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TrueMacedonian 01-20-2010 12:06 AM

Westerner Acknowledges Macedonians called themselves Macedonians in 1922

Daskalot 01-20-2010 03:57 PM

Simply Macedonians no more no less. Just exactly as today. What is the problem with us being simply Macedonians?

Pelister 07-04-2010 11:26 PM

"They call themselves Macedonians"
They call themselves Macedonians

This theme of “they call themselves Macedonians” continues throughout the early part of the 20th century.

Consider, for example, the experience of Henry Baerlein, writing for the Fortnightly Review, in May 1928:

[quote] "It happens that Macedonians who come to Bulgaria [B]continue[/B] to call themselves Macedonians ..." [/quote]

And goes on to say that;

[quote] “In Bulgaria, [B]whether they are descended from a Macedonian who travelled eastward in 1878[/B], or whether they are quite recent emigrants, [U][B]they call themselves Macedonians [/B][/U]...” [/quote]


Baerlein, Henry., “What is happening in Macedonia” in Fortnightly Review, 123, (May, 1928), pp.624-632,

The experience had been corroborated by British officials attached to the foreign office, in Macedonia throughout the early part of the 20th century.

Pelister 07-04-2010 11:35 PM

They call themselves Macedonians

Going back a few decades, consider for example, the word of the
Bulgarian ethnographer, Vasil Kanchov, who liked to classify the regions inhabitants as 'Bulgarian'.

On page 1 of his book Orohidrography of Macedonia, published in Plovdiv in 1911 Kanchov makes the rather startling admission that all the:

[quote] “Bulgarians and Kutsovlachs (of Macedonia) [B]call themselves Macedonians[/B] and the surrounding nations call them Macedonians”. [/quote]

Pelister 07-06-2010 11:05 PM

Moving foward a few years, but still in the early part of the 20th century we see another example of the same theme.


Sister Augustine Bewicke on the Macedoinan autonomy
January 4

[quote] "the inhabitants of Macedonia are in the great majority Slavs; [B]they call themselves Macedonians[/B], and what they desire and what we ardently desire for them is an autonomy under European control" [/quote]

Soldier of Macedon 07-07-2010 12:00 AM

Good one Pelister, I was just about to add that last one to your list, there are several more you can add I am sure by just searching through the MTO forums.

Bill77 07-07-2010 12:25 AM

[B]Aegean Macedonians
and the Bulgarian Identity Politics[/B]

Oxford Balkan Society
South East European Studies Programme (SEESP)
European Studies Centre, St Antony’s College

By Tchavdar Marinov

QUOTE: After their visit to Sofia in December 1967, the Greek communist leaders Apostolos Grozos and Dimitris Partsalidis mentioned unsuccessful[B] demands of refugees transferred to Bulgaria from Poland to have a page in Macedonian language in the Greek political refugees’
weekly Lefteria (Kirjazovski 1989: 259)45[/B]. Thus, the state and Party institutions dealing with the national policy had to face cases of a challenging ethnic self-identification of Aegean Macedonian refugees from the Greek Civil war. A clear distinction had to be established
between the previous Macedonian migration waves to Bulgaria (from the beginning of the 20th century) and the newcomers: contrary to older pro-Bulgarian refugees, [B]those who came after the Greek Civil war had more “Macedonist” character[/B] and needed the application of
special strategies of national “homogenization”.

Almost all Slav-speakers, refugees from the Greek Civil war, who applied for a permission to settle in Bulgaria, declared their ethnic belonging (narodnost or nacionalnost) as undoubtedly “Macedonian”58. Some of them still conserved the Greek communist denomination “Slavo Macedonian” (slavjano-makedonec)59. Formulas like “refugee from the
Greek Macedonia with Macedonian nationality [=ethnic origin- narodnost] and Greek citizenship”60 are quite frequent, while the standard self-declaration is maybe “Macedonian by nationality, Greek political emigrant”61. The bulk of applicants point out “Macedonian”
undeniably as their ethnic identification.

Pelister 07-25-2010 09:28 PM

"They call themselves Macedonians"
There still exists in the West an old assumption that there were no Macedonians. It is a powerful assumption, influenced by the propoganda of Greece and Bulgaria, but ultimately a false one. One thing about this assumption, is that it is colored by the colonial statitics produced by Macedonia's neighbours, and it was effective in convincing European politicians, who could not have been aware of the local realites. One thing about Greek and Bulgarian colonial propoganda about Macedonia, is that we never actually here from the Macedonians themselves, and when we do it is distorted, or deliberately ommitted. The terms they used, such as 'Slav', 'Bulgarian', 'Greek'...etc, were one way they could hide the Macedonians, effectively write them out of the story, and at the same time write in 'Greeks' where none in fact existed, and write in 'Bulgarians' where none in fact existed. These distortions, naturally gave rise to the belief in Western Europe that there were no Macedonians, or that in was a land inhabited primarily by Bulgarian and Greek nationals. But again, we never actually here from the Macedonians themselves, and when we do it is distorted. The fact was that "they called themselves Macedonians" - we have always known this, our neighbours have always known this, but Europe refuses to believe it.

Edmond Bouchie, 1922

[quote] “[B]In the district of Ostrovo / Bitola nine times out of ten these people[/B], despite being the subject of dispute by three adjoining countries – Serbia, Bulgarian and Greece – [B]would reply in response to the question as to their nationality that they were Macedonians”[/B] [/quote]

Source: Taken from Edmond Bouchie de Belle, La Macedoine et les Macedoniens, Paris, 1922, 80, IV, 303.]

Pelister 07-27-2010 07:59 PM

"They call themselves Macedonians"
The British foriegn office had been in Macedonia since about the 1860's, and during that time they had conducted many 'fact-finding' missions of the area. Although the British had often brought their own Western prejudices about who lived there and who didn't, occasionally they reveal what the Macedonians had been saying about themselves. For example, Oliver. C Harvey of the foriegn office had gone from place to place talking to Macedonians.

Oliver C.Harvey, 1926, wrote:

[quote] "The slavophone population of Serbian (occupied) Macedonia definitely regard themselves as distinct from the Serbs. [B]If asked their nationality they say that they are Macedonians, and they speak the Macedonian dialect."[/B] [/quote]

The same Oliver C. Harvey of the British foriegn office visited the [B]Lerin-Voden district [/B]of Greek occupied Macedonia in 1926, and noted:

[quote] "The inhabitants here are no more Serb than the Macedonians of Serbia - they speak Macedonian, and [B]they call themselves Macedonians.[/B]" [/quote]

Source: British Foriegn Office, FO 371/11245, p.2 and p.3. Also cited in A.Rossos, The British Foriegn Office and Macedonian National Identity, 1918 - 1941, p.11

There are a number of old assumptions in the West that there were no Macedonians, and that Macedonia was a land inhabited by either Bulgarian or Greeks or both. Another assumption that goes hand in hand with this one, is that the Macedonians had no strong sense of national identity, or sense of who they were. In the West Macedonia was generally considered to be a land "up for grabs" and the same old assumptions in the West that the Macedonians were somehow a suspect people, has influenced how Westerners, both politicians and academics, interpret the regions history. Perry, for example, suggests that the Macedonians were unable to liberate themselves because they lacked a clear sense of national identity. The notion that the Macedonians were a suspect people was a Western notion, informed by Greek and Bulgarian colonial propoganda no doubt, through diplomatic channels for the better part of half a century. We never actually here from the Macedonians, themselves, and when we do it is distorted. The fact was that they had always called themselves Macedonians.

makedonche 07-27-2010 08:26 PM


Good article, there's one part that both intrigues me and provides a solemn reminder of what we should be striving to achieve/stamp our authority on, here it is:-

" Perry, for example, suggests that the Macedonians were unable to liberate themselves because they lacked a clear sense of national identity."

For far too long now other people/parties have been playing a game with our identity. They have denied it's exixtence, changed it, mixed it up with other identities, created confusion and doubt about it since nationalism came to the forefront in the 19th/20th centuries. What astounds me is that it's ok for US, France,Germany,Greece etc. to be fanatical about their identity and nationalism - yet any attempt by Macedonians to shore up there existence is seen as radical nationalism and has no place in a "modern Europe".
To a certian extent we the current Macedonians need to bear responsibility for allowing this to happen or moreso allowing it to continue to happen, the time has come to write our own history, tell our story and stand up and say we are Macedonians - "Not Negotiable".
I'll go out on a limb here and suggest we "create a clear sense of national identity" - similar to the way we have documented and clearly stated the "Macedonian Cause". Your thoughts?

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