Diary of a Japanese Schoolteacher (Ruse, Bulgaria)
Boryana Kirilova and Saori Takehisa teach Japanese at Vasil Levski, a public high school in Ruse, Bulgaria. In an effort to spread Japanese language and culture in Bulgaria, the Japanese embassy paid for renovations to Vasil Levski, and paid for Saori to come from Japan to teach in Bulgaria for three years. They also sponsor free teacher programs and give away textbooks.
More and more Bulgarian students are drawn to Japanese language and culture through anime, martial arts, and manga. Boryana, a young Bulgarian school-teacher, is fascinated with Japan and loves to share her passion with others. Outside of the classroom, she tutors and leads small adult classes in students' homes.
Boryana says she likes how the Japanese perceive the world. She describes the culture as kind and unselfish. They find charm in a lot of small things. "You saw it when we were walking to the market," she said, "[Saori] stopped to show me the flowers and they were heart-shaped and she was so excited." Boryana says few Bulgarians notice those kinds of things. She doesn't. But she's learning from them.