Longstocking and the long view Страница 3 of 3

As a result "we stimulated a dialogue between Swedish and Bulgarian writ­ers" and "all these wonderful and well-known highly acclaimed authors wrote arti­cles about Bulgaria and Bulgarian literature in leading Swedish newspapers. The rela­tions between our two coun­tries in the field of literature became more active."

Gancheva hopes that this success can be built on, through the development of a network to broaden these contacts.

The department has been expanding over the past decade thanks to sponsors and donations. There is now a core of five perma­nently appointed teachers and the department has its own Scandinavian-style ultramod­ern classroom. Finnish studies is latest addition to the courses on offer and there is also the Nordistic programme which covers Swedish and Nordic mythology and cultural Nordic history and is open to people outside the university who already hold bachelor degrees and are looking to broaden their studies.

Gancheva talks of the "rad­ical changes" that she has wit­nessed taking place since she has been at the university, both in the state and in young peo­ple's thinking. "Promotion abroad was previously state sponsored. After the big change we thought we'd be helpless. After two decades of change and transition we've adapted to the new conditions. Young people are not burdened with old attitudes and ideas. They are very stimulated." She describes the exchange that takes place between students and teachers in the department at the university, whereby "we teach them, but they also teach us." She relates this to the ideal of a new model of the state as illustrated by Sweden where the attitude: not just to take, but also to give, can be taken as a goal to work towards.


June 10-16, 2005