There is an Art School("Georgi Bregov") in Pazardzhik that is quite different from our idea of Art.
In 2017, students from the Pazardzhik Art School "Georgi Bregov" - Pazardzhik, led by Mrs. Atanaska Kostadinova, honored the Feast of the Christian Family and were part of the Children's celebration of the Epiphany in the Youth House in Pazardzhik. According to press reports, they sang songs and poems and with pure hearts praised God and the Mother of God. Victoria Krasteva read her poem, which received first prize in this year's edition of the national competition of the Plovdiv Diocese, dedicated to the Feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Детско тържество за Въведение Богородично в Пазарджик (plovdivskamitropolia.bg)
But this Art School is much more than that, it has been part of a twinning and pedagogical exchange program with Russia for more than 15 years.
If you open the official website of the city of Stavropol you will find a newsfeed with the full cultural and sports calendar of the city of Pazardzhik, going back years and with the latest news from 25/02/2022- The day after the beginning of the war in Ukraine. The news were a mirror of everything official that happened in the calendar of the municipality of Pazardzhik.
The big question is something else. We have a city in Bulgaria that has been developing pedagogical and cultural exchange with a city in Russia - Stavropol for almost 15 years, under the watchful eyes and with the participation of all institutions in Pazardzhik. And the question is, Bulgaria, which is part of the EU and NATO, how is that approved? Has this happened through the Ministry of Education? The regional inspectorate has approved, between the education plan? To whom were the teachers accountable(apart from exclusive positive press releases and the interview)? What are the objectives set and what are the pedagogical results obtained?
According to the Official Propaganda
About the History In the Russian sources:
Stavropol and Pazardzhik became twinned in 1969, when they signed a treaty on friendly relations between the cities and established a department of the Soviet Union-Bulgaria Friendship Society. Partnership and friendly relations were particularly active in the 70-80s of the twentieth century. Each year the cities exchanged delegations aimed at establishing business contacts between industrial enterprises. Bulgarian builders actively helped to build various objects in Stavropol, and architects from Stavropol took part in the contest of designs of administrative building of "Stavropol" microdistrict in Pazardzhik city.
They also organized "Friendship Trains," in which residents of both cities learned about the traditions and customs of their twin cities.
Cultural ties were very active. Pazardzhik ensemble, children's choir "Maestro Atanasov", folk dance ensemble "Chavdar" came to Stavropol with concerts. The Stavropol creative ensembles Zoryanochka and Zhavoronok have repeatedly toured the twin city. The poems of Bulgarian poets have been translated into Russian and published in collections entitled "A Tear in the Wind" and "Good Echo".
The editorial boards of newspapers, radio and television of the twin cities have informed about the most important and interesting events in the social and cultural life of the cities. A collection of essays, articles and documents "On the Roads of Friendship", a book "Forever Together", and a booklet "Stavropol and Pazardzhik are Brothers" were published.
The transformations taking place in Russia in the early 1990s had an influence on the further development of friendly ties between our cities which were characterized by some decline. Since 1996 the dynamic development of cooperation between the twin cities has been observed. In accordance with the Agreement on Cooperation between Stavropol and Pazardzhik the twinning relations develop in a variety of ways: in the exchange of experience in the field of local government, municipal economy, economic development and trade, education and culture.
2007 The Big Restart
As part of the National Program to celebrate the 130 anniversary of the liberation of Bulgaria from the Ottoman slavery. Creative meetings were held between members of the Stavropol regional writers' organization and the Bulgarian Writers' Union. There was a presentation of a book of translations of Bulgarian poets.
Связи Ставрополя с побратимом Пазарджиком возобновились - МК Ставрополь (Кавказ) (mk.ru) 2009 becomes the Year of Bulgaria in Russia
With numerous events in the world of culture and literature.
Who was the Architect of the Pazardzhik Culture:
One teacher on charge of the city culture
One of the priority areas of cooperation between the municipalities of the twin cities of Stavropol and Pazardzhik remains cooperation in the field of education.
Gymnasium No. 25 in Stavropol and G. Bregova Secondary School in Pavlodar were chosen as basic institutions for twinning relations in the field of education. G. Bregova Secondary School of Pazardzhik.
"Gymnasium No. 25 in Stavropol and G. Bregov Secondary School in Pazardzhik became the basic institutions for the development of twinning relations in the field of education. According to the plan of cooperation between the departments of education of the twin cities the delegations of students from these educational institutions are exchanged. In 2007 a group of students from Gymnasium No.25 took part in the celebrations devoted to the Days of the Slavonic Written Language and Culture. During the return visit the pupils of G. Bregov College took a very active part in the celebrations to mark the 230th anniversary of the city of Stavropol. Their performance at the festival of national cultures "Heart of the Caucasus - City of the Cross" was especially striking."
"A number of events are planned to mark the 130th anniversary of "the liberation of Bulgaria from the Ottoman slavery" in Stavropol. In educational institutions will take place scientific conferences devoted to history of friendly relations of our countries, lessons of Russian-Bulgarian friendship, meetings of young people with veterans of World War II, who took part in liberation of Bulgaria from German-fascist troops, competitions among readers in city libraries, photo exhibitions, exhibitions of applied art and other events will be arranged.
Our relations with the brotherly Bulgarian people have deep roots. These traditions will continue to help develop mutually beneficial cooperation with the twin city of Pazardzhik in the economic, social and cultural sphere, in the field of education, health and sports."
Peace Between Civilizations
The guests also had much to boast about. They proudly said that the song performed by their Bulgarian vocalist had been selected from tens of thousands of other compositions and sent into space as a message to other possible civilisations calling for peace. The Pazardzhik friends presented the mayor with souvenirs and wished the people of Stavropol "that fire warms the hands, love warms the heart and God protects in all matters". The musical theme had an unexpected continuation.
Day of Pazardzhik, 2017
Children's delegation from Stavropol at the Day of Pazardzhik, 2017. Welcomed by their hosts from the Pazardzhik School of Arts.
The children from Pazardzhik showed Bulgarian folk songs during a visit to Lyceum No. 5, where they had a joint concert with the Chinese children from the twin city of Changzhou and the Russian children. Stavropol is also twinned with the French city of Beset, the US city of Des Moines and the Chilean city of Temuco. There are seven sister cities in total.
Throughout their stay in Russia, the children were placed with foster families. They say that they have become very close to them and will be happy to welcome them in the spring in Pazardzhik. On one of the days of the visit, from 20 to 27 September, the families took the students from Pazardzhik on a trip to neighbouring towns, as well as to sights in and outside Stavropol. The two teachers visited Kislovodsk, which is twinned with Velingrad. The reason for this is the numerous mineral springs that both towns have in their assets. The teachers have visited the Honey Falls in the vicinity of Kislovodsk.
Pazardzhik was visited by an official delegation from Stavropol. I went on this trip as an official representative of the administration, as well as Alexander Kocherga, a deputy of the City Duma, and representatives of Stavropol businesses. Many official meetings were held, we took part in the celebration of the Day of Slavic Script. We had meetings with the governor, the mayor and the chairman of the parliament. We concluded a cooperation agreement.
The Day of the City. This time we did not deviate from tradition either. During the celebration, we made a speech on the main square and presented a congratulation address to the residents of our twin city. Also, we attended a service in the church dedicated to St. Constantine and St. Helen. It always coincides with the City Day. By the way, our children's delegation also took part in the celebration of the City Day. The creative team of the 25th Lyceum of Stavropol presented the residents of Pazardzhik with bright choreographic and song performances.
However, not so long ago, on the initiative of the head of the Stavropol administration Andrei Dzhatdoev, we began to restore these ties. Now the cooperation between the two cities has reached an unprecedented level. The annual exchange of delegations has become a tradition. In general, I would like to note that our Bulgarian colleagues are happy to cooperate with us. They are especially interested in landscaping and housing and communal services. There are a lot of areas of cooperation between our cities, as well as many common things between our peoples.
Alexander Myasoedov, Deputy Head of Stavropol City Administration
And Everything is for Peace and Neutrality
Participation in the day dedicated to peace, under the title "Dove of Peace". All lined up in one heart, we released balloons into the sky with a paper dove tied to them. And when we talk about the importance of "education and peace" , it is good to look at the last project implemented in Pazardzhik full of positivity, pacifism and good intentions:
In the meantime, Bulgaria is a door to Europe through Erasmus funded programmes. And builds not official bridges between Russia and Europe based on Education. As the head of Pazardzhik at the moment is the only local politician who has met Vladimir Putin - Trendaphil Velichkov:
Very interesting cultural bridges are being built in Pazardzhik with Euro funds. On the one hand they are reaching out to Russia, on the other they are paving cultural roads to Serbia and Europe.
The camouflage idea of Peace and Neutrality has been developed since late Communism. It is currently being developed on a large scale in Pazardzhik, which is de facto a direct sabotage of NATO and the EU during the war with Russia in Ukraine:
An ideological current based on the anti-system (terrorist)movement fuelled by Russian state quasi-religious cults (created by the KGB under the USSR) mixed with modern art.
Beyond the Propaganda
One of the Bulgarian teachers visiting Stavropol on the cultural exchange tells with sadness and nostalgia how the students in the Russian schools had uniforms, there was order and discipline and they observed subordination. But let's take a look at the Stavropol schools, abstracting from the friendly and cordial press releases. After all, for almost 15 years, children from the Pazardzhik School of Arts have been on a cultural exchange in Stavropol, Russia. And teachers from the same art school from Pazardzhik have sent and welcomed their Russian counterparts to officially exchange experiences, according to an officially approved pedagogical plan. I wonder who in the Ministry of Education of Bulgaria, an EU member state, has approved such a Pedagogical Plan. The question is who allowed all this to happen in Pazardzhik, the biggest irony being that it was in a School of Arts!
But the same steam military training that has dominated Russian education can be seen in Pazardzhik for more than a decade. All the while it has not only been in no way of interest to the institutions, but has been received more than positively. And in the Bulgarian media, children from Pazardzhik, Bulgaria, learning in Russia from Russian military to throw bombs and kill Russia's enemies are presented as heroes.