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Macedonians (Bulgarians)

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Macedonians (Bulgarians)

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Macedonians[1] or Macedonian Bulgarians[2] (Bulgarian: Македонски българи or Mакедонци), sometimes also referred to as Macedono-Bulgarians[3] or Macedo-Bulgarians[4] is a regional, ethnographic group of ethnic Bulgarians,[5][6][7] inhabiting or originating from Macedonia. Today, the larger part of this population is concentrated in Blagoevgrad Province but much is spread across the whole of Bulgaria and the diaspora.


The Slavic speaking majority in the Region of Macedonia had been referred to (both, by themselves and outsiders) as Bulgarians, and that is how they were predominantly seen since 10th,[8][9][10] up until the early 20th century.[11] According to Encyclopædia Britannica, at the beginning of the 20th century the Macedonian Bulgarians constituted the majority of the population in the whole region of Macedonia, then part of the Ottoman Empire.[12] The functioning of the Bulgarian Exarchate then aimed specifically at differentiating the Bulgarian from the Greek and Serbian populations on an ethnic and linguistic basis, providing the open assertion of a Bulgarian national identity.[13] However one basic distinction between the political agendas of local intelligentsias was clear. The Macedonian Greeks and Serbs followed, in general, the directives coming from their respective centers of national agitation, while by the Bulgarians the term Macedonian was acquiring the significance of a certain political loyalty, that progressively constructed a particular spirit of regional identity.[14] The Balkan Wars (1912–1913) and World War I (1914–1918) left Ottoman Macedonia divided between Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Albania and resulted in significant changes in its ethnic composition. The immediate effect of the partition of Ottoman Macedonia were the nationalistic campaigns in areas under Serbian and Greek administration, which expelled Bulgarian churchmen and teachers and closed Bulgarian schools and churches. As a consequence a sizable part of the Slavic population of Greek and Serbian Macedonia fled to Bulgaria or was resettled there by virtue of a population exchange agreements. The Bulgarian population in Vardar Banovina was regarded as "Southern Serbs" and a policy of Serbianization was implemented. Within Greece, the Southern Macedonians were designated "Slavophone Greeks".[15]

However most researchers agree that the bulk of the Slavic population in the region had a Bulgarian national identity until the early 1940s, when the Bulgarians.[22] The nation-building process was politically motivated and later reinforced by strong Bulgarophobia and Yugoslavism.[23] The new authorities began a policy of removing of any Bulgarian influence and creating a distinct Slavic consciousness that would inspire identification with Yugoslavia.[18] With the proclamation of the new Socialist Republic of Macedonia, there were started measures that would overcome the pro-Bulgarian feeling among the population.[24] It has been claimed that from 1944 till the end of the 1940s people espousing a Bulgarian ethnic identity had been oppressed.[24][25] According to Bulgarian sources more than 100,000 men were imprisoned and some 1,200 prominent Bulgarians were sentenced to death.[24][25] In addition, the inconsistent policy towards the Macedonian Bulgarians followed by Communist Bulgaria at that time has thrown most independent observers ever since into a state of confusion, as to the real ethnicity of the population even in Bulgarian Macedonia.[26][27] Practically as a consequence the rest of this people, with exception of Bulgaria proper, were eventually macedonized, hellenized or albanized.[28]

Nevertheless people with Bulgarian consciousness or Bulgarophile sentiments still live in the Republic of Macedonia, Greece and Albania.[29][30][31] During the last years the EU membership of Bulgaria has seen around 60,000 Macedonians applying for Bulgarian citizenship. In order to obtain it they must sign a statement declaring they are Bulgarians by origin. About 50,000 Macedonian nationals have already received Bulgarian citizenship.[32][33]

Notable Bulgarians from Macedonia

Macedonian Bulgarians have been influential in every field in Bulgarian society, including culture, science, literature, architecture, industry, sports, entertainment, government, and the military.

Many Macedonian Bulgarians have played a prominent role in Bulgaria's independence struggle, such freedom fighters include Todor Aleksandrov, Dimche Sarvanov, Petar Chaulev, Pavel Shatev, Panko Brashnarov, Andon Kyoseto, Ivan Naumov, Hristo Andonov, Ivan Mihailov, Dimitar Gyuzelov, Mara Buneva, etc.

Bulgarian generals and military officers Kliment Boyadzhiev, Konstantin Zhostov, Aleksandar Protogerov, Boris Drangov, Petar Darvingov and Kiril Yanchulev served in the Bulgarian Army in the Serbo-Bulgarian War, First Balkan War, Second Balkan War, World War I and World War II, respectively.

Politicians, government ministers and diplomats include Rosen Plevneliev, etc.

Macedonian Bulgarians have also contributed to development of Bulgarian culture, art, literature and music, such as Paisius of Hilendar, Kiril Peychinovich, Neofit Rilski, Parteniy Zografski, Nathanael Ohridski, Daskal Kamche, Miladinov brothers, Marko Cepenkov, Grigor Parlichev, Lyubomir Miletich, Kuzman Shapkarev, Yordan Hadzhikonstantinov-Dzhinot, Hristo Silyanov, Dimitar Talev, Hristo Smirnenski, Atanas Dalchev, Nikola Vaptsarov, Voydan Chernodrinski, Atanas Badev, Rayko Aleksiev, Katya Paskaleva, etc.

Some, such as Central Sofia Market Hall architect Naum Torbov, left behind visible landmarks.

Others, including Baba Vanga and Mikhael Aivanhov, set intellectual landmarks.

Still others, such as Nina Klenovska are prominent athletes and sports people.

See also


  1. ^ South Slavic immigration in America, George J. Prpic, John Carroll University, Twayne Publishers. A division of G. K. Hall & Co., Boston., 1978, ISBN 0-8057-8413-6, p. 212.
  2. ^ Harvard encyclopedia of American ethnic groups, Stephan Thernstrom, Ann Orlov, Oscar Handlin Edition: 2, Published by Harvard University Press, 1980 ISBN 0-674-37512-2, p. 691.
  3. ^ Minderheiten und Sprachkontakt, Ulrich Ammon, Peter H Nelde, Klaus J Mattheier, Published by Niemeyer, 1990, ISBN 3-484-60346-1, p. 143.
  4. ^ The Cambridge history of Turkey: Turkey in the modern world, Reşat Kasaba, Cambridge University Press, 2008, ISBN 0-521-62096-1,p. 107.
  5. ^ Етнография на Македония (Извори и материали в два тома), Автор: Колектив под редакцията на доц. Маргарита Василева, Обем: 853 стр. Издател: Българска Академия на Науките, Година: 1992.
  6. ^ Sources of Bulgarian Ethnography. Volume 3. Ethnography of Macedonia. Materials from the Archive Heritage. Sofia, 1998 Publication: Ethnologia Bulgarica. Yearbook of Bulgarian Ethnology and Folklore (2/2001) Author Name: Nikolova, Vanya; Language: English, Subject: Anthropology, Issue: 2/2001,Page Range: 143-144
  7. ^ Groups of Bulgarian population and ethnographic groups, Publication: Bulgarian Ethnology (3/1987ч Author: Simeonova, Gatya; Language: Bulgarian, Subject: Anthropology, Issue: 3/1987, Page Range: 55-63
  8. ^ Who are the Macedonians? Hugh Poulton, C. Hurst & Co. Publishers, 2000, ISBN 1-85065-534-0, p. 19-20.
  9. ^ Средновековни градови и тврдини во Македонија, Иван Микулчиќ, Македонска академија на науките и уметностите – Скопје, 1996, стр. 72.
  10. ^ Formation of the Bulgarian Nation, Academician Dimitŭr Simeonov Angelov, Summary, Sofia-Press, 1978, pp. 413–415.
  11. ^ Center for Documentation and Information on Minorities in Europe, Southeast Europe (CEDIME-SE) – "Macedonians of Bulgaria", p. 14.
  12. ^ Bulgarians (described in encyclopaedia as "Slavs, the bulk of which is regarded by almost all independent sources as Bulgarians"): 1,150,000, whereof, 1,000,000 Orthodox and 150,000 Muslims (the so-called Pomaks); Turks: c. 500,000 (Muslims); Greeks: c. 250,000, whereof c. 240,000 Orthodox and 14,000 Muslims; Albanians: c. 120,000, whereof 10,000 Orthodox and 110,000 Muslims; Vlachs: c. 90,000 Orthodox and 3,000 Muslims; Jews: c. 75,000; Roma: c. 50,000, whereof 35,000 Orthodox and 15,000 Muslims; In total 1,300,000 Christians (almost exclusively Orthodox), 800,000 Muslims, 75,000 Jews, a total population of c. 2,200,000 for the whole of Macedonia.
  13. ^ Journal of Modern Greek Studies 14.2 (1996) 253-301 Nationalism and Identity Politics in the Balkans: Greece and the Macedonian Question by Victor Roudometof.
  14. ^ We, the People: Politics of National Peculiarity in Southeastern Europe, Diana Mishkova, Central European University Press, 2008, ISBN 963-9776-28-9, p. 108.
  15. ^ Nationality on the Balkans. The case of the Macedonians, by F. A. K. Yasamee. (Balkans: A Mirror of the New World Order, Istanbul: EREN, 1995; pp. 121-132.
  16. ^ The struggle for Greece, 1941-1949, Christopher Montague Woodhouse, C. Hurst & Co. Publishers, 2002, ISBN 1-85065-492-1, p. 67.
  17. ^ Who are the Macedonians? Hugh Poulton,Hurst & Co. Publishers, 1995, ISBN 1-85065-238-4, ISBN 978-1-85065-238-0, pp. 101; p. 109.
  18. ^ a b Europe since 1945. Encyclopedia by Bernard Anthony Cook. ISBN 0-8153-4058-3, pg. 808.[1]
  19. ^ Loring M. Danforth, The Macedonian Conflict: Ethnic Nationalism in a Transnational World, 1995, Princeton University Press, p.65 , ISBN 0-691-04356-6
  20. ^ Stephen Palmer, Robert King, Yugoslav Communism and the Macedonian question,Hamden, CT Archon Books, 1971, p.p.199-200
  21. ^ The Macedonian Question: Britain and the Southern Balkans 1939-1949, Dimitris Livanios, edition: Oxford University Press, US, 2008, ISBN 0-19-923768-9, p. 65.
  22. ^ The Macedonian Conflict: Ethnic Nationalism in a Transnational World, Page 87 by Loring M. Danforth.
  23. ^ Mirjana Maleska. Editor-in-chief. With the of eyes the others - about Macedonian-Bulgarian relations and the Macedonian national identity. New Balkan Politics - Journal of Politics. Issue 6.
  24. ^ a b c Djokić, Dejan (2003). Yugoslavism: Histories of a Failed Idea, 1918-1992. C. Hurst & Co. Publishers. p. 122.  
  25. ^ a b Phillips, John (2004). Macedonia: Warlords and Rebels in the Balkans. I.B.Tauris. p. 40.  
  26. ^ V, Joseph. The Communist Party of Bulgaria; Origins and Development, 1883-1936. Columbia University Press. pp. p. 126.
  27. ^ Coenen-Huther, Jacques (1996). Bulgaria at the Crossroads. Nova Publishers. p.166. ISBN 1-56072-305-X.
  28. ^ Greece and the new Balkans: challenges and opportunities, Van Coufoudakis, Harry J. Psomiades, André Gerolymatos, Pella Pub. Co., 1999, ISBN 0-918618-72-X, p. 361.
  29. ^ Ethnic Bulgarians in Mala Prespa and Golo Brdo, Mangalakova Tanya, 2004, International Centre for Minority Studies and Intercultural Relations (IMIR), language English
  30. ^ Yugoslavism: histories of a failed idea, 1918-1992, Dejan Djokić, C. Hurst & Co. Publishers, 2003, ISBN 1-85065-663-0, p. 122.
  31. ^ Проф. д-р на ист.н. Георги Димитров Даскалов, "Българите в Егейска Македония - мит или реалност", Историко- демографско изследване (1900-1990 г.). С., Македонски научен институт, София, 1996 г. Professor Georgi Daskalov, The Bulgarians in Aegean Macedonia - myth or reality; Historical-Demographic research (1900-1990 г.), С. Macedonian Scientific Institute, Sofia, 1996, ISBN 954-8187-27-2.
  32. ^ Bulgarian citizenship: the latest numbers
  33. ^ Most people granted Bulgarian citizenship in 2012 come from Macedonia, 23 January 2013, FOCUS News Agency.
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