May 29, 2016: The project "The Heritage of Saints Cyril and Methodius in the modern world"
realized by Taganrog Foreign Relations Office and Taganrog School Number 5 became international in 2013. The meaning of "heritage" is not limited to Orthodox background of Slavic missionaries, and focuses on the Cyrillic alphabet. This is why the subject scope was very wide, ranging from Christianity to linguistics. The forms of participation were also very different: drawings, photographs, essays, research studies, scenarios of Saints Cyril and Methodius' Day Celebrations, videoconferencing ("video bridge"), and many more. Official languages in 2016 were: Russian, Bulgarian, Ukrainian, English and German. Nine foreign countries participated in the 2nd edition of the project: Austria, Bulgaria, Byelorussia, D.P.R. (Donetsk Peoples' Republic), Germany, Kyrgyzstan, Serbia, Ukraine and United States of America.
Most contributors were from Bulgaria - due to a special congeniality of the topic. "Doctor Pyotr Bern School" from Taganrog's sister city Cherven Bryag
was the most active - its kids participated in two video bridges on Slavic languages with Russian students dedicated to commonalities between Russian and Bulgarian languages, and are planning to hold a third one dedicated to Russian and Bulgarian folklore. A great enthusiasm was shown by the school's deputy director Mrs. Planeta Mitkovska who teaches Russian language.
Cherven Bryag-based tv channel Eta-TV made a coverage of the video bridge with Taganrog and revival of the seemingly inactive partnership with Taganrog. Some reports have been also published on the official web page of Bulgarian sister city. Among the reasons for this attention were the wall newspapers "Amazing Bulgaria" and "St. Cyril and St. Methodius" made by Taganrog School Number Five students. Mr. Danail Valov, who visited Taganrog in 2008
and was recently re-elected Mayor of Cherven Bryag
, congratulated Taganrog's acting mayor Alexey Makhov on Victory Day, demonstrating warming of relations at official level.
Elementary school "Khristo Botev" from Bulgarian city of Plovdiv participated for the second time. Its director Mr. Ivan Penev, a great admirer of Anton Chekhov
, held a soiree dedicated to Taganrog's great countryman and plans to visit the Chekhov's home city in autumn 2016.
Germany was represented by the young writer and poetess Ines Thalia Burkhardt who has long been an active participant in the cultural life of Taganrog. Ms. Burkhardt sent an essay in German language and participated in a video conference with school students from Taganrog. Essays for the project were also submitted by Mr. Klaus-Peter Jantos, secretary of "Forum Russische Kultur Gütersloh", Ms. Madeleine Schüler - student of Albert Ludwig University in Freiburg am Breisgau and Dr. Regine Noheil, secretary of German Chekhov Society (Deutsche Tschechow-Gesellschaft).
The only foreign participant who came in person to Taganrog was Herbert Zachl, citizen of Austria, member of German Chekhov Society and a great friend of Taganrog. In the course of his 20th visit to the city in April-May 2016, Mr. Zachl met with students of Taganrog School Number 5 at Tchaikovsky House to discuss the project themes
, such as Orthodox Christianity, Cyrillic alphabet, Russian literature).
A college from Taganrog's partner city Khartsyzsk
, D.P.R. submitted several materials and participated in a video bridge-format discussion
with students of School Number Five, in the course of which children from both cities read poetry in Russian and Ukrainian languages.
Many other contributors engaged in the project "The Heritage of Saints Cyril and Methodius in the modern world": professor Sergey Rybas of Capital University in Ohio, USA; school students from Soligorsk (Byelorussia), partner city Mariupol
(Ukraine), Novy Sad (Serbia), Naryn (Kyrgyzstan).