?T^rnRila Monastery.rn”brotherhood” means only Mushms.rnWhat does it mean in the Koran to sav,rn”O ou who believe, fight the unbelieversrnwho are near to vou,” or “Belic’crs!rnDo not take Jews and Christians forrnfriends”? “Sure the are unbelievers whornallege that God is the third of three.”rnWhat about the chaplains in Kuwaitrnwho were forbidden to show any sign of arncross while we were there, even if incidentalh,rnto save them from annihilation?rnh: order to take each other’s traditionsrnseriouslv, each must believe there may bernelements in the other’s tradition that herncan use to understand experiences foreignrnto him and that he mav even be ablernto incorporate into his own. As thingsrnare, religions will remain the servants ofrnpoliticians and the state, the skin of thernwar drum. Killing vour neighbor may bernnecessary from time to time, but it is unmanlyrnto use God as an excuse.rnI was to make one more swing throughrnpart of tlie south, the hrst leg to the RilarnMonastery, a national shrine to Bulgariansrnand a necessary pilgrimage for everyrnisitor. Built first in the 10th century andrnra’agcd many times, it was virtually destroyedrnin the 19th century, and yvhatrnyou sec is a restoration. Here and elsewherernin Bulgaria, I was reminded howrnpopular St. George was, represented inrnfrescos and icons: the patron saint of soldiers,rnwhich is especially meaningful inrnthe Balkans. King Boris III, monarch untilrn1945, IS buried here. His son KingrnSimeon currently lies in Spain, but hasrnreturned reeenth to visit his father’srnBack in Sofia, I did something I said Irnwas not going to do: 1 ate at the new N’lc-rnDonald’s. Feeling rushed, I raced in, andrnbefore I could pick up my order, thern oung man waiting on me asked how herncould get to the States. Back in Plovdix’,rnthe two uni’ersit students talked withrnpessimism about their chances of gettingrnwork when they graduated. One of themrnhad already been to Germany working asrna manual laborer. As man as can leavernto find work, to escape the economic andrnsocial hard times. This has happenedrnbefore, following the collapse of the SecondrnBulgarian Empire, after the Ottomanrncollapse (a period know n as kurdjaliiatvo),rnand now after the communistrncollapse. Every time, local freebootersrnhave stepped into the vacuum, and duringrntheir feuding and pillaging, peoplernhave gone to Rumania, to southern Russia,rnand now, even to the United States.rnOften these people, espeeialh thernyounger ones, returned to help restorernthe country later on. Even now, the universityrnstudents of Sofia arc demonstratingrnin the streets before Parliament for arnnew goyernment. Maybe their cidersrnwill listen and take the high road. Ma-bcrnnot.rnWilliam Mills is a novelist and poetrnwhose latest work of fiction is Propertiesrnof Blood.rnLetter From LagadornUniversityrnby John N. FranrnThe New Overseas CampusrnThe inauguration of Lagado Uniyersity’srnnew campus in Plagho-Plaguo, the capitalrnof Dismailia, is generating greatrnexcitement throughout the DiversityrnCommunit. As President Bleatley hasrnsaid, LU’s “Semester in Dismailia” isrnguaranteed to challenge Eurocentric culturalrnvalues on ever’ level and at eeryrnturn. It centers the Other, presents thernAbsent, privileges Multiplicity, andrnpromises new perspectives on nearly cyerything.rnIt would be inappropriate torndisparage the diversitarian struggles ofrnother uniersities, but facts arc facts andrnthere is nothing to be gained by deception:rnits competitors talk the talk, I ,agadornwalks the walk. No other semesterrnabroad offers such a complete escapernfrom Western cultural hegemom-, andrnnone even attempt it. The Plagho-rnPlaguo facility is no Florentine villa,rnKentish country house, or BavarianrnSchloss. It is not an effete, cocacolarized,rnpostcolonial, pseudo-Euro’enuernsituated in the cool highlands of somern”Lesser Developed Country.” LagadornUniversity smashes the mold of the ocrseasrncampus. Simply to land on Dismailia’srncoast is an education in itself. Its florarnand climatic conditions resemblernnothing seen in Europe or North Americarnsince the Lower CarboniferousrnEpoch. Its d’namic fauna take the tra-rneler into a different world. Its insects arernastounding. Its microbes must be experiencedrnto be belieed. Impressive as thisrnecological authentieit is, it is far less importantrnto the Dismailian Experiencernthan the comprehensixeness of CulturalrnDifference. 1 lere the visitor will discoverrnscarcely a trace or taint of familiar Eurocapitalistrnmaterialism. No multinationalrncorporation has c’er been tempted brnthe country’s meager, inaccessible resources.rnIts dense, contradictory, and arcanerncommercial codes have scjuelchedrnthe enthusiasm of the most adventurousrnentrepreneurs. The craftiest of Westernrnspeculators withdraw, baffled, before thernelliptical and enigmatic Dismailian etiquetternof official corruption. Apart fromrna liveh’ and intelligent interest in Uzis, V-rn61 Skorpions, Kakishnikovs, and M-16s,rnthe population is indifferent to Westernrnconsumer goods and amenities. Commodifieationrnis so much hocus-pocus forrna people whose precapitalist economicrntransactions are conducted entirely byrnbarter or at gunpoint.rnNor does the country’s history bearrnthe stains of colonialist intrusion. ThernonK imperial adenture eer directed itsrnway, the landing b a Roval BulgarianrnArmy expedition on the Serpent Coastrnin 1911, ended on its second day whenrnthe surviving troops shot their officersrnand fled across the border into Hocsuntleonis.rnThe few Christian missionariesrnwho ventured into Dismailian territoryrnduring the last century were allrnfricasseed within a fortnight of their arrival.rnWholly unspoiled by syncretic accretions,rnthe aboriginal rehgion dispknsrnfeatures unseen in or near Europe sincernthe fall of Ninexeh.rnThe culture is uncorrupted by thosernneocolonial phenomena which invariablyrnblight the Celebration of Differencernin less-favored territories. Visitors yvillrnlook in ain for “golden arches” on thernstreets of Plagho-Plaguo. Those desiringrnfast food must satisfy themselves withrnthe authentic indigenous slugburgcrsrnand grilled grubs a’ailable on c’er’ streetrncorner—during the seasons when theyrnare not under water. Western sportsrnAPRIL 1997/43rnrnrn