Posts Tagged ‘netherlands’

My long lasting study university dilemma is it really worth Investment to study in University? Don’t study – invest your money in something more meaningful

Thursday, December 13th, 2012

Reading Time: 12minutes

I'm trying to graduate for a really long time, so far. Let me in short perephrase my story, as I'm sure there are probably plenty of people out there who are into the same shitty situation as I.

I graduated school while being 17 years old (one year earlier than supposed), studied in a Mathematical oriented High School with majors Informatics and Mathematics with itensified English language studying. 

While turning 17 I had my regular fancy-dress carnival (ball) as we have it each year near the end of May and beginning of June in Bulgaria, in those joyful times plenty of High School graduates has their celebrations. I don't know how it is in other countries but in Bulgaria, graduates are often mislead and does not have clear idea what exactly they want to study, because schools do less to properly orientate the student on what kind of study stream field or what kind of sphere of life he would like to be employeed (maybe it was just my alumni) or the alumnis student generations that emerged just 10 years after Communism regime fall, maybe it is just my individual case. Or maybe it was like this everywhere? Anyways I graduated desiring only to study informatics for the only reason, Informatics was fashionable and it was thought the future of existence will be fulyl pre-dominated by informatics. Therefore in my school me and many classmates thought graduating in informatics is the best thing one can do. Computers back in the day was not so heavily spreaded (every person did not have a computer), so still computers were perceived by Bulgarian people with high dose of mysticism and interest. And those interested in computers were much more interested into learning something and much less consumer oriented society … but doesn't matter, I can write a lot of this but will stop here as this is not the ultimate goal of this article ….

Once graduating in PMG Ivan Vazoff – The High School where i graduated, I tried to apply for a student by following the standard student entrance exams for the study stream of Computers and Information Technologies as this was my primary field of interest back in the day. Back in the day the only way to enter for study stream of Computer Engineering was lay exam solving 4 mathematical complex problems, mathametics. I'm a very bad mathematician and bad in counting, since my childhood I guess I had some bad teachers which didn't spend enough time explaining, I was lazy or just I don't have the talent to be good in mathematics, so following the exams in few mainly Technical Universities in few Bulgarian cities produced no good results. Because of my bad exam marks (my best one was 3 out of 6, where 2 is negative and 6 is positive – yeah the standard education system in Bulgaria is from 2 (poor) to 6 (excellent), I was not accepted in any of the universities to study informatics. You can understand my high disappointment, I was so keen to study informatics really! but the stupid system never allowed me to do so! Hoping I will be able to transfer to another study stream I signed in Varna TU (Technical University) in a study stream called "Machine Building and Instruments Construction". I was received in student with a very low mark of just 3 out of 6, there was practice back in the day that the students with worst marks entered into the Machine Building and Instruments Construction or Automation specialties. I was a total user, as the name of the specialty sounded not so bad and I hoped the specialty should be closely related to Informatics, I had hope. Spending just the first semester in the University I realized this specialty – as it was taught back then has almost nothing to do with Computing; besides that it had plenty of Engineer Drawings. As a graduate from a High School where accent was Mathematics, I never did even one Engineer Drawing! So it was a complete, mess I tried hard to learn  it but it was not possible, even though I tried my best I couldn't properly Draw. After all I never had the habit and even the basic knowledge on How Engineer Drawing is done. It was sad and stressful times, besides that I had to follow two University Higher Mathematics (Chapter 1 and 2) in 1st semester and University Technical Mathematics (Chapter pt. 3 and 4). First semester I couldn't pass Mathematics exam  1 and 2. Because of the reason the teacher was mostly terrible in explaning and also the level of mathematics required to know was very high; for me it was even harder as I never ever had good understanding or knowledge in mathematics. I failed the exams I hardly passed 2 out of 4 exams, I had troubles with few subjects certification (in those university studyign students, had to be certified by the teacher to go to the exam – if you don't attend the lectures you don't get certification and you can't go for the exam). It was a mess. After the end of 1st year I realized, I cannot in any way make it, to move myself to study in some study specialty that has to do more with Computer Science, so I stopped studying. 

During the summer I visited some private Mathematics lessons and tried my best to apply again to study for informatics this time for another University (The Economic University of  Varna). Though my hard attempts to learn a set of model mathematical tasks to solve, on the exam in June I only could achieve again a low mark 3.80 out 6. I needed at least 5 in order to be approved to enter the pre-selected number of students which would study Informatics. Here a note to make here is most of the students who studied informatics did not hold even basic understanding in computers or did not even been keen on computers ….

So in practice again I couldn't enter the study stream I wanted so I was accepted in a study stream called Commodity Knowledge (which consisted of a lot of Chemistry doing chemical analysis of products testing, if they're suitable for putting in store things like this). As a bad mathematician my knowledge in Chemistry was also not good, not to mention I had a very short life memory, so sciences with a lot of formulas (and a lot to remember) are so unsuitable for me …. Anyways I was trying to be very diligent in this Commodity Knowledge study, and I could even pass all my  exams in the first year with not so bad overall marks of around 4.30 out of 6.

I should say I spoke with administration and in first semester I was told it is possible to transfer in Computer Technology specialty if I have relatively good marks, they blutantly lied to me, since after talking with them in the end of the first year I was told the two study systems of Commodity Knowledge and Computer Technology has difference, so the only option is to start again from year 1!!!!! I was mad and disappointed, but decided to just study Stock Knowledge for the reason I already started it with hard intention this time I will graduate. Somewhere in the middle of year 2 in University, I was totally pissed off the studies, besides that at home there were plenty of family problems, so I was devastated. My mother and father was hardly urging me to find a job immediately because they cannot (or will not)  financially support me anymore. After some search on the Internet I was referred by a friend (from my school years who lived in Sofia) about a company called Design.BG which is looking for a Linux system administrator. I already had plenty of experience with Linux and Operating System as this was my hobby and most of my free time was invested in learning Linux, advancing my knowledge in Operating Systems, learning Computer Programming etc. etc. I went to the interview and was approved !!! Hooray I had job but I was paid a very funny money 250 lv (125 EUR) – of course I was just starting in this job but come on 125 EURO for a system administator responsible for 6 servers – 125 EURO per month was meakly ridiculous….

I worked in this company Design.BG for overall of 7 years. After 4.5 year of working and a working sallary of 450 lv I just quit, they were plainly using me as a Robot is used, ridiculous and stupid. I had some good times in the company made some friends, advanced my knowledge this is true. But after all after 4.5 years working in an office I had neither savings, neither achieved something and living on rent – working month by month for my rent and monthly food (very similar to people in Africa). A friend of mine who lived in Dobrich and also was very disappointed from his started Education and quit, told me he will be signing to study in a (comparatively new College) located in Dobrich (Holland-Dutch College ICA – International College Albena). I went to this college and signed up for the studies, usually the students were asked to study 1 preparation year, because they need to advance their English (all subjects were taught in English). As I had a relatively normal English I went to an interview in the College and to one Intelligence test exam and I was approved to start studying immediately without following preparation year 1.

The days while being in the College was relatively good, as somehow I managed to pass two years there in the specialty of International Business and Management (IBMS). After year 2 it appeared there was not enough students in my student group, so there couldn't be year 3. We were only 6 students in IBMS and 3 of them had plans to transfer to continue their studies in another Business School (Arnhem, Business School) in the Netherlands. I was again in a difficult situation, from one side I wanted very  much to go and see how living is abroad from Bulgaria, since I never went out of Bulgaria, but from other side I didn't have enough money to do it, so I had to ask for financial support from my parents, I went to banks asking for Student Credit but since my parents had little of earnings, the banks were not willful to provide me a student credit of 10000 lv. (5000 EUR) which even will not be enough for graduating; however I was dreaming to go and study abroad so I make plans that I can gradute with maybe only 7500 EURO. It was just after I realized how my plans are wrong I needed much more to graduate. The good news I had job as I continuously worked for Design.BG (as remote system administrator). so I was earning 650 euro – a money I hoped will be enough to support my studies, as well administrating few other Servers for Winner Ltd (a smal.l company started and owned by my best friend from my youth years). After a lot of "disputes" with my family

I was able to convince them to help me with money to go to the Netherlands.. I went here in Holland, thinking it is all like a bed of roses. I thought here I will be able to find a good job make a good earning. But guess what it was nothng like this. I realized it is pretty hard to find a good job in Netherlands, besides that Bulgaria was not in Shengen so we Bulgarians could only work if we have a special issued work permit document – the Employer however issues this only in case if there is no suitable Dutch person for the job + issuing this document is often seen as problematic by employeer. Thus as a consequence most of Bulgarians even if they find job have to "work in the dark" in the grey economy without being officially employed with a contract or paying a social security or taxes. Such kind of jobs are mainly provided by Turkish or Kurdish and often even those who get job are underpaind or the employeer lies him with money, and you have nothing to do since officially you have no employment contract ….

I signed up for itjobboard.nl a website providing some resources for people who are involved in IT searching for job but nothing decent poped up.

In Arnhem Business School I signed up under Human Resources and Quality Management specialty – this was one of the biggest mistakes in my life (from current perspective) – was always interested in social studies, so I thought HR will be good. However it might be, but the people I meet in face of teachers in University of Arnhem and Nijmegen (ABS) in HRQM was a hell. They were even worser than the ones in Bulgaria (and I always thought in Bulgaria people are narrow minded), here in Holland they were even more narrow minded. They were preaching what they believe, trying to impose themselves on the student constantly trying to manipulate you. Trying all kind of techniques which are against the normal people code of ethics. Experimenting hardly with experimental Psychology, Hypnosis, NLP – what can I say just a bunch of totally crazy ungodly people. Education, here in the Netherlands was a hell.

Teachers didn't care for the student even more than they don't care in Bulgaria. Teachers failed to identify brilliant minded students, but was forcing ahead only students, which somehow was pretending to be smart. Besides that my colleagues in study group's IQ and experience was far from the even minimal for a serious study and scientific thinking (of course this are just my 5cents), I had troubles with money. What made it even more of a nightmare was the fact in Netherlands people though being smiling and ethical was not too much believing in God and there was no regular Orthodox Church services. There is just one Orthodox Church here in Arnhem and they had 1 Church service per month  …. I have studied plenty of Bullshit subjects in Arnhem Business School. The only so-so reasonable was Counceling and International Labour Law. What made my studying situation even more hellish was the fact. The subjects taught here in Arnhem Business School are not identical as content to the ones I was taught over the 2 years I studied in Holland-Bulgarian College (International College Albena). The style of teaching was also very different. Here the student is left on his own to spend his nerves on shit issues, most of which are caused by the badly architectured university system and the unwillingness of teachers to be helpful to students. From my overall experienced in Arnhem Business School in HRQM. I urge you don't sign and Study for HRQM. This might be the biggest mistake you will make. The nerves,. the lost times and the brainwashing you're about to get with a shit content is not worthy the time and the price of tuition fee of 1672 euro per year. I've studied 1 year here in Arnhem Business School somehow managing it and I was totally devastated for the reason I spend 1 year with Teacheres who constantly practice brainwashing techniques doing lecture over the students. Besides that all system in the specialty is centered around a false Philosophy of Brainwashing. The teachers claim, they do all to help the student – they even have a study-buddy system but in practice it is totally opposite. Teachers do opposite to what they speak, acting often totally devilish. It is not a place for ethical people with high morale. Besides that I was amazed about the stupidity of information system in Arnhem Business School, all is built very complex and hard for the student; Whole information system is based on Proprietary Microsoft software. Even the wireless access to the Internet from the University is not officially supported for Free Opearting systems like GNU / Linux or FreeBSD. This  is a good indicator on how narrow minded the whole university is …. well it is the same old story with almost all education I have faced in my life. You pay and you get "shit" for your money, if hopefully you graduate you're not prepared so it is just like spending a lot of money on almost nothing.

The investments one does for his whole studying is another story, very often you spend about lets say 10000 to 15000 EURO for studies and the ROI could come someday or maybe not. With the harsh economic crisis and the reduce of management positions and increase of technology, the likeness of not getting a job or getting a shit underpaid job with or without Higher Education is quite high. Even the knowledge you get in moment of graduating is already out date due to the high dynamics of economics throughout the world and globalization. 

I have planned to complete Arnhem Business School for just 2 years of time, but the teachers and subjects make me stumble, so it is already almost 4 years and I still haven't graduated. Where I'm a position where I had to take two accounting exams. Here the subjects in Arnhem Business School has all fuzzy names like ILLW / (ACF1, ACF5Z0) / HRA. What makes situation even worser is this code names are changed with time. As I didn't studied for an year and half I had issues re-signing for studying. Even after I was said I can continue my studies from the moment where I stopped, there was plenty of issues that might be because the fact they changed the HRQM study content and even the specialty name HRQM was changed to IBS. Now I'm in a situation, where I need to pass two accounting exams they were used to be called under the fuzzy names ACF5 and ACF7 (Accounting and Finance). Again I'm a big troubles because I'm so bad with numbers and the university is so unflexible so they don't give you any alternative option to following the two accounting Exams. After all there are plenty of HRQM Managers out there which have not a good idea about numbers, besides that being an HR does not require you to have the knowledge of a professional accountant. But according to the exams I have to follow I have to study from a book which seems like for professional accountants ….. Passing the 2 accountings would have not been such an issue but the big problem is this two accountings ACF5 and ACF7 are a continuous ones from a previous ACF1,2,3,4 and I never studied ACF1,2,3,4 in Bulgaria but instead studied a different kind of accounting, which besides that was poorly taught by the teacher who didn't speak a good English and the Exam content has nothing as prior said nothing to do with the Accountings in ABS. Even though I spoke with the teachers and explained my situation numerous times, noone wants to take my big issue seriously and now I'm suffering trying to learn for this exams, but with my knowledge it seems hardly possible to pass the exams. Besides that which is mostly ridiculous is just for passing this 2 exams the university wants to charge me to pay them for a whole Study Year enrollment (via StudieLink – an online based system through which the student Sign ups for studying in Holland Universities – in Holland there is a commission of people who approves if one will study or not). It could be my bad luck, maybe my temper which is freeedom loving or the complexity of modern life, but I didn't like it.

Even if I graduate after some time find the enormous sum of about 1650 EURO, I don't know if I will be able to find job after that. Just to give you an idea about the approximate sallary in Bulgaria is about (150 to 200 EUR) MAX. Where only the IT jobs and some managers take like 1000 EUR of sallary. It is ridiculously high, what is even more ridiculous I forgot to mention is even though in year 2011 (January – June) I didn't studied or attended even one lecture the university required me to pay the Semester Tuition fee of 836 EUR (the second part of the normal study year). My explanation that I couldn't go to school because of health issues and financial reasons was not taken in consideration at all. I come to the conclusion that all studying are just made to drain your money and nobody really cares of you. And even at the end who cares what kind of diploma you have you only find Job in 80% of cases only if you have a person to refer you , recommend you  and place you in company. It is just sad how stupid and fragile the education system is in the EU.

Moreover this stupid European Union helps me nothing, they just say they help the countries but what I see happening in Bulgaria and across most of the European Countries speaks the opposite. 

Saint Nicolas’s feast day in the Netherlands / Sinterklaas – Saint Nicolas protector of Amsterdam, SinterKlaus and the origin of Santa Claus

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

Reading Time: 5minutes

Saint Nicolas feast in the Belgium Holland and Germany - Sintaklaas Sinta Klaus with Zwarte Piete (the lblack helper of saint Nicolas)

Today 6-th of December in Bulgaria we celebrate Saint Nicolas's day (Nikulden) in our autocephalous Orthodox Church – BulgarianOrthodox Church. As I'm in the Netherlands it was interesting for me to find out in the Netherlands, there is a tradition to celebrate the memory of one of the greatest saints of the One Holy Apostolic – The Orthodox Church Saint Nicolas Bishop of Myra (Myra is nowdays located near to Bulgaria in the territory of modern Turkey and back in the day when Saint Nicolas was a bishop Myra region was part of the Byzantine (Greek) Empire. Saint Nicolas is considered the patron saint of Sailers also being venerated as a patron of the people who travel and just as I found today he is a considered heavenly protector of children in Roman Catholic parts of Holland, French and Germany.

saint Nicolas as being depicted in western europe - Sinta Klass kids protector in Roman Catholic Church

As of time of writting the Holy Relics of Saint  Nicolas, are located in Bary Italy, after Italy attacked Myra and carried away his relics to Bary. they were transferred there a while after his passing to Christ. It is interesting fact that Saint Nicolas (Sinter Klaas) is being venerated in almost under some form in all European Country. It seems his memory and veneration is stronger on countries neighboring a Sea or Ocean and Rivers. The reason why saint Nicolas is considered as heavenly protector of Mariners and all who travel by Water vessels is  he rescued sailors in the Aegean Sea during his lifetime.

What is the origin of Santa Claus Sinterklaas Zwarte Piet origin of Santa Claus picture

On above picture, you see SinterKlaas (Sinter Klaus)'s still "living memory in tradition" in the Netherlands. In this year 2012, (probably by the Holy prayers of Saint Nicolas), here in Holland it snowed, making up the usual snowy Christmas which surronds Santa Claus 🙂

As Saint Nicolas was a Bishop of Myra he holds the Bishop stick and the Bishop's Mytra ( cap ), as long as a costume which even to this day can be seen worn almost identical in Eastern Orthodox Church in West in Roman Catholic Church – the priests cassock nowadays has evolved so is not so similar to Sinta Claus's dressing. The Black guy on the left of SintaClaas is called Zwarte Piet [The Black Piet (Zwarter Piet) – or Black Peter ]. According to some legends, the Black Piet was a slave who was bought and let to freedom by Saint Nicolas, as a courtesy the ex-Slaved black person stayed and was helping to Saint Nicolas in all his deeds until the Saint's passing to Christ.

According to our Orthodox Christian Church tradition Saint Nicolas played a key role and was in his God inspired polemics defending the True Orthodox faith against the heresy of Arians at the Ecumenical Council of Nicea.
His popularity  in Russia, Bulgaria, Greece and Serbia is of great esteem. Where it is interesting in Russia almost all Church or Shrine (Paraklesos) has a holy icon of saint Nicolas.

It is rather interesting that for some not very clear reasons (people legends and mixture between local traditions and Christian believes) his veneration in Western Europe from being a saint protector of Mariners changed of being a saint who looks after Sailors to saint who brings gifts to little children.
On 5th of December the night before 6th of December in similar same way as in America and across a lot of other Christian countries on Christmas (24 December), the kids leave empty shoes (traditionally near chimney) waiting for SintaKlaas to bring them a gift. Differently from the 24th Christmas gift tradition, for SinterKlaas kids shoes are filled with small things, cookies chocolate or fruit and is not so common for Sinta to leave "bigger" gifts like Santa Claus on Christmas eve. It is a custom here in the Netherlands that on SinterKlaas's day a Gingerbread biscuits are eaten in big quantities (this seem to be the most traditional "meal for the feast"). In Bulgaria a bit differently it is our local tradition that each family eats fish on saint Nicolas's day. Here in Netherlands, there are plenty of children song being sung on SintaKlaas's day – most of them secular.

Sinter-claes-SinterKlaas-saint-nicolas-Amsterdam-dam

The memory of the saint is very strong in the Capital of the Netherlands Amsterdam. There is a big Roman Catholic Cathedral dedicated to memory of Saint Nicolas. By Amsterdam inhabitants st. Nicolas is considered as a heavenly saint protector.

saint Nicolas Church Amsterdam SinterKlaas Amsterdam

Later when immigrants from Europe mostly (Roman Catholics) moved to America the Sinterklaas (Sinta Klass) changed to the kids favorite good old man  Santa Claus who brings them gift. Rather sadly Santa Claus tradition profanization mainly due to commercialization and globalization and "Coca-Cola culture", nowadays made Santa Claus to more remembered person than our Lord and Saviour of the world Jesus Christ whose birth should be the main accent of Christmas.

Nowadays believing and atheist families know and remember Santa Claus, but there are only few of them who tell their kids about Christ's birth in the inn (cave).
Saint Nicolas's miraculous living  is on OrthodoxWiki's site check it here.

Saint Nicolas / Sveti Nikolaj Orthodox Church holy icon

Here is the Church Troparion and Kontaktion sung in the Orthodox  Church as translated to English:

 


 

Church glorification Hymn to Saint Nicholas – begging st. Nicolas's prayer intercession to the Lord Jesus Christ

Troparion  (Tone 4)

In truth you were revealed to your flock as a rule of faith,
an image of humility and a teacher of abstinence;
your humility exalted you;
your poverty enriched you.
Hierarch Father Nicholas,
entreat Christ our God
that our souls may be saved.

Kontaktion (Tone 3)

 

You revealed yourself, O saint, in Myra as a priest,
For you fulfilled the Gospel of Christ
By giving up your soul for your people,
And saving the innocent from death.
Therefore you are blessed as one become wise in the grace of God.

 In Russian and across the Orthodox Churches who are still following unrevised Church calendar for most feasts, the memory of the saint Nicolas of Myra is commemorated 13 days later.

Let by the Holy Prayers of Saint Nicolas of Myra, The Lord Jesus Christ be merciful on all of us Christians.

Holy God servent Nicolae pray the Lord our souls be saved!
 

 

Being Orthodox Christian in the Netherlands or how to regularly attend Orthodox Christian Holy Liturgy while living in Arnhem, The Netherlands

Sunday, November 4th, 2012

Reading Time: 6minutes

Being Orthodox Christian in the Netherlands or how to regularly attend Orthodox Christian Holy Liturgy while living in Arnhem, The Netherlands

As I'm trying to Regularly going to Orthodox Church, here near Arnhem Netherlands. The only place where one can go each Sunday for an Orthodox Holy Liturgy is in Nijmegen (A city 40 km away from Arnhem, The Netherlands). The Church building used there is very near to a Roman Catholic Cathedral. The Church itself is not built 100% according to Orthodox buildings Church architecture "standards", but the Holy Liturgy is served in a Byzantine Chapel. One of the many movements in Roman Catholic Church seems to be serving closer to Eastern Orthodox Christian service and they do their services in Churches which are built similar to old Byzantine Churches. The Church in Nijmegen, where one can regularly go for Holy Liturgy is one of this Byzantine Chapels.
Currently the Church is used only by Orthodox Christians. As the Church alter was previously "opened" in the fashion of Roman Catholic tradition. Because we Orthodox did have a special barrier between Alter and rest of Church (where non layman people pray), a barrier was built in order to make the Church canonically compatible with our Eastern Orthodox Churches. Currently the Church building is hired from Roman Catholics and every Saturday or Sunday there is a Holy Liturgy served there. Two local Orthodox Churches Western Europe eparchies are serving Holy Liturgy there:
 

  • Russian Orthodox Church
  • Serbian Orthodox Church

The usual services goes like this:
 

  • One Sunday the Holy Liturgy is served by Russian Orthodox Church priest (Father Sergii)

and

  • 1 (Saturday or Sunday) a Holy Liturgy is served by a serbian Priest (Father Dushan).

An important note to make here is Russian Orthodox Church priest and hence Nijmegen Church parish belongs to Russian Orthodox Church and not Foreign Russian Orthodox Church – I make this clarification because in Arnhem there is a Russian Orthodox Church too but the Church there belongs to the "Schismatic" Russian Orthodox Church which choose not to reunite with the Russian Orthodox Church Moscow Patriarchy.

It is a a kind of Church tradition here in Netherlands after the end of Church service people gather together in the small Kitchen room located in Church and Eat together and have a chat (a post communion). This supper is something that is not well known in most "native traitional" orthodox Countries like in our Church in Bulgaria as well as in most if not all Russian and Belarusian Churches. This eating together with brothers and sister from Church is something great that I believe most if not all city Orthodox Churches must practice in some form. It a good way to share the love and joy of Christ's resurrection after Church service completes.
Thus if you're in situation like me, where you're trying to be a devoted Orthodox Christian living in Arnhem Netherlands and you're looking for a way to attend Church services every week Sunday or Saturday, one of your "cheap" options is to just go regularly from Arnhem to Nijmegen (only 40 km away from Anrhem). The most cheap way is to travel by train. Two way ticket from Arnhem to Nijmegen (Retuur Ticket as called in Dutch) costs as of time of writing (8.10 EURO) which for living standard in Netherlands is not so high price. There is also transportation by bus to Nijmegen, but as long as I know bus ticket costs a bit more so probably if you're trying to travel cheap, train is better.

Each Russian and Serbian Orthodox Church has its own community and besides that there are some native Dutch (some of whom come for both Russian and Serbian Divine Liturgy. Curiously some of the Dutch even sing in the Russian Church choire 😉

It is amazing too see that here in Holland, there are native Dutch (wow!  🙂 ) who somehow by God's great providence managed to find true Christ Church – the Orthodox Church  in this whole great (faith) confusion of the days.. This is really a miracle, really !
Some of Dutch people attending the Church services are very dedicated, they even can speak some Russian / Serbian or Macedonian. Within both Churches brothers and sisters one can find very interesting people from all spheres of life. As I'm involved in IT, I could meet and speak few person from Russian Orhodox Church who just like myself are involved in IT jobs. Even more curiously one of those IT persons (a Bulgarian and a Programmer) is responsible for selling candles and orthodox books and in the Russian Orthodox Church 🙂

It is rather interesting for me as Bulgarian Orthodox Christian to see how same Holy Liturgy as our Bulgarian Holy Liturgy is served in Church Slavonic by our brotherly nations Russians and Serbs.

It is interesting that the Church service is almost 100% comprehendable and contains the same prayers and order just like in our Bulgarian Orthodox Church – well this is normal since we're Orthodox, but still seeing it with your own eyes and experiencing some other nation Holy Liturgy is an experience to remember.

Each of the Russian and Serbian Church has their local tradition uniqueness too and though the Holy Liturgy and For "rememembrance of the dead" service is equal all along all Orthodox Christian local Churches there are little specifics in both Russian and Serbian Church which make the services even deeper and gives me better understanding of our Orthodox Christian faith.
As Serbs are very near to Bulgaria and just like us Bulgarian Orthodox, they're serving and singing and serving in the Church in the "Byzantine style", the Serbs Church service is maybe a little bit closer to how Holy Liturgy and the Mysticisms in the Church are served by priest in the Church. Main thing that mains serbian Church more close to how currently the Holy Liturgies are served in Bulgaria is the fact that on the "Klir" (clergy) in serbian Church there is one or two person, whether in Russian for contrast there is a whole Choire of about 6 / 7 person with a choir conductor. Mentioning of the Choir Conductor and the Russian Choire I should say they sing really beautiful angelic, though the choire sings in the Russian little modernized so called "Western" singing style (as it is sung in most if not all Russian Churches nowdays). The Western singing however is not a problem and the experience one gets from choire singing is bringing the soul high to heavens! The Church choire leader in Nijmegen's Russian Church is a kind lady which is Matushka (wife of the kind and Graceful Priest Father Sergii).
The Russian Church does not have "Verchernaja" (evening Service), because of Holy Liturgy, maybe because father Sergii, his wife, the deacon and ipodakons (under deacons), travel every 2 Sundays to Nijmegen to participate in the Divine Holy Liturgy. Many of the other Russian and Serbian "flock" also has to travel for a nearby cities in order to be able to present and pray together with the Church. Here in Netherlands life of the Orthodox Christians is not and easy. Though it has its pros, like for example the overall high standard and richness of Holland, being an Orthodox Christian in holland usually means a lot of time spend in traveling and a lot of vigilance. Every non-Orthodox should know well Holland is not officially Orthodox Christian, but one part of Holland is mainly predominated by Roman Catholics and other part by Protestants, meaning Orthodox Christian here are usually 1st or second generation emigrants, students or people from Orthodox countries who now temporary  work to earn some better money in Holland. it is interesting that the fr. Sergii himself is local ( Dutch ), the deacon of the Russian Church is dutch and one of the Ipodeacons is also dutch. In Serbian Church I haven't seen so far a deacon, the alter helpers (ipodeacons) are however from Croatia and Serbia and fr. Dushan is born in Serbia and living in Holland since 3 years from the time of moment of writing. Just recently the Serbian Church in Holland marked its 20 years from existence and there was an evening service in Nijmegen, the 20 years of the Church was combined with the Great feast of the Birth of Saint Constantine and Helena Serbian Orthodox Church feast. St. Constantine was the first Emperor who allowed Christianity to be considered equal to rest of worldly beliefs. St. Constantine also stopped severe persecution against Christians. For the feast the head of Serbian Eparchy for Western Europe – Bishop Luka (Kovačević) was present increasing the joy of the feast of present.

Serbian Orthodox Church Bishop for Western Europe Episkop vladika Luka Kovacevic
 

I was only for the Evening Service and presentation (which I can partially understand as it was given in Serbian) but it was interesting and most importantly I get the blessing of  Bishop Luka. More information about bishop Luka's visit to Nijmegen and Nijmegen Parohija (Eparchy)  is found on Serbian Orthodox Church Nijmegen website here

Along with Bishop Luka a guest was Bishop (Episkopa) Remezijansko G. Andrea Епископа ремезијанског Г. Андреја (Ћилерџића) – a bit more about his biography here

 

Bishop Episkop Andrei Vikarni Bishop Episkop Remezianski photo

It might be useful to mention, the website providing regular news on Russian Orthodox Church in Nijmegen Church life is – www.orthodox-nijmegen.nl

 

Hope my article is of help to someone out there. I will close the article with the well known and prayed glorification proclaim:

Glory be to the Father and the Son and The Holy Spirit Now and unto Ages of Ages !

A Sunday in the Netherlands

Monday, September 1st, 2008

Reading Time: 2minutes
I woke up, washed my teeth, did my regular morning excersises then Ina came my room and we went out shopping. In Sunday all shopsare closed in the netherlands thus the near food store we usually shop from Alberheim is closed too. That’s why we moved to the center.We first ate in a place called “Subway”, the vegetarenian sort of hamburger costed 2 EU, then we walked through the shops in the center andresearched where is what and how the prices vary in the different stores. Ina bought sunglasses, a blouse and ear-rings. We were also happyto find 24 hours opened shop right in the center. It seems that usually in Sunday the only place where the shops are opened is the center.We took some beer and went and stood along a little lake enjoying the swan and the ducks and crows which moved and flewer aroud. Then we catched the way for home looking around for unlocked bikes which we may take (it’s common here in the Netherlands to just take unlocked bikes and make them yours even I heard a lot of people leave the old unusused bikes on the street unlocked so you can just take it and use it.On our way home Ina saw left old Zanussi fridge next to a trash bin with a note on it saying something in Dutch containing the Dutch word “wekrt” which literally translated means works. So we hoped the fridge is a working one. We called Koko and Sali to come end help us with the fridge. Then Koko and Sali came and helped us move the fridge to the Honigkamp 2 which is the building of the dormitory I live in. LaterI collected the dry laundry and went to take a shower, then I moved to the 5th floor’s kitchen (My room is in the 1st floor). Wherewe gather with Ina for breakfasts, lunch or dinner. It’s a common thing the last few days that all the Bulgarians that we live in Honigkamp just gather together with the laptops and listen to a different kinds of music and talking about stuff. Although is’s so nice in the Netherlands I’m homesick a little. I also feel like going in no concrete direction. It’s a common thing temptations come that tempt me to smoke again. Also a really terrible temptation I face is a one I faced a dozen of times. You know there are some girls that really are my type of girls unfortunately every time I look at that girls I start falling in love. This is just fine the bad thing is that I’m usually too “different”, unconventional etc. to fit nice with the girls I like. Day by day I search for truths and I’m not sure I’m able to reach them .. the poor man I’m ehh…END—–

Beside myself

Sunday, October 12th, 2008

Reading Time: < 1minute
There is not much to say, Recently I’m experiencing mix of spiritual and emotional fluctuations ups and downs.I feel so alone quite often. There are not many valuable people (considering my interests).Day by day I’m asking myself the question “Hey man , why are you studying HRQM this stupid secreatary stuff.”I’m confused quite a lot and in a state of a denial, or better to say I feel a kind of lost because I’m out of my confortzone .. The teachers here in the HRQM stream claim that when a man is frightened and out of his confort zone,then he is learning a lot. They might be true about that, I don’t know. At Friday we had that Business Ethics test.Before the test we watched the movie “The Wizard of Oz” a movie from the distant year 1939. Right after the class wasover I went home and laundered my clothes. Then we had a dinner. Today I woke up around 11:00, had my breakfastat around 13:00 and near 13:30 I went out for a walk. I went to the city center and walked around the river Netherlands Rijn.A little later I walked through the city center around the open market which was located right before The St. Eusibeus Chapel.I went through a waggon which sells bibles in different languages and tried to draw people back close to God andspoke for a while with one nice old man who said used to be a Christian for 40 years already.Then I went for shopping to the grocy stores Aldi and Albertheijn and went back “home” to Honigkamp… That’s mostlyhow my day passed … I should thank to God for still caring for me and providing me with all necessary for my daily living.Thanks Lord! END—–