Martin Vasev

Born 1995 in Dupnitsa, Bulgaria
Martin was an 11th grader at Paisii Hilendarski High School (Dupnitsa) in 2013 and started his studies of Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Yale-NUS college in Singapore in August 2014.

"The Tolerance in Dupnitsa - a Typical Feature of the Ethnic Groups" (2013)

Martin's hometown is Dupnitsa in western Bulgaria. "I knew a lot about my home town but curiosity made me continue searching and analysing," says Martin. He decided to look at Dupnitsa's ethnic groups from the 16th century to the present. He came across an example of how a Turk interceded on behalf of a Bulgarian putting his own name and prestige at risk just to save another person’s life during the uncertain times after the suppression of the April Uprising in 1876. Martin became well acquainted with the local history writers and sources that are kept in the public records and registers of the local museum and library and he also looked at the current projects on Romani integration.

What he found was that the inhabitants of Dupnitsa and the region had always lived in good terms and in peace with each other despite their different fates. Each ethnic group lived in a separate neighbourhood and examples of clashes based on religious, ethnic or other reasons could not be found in the local history books. Martin wrote: "I was deeply impressed by the fact that people’s actions and deeds do not depend on their religious or ethnic affiliation. Doing the right thing is not a question of nationality or religion."

With his essay, Martin Vasev earned a third prize in the Bulgarian History Competition of 2013, the topic of which was "The Tolerance of Bulgarian Nation - Together Despite Differences."

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