Posts Tagged ‘history’

Papusza – Polish movie (2013) about the life of the gipsys and first gipsy poet

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

Papusza-A-movie-about-the-life-of-the-gipsys
Gipsys (Romani-people)
 as a communities all around mostly Europe has always raised interest during the last few centuries however little is known on their stereotype of living. Gipsys are famous for their illiteracy, for their cheerful temper, wild character and nomadic life-style as well as strong closed community. Gipsys are famous for that they don't have their own writting (even though they have a number of gipsy languages) and because of them Romani, doesn't keep any record of their history and any history or lifestyle of them is only to be found by non-gipsies. Gipsies are famous for being able to steal for their inclination to telling fantastic stories, be involved with fortune-telling, exaggerating facts or telling lies about their private life, they're famous as good virtuosos musicians and good artists. Most of Gipsys are Christian, Muslim or Atheists. The high-level of illiteracy they have makes anyone educated among them to be considered a success in life.

The interesting way of living of Gipsys has triggered many people to create movies, trying to picture Gipsys life-style like Emil Kosturica's Time of the Gipsys.

Yesteday I was invited by Andrea (an ipo-diakonus) in Saint George Dyrvenica Church in the Polish Culture center here in Sofia to see another movie dedicated to Papusza (Bronisława Wajs) – (1908-1987), a famous gipsy who is practically the first (Polish Gipsy Romani) classic poet and singer. The word Papusza in Gipsy language means 'A Doll' – a name given to the future poetess by her mother.
The movie is a great to saw for anyone willing to know more about the history and culture of gipsys in a synthesized form. My interest into Gipsys is because in Bulgaria officially we have about 350 000 Gipsys and I've encounted many gipsys in my life. During my studies in Netherlands, I had the chance to spend quite a lot of time, being in close relations with Bulgarian gipsy family and I was fascinated on how good hearted and primitive truthfulness of gipsys.

Now back to the movie The fact that a gipsy woman could write a beatiful inspired poems and sing so beatiful and most importantly read was almost scandalous! for the post age of World War II and 1960-80s.
Papusza movie is mostly interesting to anyone interested in culturology and antropology as it depicts the Gipsys common lifestyle and for those who already encountered gipsys in their life gives another understanding on why gipsys are who they're and why they choose to live the nomad, poor, uneducated, often careless but joyful and passionable life.

The movie start showing Papusza's mother while still pregnant with the future poetes. In the 1900s when the story goes Roma (Rom meaning man), just like jewish were quite a closed community moving all through the country of Poland or any other country residing using a horse-drawn caravans (tabors) as a moving houses.
Consorting with non-romas (Gadjo's – meaning like the Jewish Goa distinguishment for non jewish) for any reason different than trade was considered unclean. 
However the young poetes had the non-gipsy Wajs surname because according to legend her family used to be touring the great courts of Europe with their harps entertaining kings and aristocrats.

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From her birth Papusza was known to be different. A spirit predicted that she would either bring great honor or dishonor to gipsys.
According to the movie she did both. The young Papusza defies her family's wishes and learns to read and write at time,
where almost none gipsy was literate. She is presented stealing a chicken and preseting it to a Jewish store-keeper lady in return for lessons in learning.
Even though her family is strongly again her education (beats her burns her books) she is strunggling to read secretly which later
is shown to have brought supposedly "a curse" on her people.

Papusza meets the Polish poet Jerzy Ficowski in 1949 at a time after being forcefully married to her step-uncle Dionizy Wajs for more than 25 years.
The Gadjo (Ficowski) travels with Wajs caravan for about 2 years as he aims to learn the Romani (Gipsy) language and the gipsy was of life.
He is struck by the beatifulness of Papusza's songs and liking them encourages to continue writting poems.

Papusza-with-gadjo-kissing-non-gipsy

Later Ficowski returns to Warsaw in 1951 and translates from Gipsy Papusza's verses which broughts Gipsy to a mindset that Papusza reveals their secrets. Later the scandal progresses as Ficowski publishes a monograph book "Polish Gypsies" – a book about the beliefs and moral code of the Roma Gipsy people. Being grieved Papusza's clan takes decision to cast her out.

The movie is amazingly giving "a feel" on the fascinating and simple Gipsy nomad lifestyle during the first and second World War in which they were chased marked and killed by Hitler's Germany just like the Jews. The bitter experience later led to Papusza's creating one of her most famous songs. 

papusza_the-first-gipsy-poetrist-with-a-cigar

The movie is quite intersting from jumping from time to different stages of Papusza's life not in a specific order but often showing facts backwards etc.
After the end of the war in Poland Communist authorities enforce laws to make Gipsys settle, tryting to ensure them work and job and try to "program" and make part of communist society gipsy kids by using Kindergarden. Romani's a are shown to have problems with authorities and their desperate discontent to go against the country program for settlement of Gipsys, they cannot any more hire the randomly old houses to survive the winter and while unable to survive the harsh Polish winter, they finally settle in attempt to become part of society.

papusza-with-her-uncle-and-husband-krzyszotof-ptak

However in the newly built communistic society, they fail to fit well as always considered a second class people, they mourn for their old nomadic vagrant way of people and they fail to integrate to society (pretty much like today). Papusza's spent rest of her life in misery being rejected by both her native Gipsy community for betraying some of gipsys secrets and same time unaccepted by Polish people that continue to consider gipsys inferior. 
 

Pilgrimage to Holy Mount Athos, second most holy place on Earth – The Garden of Holy Virgin Mary – Agios Oros Authonomous Orthodox Christian Monk Republic and how to go there

Monday, September 1st, 2014

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By the mercy of the most holy Virgin Mary, I had the opportunity to be for 2 days and a half to the second most holy place on earth after Jerusalem's (Holy Sepulchre Church of Christ Resurrection) and biggest monk governed republic on planet earth ( Άγιον Όρος ) Agios Oros Athon (Holy Mount Athos)Светая Гора Афон – Света Гора Атон. Holy Mount Athos exists as a large monks community since 96.

To visit Mount Athos, the general requirement is to be orthodox christian only 10 visas per day are issued for non-orthodox pilgrims.

This immersely blessed place on earth can be entered only with a special monastery issued Visa (Diamontirion)

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There is a special procedure which usually takes up from 1 month max to 2 weeks min to receive such a Athos visa. The procedure to receive Visa for Holy Mount Athos includes sending of a fax to the Bureau of Pilgrimage in Thesaloniki (Solun) with a copy of the ID Card (Passport) the tel. number to send the fax to plus.
In fax message should be included the desired monastery to visit and the stay period. Visa which is usually issued for 2 / 3 days period costs 25 euro. There is a daily quota of visits to be issued which is about 100 visas per day.
People who want to stay for more than 3 days in monastery has to follow special obediences (work given to pilgrimage inside the monastery).
Extensive information
on how to visit Holy Mount Athos monks republic is on holy mount athos website.

Diamontirion is given only to man (only man can visit holy island), because the Mother of God The Holy Virgin Mary said she will be the only woman on this island unto the end of the world. There were a couple of times through out history from the IX-th century from which Holy Mount Athos exists as a monk republic in which woman try to enter the island, but such attempts failed and usually woman who tried to break out the island female enter prohibition (known as ABATON) get severely sick after that and couldn't get well for a long time some died some female after serious redemption confession and taking the holy sacraments recovered by the mercy of the Virgin Mary. There are already several stories of woman who tried to enter the island dressed as men and which have suffered from the quick heavenly judgement and later told the world their stories to warn other woman from trying to enter Athos which is the most eastern part of Chalkidiki peninsulaIt is curious fact Holy Mount Athos is the one and only place on earth existing prohibited for woman.
While talking about woman it is a curious fact that the only woman that are allowed being iconographed in Holy Mount athos due to rule are the Most Holy Virgin Mary, The Anna and the Hermit Saint Mariya of Egypt. First monk is said in Monastic Chronicles is Protos in y. 908.

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The region is governed by the "Holy community" – every monastery from the 20 orthodox monasteries (actually the monasteries are 21 but one is schismatic with so called Zealots, therefore not counted).

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There are (Greek, Russian, Bulgarian, Serbian) monasteries as well as Sketes, Cells, small chapels of other Orthodox nations – e.g. Romanians, Georgians, Macedonians, Monte-Negro etc. Holy Mount Athos monasteries are under the ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople – currently patriarch Bartholomew, however the patriarch is not having power to decide anything the monasteries or the monk republic and he is more than a public person with no authority over internal island monks life.

Entrance Holy Mount Athos is possible only through a small  ship due to monks republic governing law. Boats transport people with issued visa only from Ouranoupolis  port everyday from Monday to Saturday, there are at least 2 boats going to Agion Oros – one in 06:15 and one in 09:45 which costs 6.30 euro per person.

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For people who want visit Holy Athos by airplace, Ouranoupolis is located 120 km by car or bus from Thesaloniki Airport so you should fly to there. We have travellet to Uranoupolis by car from Sofia – it is about 6 / 7 hours driving – only 631 km.  Crossing the border from Bulgaria to Greece is very quick a passport check is made only one time on the border. Once arriving to Ouranopolis – one have to park somewhere, there is cheap paid parking only 5 euro a day, where one can park (nearby the port from where ship departs). To get the Athos visa there is a special Bureau where you go with you present your password and receive the visa. Visa is received in a very speedy manner it takes up to 30 seconds after showing the pass, you're name is checked and if visa is already present and printed for you you're handled the diamontirion.

There are also privately owned boats (scooters) which can transport up to 4 people – in case there are is not enough space in standar boats, but this are really expensive something like 120 EUR.
The Boat-Ship travelling from Ouranoupolis to Agios Oros is named after saint Anna (The Mother of Most Holy Virgin Mary – In Greek Panagia).

Agios_Oros_peak_Holy_Mount_Athos-with-seacoast-monasteries-picture

The ship is travelling only on days where the weather is suitable for travelling so some certain days there are no cruises to the garden of Holy Theotokos. The ships cruising back from Holy Mount Athos to Urunopoli schedule is also twice daily – and are the same ships travelling in the morning. One is saling back in 12:00 (stopping on each of the near coast monasteries ports) by reverse order and one in 16:00. Sometimes the ships doesn't stop one some of the ports and you can't go back to Urunipoli, when the ship has to many people or for some other God known reason.

On the ship of one moun Athos one can see a truly international monks community – there were literally Orthodox Christians monks from all around the world and people from all around the globe that has faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, there was even an African priest and a batushka (priest) from Cyberia. Most of the people on the boat were pilgrims from many nationalities but for major Church feast like The Dormition of the Theotokos (Virgin Mary) which is each year celebrated on 28 August a lot of monks from many country come to Athos to venerate the Mother of God and receive heavenly blessing.

We have stopped to leave some laggage on the Port of Bulgarian Monastery (located 7 km from Zographou Monastery – saint great martyr George (Свети Георги Зограф) and then continued to port of Dafni. Going back from the ship one can feel the abundant heavenly grace and the heavenly protection of the Theotokos. There were a small caffeteria where we drink Greek Coffee (a coffee prepared on a hot sand – very much like the Turkish coffee) and eat fasting food something like Bulgarian Banica but instead of cheese it is filled with baked pumpkin.
There are small bus-es moving in Mount Athos which brings to some of the more famous monasteries on Athos – bus ticket is 3 euro. However as we wanted to visit more monasteries and because every step made on Agios Oros is a blessing and as the elders say Agios Oros is to be walked, we choose to walk. We took a steepy pathway leading to Xiropotamos. Xiropotamous is famous from the XII century Crusaders times, Roman Catholic Crusaders has invaded the holy mount and tried to turn monks to Roman Catholicism by force, those who rejected to receive Catholic faith were killed by Catholics – became martyrs. Some of the Monks of Xiropotamou, decided to save their lives and accepted to recognize the authority of the Roman Pope, Roman Catholics entered the monastic Church and served a Roman Holy Liturgy in the moment where the Pope was mentioned in prayers as a head of the Church, the Church walls fall and killed most of the people in the Church, those who survived, escaped and converted back to Orthodoxy – by this God clearly showed which is the real Christian faith. As all monasteries on Athos Xiropotamou's brotherhood has holy relics – the biggest holy relic of Xiropotamos is about 20×5 cm sized part of the True Holy Cross on which the Lord Jeus Christ was crucified.

Xiropotamou_monastery_Holy_mount_Athos_Agios_Oros_The_Monastery_holding_big-piece-of-True-Crufixion-cross-of-the_Lord_Jesus_Christ

Xiropotamou was founder in 10th century, and is dedicated to the Forty Martyrs of Sebaste.
The monastic walls were closed when we reached there around 10:00 in the monastery receives visitors only 2 times a day one in 11:30 and one in 16:00. Waiting for to become 11:30, we walked around the monastery and saw the small chapel the grapes, the monks fruit gardens all is exceptionally beautiful – the monastery is quite big. In 11:30, when inner monastic walls opened we were invited into Arhondarik (The Monastic Guest-house), where the monk bring us immediately a cup of fresh water, Turkish delight and 50 grams of Greek national drink – Uzo 🙂
We met two other Romanians who wanted to also venerate the Holy Cross and we had a small nice chat with them in 11:30 the Church was opened and a priest bring us to a small square near Holy Altar opened a golden case with emeralds keeping the big piece of the True Holy Cross it is an amazing miracle that for this 1980 years from the Crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ the wooden didn't rot but preserved – any normal wood decays for such a long time! God's grace (The Spiritual Power) that one feels nearby the Holy Relic is amazing. The monastery is also famous with an orange tree giving a miracle making (healing) fruits, the three failed to give its fruit when Catholics came to Holy Mount Athos and started giving its fruits again after Catholics leaved Agion Oros. We saw a couple of trees with Orange fruits on it but was unsure which of the trees is the actual tree about which monastic tradition tells.
After the monastery we catch the way to Karyes (Καρυές) which is like Capital town, seat of the administration and has the name "Megali Mesi Lavra" (Big Central Assembly). – they have Agios Oros Police, Hospital, Bakery, a Caffeteria, Public Toilet, 2 small shops in Karyes is also located the major church at Karyes, the Protaton, which is the church of the Protos, or president of the monastic community. It is Curios fact that initial "rules of the republic" were written in XII century by saint Archibiship Sava creator of Serbian Orthodox Church who lived in a small cell in Karyes (Карея).

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In the Church on the picture is keeping the famous miracle making holy icon "Dostoyno Esty" / Достойно есть in Greek Panagia known as "Axion Estin" meaning It is Truly Meet . This icon is so important and connected to Orthodox Christiainity, that it has a Troparion included to be sung on each Holy Liturgy in praise of the (Theotokos) Mother of God  and sung on almost all kind of morning and evening services or private prayers, it is curious fact that the icon before its glorification was situated in a small monk cell near monastery Pantekrator (All Keeper). There is a notable miracle how the second part of Axion Estin Church troparion was given by an Angel supposedly given by Archangel Gabriel. At the Axion Estin cell in year 982 was living an old virtuos monk Gavrail with his desciple, that night Gavrail was outside of the cell to nearby monastery for all night vigil leaving the young monk (also Gavrail / Gabriel)  at midnight a stranger come knocked on the door and in Agios Oros tradition was received as a stranger, the stranger also went for the night vigil in the morning the stranger and the old monk sung together troparion in glorification of the Holy Mother of but the stranger sung it differently adding few words to the already well known and established church song lyrics, the monk liked the song so much that he asked the monk to write down the lyrics, they didn't have a pen and paper and the stranger took a piece of stone and write down the lyric using his finger! The monk stunned realized the stranger is actually an angel and a short after the angel disappeared.

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Here is the Dostoino Esty Troparion lyrics text as given by the Angel in Church Slavonic, Greek and English:

Достойно есть Church Slavonic:

Достойно есть яко воистину блажити Тя, Богородицу,

присноблаженную и пренепорочную и Матерь Бога нашего.

Честнейшую Херувим

и славнейшую без сравнения Серафим,

без истления Бога Слова рождшую,

сущую Богородицу Тя величаем.

 

Axion Estin In Greek:

Ἐπὶ σοὶ χαίρει, Κεχαριτωμένη, πᾶσα ἡ κτίσις.
Ἀγγέλων τὸ σύστημα καὶ ἀνθρώπων τὸ γένος,
ἡγιασμένε ναὲ καὶ παράδεισε λογικέ,
παρθενικὸν καύχημα, ἐξ ἧς Θεός ἐσαρκώθη
καὶ παιδίον γέγονεν, ὁ πρὸ αἰώνων ὑπάρχων Θεὸς ἡμῶν·
τὴν γὰρ σὴν μήτραν θρόνον ἐποίησε,
καὶ τὴν σὴν γαστέρα πλατυτέραν οὐρανῶν ἀπειργάσατο.
Ἐπὶ σοὶ χαίρει, Κεχαριτωμένη, πᾶσα ἡ κτίσις
δόξα σοι.

It is truly meat English Translation:

All of Creation rejoices in thee, O full of grace:
the angels in heaven and the race of men,
O sanctified temple and spiritual paradise,
the glory of virgins, of whom God was incarnate
and became a child, our God before the ages.
He made thy body into a throne,
and thy womb more spacious than the heavens.
All of creation rejoices in thee, O full of grace:
Glory be to thee.


In shops it is forbidden to sell meat, because monks doesn't eat meat and meat consumption on holy mount Athos is generally forbidden. The only think closer to meat sold in shop is fish, octopus and other sea food. There is also a small shop selling Church / monk accessoaries, icons, prosphoras etc.

On the city center there is free drinkable water, each Monastery has a building like Embassy – which is both a monastery representative and a strangers guest-house (Konak). People who want can sleep a night in the Konak with a blessing, each Konak has a small chapel inside dedicated to Mother Mary or a certain saint.

On many places on holy mount athos there are springs with drinkable water so almost always there is a spring on every few hours walk in the mountain woods. About 10 or 20 minutes walk from Karyes, there is a Greek Monastery Koutloumousiou, the monastery has many miracle making icons and to me personally is very favourite place – Koutloumoush is famous with being the monastery where the Elder Paisios served as a monk for many years.

Koutlomous_Orthodox_Monastery_Holy_mount-Athos-near-Karya-the-monastery-where-the_Elder_Paisios-was-monk

After praying there, on the road we saw a sign for the cell of Elder Gavrijl and after some time we reached a little house with a bench in front and around 10 people from all age waiting for the Elder to go out for a while of his cell and tell some spiritual advises.

For non-Orthodox Christians, we have Elders who have a very close connection to God and due to their holy living God has blessed them with the gify of claiorvoyance, Starets Gavrijl is said by many on holy mount Athos that he has the gift of clairvoyance.


Elder Gavrijl speaks only Greek, so I couldn't undestand his preach, nomatter that even his presence made my spirit joy. After the preach we all took a blessing from those saintly living man.
I asked one of the Greeks to translate to me the Starets was talking about the Christian family and importance for husband and wife to be patient with each other, respect each other and truely love each other and most importantly forgive each other. He said that in this time it is of the main thing the devil wants is to destroy family and we have to not let family broke, he also said we should never quarrel infront of children, because when children grown they will do the same with their children.
I've asked the Starets about personal matters and he gave me the same answer as the Elder fr. Georgi of Jeglarci which is a proof fr. Georgi also have the gift of prophecy.

After leaving elder Gavrijl we headed to the monastery of Iveron to be on the all night vigil and the feast of Dormition of the Holy Theotokos. On the same way nearby 15 minutes away from the pathway we saw a sign leading to the cell of the Elder Paisios and we went for a pilgrimage there. After 15 minutes on a steep ways we reached in front of Elder Paisios small house. The house is now inhabitated by a monk who is still growing the same vegetable garden grown by Elder Paisios. The house is really small and the Starets lived in a small room 4×4 meters, the room has two big icons on the east just like a Church and light up night-light infront of the icons of Pantokrator (All-Keeper) Lord Jesus Christ and the Most Holy Theotokos, each wall in the small room has few icons hanging I remember clearly the icon of saint Arsenios the Great.  On entrance, we were threated by the monk with Turkish Delight and a cup of water, just like the Elder Paisios used to while still alive. Turkish Delight (Lokum) was the most delicious one I ever eat and on my way out I asked the monk for another two pieces 🙂

Going out of Elder Paisios cell we walkted through the Athos mountain woods passing by parakleses (small chapels) and on many places there were wooden crosses and icons with lightning candles in front right in the woods. We met some Romanian group of pilgrims and had a little chat on the road, Romanians are very good people, all the day we had the blessing to meet mainly Romanians.

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We reached in Iveron monastery (located nearby the sea coast) about 17:30 by God's mercy, the feast of Dormition had already begun there, it is an Orthodox Tradition to do a Lithia with the Miraculous Iveron icon of Most Holy Virgin also famous as Vratarnica.

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The monastery was full of people, there were probably about 800 people, probaly about 200 monks and priests were also there for the feast. It is a tradition that at that night the monastery gives a sleeping packs for all the pilgrims, so if someone feels to sleepy he can use the blanket and have a sleep on open air. There was an evening service just like it is done before Liturgy is served on next morning and right after the service, everybody present in the monastery was fed (all people ordered and had to enter 3 the monastic dining room divided by 3 waves). The food was some macaroni with some pieces of sea food (probably octopus), one tomato and 2 little pieces of watermelon. Even though the food was little it was enough to completely feed me plus it was so delicious you can't imagine, blessed  (manastic food) is always more delicious 🙂

Right after the dinner, the Night Vigil started, night vigils are common in the night before a feast of the Saint in whose honor is local Orthodox Church named in this case the Church of Iveron is in honor of the Dormition of the Mother of God and this was the reason for the Night Vigil. I and Pavel (the brother in Christ) which whome we travelled last night to Holy Mount Athos were quite tired and thus we didn't kept awake for the night vigil but immediately went to sleep and woke up on next morning about 5:10 and saw just a litte part of the night vigil and stay for the Morning service and the Holy Liturgy served. The Atmosphere in the Church was hard to explain in words it was powerful monks spirit. The service was in Greek as it is Greece Monastery and the service is serviced in Ancient Greek and as all ancient languages Ancient Greek is much more spirited than modern languages which are much more profane. Also it is distinctable that everything in the service was sung in Byzantine (Eastern) Orthodox singing style. For the service was also present 3 or 4 bishops, the atmosphere was mostly solemn and the fact that so many Orthodox Christians were gathered and praying together is an outstanding experience which I wish you feel someday.
All the Church service is done on candles, there is no electricity in Churches in Holy Mount Athos and I believe this is a right thing. In short the Church services in Athos is an the perfect example which the rest of us Orthodox Christians should try following.
After end of Church service, we left the monastery before the feastly lunch given to everybody who came to monastery to venerate the Dormition of the Mother of God, because we wanted to quickly move to pilgrimage the Miracle Spring, where the Mother of God has steped for a first time on Athos, we drink water prayed a bit and moved on and catched one of the minibuses stopping near the monastery to Karyes. In Karyes we drink some water have a small rest, drink coffe had some chat with Pavel and ate few peaches and apples, actually it is quite a miracle that we ate so little these 2 days on Athos, but in there you don't feel hunger and you don't feel sleepy and you need less sleep than usually because of the abundant God grace.
In Karyes, we had a small discussion where to head up from now and after calling monk Kliment from Zographou monastery for advise where to go he advised we go to the Russian Monastery Saint healer great-martyr Panteleimon (who is one of the main doctor Church saints). I was quite happy for our decision to go to the Russian Monastery, because actually I wanted to go there. Then, we had a safe 4 hours walk through the mountain pathways surrounded by a wild nature, we passed by a Sketes where saint Siluan of Athos  lived (1866 – 1938, Russian new-times saint).

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Athos is a very interesting place, because even your stay there for a little time teaches you a lot about the spiritual reality and just being there improves seriously ones spiritual life. Reaching the Russian monastery, I was stunned by the Beauty and size of the monastery, monastic yard is all green and beautiful there is a spring with water in the form of flower in front of monastic doors, the sideview of sea coast and the stones also left a bright mark in my mind.

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st. Panteleimonos monastery is known in whole Athos with its strong rules and ascethism, we asked if it is possible to sleep a night in the monastery but was told we need to do a one day in advance reservation to stay there (which by the way is a good thing because that way the brotherhood is not interferred by monastic guests but prepared to receives them). In the small Church nearby the bell-tower there are holy saint relics of about at least 200 saints!!! We had the Chance to see the Holy relics just to mention few of the Holy Relics of the monastery (the right hand of great martyr Panteleimon, the head of Saint Cosmas and Damian, relics of saint Seraphim of Sarov, head of saint Siluan of Athos, relics of many hermit saints, relics of Saint Basilius the Great, Saint Grigorius and saint John of Crysostom).

As we couldn't sleep in Russian monastery, we were instructed by monk Climent if they don't accept is to go to Xenophontos. So we took the way to Xenophontos which is 3km away about 1 hour near shore walk.

Xenophontos_monastery_holy_mount_Athos
It was on the way to Monastery that I learned Xenophontos's heavenly protector is my saint George ( Georgi / Georgius), I was very happy to learn that because I already felt a bit of regret I still haven't venerated my saint protector on Holy Mount Athos.
Reaching the monastery we saw on the monastic door a monk going out of the monastery and asked him if we can stay for the night, the monk which we later learned is called Prodromos was very hospitable and accepted and accomodated us. I went to the monastic Church where still there was an Acathist ongoing in glorification of The Holy Mother of God. The saint who founded Xenophontos Μονή Ξενοφώντος is saint Xenophont. The monastery is very beatiful just like all the rest of Holy Athos monasteries. Monk Prodromos, who was mostly kindly to us give us food even though the monks had already had their dinner earlier as we were in the monastery around 21:00 at noon. Talking about time it is notable to say in Athos, they use Byzantine time which is +3 hours to Greek time, meaning we were in monastery around midnight Byzantine time (as this is early the sun was going to its sunset). Xenophontos is famous with its two miracle making icons of Saint George and The Holy Mother of God, I greatest holy relic kept in monastery is the right hand of saint George. On next day the morning service started in 4 o'clock early in morning before sunrise, we went for service around 5:00 because we couldn't get up at time, the Church bell rings around 03:50 in morning! and then on a couple of times bells at the end of morning service right before holy liturgy and whenever they serve an Acathist. In Summer morning services in holy mount athos start everyday in 04:00 (7 byzantine time) and in 03:00 (08:00) in Winter time. Everyday Holy Liturgy is served in Holy Mount Athos in every monastery and monks have an evening service starting exactly in 17:00. I would skip here to explain the Church atmosphere and the spirituality because this cannot be retold but has to be experienced. The Holy Liturgy ended around 08:00 and the monks rests for about an hour until 09:00 when the monks had an Acathist until 09:30 in the second old Church whose wall paintings dates backs probably as early as 13 or 14 century. After the Acathist, we were invited for a breakfast which was scarce but delicious. During we ete a text was red from the Ancient Paterik (The Living instructions of the Ancient time Abbas hermit saints).
After the breakfast, I had a coffee (in the guest-room) there is a free-coffee machine 🙂

We had chat with few other Greek pilgrims, and one of the Greeks was especially hospitable with us, he brought us and show us the small monastic fabric where all kind of wooden things are produced by few monks and layman (in that number icons are built there monastic chairs – tables, Church wooden ornaments etc.). We were shown by this kind greek the monastic ossuary, the monastic greenhouses, the monastic graveyard. I later learned this Greek has so special attitude to us Bulgarians, because he is architect and he was working in Rila Monastery as architect for a while while still atheist and after that when he came to Greece he believed in God thanks to the prayers of the greatest Bulgarian saint John of Rila.
After Xenophontos last monastery we visited Dochiariou monastery which is honor of Archangel Michael.
Dochiariou_monastery_in_honor_of_Archangel_Michael_Holy_Mount_Athos_Agios_Oros
This monastery most holy relic is the infamous holy icon of The Theotokos SkoroPoslushnica (Quickly Hearing), the icon is called like this because it hears and answers the prayers of whoever prays in a very quickly manner.
Dohiar-monastery-Sveta_Bogorodica_SkoroPoslushnica_Holy_Mount_Athos

The monks in this monastery was very active, we saw some preparing wine from grapes, others doing some construction work, the monastic icon was locked in a special room in a small chapel in front of the monastic Church which was also locked, so by God's grace we asked a monk to open for us. The monk who keeps the key of the icon gave the key to a small 10 years old kid which unlocked for us and we prayed in front of the Most Holy Virgin. The grace this holy icon emits is just amazing the love and piece you feel is unsaid, I think one can feel that even by seeing the icon here in that post. A small note to make here is the pictures I've put in this post are not mine but are from the Internet and I do not hold copyright for them, thanks to whoever made the pictuers and I hope they were made with a blessing.
If I'm not mistaken Dochiariou is famous with that due to the prayers to the Archangel Michael (a warrior Angel), the Archangel drive back the invasion of the Arabs to Athos, there is also an icon in front of monastery showing this scene. It was impressive that in this monastery, there were a lot of kids helping the monks I saw at least 5 kids. I got the impression it is like a monastic tradition that kids are welcomed and help there since a long time.
Finally after spending some 2 graceful hours in Dochiariou and walking through and seeing the interesting and beatiful monastic walls and buildings architecture, flowers etc. we left off and waited for the ship Ourenopolis to come to monastic port. The ship came take us and after two more stops on Zographou port and Hilandar Serbian Monastery it is a curious fact that Hilandar used to inhabited with Bulgarian abbot and Bulgarian monks for about 80 years.
Hilandar_Serbian_Monastery_port_Serbian_port

In the ship we had a small chat with monk Makarious which is a monk in the Zographou St. Martyr George Bulgarian Monastery. We were sent by  the Holy Mother of God bt few dolphins sailing after the boat and doing water  jumps in grace and joy.
Love for Holy Mount Athos is strongly into my heart into even this moment when I write this article. Actually to be honest I was unwilling to leave this piece of earthly paradise. I yearn to be there again soon when the Mother of God Holy Virgin Mary lets me to.

Trip to Troyan Bulgaria and Troyan Monastery – Third monastery by size in Bulgaria

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

Troan Monastery Church - Trip to Troyan Monastery from 16th century Bulgaria - 3rd monastery by size in Bulgaria
This weekend I went with my wife for a Trip To Troyan monastery from Sofia – bus ticket currently costs 12 lv (6 euro) and the distance is rawly 160 km.

Troyan is a remarkable mountain city situated in the center (heart) of Bulgaria, famous with being one of the main places where opposition and preparation for the Turkish Bulgarian war occured. Troyan monastery situated near Oreshaka village was one of the places where the idea of liberation of Bulgaria originated. Troyan was often visited by the remarkable revolutionaries and greatest Bulgarian heroes of all times like Vasil Levski and Hristo Botev.

Troyan Monastery - ancient orthodox monastery in Bulgaria from 16th century

Here in Troyan there was existing one of the many secret commitees in period (1869 – 1876) – Central Secret Revolutionary Committee (BRCK – as widely known in Bulgaria), creation of this commitee become reality thanks to the Deacon Vasil Levsky who saw there is no awakened Bulgarians to fight for national freedom.
Efforts of CSRC later lead to Liberation of Bulgarian from 500 years Bulgarians being under the yoke of Turkish Slavery.

Eco path in the steps of the Apostle of Freedom Vasil Levsky Bulgaria

Our first impressions from Troyan were quite negative, the bus station looks post communistic and a little bit like a horror movie, near the bus station there was a lot of criminal looking gipsies.
Just 5 minutes walk from there is a small beautiful park with children playground, what impressed me most in the park is a bush cutted in the form of ancient amphora and next to the park is the city center surrounded by a river Beli Osym, all from the city center you can see the beatiful mountains all around. There are two historical museums filled with archaelogical remains from early ages, national dresses, weapons from the Liberation war, explanation with chunks of history and Bulgarian national heroes connected to Troyan, there are beautiful expoisitions on how locals used to live through the ages museums, famous paintings original of local artistsBulgaria is a unique country, because of it combines outstanding nature and rich history remains of which is well preserved and standing firm testifying about the Bulgaria glorious past.

Entrance door of The Troyan Monastery - Troianska sveta obitel uspenie Bogorodichno

After taking a walk in the city center, we went to a local city bus station to take a bus to Oreshaka village – at the end of which is located Troyan Monastery. His Beuaitutide Patriarch Maxim who passed away 98 years old was born in Oreshaka village and become monk in Troyan monastery and was a brother of Troan monastery. Currently his holy body is buried in the monastery which is titled "The Dormition of the most Holy Theotokos".  One can feel the place is graceful even from reaching near Oreshaka village, the near view is also stunningly beautiful. The bus from Troyan has a bus stop right in front of the monastery and is cheap (costed only 1.90 lv per person 0.80 euro cents). Bus to the monastery travels 4 times a day, so it was convenient to reach the monastery.
Oreshaka and Troyan region is well famous since ancient times with its skillful craftsman and all kind of crafts developing.

Tryoan monastery mamut and lion - monuments from ancient God creation

Near the monastery there is small chapel from which the monastery started, the history of Troyan monastery, all revives around the miraculous icon of Holy Theotokos (Troeruchica – The Tree Handed Virgin).

Miracle making icon in Troyan Monastery Holy Virgin (Theotokos) Troeruchica - Tree Handed

The monastery story revives around this icon, a monk from holy Mount Athos was travelling to Vlashko (nowadays situated in Carpathians – Romania near border with Moldova), on his way he heard about a hermit with his pupil living near Oreshaka region and spend some time in fasting and prayer with the hermit local people heard about the miracle making icon and come from near and distant regions to venerate the Holy Virgin and pray. When the time come and he decided to move further in his trip to Vlashko he put the icon on his settled horse, made the sign of the cross and walked after few steps the horse stumbled and break his leg, in this event the monk understand it is not God's will to travel and he returned back to the hermit. After spending some time with the hermit, he settled again his horse but on exactly the same place the horse fall again – in that the monk understood this happens because the icon wants to stay on that place. The hermit offered to the monk that he stay there and they service God together, but traveling monk rejected, he venerated the holy icon for a last time and continued his travel to Vlashko. A small brotherhood formed by God's providence near the hermit and they decided to make a small wooden Church for Troeruchica and started servicing God there. This is how Troyan monastery started in the XVI century. The Glory of the Holy icon of Virgin Mary (Troeruchica) quickly spread all around enslaved Bulgarian lands and people come from all regions to pray to the Virgin to cure them, grant them good fortune, good health, solve spritual and family problems … The notes over the last 400 years shows that everyone that come with faith and prayed in front of the Virgin icon found confort, healing, numb started talking, deaf started hearing, paralytics walked.

Sveta_Bogorodica-Troeruchica-Holy-Theotokos-miracle-making-icon-Troyan

Monastery chronicles say that thanks to the Theotokos Troeruruchica in year 1837 the icon saved the locals from the black death which was taking its toll in the region, nobody that came to the monastery to ask for protection from the plague didn't suffered plague, everyone that decided to stay in the monastery during the plague survived, even though people from all around were coming to confess and take the sacraments, no one in the monastery wasn't infected by plague.

We arrived in Troyan Monastery around 16:30 and by arriving were hospitally accepted by our marriage godfather Galin and his sister Denica and were threated with fresh watermelon and even 50 grams of Bulgarian traditional drink Rakia. They're currently painting walls in the monastery dining room in 18:00 we had the blessing to attend the evening Church service. The service was deep and unique experience that moves you to the Kingdom of heaven. After the Church service we went to nearby Mehana Kaizer (Old Bulgarian Dining Inn – Krychma whole made to look in Old Bulgarian Style – there is plenty of traditional food to choose and food was super delicious 🙂

kaizer-krychma-traditional-inn-pub-near-Troyan-monastery

On Sunday 10.08.2014 we were for the Holy Liturgy service and after that we walked through the monastic Church and saw near the Church the bell tower and next to it the old monks monastic graveyard. We visited also the museum of the monastery which contains various religious use objects dating back from year 1700+, old  craftmen instruments, old icons, potirs, priest clothes, old coins from all around the world and Bulgaria. There was a lot of information about historical facts regarding the monastery brotherhood, as well as some chronicles and documents explaining participation of the monastery in the fight for national freedom of Bulgaria. The musem is made of two rooms one of which was the same room where the Apostle of Freedom Vasil Levsky – one can see there the exact hiding place which Vasil Levsky was using to sleep secretly – the hiding place looks like a normal wardrobe.

Scyth saint Nicolas near Troan Monastery Oreshaka Bulgaria - revolutionary city led to freedom of Bulgaria

After seeing the museum, we went to see the monastic Scyth – "Saint Nicola", which was used earlier by the monks, whenever they wanted to have period of seclusion to raise their spiritual life. The Scyth has a large Church in honor of Saint Nicolas, most likely this Church was visited by people from the village, in times when Christians in Bulgaria was forbidden to attend Church services by Turkish Empire – and this is why it was build in such a secluded place. Near the scyth is the grave of a famous rebel for Bulgarian Freedom, and there is a cave with a spring.

Graveyard and skeleton of haidut - rebel Velko fighter for Bulgarian freedom Schyth near Troyan Monastery

Then we walked back the road to Troan Monastery and near the monastery, we went to see workshop of a carpenter lady who makes wooden ornaments for Churches in the region and the monastery.

The lady give us some herbs as a blessing. We had the chance to also take the blessing from the current Abbot Biship Sionij who was earlier rector of Sofia's Seminary Saint "John of Rila".

35 years passed since first Bulgarian Аstronaut visited open space (cosmos)

Thursday, April 10th, 2014


soyuz-33_spaceship_pad
On 10th of April 1976 in 20:34 mins Moscow time from Boikonur Cosmodrome was launched s spaceship "Souyz-33 / Union-33" . On spacecraft flies 3 cosmonauts part of the space program Inter-cosmos, one of which is the Bulgarian cosmonaut and explorer Georgi Ivanov. Georgi Ivanov became the first Bulgarian who the leave planet earth, becoming the first space visitor with Bulgarian nationality.

Georgi_Ivanov_first-Bulgarian-cosmonaut

Ivanov spend in space 1 day 23 hours and 1 minute, after that the capsule landed in 320 km south-easy from Jezkazgan (Khazakhstan).
For his short stay in space in Earth's orbit Ivanov made 31 full turns around Planet Earth. With his flight to space Bulgaria joined the elite club of  "austranaut nations", making Bulgaria the sixth nation in world who sent representative in space.

syiuz-33-mission-logo-stamp

Flight mission's goal was linkage of their spaceship with orbital station "Salute-6" but because of technical malfunction "Syiuz 33"s moving with higher than forecasted and speed autoamtic correction system turns on which damages part of fuel camera, making necessary to cancel the flight.

Georgi-Ivanov-cosmonaut-with-russian-colleague-soyuz

Returning home on Earth he was awarded with medals "Hero of the USSR" and "Hero of Republic Bulgaria"
Nevertheless the mission was unsuccesful and dangerous Ivanov's pulse during all flight kept normal.

Georgi Ivanov is born in Lovech on 2-nd of July 1940 in family of Anastasia Kakalova and Ivan Ivanov Kakalov.During his school years he excercised parachutism, graduating in high-school "Todor Kirkov" Lovech in 1958.

Ivanov entered Bulgarian army in 1958 graduated Military school in Dolna Mitropolia (1964) with specialty of flight engineer and a pilot of class 1.
He served in Bulgarian National Army as a pilot, senior pilot, commander  and a squadron commander. In 1984 he defended his thesis and received a science degree "candidate of physics sciences". Georgi Ivanov is currently 73 years old. Nowadays Ivanov's birthouse in qr. "Varosha" is of historical importance and is preserved as a museum.

The fact that we Bulgarians have a cosmonaut is a great pride for me and all of us Bulgarians. Let us not forget our heroes and patriots and know our history.

My independent view on Ukraine-Crimea Russia VS Western World crisis

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

Crimea_New_member-of-Russia-Emblem
I've been following what is happening in Ukraine over the last 6 months and I see with pain this poor brotherly Slavonic country is being literally destroyed by Radicals. It is obvious that the Revolution in Ukraine looks very similar to Revolution in Egypt, the War in Syria and obviously doesn't happen by itself but was financed by foreign forces to serve someone's interests. I known that in Ukraine people live poor, but even after the change in power it is less likely that they will start living better.

In my view Ukraine's people got infected by European Union's external appearance for prosperity and freedom. Such an outlook is just on the surface and everyone who lives in EU knows that well. It is my understanding that the European Union is based on fairy tales for freedom, friendship of nations based on economy. EU sets itself on rules and regulations and vague words combined with economic factors. With the crisis appearing one after another in country members of EU (Greece, Slovenia, Cyprus, Spain etc.) it is obvious that the EU is artificial union and not working well. Many country who belong to EU for some years already have seen that and even some like England want out of the European Union. With this in mind it is fully unclear to me why Ukrainians want and think that membership in EU will solve there economic problems … on the contrary once they join the EU, they will have to fulfill thousands of rules and regulations which will destroy there local country economy and will make them put out all country money out of the country into the pockets of Western Nations. Same nation genocide scenario was executed in Bulgaria and give "good satisfactory fruits". By the rules and regulations on Bulgaria our local economy was destroyed making our contry market completely dependent on other Western country market for daily products and external Western business investments. The failure of Bulgaria as a concurent on EU market run the wheel of EU economy, opening a new space for new investments and trade. Same happened with Romania and most likely will happen also with EU's newest member Croatia very soon.

Ukraine is a brotherly nation to Russia and even historically this two nations share very similar faith. Of course the two nations differ but the similarities and even the language makes them brotherly nations. Ukraine was part of Russian Empire and is called Ukraine (from the word end part of Russia). Historically Ukrainian were known as "MaloRus", Russians were known as "Rus" and Belarusian as (White Rus).
Currently in Ukraine live 8,334,100 Ethical Russians (17% of Ukraine's population), the highest density of Russians is in Crimea with 58 % of Ethnic Russians.

Of course the economic crisis in Ukraine as every Crisis is not only a Crisis of material goods but a Crisis of spirituality. Big part of Ukrainian Church separated from Russian Orthodox Church and are not in canonical unity with rest of Orthodox Churches. Besides that the number of Uniats (Orthodox Christian who are under the rule of the Roman Pope) seem to be growing over the last years there. After the fall of USSR, the number of protestants and other Christian sects in Ukraine also has grown. The decay of Russian Orthodox Church diocese in Ukraine set a space for more and more religious spiritual divisions which affected the material country realm. Talking about religion it is worthy to mention a very curious and not much known fact is that current Prime Minister Oleksandr Turchynov (who took place of Viktor Yanukovych) is protestant pastor. The other key actor of the Ukrainian Revolution is Arseniy Yatsenyuk who is not even Urainian but Ethic Ukrainian Jew.

Concerning Crimea historically give birth to Kievan Rus (and so to say is like mother land of all Russians as we known them), from year 1783 to 1917 was a territory part of Russian Empire, then from 1922 to 1991 it was part of Soviet Union, from 1991 to 1998, Crimea was autonomous Republic. Crimea is well known from history where Russian Empire fought with French Empire in Crimean War (1853-1856). It is no strange why Russia wants Crimea so hard as they have historically fought for this land and over the last few centuries it was Russian teritory. It will be no strange either if Crimea becomes a reason for another war …

So Who is right Russia or the Western World (European Union / United States)?
For me from the facts it is more than clear that neither the Euroepan Union nor United States share a close history / language / culture with Crimea, neither ever this was their territory. Meaning Westerners doesn't have the right to escalate the situation by putting oil in the fire, but should better keep silent and let Ukraine Russia and Crimea solve their problem alone (in a peaceful way). But why Europeans and Americans try to intervene? Well simple economically European Union has more interest to have a new Member country membering ~ 45 millions and a nice tourist destination Crimea than to have a member with 3 million less, and US's influence on world by having a western oriented Ukraine will raise. This is the reason why they make so much noise and don't want to accept the referendum in Crimea for unification with Russia, because they have politic interests there.

Ukrainians was mislead to believe the fight for Ukraine is a nation heroism, where in reality what is happening in Ukraine is just serving biggest countries interests. The bad thing is what is happening there is a good reason for emerge of national war and we know from history such a small conflicts combined with a world economic crisis led to World War I and World War II. I don't say that such a war will emerge but I think Western World should be careful to not provoke a war in Europe through recognizing Crimea's people decision to become part of Russia.

IQ world rank by country and which are the smartest nations

Friday, March 14th, 2014

IQ_world_rank_by_country_world_distribution_of_intelligence
In a home conversation with my wife who is Belarusian and comparison between Bulgarian and Belarusian nation, the interesting question arised – Which nation is Smarter Bulgarian or Belarusian?

This little conversation pushed me to intriguing question What is the IQ World rank if compared by country? Since a moment of my life I'm trying to constantly prove to myself I'm smart enough. For years my motivation was to increase my IQ. I had periods when studied hard history, philosophy and literature then I had periods to put all my efforts in music and mysticism then there was my fascination about IT and informatics and hacking, I had periods with profound interest in Biology and neourosciences, then of course psychology and social sciences and since last 10 years as I belived in God, I'm deeply interested in world religions and more particularly in Christniaty. All this is connected with my previous IQ (Intelligence Quotient) and my desire to develop my IQ. I'm quite aware that IQ statistics can never be 100% reliable as there is deviation (standard error) and its a very general way to find out about a person psychology. But anyways it is among the few methods to compare people's intelligence… I've done an IQ test in distant 2008 and I scored about 118 out of 180  – meaning my  IQ level is a little bit above average. The IQ conversation triggered my curiousity so I decided to check if my current IQ has changed over the last 6 years. Here is results from test I took March, 2013 on free-iqtest.net

IQ Test
IQtest just prooved, my IQ kept almost same, still a little bit above avarage.
Further on, I did investgation online to see if I can prove to my wife the thesis Bulgarians overall IQ is higher than Belarusian. I googled for IQ world rank by Country
Here is what I found ;

 

Nations Intelligence as sorted by Country

Rank
——–

Country
———————–

%
————-

1

Singapore

108

2

South Korea

106

3

Japan

105

4

Italy

102

5

Iceland

101

5

Mongolia

101

6

Switzerland

101

7

Austria

100

7

China

100

7

Luxembourg

100

7

Netherlands

100

7

Norway

100

7

United Kingdom

100

8

Belgium

99

8

Canada

99

8

Estonia

99

8

Finland

99

8

Germany

99

8

New Zealand

99

8

Poland

99

8

Sweden

99

9

Andorra

98

9

Australia

98

9

Czech Republic

98

9

Denmark

98

9

France

98

9

Hungary

98

9

Latvia

98

9

Spain

98

9

United States

98

10

Belarus

97

10

Malta

97

10

Russia

97

10

Ukraine

97

11

Moldova

96

11

Slovakia

96

11

Slovenia

96

11

Uruguay

96

12

Israel

95

12

Portugal

95

13

Armenia

94

13

Georgia

94

13

Kazakhstan

94

13

Romania

94

13

Vietnam

94

14

Argentina

93

14

Bulgaria

93

15

Greece

92

15

Ireland

92

15

Malaysia

92

16

Brunei

91

16

Cambodia

91

16

Cyprus

91

16

FYROM

91

16

Lithuania

91

16

Sierra Leone

91

16

Thailand

91

17

Albania

90

17

Bosnia and Herzegovina

90

17

Chile

90

17

Croatia

90

17

Kyrgyzstan

90

17

Turkey

90

18

Cook Islands

89

18

Costa Rica

89

18

Laos

89

18

Mauritius

89

18

Serbia

89

18

Suriname

89

19

Ecuador

88

19

Mexico

88

19

Samoa

88

20

Azerbaijan

87

20

Bolivia

87

20

Brazil

87

20

Guyana

87

20

Indonesia

87

20

Iraq

87

20

Myanmar (Burma)

87

20

Tajikistan

87

20

Turkmenistan

87

20

Uzbekistan

87

21

Kuwait

86

21

Philippines

86

21

Seychelles

86

21

Tonga

86

22

Cuba

85

22

Eritrea

85

22

Fiji

85

22

Kiribati

85

22

Peru

85

22

Trinidad and Tobago

85

22

Yemen

85

23

Afghanistan

84

23

Bahamas, The

84

23

Belize

84

23

Colombia

84

23

Iran

84

23

Jordan

84

23

Marshall Islands

84

23

Micronesia, Federated States of

84

23

Morocco

84

23

Nigeria

84

23

Pakistan

84

23

Panama

84

23

Paraguay

84

23

Saudi Arabia

84

23

Solomon Islands

84

23

Uganda

84

23

United Arab Emirates

84

23

Vanuatu

84

23

Venezuela

84

24

Algeria

83

24

Bahrain

83

24

Libya

83

24

Oman

83

24

Papua New Guinea

83

24

Syria

83

24

Tunisia

83

25

Bangladesh

82

25

Dominican Republic

82

25

India

82

25

Lebanon

82

25

Madagascar

82

25

Zimbabwe

82

26

Egypt

81

26

Honduras

81

26

Maldives

81

26

Nicaragua

81

27

Barbados

80

27

Bhutan

80

27

El Salvador

80

27

Kenya

80

28

Guatemala

79

28

Sri Lanka

79

28

Zambia

79

29

Congo, Democratic Republic of the

78

29

Nepal

78

29

Qatar

78

30

Comoros

77

30

South Africa

77

31

Cape Verde

76

31

Congo, Republic of the

76

31

Mauritania

76

31

Senegal

76

32

Mali

74

32

Namibia

74

33

Ghana

73

34

Tanzania

72

35

Central African Republic

71

35

Grenada

71

35

Jamaica

71

35

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

71

35

Sudan

71

36

Antigua and Barbuda

70

36

Benin

70

36

Botswana

70

36

Rwanda

70

36

Togo

70

37

Burundi

69

37

Cote d'Ivoire

69

37

Ethiopia

69

37

Malawi

69

37

Niger

69

38

Angola

68

38

Burkina Faso

68

38

Chad

68

38

Djibouti

68

38

Somalia

68

38

Swaziland

68

39

Dominica

67

39

Guinea

67

39

Guinea-Bissau

67

39

Haiti

67

39

Lesotho

67

39

Liberia

67

39

Saint Kitts and Nevis

67

39

Sao Tome and Principe

67

40

Gambia, The

66

41

Cameroon

64

41

Gabon

64

41

Mozambique

64

42

Saint Lucia

62

43

Equatorial Guinea

59

 

North Korea

N/A

 

– Countries are ranked highest to lowest national IQ score.

Above statistics are taken from a work carried out earlier this decade by Richard Lynn, a British psychologist, and Tatu Vanhanen, a Finnish political scientist. To extract statistics they analized  IQ studies from 113 countries.  

For my surprise it appeared Belarusian (ranking 10th in the world) have generally higher IQ than Bulgarians (ordering 14th). Anyways being 14th in world IQ Ranking is not bad at all as we still rank in the top 20 smartest nations.

IQ is a relative way to measure intelligence, so I don't believe these statistics are revelant but they give some very general idea about world IQs.

I learned there are some claims that in more developed economies people have higher IQs than less developed. If we take in consideration above statistics its obvious such claims are dubious as you can see there are countries in top 5 countries with highest IQ, and surely Mongolia is not to be ordered in countries with high economic development.

There are plenty of other interesting researches like "Does IQ relates to people Income?", Does Religious people score higher than atheists? According to research done in U.S. Atheists score 6 IQ points higher than Religious people. However most "religous" people IQ tested were from protestant origin so results are relative (I'm sure Orthodox Christian would score higher 🙂 ). The IQ nation world ranks fail in a way that, a social, economic and historical factors are not counted. According to Gallups research, the world poorest people tend to be the most religious, a fact supporting well the saying of all saints who say that for saintly life people who preferred deliberately to live as poor people.

 

Play Dune2 on Debian Linux with dosbox – Dune 2 Mother of all Real Time Strategy games

Saturday, March 1st, 2014

medium_1809-dune-ii-the-building-of-a-dynasty_one_of_best_games_ever_linux_windows.gif

Dune II: The Building of a Dynasty (known also as Dune II: Battle for Arrakis in Europe is a game that my generation will never forget. Dune 2 is the "first" computer Real Time Strategy (RTE) game of the genre of the Warcraft I and Warcraft II / III and later Command and Conquer – Red Aleart, Age of Empires I / II and Starcraft …

dune2-unit-destroyed

I've grown up with Dune2 and the little computer geek community in my school was absolutely crazy about playing it. Though not historically being the first Real Time Strategy game, this Lucas Inc. 
game give standards that for the whole RTE genre for years and will stay in history of Computer Games as one of best games of all times.

I've spend big part of my teenager years with my best friends playing Dune2 and the possibility nowadays to resurrect the memories of these young careless years is a blessing.  Younger computer enthusiasts and gamers probably never heard of Dune 2 and this is why I decided to place a little post here about this legendary game.

dune-2-tank-vehicle - one of best games computer games ever

Its worthy out of curiosity or for fun to play Dune 2 on modern OS be it Windows or Linux. Since Dune is DOS game, it is necessary to play it via DOS emulator i.e. – (DosBox). 
Here is how I run dune2 on my Debian Linux:

1. Install dosbox DOS emulator

apt-get install --yes dosbox

2. Download Dune2 game executable

You can download my mirror of dune2 here

Note that you will need unzip to uanrchive it, if you don't have it installed do so:

apt-get install --yes unzip

cd ~/Downloads/
wget http://www.pc-freak.net/files/dune-2.zip

3.  Unzip archive and create directory to mount it emulating 'C:\' drive

mkdir -p ~/.dos/Dune2
cd ~/.dos/Dune2

unzip ~/Downloads/dune-2.zip
 

4. Start dosbox and create permanent config for C: drive auto mount


dosbox

To make C:\ virtual drive automatically mounted you have to write a dosbox config from inside dbox console

config -writeconf /home/hipo/.dosbox.conf

My home dir is in /home/hipo, change this with your username /home/username

Then exit dosbox console with 'exit' command

To make dune2 game automatically mapped on Virtual C: drive:

echo "mount c /home/hipo/.dos" >> ~/.dosbox.conf

Further to make dosbox start each time with ~/.dosbox.conf add alias to your ~/.bashrc 

vim ~/.bashrc
echo "alias dosbox='dosbox -conf /home/hipo/.dosbox.conf'" >> ~/.bashrc
source ~/.bashrc

Then to run DUNE2 launch dosbox:

dosbox

and inside console type:

c:
cd Dune2
Dune2.exe

dune2-first-real-time-strategy-game-harkonen-screenshot

For the lazy ones who would like to test dune you can play dune 2 online on this website

Trip to Ruen Monastery Saint John of Rila – The birthplace of a saint, a God piece of Heaven beauty on earth

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

ruenski_monastery-beautiful-mountain-view-near-birthplace-of-a-saint

Last Saturday me and my wife Svetlana together with a Christian friend family (Tsvetomir and Dimitrina with their < 2 years old boy – Boris) went to a small 1 day pilgrimage trip to Ruen Monastery – (Ruenski manastery). The holy cloister is situated very near Skrino village, the birth village of greatest Bulgarian saint saint John of Rila. The village is located about 90 km from Sofia and is very near to town of Boboshevo. To reach Ruen Monastery when coming from Sofia, the traveller has to move in direction of "Kulata / (The Tower)" and to pass the village of Djerman and Usoika. Then before entering the village of Skrino there is a 5 km steep car road leading to the monastery.

ruenski_manastir_near_sightview

Saint John of Rila lived in Skrino until his twenties and due to Christian tradition he accepted monkhood in the nearby monastery next to Skrino and a bit later started a hermit life dwelling himself in his first hermit cave situated near Skrino. The Cave of hermit dwelling of Saint John of Rila is now situated about 200 meters from Ruen Monastery and represents a tiny cave encraved in a rock. The rock is so small that maximum of 2 people can be in cave together. It is amazing how a man could live in such a small space.

hermit_cave_of_saint_John_of_Rila_near-his-birthplace
 

Current Ruen monastery Church is recently rebuild in 1995 and the rest of monastic buildings are completed in y. 2002, but according to history it is known a monastery was existent on same place known in medieval times under name "The Holy Father" in  XV century.

Veneration to Saint John of Rila was so high in mid centuries that obviously people recognized Saint John of Rila among the greatest saints.

The nature view near monastery is breath taking .. On the road to it there is Struma river the monastery itself is situated in Vlahina mountain from it there is a sightview of part of Rila mountain.

piece-of-heaven-on-earth-near-ruenski-monastir

Near the monastery buildings there are two paths one leading to the Cave of Hermitage of Saint John of Rila and another one leading to a place with a Cross visible from throughout the region.

the-cross-on-top-of-mountain-ruenski-monastery

The monastery though being among the newest rebuilded ones in Bulgaria has already 3 saint holy relics, one of which is Holy relics from Saint George the Victorious. We had the blessings by God's grace to also meet RuenAbbot Father Ioan (John). We asked the father how many monks are inhabiting the monastery just to get the humorous answer that half of the inhabitants are present (meaning currently in the monastery there are only 2 monks). Fatehr John was evidently very young kindhearted  person  probably in his 30s. He was quite hospitable and invited us for tea and cookies in the small monastic dining room. We had quite a few spiritual talks and spoke on hardship of being a monk in nowadays confused world.

We were send with the Father's blessings and a gift – an icon of saint John of Rila and a book with the history of the monastery from ancient times to now – the book included also the Testament of Saint John of Rila

On our way back before entering Boboshevo we stopped to see and pray near an ancient Church from the 5th century consecrated under saint Theodor (Stratilat) – a Christian martyr saint from the 4th century who lived near Black Sea.

church-saint-Theodor-stratilat-church-5th-century

The Church is an unique Cultural monument as it contains wall patings probably dating back to at least 10th century or even earlier.

sv-teodor-cyrkva-5-vek-bylgaria

Thanks God the weather was quite warm for the Winter season leaving impression Spring has come 🙂

Истории Ветхого Завета мультфильм / History of Biblbe old Testament in Russian – Kids movie

Saturday, June 15th, 2013

While looking for Bulgarian Orthodox Bible to listen. I submed upon a Russian video,re-telling the story of old testament in Russian. I decided to share the movie as I liked how the story of old testament is retold. Its on very understandable language, so even kids about 5 years old can understand. It is perfect for big kids like me too. After all as the saviour Jesus Christ said all of us Christians, has to "become like Kids to see the Kingdom of Heaven". Watching such movies is  definitely a good way to strengthen faith 🙂 Enjo!


 

History of Old Testament Russian Cartoon / Истории Ветхого Завета мультфильм все серии

By the way currently Russian Orthodox Church is in big bloom and there are plenty of other Animations for kids revealing the truths of faith for the tiny one. I hope one day, if God Bless and have kids myself I will play this video to teach them the wonders of our Christian faith.

A Russian Communist Culture classic movie Battleship Potemkin / Броненосец «Потёмкин» (фильм)

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012


 

Battleship Potemkin HQ

The movie is highly Communistic and early versions of it included a direct verses from the notable Communist Marxist Revolution leader Leon Trotsky

The movie tells a story of a Russian ship during Tsarist Russia in 1905. Due to the bad conditions on the ship and the striving the sailors are exposed to they start, their dissatisfaction progresses until a point. Where low level sailors revolt against the well established ship order – Captain, Doctor, Priest etc. and Create a little revolution taking over the ship, killing the doctor and captain and disobeying God's blessed shipped order. Also in the movie it is evident the bad attitude towards Christianity and Christian faith. The ship priest is displayed as a hypocrite which uses the "faith shield" and people naivety to control the uneasy situation on the ship.
The movie well illustrates the bad spirit of Communists and their scornful attitude towards the Russian Church and faith.
The movie's ultimate Goal as many of the materials of this strange years accent on the Communist Marxist Revolution propaganda. While watching the movie I've noticed even the small details in the movie put accent on "the wrongship" of the established ship order. Take for example the physical height of the ship doctor, he is very low in height and feeble, while the sailors themselves are high in stature and of muscular nature.

The captain himself is high and skinny illustrated as a cruel and unhuman nature, while the sailors are pictured as a good and humble "natural" people. This whole plot and even the most little detail scream "The order is not right, we need new Order". The movie director is a Jews and the General message of the movie is pro jewish, as it tries to illustrate the WhiteGuards (King's army and soldiers as evil and un-human willing to kill all jews). Another thing is the movie is filled with unhuman cruelty, as the Tsarist marching soldiers kills a multitudes of "innocent" people including babies and mothers. Obviously it was all illustrated to blacken the Russian Monarchy and its previous order and Christian faith. There is a terrible scene, where a sailor reads on a plate written the words of the Lord's Prayer and being enraged by his continuous eating of rotten bad quality boiled meat drops the plate in anger. This scene openly illustrates the whole attitude towards God and the God order on earth as well as the Russian Orthodox Church, talking clearly that the screenplay of the director was a atheist blashemer. Honestly watching the breaking the Lord's prayer's plate made me angry and then sad, because whoever initiated the movie did not know the love of Jesus and tried to spread a message that God is all guilty for human's failure's or suffering ….

It should be noted that the movie's main story line The Battleship Potemkin's revolution is a historical truth (though I don't know details), however the part of the movie displaying the city massacre by Monarchy troops is completely fictional and never happened but is just the director's desire to make the influence over the observer severe. The movie was never of great success and though the Movie Author Eisenstein expected the movie to become a hit it never did. The Odessa city movie closing part was shocking to see by the much more pious people than today and I guess it was even worser than Quentin Tarantino's movies nowadays.

The main "star" artist of the movie is Valunchik, a working class hero who initiates the battleship revolution and is depicted as "the voice of rationality in the darkness a nd of cruel Monarchy who only cares for the high people class".

Battleship Potemkin / Броненосец Потемким Russian communist revolution propaganda movie cover picture

In the western world the movie in Brussels and France the movie was highly praised and was reviewed as one of the most influential propaganda movies ever made. In Brussel's world's fair the movie was named "the greatest file of all time" "Considered one of the most important films in the history of silent pictures, as well as possibly Eisenstein's greatest work, Battleship Potemkin brought Eisenstein's theories of cinema art to the world in a powerful showcase; his emphasis on montage, his stress of intellectual contact, and his treatment of the mass instead of the individual as the protagonist. The film tells the story of the mutiny on the Russian ship Prince Potemkin during the 1905 uprising." This movie is part of the collection: Silent Films Producer: Sergei M. Eisenstein, Grigori Aleksandrov Audio/Visual: sound Keywords: Silent; War; Russian Creative Commons license: Public Domain Mark 1.0

To be honest though the movie is of a great "art" value I don't like it as it is ungodly and against the Church. Now it is rather interesting to see the movie and put it in the face of the atheist "communists" who thought the Communist revolution will take over the whole world. After 68 years of Communism and communist blocks like USSR it is now over confirming the Gospel words that "every initiative that is not from God will eventually collapse".  There is plenty said on the movie and it is one of the most important movies nowadays most of the people aged 40 – 65, who lived through Communism and within the USSR socialist block know the movie quite well (in this number my father too). Since the movie is so popular one can find a lot of information and reviews on it with critical or positive analysis. The movie could probably be classified in the Drama genre and in my view is educational perspective for people who wish to have a glimpse on communist ideology and the attitudes of the '30s – 50s in Russia, China and plenty of other countries 'round the world.

Bronenosets-Potemkin-Battleship-potemkin-sailor-raising-alert--film-cover

Movie Length: 1 horo 11 minutoj

Original Title: Броненосец “Потёмкин”
Producer Company: Mosfilm-studio
Screenplay Directory: Н. Агаджанова (N. Agaĝanova): С. Эйзенштейн (S. Eisenstein)
Assitant Directory: Г. Александров (G. Aleksandrov)
Cinematography: Э. Тиссе (E. Tisse)
Music: Д. Шостакович (D. Ŝostakoviĉ)
Actors: Александр Антонов (Aleksandr Antonov), В. Барский (V. Barskij), Григорий Александров (Grigorij Aleksandrov) , М. Гоморов (M. Gomorov), Владимир Уральский (Vladimir Uralskij), Иван Бобров (Ivan Bobrov) k.a.
Country Produced: Soviet Union (USSR)

Movie Cast The film is composed of five episodes:

  •   "Men and Maggots" (Люди и черви), in which the sailors protest at having to eat rotten meat;
  •     "Drama on the Deck" (Драма на тендре), in which the sailors mutiny and their leader, Vakulinchuk, is killed;
  •     "A Dead Man Calls for Justice" (Мёртвый взывает) in which Vakulinchuk's body is mourned over by the people of Odessa;
  •     "The Odessa Staircase" (Одесская лестница), in which Tsarist soldiers massacre the Odessans.
  •     "The Rendez-Vous with a Squadron" (Встреча с эскадрой), in which the squadron tasked with intercepting the Potemkin instead declines to engage, lowering their guns, its sailors cheer on the rebellious battleship and join the mutiny.