Saturday, October 28, 2006
0 Concerning the relations between Republic of Bulgaria and Republic of Macedonia (the language dispute)
Macedonian Scientific Institute, Sofia
Concerning the relations between Republic of Bulgaria and Republic of Macedonia (the language dispute), Sofia, 1997
Being the only centre in Bulgaria directly involved with the study of the scientific problems of the geographic region of Macedonia, the Macedonian Scientific Institute in Sofia discussed the up-to-date problems of the mutual relations between the republics of Bulgaria and Macedonia (which constitutes only one-third of the region). One of the recent is the language dispute imposed by Skopje, since it involves not only the public in both countries, but also the world public opinion. A testimony of this is the May Declaration of this year of the Macedonian Bulgarians living throughout the world (USA, Canada, Bulgaria), yet associated by the Macedonian Patriotic Organization seated in Toronto, Canada.
Upon a comprehensive analysis of the publications (the press included), both in Bulgaria and abroad, the members of the Institute - academicians, corresponding members, professors, assistant professors and public figures, working in various areas of humanities, reached at the only correct conclusion possible, i. e. that long-term decisions could only be obtained through bringing to the fore of the truth about the process.
Any ad hoc pragmatic approach applied so far because of some of another short-lived political considerations of a domestic or international character has failed to stand the test of time and has led to further and deeper complications and, eventually, to a dead-end.
In spite of the attempts of certain politicians to influence on its development, history has never forgiven to any of those who have tried to forge it. Sooner or later, next generations find an easier approach to the mounds of facts and documents which reveal the outrageous truth and upon discovering it, the names of the politicians are either mentioned with boredom or anathematized. An example in this respect is the case of the founders of post-war Serb-Communist Macedonia - Sv. Tempo and L. Kolishevski (who bound the country to the Yugoslav chariot), and who are nowadays inherited by the old-newish authorities in Skopje.
At mentioning the names of Sv. Tempo and L. Kolishevski (authors of the state line of anti-Bulgarism in the Republic which, unfortunately, is sustained to the present day), the whole people of the Republic of Macedonia feels not only hostility but indignation, as well.
Such has been the fate of the Bulgarian authorities for the last 50 years, since their party has not yet apologized for the unforgivable damages being inflicted since 1934 on the Bulgarian national memory brought to oblivion. The present-day attempts on the part of some of its leaders to acquit their past behaviour by "recognizing" its own-created so-called "realities", are ridiculous and unworthy. Unfortunately, the deformations over the national character are so deep, that the Comintern thinking which is now labelled "European" is typical of some new politicians who received their education in the old king of Bulgarian schools. The lack of basic schooling in terms of some notions of sociology and political science constitutes the main threat to present-day social thinking in Bulgaria.
The decoration of (Com)internationalism with new "European" draperies is a sign of bad taste and reminds of the French saying: "The King is dead. Long live the King!", which implies that the Republic of Macedonia and the Republic of Bulgaria are to enter the new Europe remade up with their obsolete ideological Communist luggage.
Which are those absurd Communist ideas which, consciously or unconsciously, still dwell in the minds of the politicians from both sides of the Ograzhden Mountain:
1. The idea that nations and languages are established on certain dates, on the decisions of certain persons, groups of people, parties, or institutions.
2. The idea that in the 20th c. the "new" nations and languages (in Europe including) could emerge through splitting up of former nations and languages priding themselves of a millennial history.
3. The idea that a sign of equivalence could be placed between a state, a nation and a language or, more precisely, that the nation and the language are "attributes" of the state.
4. The idea that the nation and the language are political and not ethnological realities (which are the subject of science).
5. The idea that the nation and the language should be "recognized" in terms of recognizing a state.
6. The idea that the newly formed state could not only usurp and forge the history and culture of the old state, but it could even "counterpoise" the two cultures.
7. The idea that the newly formed state could have territorial claims towards the former states.
8. The idea that the newly formed state could establish "national" minorities within the former state, etc.
Those Stalinist presumptions emerged in the east (the USSR) during the 1930's when, according to the principle "divide and rule", a number of new states were founded on the basis of the numerous Central-Asian Turkis. State differentiation was also proclaimed a national-linguistic one, i. e . ethnical.
Further on, in 1923-24, and especially after 1944, the Comintern model was transferred in the European part of the USSR where, a "Carelofinnish" nation (and language) were conjured up on the basis of the Finnish nation and language, and the Romanian nation (and language) gave the origins of a "Moldovian" nation (and language). The Western countries comprising more than one ethnos did not compile new languages but rather chose one or two of the former ones. This applies even for whole continents, such as America and Australia.
The Soviet model was also mechanically adopted by the Communist movement in Southeastern Europe and in the Balkans, in particular, where the Bulgarian nations was torn apart after the First and the Second Balkan Wars into the neighbouring countries. After the replacement of the national ideal for an union with the class one, Bulgarian Communists were put on by cunning on the part of the Serbian, Greek and Rumanian ones and adopted the thesis of the existence of "Macedonian", "Thracian" and "Dobroudjan" nations not only outside the country, but also within its borders. An echo of those ideas is still to be found nowadays in the cases of conjuring up of new "languages" throughout the Bulgarian national territory - "Pomak's" in Greece, "Shop's" in Serbia, etc.
The 1934 Stalinist Comintern decisions made under the dictate of the Yugoslav Communists reflected, in fact, the 100-year-old Great-Serbian utopian theories, namely that Serbia was the Piedmont of the Southern Slavs and that all Slavonic peoples gathered around it were "Serbian" by origin, hence they should unite around it and comprise one common state (cf. "The Outline" by I. Garashanin, 1848). A variation of the Garashanin thesis is the later concept of St. Novakovich (1888), i. e. that in view of the Serbization of the Bulgarian people in Macedonia - which reacted strongly against the direct foreign influence - it was necessary that its conversion to Serbism passed through an intermediary "Macedonistic" stage. During that period, the Bulgarian national consciousness and awareness were to be destroyed.
In certain periods, in Macedonia, under the Serbian power, either the Garashaninov plan (1913-41), or the Novakovich one (1848-1913; 1944-90) were applied. The contemporary government of the Republic of Macedonia leads no policy differing from the Serbian-Communist one. As an ideology and a practice, Macedonism is an attempt at a denationalization of the Bulgarian people and language in Macedonia.
Apart from Serbian Macedonism (in the Vardar region), there is also a Greek Macedonism (in the Aegean region). The latter also appears in two variations: a direct one - through crude and forcible conversion of the Aegean Bulgarians into Greeks, and an indirect one - through the indirect assimilation of the "Bulgarian-speaking" (later on the "Slavonic-speaking") into Greeks - by occasionally creating the impression that the native "Slavophones" were granted certain rights.
During the Civil War years (1946-49) in Greece, the Greek Communist Party "created' an Aegean-Macedonian "nation" differing from the Skopje one and, along with this, the "Nea Elada" Publishing House proclaimed the conjuring up of another - Aegean-Macedonian - "language", differing from the Skopje one, as well. In 1953, the Publishing House also published textbooks in that "language" to be used by the children of the political immigrants from Aegean Macedonia to the former socialist countries, on the basis of the alleged Kostour-Lerin Bulgarian dialect. (At present, the Bulgarian "languages" on the Balkans number already five.)
Thus, the Bulgarian language body hosted two more "languages" - in Greece and in former Yugoslavia, which, in turn mutually denied each other and their varied norms.
For the truth's sake it should be pointed out that the anonymous authors of the Aegean "language" have never concealed that they had used Prof. L. Andrejchin's "Basic Bulgarian Grammar", as well as the traditional Bulgarian alphabet (including the letters , , , etc.)
In Greece, the inventors of the second "Macedonian language" have not striven at differentiating the Aegean norm from the literary Bulgarian one. In contrast, in the Republic of Macedonia, the line of St. Novakovich was followed for a gradual Serbization of the Bulgarian language through conjuring up of a "Macedonian literary language" - a political order of Belgrade, fulfilled by the loyal subjects from Skopje.
In principle, the creation of a literary language on the basis of an existing dialect is usual for linguistics. In this was, even nowadays, a number of languages appear to serve the needs of some African and Asian tribal and ethnic groups which have been retarded in their social development and have failed to assert a writing of their own. However, the case of Macedonia - which is the native land of the Bulgarian and the Slavonic scripts (9th c.) and has a more-than-thousand-year old tradition behind its back - is not the same.
Europe has long ago seen the end of the processes of emerging nations and modern literary languages. These were most typical during the National Revival and it is namely that period in Macedonian history (19th c.) that has experienced the strongest Bulgarian influence.
Being the cradle of the Bulgarian National Revival, Macedonia has made its contribution to the emergence of the Bulgarian nation and the modern Bulgarian literary language (Father Paissiy, J. Karchovski, K. Pejchinovich, T. Sinaitski, K. and D. Miladinov, J. Hadjinikolov-Djinot, N. Zografski, Gr. Parlichev, K. Shapkarev, R. Zhinzifov, M. Tsepenkov, and many more).
All of the ideologists of the revolution in Macedonia (Gotse Delchev, Dame Gruev, Hristo Tatarchev, Georche Petrov, Pere Toshev, Todor Popantov, Todor Alexandrov) wrote in the literary Bulgarian language, emphasizing their explicit Bulgarian national awareness. The literary Bulgarian was also the language used by Vladimir Poptomov, Yane Sandanski, Metodi Shatorov, Pavel Shatev (and even the most outright Comintern supporter, Dimiter Vlahov). The statements of the authorities in Skopje that those active figures did not know their own language and therefore wrote in a foreign one, as well as the attempts to posthumously preach to them that they had been wrong, is a blasphemy par excellence. The names of Gotse and Dame are an icon for the Republic of Macedonia. Their Bulgarian self-awareness and their literary Bulgarian language are bound to be linked with that icon and are an indisputable evidence in the language dispute fabricated by Skopje. In spite of the final statement of the documents to be signed between the Republic of Bulgaria and the Republic of Macedonia, it is very clear that, in any case, they would be signed in the language of Gotse and Dame, who have determined their ethnical appurtenance on their own.
On a certain date towards the end of World War II (2 August 1944), and at a certain place (the "Prohor Pchinsky" Monastery), it was for the second time (after the Comintern decision of 1934) that a decree proclaimed and institutionalized the existence of an "formal" language. (There were not any norms yet. Poets, such as Venko Markovski and Kocho Ratsin had so far written both in the literary Bulgarian language and in their native dialect. That was the cost of K. Ratsin's life, for he was killed in the partisan camp.)
After an about three-year-long activities controlled directly by the Central Committee of the Yugoslav Communist Party, the three orthographic commissions instituted by Tito and Tempo finally came to invent norms which did not correspond to the pronunciation, yet approached in graphical terms the Skopje construct to the Serbo-Chroatian one. The protocols of those commissions published in the press testify that the so-called Macedonian language is a fabrication. And it is not the Bulgarian state that denies such a linguistic formation, but rather it denies itself through self-confessions. Here we shall quote the most important of these in order to make clear that it does not go about a natural language phenomenon but rather about a political act for which no attempts are even being made to conceal.
The main ideas of the protocols are as follows (quoting the Macedonian members on the commissions):
- "We, the Macedonians, who have never had a literature of our own so far, have no definite common literary language".
- The Republic of Macedonia appeared "due to the efforts of the Communist Party", "due to the efforts of the troops of our far-sighted and dearest Marshall Tito".
- The people are "still to assert themselves as a nation", taking into account "the interests of the Federative and Democratic Yugoslavia".
- "We have no time to wait for that language to be created. We are facing the issue of having a literary language of our own, yet we have not the time to wait for this language to be created by poets, men of letters and journalists".
- "We have no time to wait for some of our dialects to develop into a literary language".
- "Our teachers would have finished the fifth or the sixth grade of school. Education with insufficiently qualified teachers world be very difficult".
- "The word goes about pedagogy and students. However, the same applied to adults. Those people will never learn the language rules".
- "We should therefore set the basics of our orthography by establishing a Macedonian alphabet and a Macedonian literary language"; "These literary materials are to be completed by certain political circumstances which are also influential in the Macedonian language dispute "; "We should be careful about our actions"; "it is better to make a grammar mistake than to make a political one"; The same applies to the letters of the Serbian alphabet; "It would be no use to maintain the differences between ourselves and the Serbs through the alphabet".
- The language of our people "has not been completely formed yet"; "If the Bulgarians have a look at the Serbian letters, they would say: 'Those people have turned Serbs"; "the editor of "Bregalnishki Glas" newspaper (a publication of the SRM at that time) acts as if in a shock upon hearing of Serbian letters. On the other hand, we shall be having troubles with the Federation of Yugoslavia. Therefore it is necessary that we adopt the Serbian letters as soon as possible, instead of the Bulgarian ones"; "not to make our brothers in Serbia and Croatia angry"; "it may be possible that we find out something in-between, although not quite scientifically grounded, but well-tempered and of practical use"; "I am afraid that we might make a mistake which would cause people laugh at us".
The confessions testify that the literary language in Skopje was conjured up in a haste, that it is far from being natural - like most languages throughout the world - and that it is not the result of centuries-long continuing historical development (which is the most typical feature of any normal language formation). It does not rest on any non-Bulgarian literature to serve as its basis (poetry, fiction, journalism), and has no definite dialect basis on which to develop (so far there was a misconception that at least such a basis existed), therefore the fabricated rules could never be learned for they have no scientific foundation to lie on.
The most important goal in fabricating that "language" (or rather "a political language") consisted mainly in serving the purposes of the Yugoslav Federation, and the Serbs in particular, by its gradual conversion to the Serbian language. That is all the product of the Communist Party and the Marshall Tito's troops who was no to be angered in order to prevent troubles. Consequently, the so-called Macedonian literary language is a partially destructured literary Bulgarian language.
Language, however, is an ethnical category, and not a suit or a handkerchief which could be replaced easily on somebody's will. That was something some of the "inventors" of the language soon came to realize. V. Markovski, whose proposal for preserving the letter in the alphabet, protested and was sent to the "Goli Otok" prison camp. Later on, in his work titled "Blood is Thicker than Water" ("Kruvta voda ne stava"), which was published in English in the USA, he wrote: "All serious researchers have reached in different ways at the conclusion that the villages of Macedonia, Thrace, Moesia and Dobroudja are inhabited by Bulgarians; that the people's and national awareness of those Bulgarians is neither Macedonian, nor Thracian, nor Moesian, nor Dobroudjan, but Bulgarian; that the language of those Bulgarians is neither Macedonian, nor Thracian, nor Moesian, not Dobroudjan, but Bulgarian; that the history of those Bulgarians living in either Macedonia, Thrace, Moesia, and Dobroudja is not any separate Macedonian, Thracian, Moesian, or Dobroudjan history, but a common Bulgarian history; that Macedonia, Thrace, Moesia and Dobroudja are a geographical expression of the Bulgarian territory".
In short, we are facing a repetition of the self-denial once made by Kr. Misirkov, the author of the booklet "Za makedonckite raboti" ("On the Macedonian Problems") published in 1903. (At present, the Institute for Macedonian Language in Skopje bears the name of Misirkov.) Later on (in 1924) he wrote: "The beginning of the 19th c. in Macedonia saw a Greek clergy and a Bulgarian national awareness among the brighter Macedonians... That intellectual and national unity of Moeasians, Macedonians and Thracians followed and preceded the emergence of a Bulgarian Exarhate and the Liberation of Bulgaria. The Serbs... took over the greatest part of Macedonia... It was given to them by those who, in the long run, recognized the Bulgarian national character of Macedonia. Yet, this is not the end of the nationality of the Macedonians... However, the Bulgarians are not fond of philology and history, they do not like being reproached of chauvinism and are inclined to live, at any price, at peace with their neighbours even if they would like to take over half of their villages, yards, etc.... Yet, there are appeals on the part of the Macedonians themselves: "We are Bulgarians, even more than the Bulgarians living in Bulgaria... That is what we call ourselves today and that is what we would like to call ourselves in future... Would you want concessions from us? Would you want us to be less Bulgarian that the Bulgarians themselves? To concede to you?... We shall be Macedonians rather than Bulgarians, but Macedonians with a consciousness different from your own Serbian national consciousness, with a historical past of our own, with a literary language of our own - common to the Bulgarian one - and with Macedonian-Bulgarian national schools of our own".
The further development of the Macedonian language is a plagiarism proper.. The name has been cribbed. Under the name Macedonian, world linguistics classifies a completely different non-Slavonic language which has nothing to do with the present-day language Slavonic formation in Skopje, which is Bulgarian by its origin. The Macedonian tribes (Orestes, Linkestes, Aeordians, Elymyotes, etc.) were ethnically related to the Greek ones in Thessalia, and partly to the Illyrians and the Thracians. As early as 148 B. C., the former Macedonia was defeated by Rome and the ancient Macedonians were Romanized and Greecisized. Their language became extinct and not much is known of it today.
Six or seven centuries later, those lands hosted the Bulgarian Slavs; yet not even the memory has remained of the ancient Macedonians. The name of the region was not updated by the Greeks until the National revival period. Until then, it was called Lower Moesia, in contrast to Upper Moesia (Northern Bulgaria).
Cribbing is not the monopoly of Skopje alone. That was earlier done by the Serbs who had proclaimed Tsar Samouil a Serbian Ruler. Now, the attribute "Serbian" is simply replaced by "Macedonian", in spite of the fact that the Macedonian dynasty of Basil II Bulgaroctone fought against the Bulgarians. This is a complete paradox which is hardly to explain in Skopje, for it turns out, after all the metamorphoses, that the Macedonian dynasty of Basil II was at war with... the Macedonians.
The Skopje alchemists after 1944 are hardly ashamed to cross over the words "Bulgarians" and "Bulgarian language" even in historical documents. In "The Homily of Kliment of Ohrid" by Theophilactus (11th-12th cc.), the Skopje historian Dragan Tashkovski has made an enormous forgery. the Greek original has been forfeited through a "translation": "Kliment, a Bulgarian bishop" becomes "Kliment, a Slovenian bishop". The text "...because there were no even words of praise in Bulgarian... he made up words... comprehensible for even the most common Bulgarian and with those he fed the souls of the most common Bulgarians... and became the new Paul for the new Corinthians - the Bulgarians... As a whole, Claimant has given it all to us, the Bulgarians" was transformed to: "There being no festive words in the Slovenian language... he wrote preachings... accessible for even the most common Slovenians, and with these he fed the souls of even the most common Slovenians. And he became the second Paul for the new Corinthians - the Slovenians. And, as a whole... Kliment gave it all to us... the Slovenians..."
The plundering of Bulgarian culture knew no limits: the collection "Bulgarian Folk Songs" by the K. and D. Miladinov brothers (1861) was re-published in Skopje as a "Zbornik" ("A Collection") in 1962 by D. Mitrev, K. Penoushlijski and A. Spasov; St. Verkovich"s book "Narodne pesme makedonskih Bugara" ("Folk Songs of Macedonian Bulgarians") - (1860) was re-published in 1961 by K. Penoushlijski as "Macedonian Folk Songs".
The title "Polog and Its Bulgarian Population" ("Polog i ego bolgarskoe naselenie" ) by the eminent Russian scholar A. M. Selishtev was cited by Blazhe Koneski as just "Polog". The very same Blazhe Koneski (as an undergraduate in Sofia - Blagoy Konev), known for his trial for plagiarism from G. Kiselinov in the Republic of Macedonia, re-wrote the main postulates of the "Historical Grammar of the Bulgarian Language". For that he was appointed an Academician at the Macedonian Academy of Sciences.
The present President of the Macedonian Academy of Sciences, Bozho Vidoeski (Bozhidar Vidoevich), re-wrote the bibliographical works of M. Mazhdrakova (1905), Hr. Gerchev (1911) and St. Stoykov (1937) and, in fact, published them as a collection under the title of "Prilog kon bibliografijata na makedonskiot jazik" ("A Contribution to the Bibliography of the Macedonian Language") in 1953.
The list of intellectual robberies (to put it mildly) is so rich that in itself it could constitute a number of volumes of bibliography.
Here, for sure, belong neither "the translation" of G. Delchev's letters from literary Bulgarian into the Serbian version of the Bulgarian language which was proclaimed as "authentic", nor the adapted version of Vaptsarov's poetry into the folklorized "native" language of the Tempo-Kolishev variation, since the poet had no idea that it would be conjured up upon his death.
All forgeries aim at one and the same thing - the delusion of the young people within the country. Skopje science has been highly appraised from Gevgely to Koumanovo. Outside the Republic of Macedonia it is of no value. Linguistics turns into linguistic mythology, history - into historical mythology, and humanities as a whole - into humanitarian mythology.
That is the source of the fears experienced by the present minister of foreign affairs Bl. Handjijski in terms of internationalizing the language dispute between the Republic of Bulgaria and the Republic of Macedonia. Evenmore, international experts would consult the documents of their own countries, they would look up such reference books as the Larousse and Encyclopaedia Britannica, they would seek for references in the reports of their ambassadors and consuls to the Balkans, they would make themselves acquainted with the results of the Carnegie Inquiry and Churichill's memoirs, they would get hold of the thousands of documents kept at the scientific institutes in Bulgaria which have been published and translated into foreign languages, they would become acquainted with the hundreds of forgeries done both in the past and recently.
The dispute between the Republic of Macedonia and Greece about the name of the former Republic of Yugoslavia is only fictitiously related to Antiquity.
The dispute between the Republic of Bulgaria and the Republic of Macedonia refers not only to the romantic past, as the Bulgarian President P. Stoyanov delicately put it, but also to the present history which is far from being romantic, since the anti-Bulgarian campaign in Macedonia has never stopped at all. And it has been led not only in terms of words but also an exterminatory one.
By force of the "Law for Protection of the National Dignity", thousands of Bulgarians were pursued in our southwestern neighbour-country. Since 1944 till the present day, more than 720 trials have been held in the Republic of Macedonia, and over 200 death sentences have been passed, mainly against the elite of the Bulgarian intelligentsia. Here do not fall the mass slaughters in Veles and other towns which were accomplished in 1945 without any charge or trial. More than 150 000 Bulgarians have been put to prison (mostly in Idrizovo and Goli Otok). Over 180 000 have left their native places to seek their real freedom throughout all continents of the world. Bulgaria could hardly recognize those "facts" as totalitarian, not in the least to consider them "European".
In terms of science, police methods are still applied as the main means of mental cruelty. Those who have been invited to international conferences are being called on by the local authorities to be "counselled" until they give up on their participation in such events. The most daring ones, which do not accept the "advice", are being taken down off the plane and closed up in the vicinity of Skopje, until the end of the respective international meetings.
The Slavonic centres which have sent invitations to these people, mail distress cables to the University and the Academy. Yet, the formal denial of Serbian Communism as a theory does not mean its denial as a practice.
Serbian communism (Blazhe-Konevism in linguistics) fights those who truly aim at reforming the Skopje Karadzhitsa, which comprises superfluous Serbian letters and lacking written symbols for the so-called Bulgarian symbols which are, naturally, typical for the speech of the population of Macedonia.
The inceptive linguistic mythologists L. Spasov and O. Vanguelov, which are successors of the Blazhe-Konevism, fill up whole pages of the "Pulse" newspaper, blaming every reformer of pro-Bulgarism, or Kronsteinerism (after the name of the Austrian scholar Prof. Dr. Otto Kronsteiner, who emphasized the Bulgarian essence of the Skopje formation), etc.
Goshev and Popovski have also turned themselves to "linguists", and Argirovski sagely assumes that the Bulgarian language could be considered a dialect of the "Macedonian". Although humorous, this statement could contain a grain of rationality, insofar the relations between dialects and literary language are to be sought for within one and the same languages.
The feigned scientific mythology in Skopje has simply consciously closed its eyes in order not to see that the Bulgarian situation is not the only one (unique) on the Balkans, but is rather to be found in every neighbouring country. The Greek language is represented by two written variants - Dimotiki and Katarevus; the Serbo-Croatian has two, and recently even three forms - Serbian, Croatian and recently Bosnian ones (and, furthermore, the Croatian language could be considered separately from a historical point of view, i. e. in the same way this could have happened with the Macedonian language, which has had an explicit 13-century-long Bulgarian history); the Albanian language is known for its two varieties - Toskian one (southern) and Gegyan one (northern); Rumanian also exists in two variants - Rumanian and Moldovian. It was not long ago that, on Bulgarian TV, namely the Moldovian President Mircha Snegur announced that it was now already accepted in the Republic of Moldovia to speak of a Rumanian, and not of Moldovian as a separate language. He compared the situation in the Republic of Macedonia to that in Moldovia and gave a perfect lesson to many of our nihilistically-minded paper-writers.
It would, however, not be fair to determine language variations as a Balkan feature alone.
The Armenian language also has two variants: eastern - in Armenia, and western - in Turkey (and at present throughout Europe). Norway, which is par excellence European country, also uses two written forms: a) Rejksmole - the official language which also bears the name of Boeksmoel (literary), and b) Lansmoel - the language of the people, also called Nejnorske (Norwegian).
Rejksmole (or Boeksmoel) has developed on the basis of Danish, while Lansmoel (or Nejnorske) has emerged on the basis of Norwegian dialects. Being an educated people, Norwegians have no qualms of consciousness that Danish lies at the basis of their official (literary) language. The common life of Danes and Norwegians in the 1380 Danish-Norwegian Union, as well as their joint fight against the Swedes are the historical circumstances which have formed up the language variations of present-day Norwegian.
From time to time, among the allegedly scholarly mythological writings of Skopje, there are certain sparks of regaining consciousness; emphasis is laid on the so-called B- (Bulgarian) complexes of the most eminent men in the Republic.
In this respect, indicative is the confession of Gane Todorovski made on 8 February 1991.
"During the Macedonian 19th century - he wrote - literature was made by fifty or more people which had been brought up with pro-Bulgarian oriented ideas in a nationalistic sense... This has been the case with Djinot, the Miladinov brothers, Parlichev, Tsepenkov, Shapkarev, Dinkov, Zhinzifov, Sprostranov, Chernodrinsky. How were we supposed to deal with that legacy?... Who were these people and what are they now? I avail of the manuscript of "A History of the Macedonian Literature of the 19th c.", yet something constantly prevents me from presenting it to the public. What stands in the way? It was not long ago that Blazhe Ristovski formulated it genuinely during a public debate. This is the political barrier, or rather the barrier of the political prejudices. In other words, to put it figuratively, the word goes about the Macedonian "B-complex" (the Bulgarian orientation in the acts of the most eminent of our people during the 19th c.).
There is a necessity, once and for all, to clearly state that Serbomans in Macedonia have, for those 45 years of freedom and being protected by Kolishevski and Yugoslav unitarism, blocked the development of Macedonian literary science with their sturdy prejudices... Science was not supposed to subject to everyday politics, yet it did so".
The above truths, spelled out by Gane Todorovski and Blazhe Ristovski - one of the most prominent Macedonian scholars - reveal the overall picture of the social and political realities in the republic of Macedonia during the past half century of totalitarianism.
That is why it is hard to understand the wailing of the "New Macedonia" newspaper on the occasion of the concise statement made by the Bulgarian President Stoyanov in Strassbourg, namely that "Macedonia is a part of Bulgarian history, and what is more, one of its most romantic parts".
Gane Todorovski is a Minister Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Macedonia to Moscow. Bl. Ristovski is the author of voluminous books filled with impossible tasks - to give proof of Macedonism where it never existed. Yet, being hard pressed by the facts, they have confessed to the truth. That truth, pronounced or not, is known to every citizen of the Republic. It is also known to the author of the pamphlet against the Bulgarian President - the Skopje journalist D. Chulev, originating from an old Bulgarian revolutionary family.
From what has been said so far, it becomes evident that the problems of the relations between the Republic of Bulgaria and the Republic of Macedonia constitute a whole range of questions which should be strictly differentiated in order to avoid their mixing, since they have no uniform solution. These are the problems related to the state, the nation and the language:
1. The problem of the state. Bulgaria has passed its way of approaching the new state by being the first in the world to recognize it. Recogintion is an institution of international public law. It provides for the legal status of newly emerged legal subjects of international law itself. Recognition grants the possibility of the international subject under question to enter international life.
The centuries-long practice is absolutely unanimous: recognition is given to states and governments. No subject of recognition are formations and groupings. There is also no precedent in international law in terms of recognition of ethnic groups, nationalities, or nations. Even more absurd seem the claims for recognition of a language. Contracts could be signed in internationally recognised languages, as well, which are foreign to the contracting parties.
Of all the world's states, Bulgaria is the most friendly disposed towards the Republic of Macedonia: 1) it was the first to recognize its status of a state; 2) it saved its economy 9without any sighed agreements) during the double economic embargo imposed from the North and the South; it was its only window to the world; 3) it did not concede to a division of the territory with Greece; 4) it rejected a similar suggestion from Yugoslavia; 5) it interceded for its recognition from Russia, and a lot more.
The dignity in its behaviour is also evident from the fact that it has stood for years against responding to the continuous (thousands of) attacks which are daily imposed, with or without any occasion, in the press, radio and TV and, above all, in the edition specialized in state anti-Bulgarism - the "New Macedonia" official gazetteer. Along with doing a bad favour to our country, it also creates among the population of the Republic that it has not been left to oblivion and there is still a constant interest in it. In fact, the Bulgarian propaganda in the Republic of Macedonia, whatever it may be, is being carried out by the media of these states themselves.
The efforts and means spent by the small state on supporting the so-called Macedonistic organization OMO "Ilinden" in the Pirin region - a formation created with the help of the former Yugoslav embassy in Sofia - were futile. This is testified by the words of the attache on the press and cultural affairs, M. Knezhevich: "In our contacts with OMO "Ilinden" we have considered it a legal organization".
Later on, some joint and one-man companies emerged for the sake of covering up the foreign financing (e. g. "Koukoush-1913" with President At. Kiryakov, which published several anti-Bulgarian newspapers). The financial affairs and the outrageous struggle for allotting the money among the leaders divided the "Organization" into winglets, the more so as it consisted of a "carful of people".
2. The problem of the nation. The unskilled politicians, journalists and graphomaniacs from both sides of the Ograzhden mountain misplace an equivalence sign between state and nation, without taking into account that, as a political category, the state is of a temporary nature (Cf. Austro-Hungary, the USSR, Yugoslavia), while the nation, which is constituted on an ethnical basis, is of a long-standing nature.
The claims for the emergence of "a Soviet", "a Yugoslav", "an Eastern Gernam", etc. nations in the nearest past proved futile.
The consolidation of the Bulgarian nation (18th-19th cc.) on the basis of the centuries-long Bulgarian nationality existing since the 9th c. in Moesia, Thrace and Macedonia is a completed process in line with the changes which have taken place in Europe.
The new phenomena in Vardar and Aegean Macedonia, i. e. the regions under Greek domination, could be termed quite precisely "a denationalization".
During the totalitarian and post-totalitarian periods, when personal and social freedom was restricted, the exact state of the national relations was hardly possible to account.
Furthermore, the concepts about the content of the term "nation" vary considerably. The Stalinist (or Comintern) postulate about the nation, on the basis of which the Macedonian nation was decreed, collapsed. The American, British, Spanish and French definitions about the nation also differ. There is no unanimous view on that problem even in the Republic of Macedonia itself, in terms of the inclusion or the exclusion of the Albanian element (30-40 %).
Ignoring the fact that nations are not a subject or an object of international law, hence they are not to be "recognized", no one could tell exactly what is to be recognized.
3. The problem of the language. The incorrect relating of language and state also causes comic and even absurd effects. Just like nation, the language is not "an attribute" of the state. Otherwise, we should have spoken of "Swiss", "Belgian", "Cyprus", "Luxembourg", "South African", "Australian", "Mexican", "Chilean", etc. languages which, as a matter of fact, do not exist.
In its function of a means of communication between people, every language consists of three important elements: 1) language history; 2) dialects; and 3) written (or literature) form.
The so-called Macedonian language is characterized by: 1) thousands-of-years-long Bulgarian history; 2) Bulgarian dialects; and 3) following World War II, a written form which is, in fact, partially destructured literary Bulgarian (by means of a certain lexical Serbization and certain grammatical dialectization).
As a whole entity comprising the three elements, Macedonian language does not exist. The third component which has allowed certain variations - the written one - is not sufficient to cover for the whole range of the concept of a language. What is more, it is of a regional nature not because of its being denied in Bulgaria or abroad, but for certain objective reasons - it is the official norm for only one region of the geographical area of Macedonia, i. e. the Vardar region. The other two regions - the Pirin and the Aegean - are not related to it. Until 1913, for about a century, literary Bulgarian (despite the Turkish yoke) was the language used in schools, literature and press throughout the three regions and the area as a whole; it was of an all-Bulgarian nature rather than of a regional one.
Down to the present day, the Skopje norm is not stabilized even in the one-third of the area (the Vardar one), since there is a linguistic chaos evident. As the "Focus" newspaper wrote in its issue of 13 December 1996, "If one day, hopefully in the near future, some of the simpletons in Bulgarian government sign the agreements between the Republic of Macedonia and the Republic of Bulgaria in the Macedonian language, using the ridiculous writing of which not even half of Macedonia is aware of, then probably a part of the police-supported scribblers would lose their jobs".
The claims of the written form in Republic of Macedonia to represent the "Macedonian language" as a "whole entity" in the three areas - with the purpose to substantiate not only pretences towards the language and the dialects, but also further political aspirations, are groundless. The aspirations of Skopje are stipulated for in the country's constitution - Art. 49 - providing "care" for the minorities outside the borders.
For a certain period of time, there was a kind of understanding on the part of Skopje, that the language dispute could not be solved outside the borders of Macedonia.
The latest "ultimatum" of Minister Handjijski, that the signing of the agreement would consider the matter of "a Macedonian language in general", i. e. Macedonian language in the Pirin region, is an expression of the great-Macedonism and megalomania which would, inevitable, lead to an international arbitrage.
The two countries may be able to solve the problems by themselves, on the basis of their good will. The pertinence of Skopje to apply different approaches to its neighbours (the agreements with Greece are signed in English, which is not the case with Bulgaria) indicates that the policy of equidistancing towards its neighbours proclaims is, in fact, just an empty statement. Obviously, the present authorities in the Republic of Macedonia are not able to solve their domestic political problems and it would be advisable to wait for a more sensible government.
The threat by Handjijski that Bulgaria would not join the NATO if it does not sign the agreements is groundless, since the problems Macedonia is causing to its neighbours are even four times bigger.
Bulgaria's problems refer only to that new state. The Republic of Macedonia, however, has urging problems with all of its neighbours: with Serbia - about the northern border and the church; with Albania - about the Albanian minority which is about to become a majority in the near future.
It is only the political short-sightedness of the present Skopje government that could prevent the country from relying on its closest and faithful friend - the Republic of Bulgaria - which is already really tired of forgiving.
The attitude of our country towards the young republic is in no case prompted by patronising, but rather by the thousands-of-years-long tradition which cannot be simply neglected, in spite of the efforts made to this end. The same names of scientists, writers and artists are studied in the schools and universities in both countries. These names have been given to various cultural institutions, streets, places and boulevards with equal affection and respect on both sides of the border.
From an objective point of view, there are no reasons for our countries not to be integrated into NATO and Europe.
The problems lie excessively with the present state authorities of the Republic of Macedonia which are following along the traditional lines of anti-Bulgarism and are continuously conjuring up points of dispute.
7 July 1997