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Old 10-29-2019, 07:39 AM   #11
Stevce
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My family was under the Patriarchate, while their first cousins at the time were under the Exarchate Church. They killed one another at the time and six generations later we are friendly with one another hearing the stories from the oldies. My family was 'Greek' because of religion only just like they were 'Bulgarian' because of their religion. All had Macedonian names and spoke the same language. How can 1st cousins be two completely different nationalities. Unfortunately religion was used to divide the nation and brother against brother. Before this they were all part of the Ohrid church. The abolishment of this church caused 90% of the problems in Macedonia.
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Old 10-30-2019, 05:37 AM   #12
Chicho Makedonski
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Originally Posted by Karposh View Post
That's a pretty good assessment Chicho. It's just a shame that Pan-Slavism (as an idea and a political movement) was thoroughly prevalent in the people's consciousness during that time and influenced them to the point where they found it necessary to elevate this pre-supposed Slavic/Bulgarian commonality at the expense of their native Macedonian specificity and individuality. Nevertheless, I suspect the Slavic/Bulgarian idea must have been quite a recent thing among the general populace who I feel identified as simply Macedonian without the pre-conditioned ideas that were disseminated by an education system that was essentially run by non-Macedonians (i.e. Bulgarian Exarchate and Greek Patriarchate). This is evidenced by what contemporary commentators of the time noted about the Macedonians with regard to their self-declared national identity. Vasil Kanchov comes to mind here as a prime example. Although a biased Bulgarian nationalist, he commented that the "Bulgarians" of Macedonia in fact call themselves Macedonians. Other irrefutable examples include the tombstones in Steelton and Ford City, America, from as early as the late 1800's. These silent monuments speak very loudly about what the general population of Macedonia regarded itself during that time - as simply Macedonian.

Being products of the education system of the time, it's not hard to see how many of the "educated" Macedonian intellectuals of the late 18th and early 19th centuries were influenced by this Pan-Slavic concept and, no-doubt, viewed the terms 'Bulgarian" and "Slavic" as interchangeable and perfectly normal terms. However, there were some Macedonians that couldn't give a flying fuck for anything Bulgarian and in fact insisted on the individuality of the Macedonian people. One such example is Aleksa Popov from the Prilep village of Varosh. I contributed some information about Aleksa on another thread which I've copied and pasted some parts from below:

Aleksa was born in 1809 and died in 1912 at the ripe old age of 103. He was a teacher and an orthodox priest who served under the Bulgarian Exarchate Church. He was a Macedonian activist who fought to introduce the Macedonian language in his liturgies and is most notable for striving to establish a Macedonian school, even petitioning the Turkish Sultan Abdul Hamid to that end.

He conducted his church liturgies and services in the Macedonian language and continued doing so even after he was directly prohibited by his Exarchate superiors, who demanded that he use Bulgarian. He is perhaps best known for his petition to the Turkish authorities in 1887 for the establishment of a Macedonian school and church, which he composed and signed as the main signatory together with co-signatories from Prilep.

“Proclamation”
We, the undersigned from the town of Prilep, loyal subjects of his Imperial Majesty, the Augustan Sultan Abdul Hamid II, wish to have a Macedonian national school. As we are not Bulgarians by birth, we do not recognize their church council and their schools. As religious patron we recognize the pope, however, without changes to the dogma of the Orthodox Church.
2nd July 1887
Prilep

That’s very interesting stuff about Popov.

As for Cepenkov, he was an ethnic Macedonian that showed his Macedonian character as he wrote about how the Macedonians still celebrate Alexander the Great but he also supposedly (according to Wikipedia with reference to a letter from 1917 that he supposedly wrote) about Bulgarian history in Macedonia and ‘Bulgarians’ in Macedonia which shows he was brainwashed by the Bulgarian propaganda through the Bulgarian schools and churches, if such information is true. Although the term ‘Bulgarian’ was synonymous with ‘slavic speaking peasant’ and didn’t convey an ethnic meaning to all Macedonians, I believe Cepenkov (if the letter is true and not a Bulgarian falsification which it probably is) saw himself as an ethnic Bulgarian at times, mainly due to the Bulgarian propaganda.

Figures like Shapkarev also supposedly conducted textbooks with the heading including the term ‘Bulgarian’. I want to know why Macedonians of this time period had books with ‘Bulgarian’ on it. Does anyone have any information regarding this ?

Also I’d like to know when the Bulgarian schools began in Macedonia. I know the Exarchate opened in 1870 but not sure about the schools. As we know the Macedonians were not close to independence like their neighbours were and therefore didn’t have the political power to have their own national churches and schools without the interference of the Greeks and Bulgarians who worked on hellenising/bulgarising Macedonia through a means of schools and churches. These interferences are made evident when the Bulgarians destroyed the idea of an independent Macedonian Orthodox Church and to restore the Ohrid Archbishopric, which the Macedonians strived for with Bishop Theodosius of Skopje in 1891 and when the Greeks put pressure on the Ottomans to abolish the Ohrid Archbishopric in 1767, which until that time was the main church for the Macedonian Christians since the times of Tsar Samuel.

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Old 10-30-2019, 07:48 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Chicho Makedonski View Post

Figures like Shapkarev also supposedly conducted textbooks with the heading including the term ‘Bulgarian’. I want to know why Macedonians of this time period had books with ‘Bulgarian’ on it. Does anyone have any information regarding this ?
I think I've posted about Šapkarev before but in summary to your question; Šapkarev was what Victor Friedman labels, a linguistic 'uniate'. The goals of his generation weren't political autonomy, they were language rights. Šapkarev and most of his generation desired to curb the spread of Hellenism by restoring a Slavic church. Šapkarev's use of the term 'Bulgarian' does not denote a national or ethnic affiliation, it was simply the label attached to this movement and its desired church and language. Šapkarev and others like him desired to codify a joint Macedo-Bulgarian literary language, which would in most cases be called 'Bulgarian' but act as a compromise between "western" (Macedonian) and "eastern" (Thraco-Moesian). It was quite simply a product of that generation.

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Also I’d like to know when the Bulgarian schools began in Macedonia. I know the Exarchate opened in 1870 but not sure about the schools. As we know the Macedonians were not close to independence like their neighbours were and therefore didn’t have the political power to have their own national churches and schools without the interference of the Greeks and Bulgarians who worked on hellenising/bulgarising Macedonia through a means of schools and churches. These interferences are made evident when the Bulgarians destroyed the idea of an independent Macedonian Orthodox Church and to restore the Ohrid Archbishopric, which the Macedonians strived for with Bishop Theodosius of Skopje in 1891 and when the Greeks put pressure on the Ottomans to abolish the Ohrid Archbishopric in 1767, which until that time was the main church for the Macedonian Christians since the times of Tsar Samuel.
Official schooling only began after the Exarchate's formation in 1870 but private impromptu schools date back to the 1840s I believe. These schools were largely independent as no ecclesiastical apparatus existed at the time, so despite some of them baring a "Bulgarian" label, the local Macedonian dialect is usually what was spoken in them I believe.
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Old 10-31-2019, 12:18 AM   #14
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Stefan Dedov (1869-1914) - Macedonian political activist, journalist, and early proponent of the Macedonian ethnic distinctiveness. Born in Ohrid, he studied law in Belgrade. He was the editor-in-chief of Balkanski glasnik (Balkan herald), which published Macedonian content in Serbian and French by a group of Macedonian expatriates in 1902.



Stefan Dedov was shot dead in Sofia, Bulgaria on September 19, 1914 by Todor Aleksandrov's associate Slave Ivanov.

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Old 10-31-2019, 05:24 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Liberator of Makedonija View Post
I think I've posted about Šapkarev before but in summary to your question; Šapkarev was what Victor Friedman labels, a linguistic 'uniate'. The goals of his generation weren't political autonomy, they were language rights. Šapkarev and most of his generation desired to curb the spread of Hellenism by restoring a Slavic church. Šapkarev's use of the term 'Bulgarian' does not denote a national or ethnic affiliation, it was simply the label attached to this movement and its desired church and language. Šapkarev and others like him desired to codify a joint Macedo-Bulgarian literary language, which would in most cases be called 'Bulgarian' but act as a compromise between "western" (Macedonian) and "eastern" (Thraco-Moesian). It was quite simply a product of that generation.
Shapkarev’s use of the term ‘Bulgarian’ in his textbooks was to promote slavic language/culture opposed to Greek. Shapkarev and other Macedonians of this time period supported actual Bulgarian schools and churches to open in Macedonia, in order to grow their relationship with the Bulgarians (a fellow slavic speaking people) who also opposed the Greek idea to make Macedonia a Greek land with a Greek speaking majority opposed to a slavic speaking majority. The difference being, the Bulgarians were building these churches and schools to spread Bulgarian propaganda to the Macedonians in order to make the Macedonians pro Bulgarians to believe they are ethnic Bulgarians so a greater Bulgaria will be more easily accomplished. While the Macedonians never wanted a greater Bulgaria, nor a free Macedonia with a main Bulgarian component but simply a free Macedonia with a main Macedonian component whereby the Macedonian language would become the offical language of the country once freed. So in reality the Bulgarians weren’t ‘allies’ but in fact a massive obstacle to Macedonian freedom.

As for when you say the ‘Bulgarian label was attached to this movement and it’s desired church and language’, what exact ‘movement’ are you referring to ?
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Old 10-31-2019, 07:43 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Chicho Makedonski View Post
Shapkarev’s use of the term ‘Bulgarian’ in his textbooks was to promote slavic language/culture opposed to Greek. Shapkarev and other Macedonians of this time period supported actual Bulgarian schools and churches to open in Macedonia, in order to grow their relationship with the Bulgarians (a fellow slavic speaking people) who also opposed the Greek idea to make Macedonia a Greek land with a Greek speaking majority opposed to a slavic speaking majority. The difference being, the Bulgarians were building these churches and schools to spread Bulgarian propaganda to the Macedonians in order to make the Macedonians pro Bulgarians to believe they are ethnic Bulgarians so a greater Bulgaria will be more easily accomplished. While the Macedonians never wanted a greater Bulgaria, nor a free Macedonia with a main Bulgarian component but simply a free Macedonia with a main Macedonian component whereby the Macedonian language would become the offical language of the country once freed. So in reality the Bulgarians weren’t ‘allies’ but in fact a massive obstacle to Macedonian freedom.
I think this is a bit of an oversimplification. Concepts such as nationhood and independence weren't the focus during this period in time, they developed later.

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As for when you say the ‘Bulgarian label was attached to this movement and it’s desired church and language’, what exact ‘movement’ are you referring to ?
The 'Anti-Phanariot' Movement is the term I usually use but I have seen Macedonian authors label it the „црква борба“ or 'church struggle' as well.
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