Posts Tagged ‘nijmegen’

6th against 7th Nativity / Budni Dan / Божић, ( Christmas ) in Serbian Orthodox Church Nijmegen

Monday, January 7th, 2013

Saint Savva Nijmegen Serbian Orthodox Church Bojic Badni dan Rojdestvo Hristovo Nativity

I'm in Holland and here the closest place to Arnhem where Orthodox Holy Liturgy is served is in Nijmegen. I go every Sunday on Church taking the train from Arnhem to Nijmegen – the whole trip takes 15 to 20 minutes .One Sunday, I go to Russian Orthodox Church, and one Sunday to Serbian Orthodox Church. As a rule of thumb for us Orthodox, if we attend Orthodox Church different from your nation wide (autocephalous) Orthodox Church, the person who takes part in prayer and Eucharist communion with the respective Church should celebrate the Church feasts according to the respective Orthodox Church calendar (in my case Russian and Serbian Orthodox Church) calendar. Both Russian and Serbian Church are following the so called Old Church Calendar, where in my national Church the Bulgarian Orthodox Church just like Greeks, we follow the "New  feasts Church Calendar". The difference between the two calendars is 13 days in some of the feasts, meaning Orthodox Churches which still observe the Old Church Calendar have some of the feasts like Nativity 13 days later.

Two years ago, I've celebrated Christmas with the Russian Orthodox Church on the 3rd day of Nativity (9th of January). This year by God's great mercy I had the chance to celebrate Рождество Христово with the Serbs.

Thus  this, year I celebrate Nativity (Рождество Христово – as we say in Bulgarian following the Old Church Calendar today on 6-th against 7-th January Eve.

In Nijmegen, there will be no midnight (полунощница) Holy Liturgy, but instead on Sunday Morning, there was a Holy Liturgy in which we celebrated the feast of Nativity of the Lord Lord Jesus Christ and at the end of Church service we greeted each other with the joyful salute Christ is born – Truly he is Born!

It was a joyful service leaded by the hieromonk priest father Dushan, who is in charge of Nijmegen's, Amsterdam and Breda Westen Europe Serbian eparchy .

The Serbian Church here in Holland are blessed to have for veneration holy relics of saints:

  • st. Zosima (Tumane)
  • saint Nektarios of Aegina
  • venerable Dena (ikoki)
  • saint Tsar Urosh
  • saint Paraskeva (the Bulgarian / of the Balkans)
  • saint Nikolaj Srbskij (Velimirovich)

Serbs are very good people and everytime I go to Serbian Church, I'm warmly accepted as true brother in Christ, this time it was no different.

It was a triple  feast for me as I both celebrated the birth of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ, received the Holy Sacraments and venerated the Holy relics of this Great Saints.

In Serbian Church have, the same pious tradition like in our Bulgarian Orthodox to great each other with the Nativity (Rojdenski) Church Greeting – Христос се Роди – Воистину се Роди / Christ is born – Truly he is Born!

In Serbian Christmas is called Bozec / Badni Dan (Yule-log tree day), very similar to the Bulgarian Бъдна Вечер / Badna Vecher  (Yule-log tree night).

As I'm a bit keen on learning Serbian, I've found a video in youtube re-telling the story around the miracles surrounding the birth of the King of Kings the Lord Jesus Christ:

Верски календар – Божић / Religious calendar – Christmas- The story of Christ birth as told in Serbian Language

Here is the Serbian Church Troparion for the day Rojdestvo tvoe:


 

Рождество Твое,Христе Боже наш…(хор Матфея) – Српски / Rojdestvo Tvoem Srpski

In Serbia Christmas is known as Bozic, often written in latin as Serbs tend to write nowadays mainly in Latin, Cyrillic however is still in wide use mainly in Serbian Church. Mentioning cyrillic I should say, Serbian is in maybe 60 / 70% similar or same in words as Bulgarian language as we are brother nations, and plus the Holy Liturgy service is in Church Slavonic so I understood about 80 to 90% of all the service with no problem. Also speaking with Serbians is very easy, if I speak a simplified version of Bulgarian and they speak simple Serbian – our languages are almost identical. A Situation with Serbian and Bulgarian is very much like here Holland with German language.

There were few things in the Church, which was new for me. A native Serbian Church tradition is they bring haystacks in the Church as a remembrance for Christ being born among the hay in the manger.

seno serbian church hay haystack, bundle of hay picture

Also one other local tradition which is not in the Bulgarian Orthodox Church and not in Russian Orthodox Church is bringing the yule-log tree trunk in the Church.
In Bulgaria we also put Christmas, new year tree but not the cut trunk of it.

yule log tree budnik bydnik serbian church local tradition

It was very joyful, the whole Church was full of people from ex-Yugoslavia – Serbia, Bosnia & Hertzegovina and Macedonia. The biggest joy was the plenty of children and new-borns from age around 1 year to age 7 – 10 years. There were also plenty of teenagers and people in their 20 – 30s, something I've rarely seen in Bulgaria. The fact that the Church service was all attended by Emigrants and the fact serbians help each other so much while living abroad is something that makes me rejoice, the only thing I don't understand and (pray it change) is why we Bulgarians are united like this?

At the end of the Church service, there was something I liked very much too. The little kids in the Church were invited to come to the piles of hay on the ground sitting behind the icons, and told there are candies hidden in the hay 🙂 The kids started seeking through the straws finding chocolates in different forms joying. The idea of this entertainment "game" was great, as it makes children feel at home in the Church and by doing so Serbs teach their children to love the Holy Church and by this are little by little raising the next generation of devoted Serbian Orthodox Christians. I never saw in Bulgarian Orthodox Church, any activity in our Church like this, so I think maybe if our Church organizes something like this on Christmas it will be very good for both Bulgarian Orthodox parents and kids.

To make the Church joy complete, at the end of the Church service, all the layman were invited for a cup of coffee, tea and quick fasting meal. 6-th against 7-th of January is the last day of the Nativity fasting in the Church and since the fasting is over early on 7-th morning after the night vigil and morning holy liturgy all food in the little  kitchen of the Byzantine Building ( Chapel ) was fasting

People from Church has prepared a very taste food, many of which in type was very similar to the food we eat in Bulgaria during fasting and Nativity.

Other thing impressed me in Church, was the attitude of the woman, most of them were very concerned about man, and they leave nothing in the kitchen to be done by man, they served food etc. Somehow it seemed to me that Serbian ladies acted like true ladies, taking care for all the kitchen work, serving doing their best to make the man feel comfortable, something that is still evident in less developed economy nations like India, Pakistan etc. This kind of woman attitude is very hard to be seen nowadays in almost all around the world, including Bulgaria, so salutes for the good Serb woman 🙂

Just like us Bulgarians, Serbs also have Rakia as a traditional alcoholic beverage. This time they had a Serbian tea (as they call it) a mixture of hot tea and good quality rakia 🙂 – I rarely drink alcohol these days but this "Serbian tea" I liked very much. Among the food, there was the traditional wrapped rice in cabbage leaves, peppers filled with rise, own baked loaf (pitka), some very delicious meal combining something like boiled potatoes with mushrooms and some vegetables inside looking a bit like the Bulgarian Banica.

It is like a Church tradition, here in the West Orthodox Churches, to eat together after the end of Holy Liturgy. In the Holy Trinity Church in Dobrich, sometimes we do this as well but  not every time like here in West. Eating together with the brothers and sisters from the Church makes the Church experience complete and is a symbolic continuation of communion after the true communion receiving the Holy Blood and Holy Flesh of the Lord Jesus Christ – the Eucharist.
 

Trip to Eindhoven airport and city center – few city impressions on city Cathedrals and centre

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

at_Eindhoven

Today, for its my 3rd time I go to Eindhoven. My first time was when I flied from Sofia, Bulgaria to Eindhoven (Holland) Airport in September, second time I was there was December 22-nd as I had to go there to take my girlfriend Svetlana from the airport; today it was the first time as unfortunately her Belarusian visa was expiring and she had to travel back to Belarus.

We travelled with Svetla from Arnhem to Eindhoven, the whole trip takes about approximate 1 hour. There is no direct train from Anrnhem to Eindhoven; thus we had to change train in 's-Hertogenbsoch. The trip thanks God went smoothly and the train was late with only few minutes (something very unusual for trains here in Holland). About 12 o'clock we were in the Train station. The bus station allowing a number of bus lines travelling to different destinations of the city is located right infront of train station, just like in Arnhem, Nijmegen (and probably a lot of other Dutch cities). Dutch architects did obviously a very good job by designing such a good road architecture in Holland, along with the ability to travel through absolutely all country on bike, the train and bus architecture is designed very well too. The bus to Airport is arriving and departing every 7 minutes, so there was no need we wait for long time for the next bus to arrive. I had to pick-up a bus tickets from a special bus tickets sell-office. The bus per person costs 3.50 EURO as of time of writing this post – something to mention is I have memorybus ticket in 22 december 2012 from train-station to Airport was 3 EUR – 50 cents less. Actually a curious fact to mention from 22 dec 2012 is I went to take the bus very early in the morning and bus-tickets office (located on the right of the entrance of Train Station entrance), were closed. I went to buy a bus ticket from the driver (a kind lady) and she told me their ticketing system is not working so "everybody is for free :)". This was quite a fun, since here in Holland they're so advanced and high-tech and they put most of their "lives" in the hands of technology and suddenly something as important as a bus-ticketing system is off and everyone in bus travels for free – absolutely ridiculous story …

My whole impression from Eindhoven is not very different from other cities I've seen in holland. The architecture of most of the streets and houses is no different. The brown beautiful houses build of little blocks with plenty of beautiful outside house decorations, green grass etc. There is however an evident difference from Arnhem and Nijmegen as many of the company buildings  near the city center and on the way while in the bus to Airport were built in a very modernistic style. Something noticable was buildings belonging to the so famous Philips company as well as the Philips stadium. Few of the buildings were quite tall looking a bit like New York's sky-scrapers. On the way to train-station, the most noticable thing I've seen was the Evuliona modernistic building build in the shape of scifi movies UFO 🙂

Evoluion Eindhoven UFO like building one of the most notable buildings in Eindhoven - Symbol of Human knowledge evolution

The eindhoven's attraction Unidentified Flying Object futuristic building

The rest was just a lot of company buildings and industrial equipment or markets, the whole city as long as I saw it is very technological and industrial. I derive this conclusion as  I've seen buildings of many of the most famous world IT companies, as well as a lot of industrial vehicles on the way to train station. After I had to leave my dear Svetlanka on airport. I've took the bus back to the train station. BTW, the bus number as of time of writting which goes from Train Station to Airport and Airport to Train-Station is bus number 401. The bus looks a bit more modern than the usual bus-es I've seen in Arnhem and Nijmegen. One thing which is different also from the regular bus-es in many other cities and towns in Holland is the driver in the bus going to and from Airport to tr. station, refuses to sell you tickets, but instead one has to buy the ticket from a ticket selling machine, which is accepting debit and credit cards, as well as probably the Dutch OV Chipcard as well as supports buying by coins. The ticket selling machine is made to work complicated, as there are few ticket types one can choose using a touch-screen computer interface; I tried inserting 3.50 euro to buy ticket for myself but the machine is just spitting the money. It is good a lady I asked on how she bought helped me showing me I first have to select the ticket type from the touch-screen as the touch screen is very much on the left side of the ticket-selling machine and I was in a hurry I didn't even noticed it. I've seen other people having the same problem with the machine, wondering why it happens – so it might be a good idea the high-tech guys who constructed it to make ticket buying using a 3 or 5 simple buttons, through which one can select the ticket type. It will save people time as well as not confuse probably multitude of foreigners like me who came to holland and get a first impression that Holland's sophisticated IT structure is not working 🙂

After Svetka check-in her laggage in around 12:40 and we had to say each other good buy in 13:10, she went inside the usual Airport Security check – metal detector scanner and I took the bus back to Eindhoven train-station. As the train station is located 3 minutes walk from the city center. I decided to take a quick look in the city center to see if there is something nice to see on centre – I was more interested to take a look at some Churches and my main idea was to see if I can find the Orthodox Church Parish of Saint Nectarios of Aegina as well as take a look at the Gothic style built Roman Catholic or Protestant Church buildings. About 10-15 minutes walk from train-station I've noticed two huge cathedrals. Both of them was heavily decorated with towers with the usual 3 enormous windows repeating pattern and the many other architectural patterns containing 3 elements (probably symbolizing) the Holy Trinity. What was new for me on both of the Cathedrals is the of Virgin Mary and Jesus or Saints? statues located on top of the Gothic Cathedrals. I checked the time schedule and it seemed both of cathedrals were functional, but only the second one I went to (St. Catherine) was opened.

Catharina kerk Roman Catholic city center church Cathedral Eindhoven

I've red the short history of the Cathedral and walked around it to check the wall paintings, statues, roman catholic crucifixes, the mosaics on the Church windows and generally the Church decoration. Many of the things in the Church seemed very unusual to me. The thing I most disliked was the ugly modern art reproductions mosaics of Jesus and various evangelica scenes. Though I'm happy I could have entered a Christian Church, I couldn't have not say how grotesque the crucifix means. There was a separate room in where it seemed people from the Church was doing something it looked a bit like an office. Though this was a still Church, for me it was somehow missing the light and feeling of spiritual deepness. There was an icon of Virgin Mary holding the most pure body of our Saviour Jesus Christ. One can clearly distinguish it is a Slavonic icon by the "МР ОУ" – abbreviation for Marry Mother of God.
I've red the Church story and it seems the earliest Church there is from the 12th century – meaning that it is possible an Orthodox Holy Liturgy was never served there.
A very short story of the Church is very similar to many of the Roman Catholic Cathedrals in Holland;

In short, Church building was taken from Roman Catholics and used by protestant in 16th / 17th century, just like with many other of the Roman Catholic Churches during the 16th – 18th century protestant reformation. In 19th century Catholics used it again, but then in 20th century it was almost completely destroyed during World War II, later rebuild and now again owned by Roman Catholics.

One thing to mention is though, I've only been in few Roman Catholic Cathedrals so far, it seems almost every one was keeping an Orthodox icon (usually Russian one), or an icon at least looking like Orthodox. Usually I would not be interested into entering a Roman Catholic Church, as we are prohibited to pray with them and I know about their errs in faith, however I know many of the Churches contain Holy Relics of saints / martyrs and bishops who preached and lived an extremely holy life, before the great schism thus I walk in Roman Catholic Churches with the hope and desire that the Church might contain Holy Relics of saint in their alter or somewhere kept and through that I might a blessing of the respective saint ….

After, walking out, I've walked through the city center, and most I saw was modernistic buildings shops and just few houses with more interesting oldish architecture. Some interesting building on city center is an Iglu shaped like called "Iglus".

Eindhoven Holland Iglus Massive Shopping Center Winkel in form of Escimos (Eskimo) Iglu

I didn't saw all of the city center but from what I've seen it seemed to me the city center of Eindhoven is less interesting to see than Arnhem and Nijmegen's. Eindhoven's city center looks modern and maybe this was main thing why I was not impressed.

Steentjeskerk church Eindhoven Holland architecture like Orthodox Church

I've seen one Church building, while traveling with the bus from Eindhoven Airport to Train-Station, and this building looked very much like Orthodox, also from the far the cross of it and the overall architecture looked very much Orthodox. I very much hoped it is an Orthodox so from Train Station walked about 20 minutes to the Church to check if it is not the Nectarios of Aegina Orthodox Church I mentioned earlier. The Steentjeskerk  Church was closed and on the main entrance doors. I've later found out the Church is not used for Roman Catholic Holy Liturgy since 1971.

It was quite striking to see shops selling souvenirs or something on the exact place where the Church entrance door used to be;  just 15 meters from the Church was a Coffee-Shop (i.e. a place here in Holland, where people go to Smoke Ganja, Mushrooms, alcohol and other light drugs ….

After checking on the Internet for the Steentjeskerk building is relatively new and had nothing to do ever with Orthodoxy. What however made me happy is it used to be dedicated to st. Anthony the Great – the saint who is considered as a father of Christian monks life.
The scenery right in front of my eyes was striking, I made a walk through the Church to see well its Architecture and in hope I can understand if it used to be Protestant or Roman Catholic. According to the Virgin Mary statue on top of Church I derived conclusion the Church used to be Roman Catholic. i've seen some text written somewhere on the back of the Church speaking the Church is used for some kind of exhibition. Even though the Church was not Orthodox, I felt sad for the poor Church being abandoned and being almost pranked with by allowing a place which was used for regular prayer to shop / exhibition …..

On the back of the Majestic Church, My amazement doubled when I saw a big mosque with a high Minaret (space ship rocket – as a friend likes to joke). The working Muslim Mosque built according to architecture norms of Muslims on the backstage of the unworking poort closed Roman Catholic Church turned to shop / exhibition was one of the saddest things I've seen. This whole scenery also explained, why Muslim faith is blooming and Europe it also explains, why Muslims are currently "taking over" Europe – just until recently the largest Christian continent.

A trip to Nijmegen & Suffering in Christ

Saturday, March 14th, 2009

This terrible constant pain feeling that’s inside is there to stay.I do keep my attempts to isolate what is the cause of it.I have a couple of theories. That it might be related to thewater in the dormitory here or the place itself.Like we know from the bible that there are cursed places,like Sodom was before God destroyed it, however we knowalso that Lot was rightous and God spared him. I alsorecently have red while I was doing my usual bible readingsbefore sleep time that our Lord Jesus commanded the Holy Apostlesto say “Peace be to this house” regarding every house they usedto enter. The Lord said if the house is worthy let apostles peace bethere. I just experimented with this I said in the house “Peace beto that house” with the hope that this place God might considerworthy. However I have so much internal struggles apart from thepain I’m constantly facing temptations from the enemy of accusationsof other people and claims that they do stuff wrong, satan istrying to influence me really badly. Yesterday I was on a vergeto a burn out. This week I had plenty of work to do. I tried my best.Many things happened this week.First on Tuesday under my influence and the decision of our projectmanager to quit, we experienced her statement that she is out ofthe project. We had to select a new PM, after some voting there weretwo options between two girls eventually we ended up with Ina beingour new PM (I wasn’t completely convinced that this is the correctthing to do, because of her dominant character, however at the endI accepted the fact. And tried a couple of maneuvers with the clear aimto clear up all sort of offenses that I raised again anybody in the groupand the same time to try to decrease the gap that’s being formedbetween me and some other “key” group members. The change of the PMhad been a wise choise since the old PM Bianca (great girl btw!, really impressive) but the problem was she tried to manage the group in too “open” way.And the students weren’t of course on the level to handle that, thereforeshe couldn’t make it. Well I suspect her exit of the project was quite plannedand there is some good reason between it as well as a benefit for everybody(guess that was a strategic move). The teachers are quite a lot playing with us,literally, manipulating the situation as always, I really hate that Oh Lord I just hope that the Lord God would deliver me from this evil thinkers. Well all this teachers I could see they think that business could be profitable only if you act manipulatively on ppl, hide your cards always plan and trigger events on your behalf. Well I personally believe this is quite a lot satanic, so I decide to follow God and not to follow this behaviour. Or better to say take only parts of it like triggering, but the way for triggering to be honesty and openness instead of the opposite way. Anyways this post is getting too long so I’ll try to hasten it a bit. Yesterday we went with Zlati to Nijmegen as he said he is coming here on Tuesday. He slept at my place, he went out with some Asian guys, I had to went home to fix some stuff a qmail installation on one of the new servers that I had to configure for Winner Ltd. Happily with God’s help I managed to complete the task after a lot of tampering in the qmail components. The day after we went with Zlati to Nijmegen, I had to note the two way ticket was quite cheap (only 4.50 EUR). There weren’t much to be seen in Nijmegen, the only nice thing we saw there was actually a couple of buildings as well as a probably traditional wedding in the Netherlands.It was funny really the guests were taking pictures with the bridegrooms infront of a Church, and they were on their way to lock the Chuch right afterwards the marriage .. Oh Lord, that was so bad to see we have gone so miserable and unbelieving the wedding within a Church has become the next tradition we ppl have to follow, not seen really as a union in front of God and trhough God but just as something to make to tickle our selfishness …Anyways we were having a walk around Nijmegen when my father’s cousin ringed and told me they are infront of the dormitory in Arnhem. Well I had to ask her to wait for an hour because I was on the neighbor city Nijmegen, but there was no way I expected them to come later on at the evening. So hurried up a bit with our walk around the city and it’s shops. We got a free coffee in some pc selling shop through a coffee machine provided by AMD! So cool, great marketing. This machine pretty much did played a role in convincing me to buy AMD if I have to buy a new CPU in the future. We also take a look at a special alcohol grocery store,I haven’t seen so much alcohol brands in my life, that reminded me pretty much to the winery we visited a couple of weeks before in Amsterdam. I was thinking, people doesn’t need so much choice it’s too much … Well what I liked about communism was that at least the choice was in a limits so you could possibly be aware of most of the brands and be easy with them, instead of having so much choice that you absolutely lost in what to choose. We entered a couple of game selling specific shops ! Nice I would like to see more of this in the future, well you know I used to be a gamer in my past I guess this had left some trace of itself in me. Then we catched the train back for Arnhem it was only a 20 minutes travel. We were in Anrhem took the bus “connexion” and went back to the dorm. My relatives “cousin Zlatina and uncle Ivailo” came along and stayed at my room for the night, I loose myself a bit because I had probably a demonic attack and on top of that I’ve received an email from one of my bosses asking about some data about dbg dnses’s ips. I encountered the fact he needs our dnses so therefore I replied him back with an email pointing to the dbg dns tutorial. He got mad and replied back with an email attempting to accuse me that it’s my fault and I don’t read my mails because he wanted the “IP addresses”. Then I got a bit irritated and at the same time felt bad and firstly I thought that he might be right, but then after rethinking it I realized that I did the right think because he asked for DNS-es and actually it’s not possible by RFC standards to put an IP for a DNS. Thus I bringed him back an email explaining all this and asked him for some more clarification on the matter in order to know shall I do a records in the dbg dnses or not, since then I never have received an email from, well thanks God. What really pissed me of on top of that was a demonic forces which tried to attack me, a spiritual sadness plus some desperation and irritation from the fact that my partens had sent me food which will sufficient for at least 3 months without me buying anythink else than bread, they sent 6 box full of provisions, one of them was fully full with Bulgarian tins containing meet and on top of the box was ones containing pork meet. Heavens you could imagine how irritated and hurt I was by all this considering the fact that I said to my parents numerous times: ” Do not send me tins, I’m fed up with tins cause I eat tin food here, most of the time”, anyways they haven’t really listened to me … as usual so I got pissed up and flared up(exploded). So I acted pretty stupid in front of my cousin, then I had to give them two my apologies for the stupidities I’ve said or done, but still I firstly begged them to pick up all the tins containing meet, happily we ended to a consent that they’ll pick up the port tins and I’ll eat the rest of the tin after the Lent is over. However I felt pretty much bad of the fact that i had to have a cardboard box full of meet containg tins through the whole Lent period. I have to note that I did broke the Lent already a lot of times because I had some cappuchino left for drinking from before and yesterday also I ate a lot of Bulgarian cheese together with my relatives, we also did had a nice chat and drinked two small cups of the traditional drink “Rakia” i was really refreshing really! Just to clarify things up a bit I usually hate “Rakia”, this time it was great 🙂 Then some few hours later we went to bed I slept on a place where Plamen slept next to the heater laying on a couple of pillows of a sofa jointed together. I slept quite okay although only for a couple of hours. I couldn’t sleep more cause of Ivailo’s voicy snoring. Today early in the morning we drinked coffee together had another chat, they encouraged me to be more brave and not to spirit lifted and I sent them to continue with their travel to Belgium where they have to look and buy some of the firnuture they sell in their tiny futniture shop in Dobrich. Wow I know that post became huge … Thanks and Glory to God for keeping me still running on! Glory Oh Lord! Recently I use to listen to a lot of Larry Norman related music in last.fm, I feel it like quite beneficial for putting me out of this terrible bitterness feeling that keeps to rule me on. Glory God!END—–