed books from the National Library’s collection. The students learned more about the role of the Library, what activities are carried out in it and what valuable cultural heritage is stored in it. During the talk, the students learned about the development of writing and literary culture in Bulgaria.
In the second part of the lesson, the students received educational content focused on the traditions and holidays of the Roma, Bulgarian, Armenian and Jewish ethnic groups. The educational expert explained what is special about the folk holiday calendar, which follows the cycle of the seasons and reflects the relationship between religious faith and community traditions. The importance of ritual practices among different ethnicities was also highlighted, such as the preparation of the table for the winter holidays: Christmas Eve, Nativity, Hanukkah, Rosh Hashanah, Dzanunt and Bango Vasil. The students also learned about the ritual character of the word and the preparation of bread for various holidays in each of the ethnic groups. Together with an educational expert, the students prepared a general calendar of the holidays of Roma, Jews, Armenians and Bulgarians. In this way, they had the opportunity to highlight the dates with their matching winter, spring, summer and autumn holidays and those specific to each of the ethnicities.
After the end of each lesson, the children had a creative task to create their own drawings with oil pastels or watercolor paints, with which they would illustrate various elements of the holidays of the Roma, Bulgarian, Armenian and Jewish ethnic groups, thus expressing their understanding of the message “Unity in the difference’.
More pictures and videos of the practical activities can be found in the project profile in the EEA Library.