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21 - 24 april 2011, Brussels (Belgium)


On 22nd of April 2011, the Association "Russian House in Liege" supported by the European Grundtvig programme and with the assistance of the Russian Cultural and Scientific Centre in Brussels hosted the second international seminar of the project PaRus www.parus-europe.eu

Seminar theme: "The Russian cultural heritage in Belgium"

Seminar venue: rue du Méridien 21, 1210 Brussels

 Participants of the educational partnership Grundtvig:

  •  Belgium- Association Maison Russe à Liège;
  •  France- Association Russie-Aquitaine, Bordeaux;
  •  Hungary-Alfavit Oktatasi es Kulturalis Kozhasnu Alapitvany, Budapest;
  •  Greece-«MIR» Center of Foreign languages, Athens;
  •  Turkey-Rus Kültür Dernegi, Ankara;
  •  Italy-Centro didattico per lo sviluppo del bilinguismo italo-russo "Lev Tolstoj";
  •  Associazione culturale "Russky dom - Italia" Milano


The seminar was attended by heads and teachers of non-governmental organizations, university lecturers in Slavic Studies, representatives of international foundations and the representative of the Russian Embassy in Belgium.

The total number of participants - 25 people.

Mr. B. Runov, the director of the Russian cultural and scientific Centre in Brussels opened the seminar. He underlined the fact that such meetings are essential for maintaining interest in Russian culture and Russian language.

Mr. Grigoriev addressed a welcoming word on behalf of the First Secretary of the Russian Embassy in Belgium to the participants of the seminar.

Mr. Igor Zhukovsky, project coordinator introduced the participants of the seminar with the presentation of J. Stevens on brief history of the Russian presence in Belgium, Chairman of the Russian Foundation for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage in Europe, who was unable to attend the meeting.  

Later in his speech, I. Zhukovsky summed up the international survey (France, Belgium, Greece, Italy), which has shown an increasing interest of students in learning Russian cultural heritage.

Mr. Benoit Van Gever, director of the Center "Russkiy Mir" at the University of Mons, told participants about the existing experience with using movies as educational material in school and extracurricular course (for example, the use of short movies "Eralash").

Ms V. Gruzinova, project participant from Milan, presented the Association "Russian House. Italy-Milan" and told about the features of Russian language teaching for adults in her country.

Mr. A. Shernomor told about the Russian presence in Belgium and brought a historical fact that the first Belgian King Leopold was a general of the Russian army and participated in a battle against Napoleon. Friendly relations with Russia were established at the time of Peter the Great, which is confirmed by many sources and it continues to this day.

He also presented some materials on how to use films in educational process. 

Ms. E. Bondareva shared experiences with colleagues about the use of museum education in teaching taking the example of her students.

In the afternoon, partners met in a working group and discussed the content of the project. In particular, they focused on the elaboration of evaluation criteria of the project. 

Mr. A. Shernomor after participating in a meeting organised by the Belgian National Agency, said that the evaluation of the project will be given great importance. And as one of the criteria for evaluation of the project "Parus" can become the number of identified areas of the Russian cultural presence in Europe, which deserve to be plotted on an interactive map.

Ms. A. Zhukovskaya, "Parus" Project Coordinator, has proposed a criterion based on the following parameters:

  1. Implementation of mobility (counts teachers and student mobility);
  2. Awareness of all members on the progress of the project (information is needed to be spread the partners' web sites, etc.);
  3. Active participation of students in the search of Russian cultural heritage places (the number of students included in the project);
  4. Degree of fulfilment of tasks in the final product (the number of prepared texts and found sites of Russian presence).

Further Ms. A. Zhukovskaya invited colleagues to discuss the structure, scope, levels and nature of the texts that will be presented as a whole product.

She demonstrated 2 of the texts prepared by France.

Italian partners Ms. T. Bugaeva and Ma. T. Ablyasova provided interesting methodical tools for working with texts on Russian painters in Italy.

Makueva W. from Athens has produced an interesting presentation about the Russian presence in Greece and said that this material can be used to prepare the texts.

Thus, the discussion has led  to following decisions:

  • Level of difficulty of texts: 3 Texts - A2, 2 of the texts - B1 or B2;
  • Volume - the text should not exceed two A4 pages;
  • Content: texts associated with the Russian cultural heritage in Europe can be turned a little historical or biographical information to the text. The texts can be illustrated by archival photographs, reproductions, drawings, clearly explaining the history or character, or place of the Russian presence;
  • A collection of texts is not accompanied by exercises and a translation into the language of the country.

Ms. A. Zhukovskaya suggested organising a competition for the best "Parus" project logo. Participants were invited to choose among six options. By open vote won the logo No. 1.

By 30th of June, the coordinators have to write an interim report, which will consist of a general part on the work accomplished, and each partner must add information about the work on the project in their organisation. The report should specify the difficulties that arose during the project. All prepared ready materials have to be submitted to the National Agency (application, analysis, texts, reports and press releases).

The next meeting will take place in Budapest from 26 to 30 October.

In conclusion, Mr. B. Runov said that this is the first time he saw the work of an international team on the Russian cultural heritage in Europe and wished the project success.

A lunch has been organised for the guests at the Russian cultural and scientific Center, where in the informal and friendly atmosphere participants could share their views and communicate with partners.

April 23rd: a tour to the city of Spa - Belgium historic site associated with the presence of Peter the Great. The seminar participants visited the city and became acquainted with its history.

Then the participants visited the city of Liege, where they learned about the historical past associated with the first wave of Russian immigration, and the period of World War II.

At the end of the seminar, participants took part in the celebration of Easter, organised with the support of the Russian-speaking associations of Liege.