CyberFair Project ID: 5332

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: The Ethno-Cultural diversity of Dobrogea Region
Category: 2. Community Groups and Special Populations

School: Ovidius High School
    Constanta, -, Romania

3 students, ages 17-18 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 19, 2008. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2007

Classes and Teachers: Carmen Bucovala, class 11th B

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

We live in Constanta, a city in Dobrogea region, a unique territory, a different area from the rest of the country (Romania), ethnographic and cultural. Dobrogea is an informal region shared by Bulgaria and Romania, located between the lower Danube River and the Black Sea, including the Danube Delta, Romanian coast and the northernmost part of the Bulgarian coast. The territory of Dobrogea is comprised of Northern Dobrogea, which is part of Romania, and Southern Dobrogea, which belongs to Bulgaria. The territory of the Romanian region Dobrogea is now organized as the counties of Constanta and Tulcea, with a combined area of 15,500 km² and a population of slightly less than a million. Dobrogea has been a model of inter-ethnic way of living since a long time ago. The most often phenomenon that has taken place in space and time in Dobrogea is that of ethno-cultural interactions, mixture and metamorphosis. Together with the Romanian population live Turks, Tatars, Aromanians, Bulgarians, Germans, Magyars, Jews, Russian Lipovans, Greeks, Rromas, Armenians, Poles and Italians. It is an intersection territory for the biggest number of ethnic groups that Romania has ever known.

2. Summary of Our Project

Nicolae Iorga, a famous Romanian writer said that: “Geologically speaking, Dobrogea is a very curious “country”, who geographically doesn’t belong either to the Carpathian Mountains either to the Balkans, and whose people have been, since the beginning of time as diverse as its grounds shapes and nature.” Travelling through Dobrogea you can be impressed by the hard working Germans, hear the old Greek legends, listen old gipsy songs, admire Turkish mosques, taste Italian specialties and visit traditional Russian houses… Unfortunately, today, because of human indifference, the value of this ethnic mosaic seems to be lost. Without a good inter-cultural dialog, the customs and tradition will constantly disappear, and will have a more economical value than a cultural one. It is necessary a good understanding between the different ethnic groups to solve the socio-cultural issues. It is necessary an administrative structure to elaborate a strategy of conservation of Dobrogea’s diversity, then a plan of action to introduce the most pressing measures of information management and coordination of scientific research. This administration should deal with the protection of the important ethnic groups in the two counties that constitute Dobrogea region (Constanta and Tulcea). The plan of action should be defined by the objectives wanted to be touched in clear steps in time and it should allocate clear resources (human, time, money) to touch this objective. It should be created a management plan of the conservation structure that could be called “Dobrogea Ethno-Cultural National Park” and be supported by the Authorities from Constanta (City Council, local museums and research centers). Then it could be created an Ethno- Cultural center in Constanta city and informal centers in the most representative cities for the number of ethnic groups, for example in Mihail Kogalniceanu city for the Aromanian ethnic group, in Hagieni city for the Turk-Tatar ethnic group, in Slava Rusa city for the Russian-Lipovans and at for the Bulgarians in Baneasa city.

3. Our Computer and Internet Access

A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:more than 50%

B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:more than 6

C. Connection speed used in the classroom:not sure

D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:more than 6

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

The only problem we had in making our project was time. Time passes quickly. But it is not a particular problem... In general it was an enriching and funny experience that means a lot to us.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

CyberFair is a way of promoting the values of Dobrogea region internationally, considering that 2008 has been declared 'The year of intercultural dialogue'

6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?

I coordinated the project, trying to assure the programmation to the interviews and also by helping them present their project in different Sessions, I tried to help them obtain more time to work for the project. I also helped them in creating the materials. Of course, Internet helped me to communicate with them. Together, we discovered the great qualities of the different ethnic groups in Dobrogea Region.

Project Elements

1) What information tools & technologies did you used to complete your CyberFair project?

Students have interviewed different community members, have visited traditional museums, have bought traditional books and magazines in Dobrogea, have bought different tools from libraries. Computer was vital for this project because it allowed them a lot of extra-school-time. Video and photo cameras have been the tools to collect and deposit information. Of course, telephones assured a precisely communication between students. These tools mentioned belonged to them, but there were times when school borrowed them video and photo cameras, for example when they tried to work during the European Project object courses. Of course that these tools were also the most valuable for their capacity of compacting information. Internet provided many numeric data, but books from libraries were very necessary. They participated at different interethnic festivals to collect information, they made some statistics with questions for students in our high-school aged 12-18, asking different teachers for help in this activities, they created a plan of strategy and tools to sustain their project (brochures), they presented their project at different international courses, they made different representations and designs to sustain the solution proposed.

2) In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your CyberFair project both on-line and in person.

The students have interviewed representatives from almost all ethnic groups in Constanta city, representing school and also a possible administration structure. They asked for help and they received it. The president of the Aromanian Ethnic Group community in Constanta, Mariana Budes told us about the fact that they are still fighting to prove that they belong the the Romanian people, and that they are not an individual ethnic group. Also, Willy Wishosensky, a famous archeologist, told us that he created the Aromanian Foundation 'Mushata Armana' to sustain the german and aromanian children in his city. Also, Osman Nihat and Nilgun Panaitescu from Turkish and Tatar Organizations in Constanta informed us that they organize for the Turkish and Tatar young people different traditional dance courses. Argentina Barbulescu from the Museum of popular Art in Constanta allowed us to photograph all the traditional costumes in Dobrogea. Crina Popescu from the Regional Center for Promoting and Preserving the Ethno-Cultural values helped us by publishing our project and our intentions in their famous magazine. They also interviewed their colleagues and teachers who belonged to different ethnic groups.

3) What has been the impact of your project on your community?

The project helped us to take contact with many people, established good relations between out High School and different Ethnic Groups Communities. We believe in the future of this project because the Local Authorities have declared their support in our project. Our project can be used also in other schools from Europe, forasmuch there are many other ethnic goups agglomerations in the Euro-Meditteranean Space and Balkans.

4) How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?

First of all, we wish to thank you for offering us the chance to compete in such an important contest, with so many talented people. We must thank: * Prof. Rodica Craciun, who informed us about Cyber Fair. * Crina Popescu from 'Dobrudja's centre for culture and tradition conservation' * Argentina Barbulescu from 'Constantza's Popular Art Museum'. * Mariana Budes from 'The Aromanian Centre'. * Wishoshenski Willy from 'Mushata Armana Foundation'. * Osman Nihat from the 'Tatars Union'. * Nilgun Panaitescu from the 'Turkish Union' * Gabriela Barbu from 'Student's club' They helped us in creating a good project journal. We must also thank our teachers and our colleagues. We must thank our parents for morally sustaining us during the hard work involved in the project. We must also thank God for helping us complete this project!!

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

On our research mission, we discovered that: The Administration of the National Park should have the role of coordination, to achieve: a strategy of preservation, a synthesis about scientific data published about ethnic groups, necessary researches for a more detailed knowledge of the actual situation in Dobrogea, management plans for each informal center, a database, GPS maps, scientific publications, brochures, posters, web pages. The activities held at the informal centers and at the main center in Constanta city would be: organizing scientific meetings and festivals, collaborating with the administrations of local Authorities, with NGO-s, universities and research institutes, publicity agencies and mass-media. The actions could be promoted with the help of the European Union and its citizens through programs concerning biodiversity. A good communication between people is a good dialogue, which can finally resolve cultural and social problems. I think that all the people that could be contacted would be very friendly and that they could share knowledge and give their support...because it could be an enriching process for everyone...both for the project developers and the local groups and communities. Considering the actual conflicts, intercultural dialogue could also contribute in resolving political and economical issues, because humans are the only ones who can make the world a better place… together!


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 5332)

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