We rarely think about how soon education in our native language dates back in time. For centuries the Bulgarian language has not been taught in Bulgarian and in the native Bulgarian language. If at all Bulgarian children were sent somewhere to study reading and writing, their teachers taught them mostly in Greek. What can be the consequences of this education among intelligent and ambitious young Bulgarians?

To give two comparatively well-known examples: Eugenios Voulgaris and Nicola Piccolo. The first is one of the most remarkable figures in Balkan history from the eighteenth century. He is a prominent figure, however, not of the Bulgarian but of the Greek Revival. From 1775 to 1778, during the reign of Empress Catherine the Great, she performed the service of the Archbishop of Slavonia and Kherson in Poltava under the name of Evgeny Bulgarsky or Bulgar.

The second example, which can also be called Bulgarsky or Bulgar, Nikola Pikolo, was born in Veliko Tarnovo in the family of the trader Hadji Sava Iliya in 1792. He studied in Veliko Tarnovo and then in Bucharest. She translates to Sophocles' Greek Philoctetes, which became the first Greek drama to be played on a Greek stage in modern times. Writes the tragedy "Death of Demosthenes" (1818), which was presented with great success at the Greek Theater in Odessa. In 1839, the seal in Greek was the verse collection "Parogorima" ("Comforts"). Nicolo Picolo's literary heritage remains completely isolated from Bulgarian reality, and fits perfectly into the Greek cultural and political environment. Ivan Radev writes:

"Even if we do not comment on the aesthetic and scenic qualities of the dramas created by N. Piccolo, a perfectly sufficient argument for directing our attention to them is their appearance. If created in Bulgarian or translated in time, they change the picture of the dramatic genre during the Renaissance (of Bulgaria), linking its initial steps not to the 50-60s, but to the 20 years of the 19 century. "

Although born in a Bulgarian family in Turnovo, Dr. Nikola Savov Picolo is a prominent figure in Greek and not Bulgarian Revival, and writes Greek dramas in Greek. Michael Tchaikovsky informs Adam Chartoriski that "Piccolo, despite his good wishes and even qualities, should not be trusted. It has more Greek traits than Slavic ones. Evgenios Voulgaris and Nicola Pikolo are indicative examples of how education, in certain cases and in certain personalities, can dominate its origins and ultimately model national identity. There is no way to think of Paisius when he writes meekly, without pathos and without being blamed:

"But some do not like to know their Bulgarian family, but turn to foreign culture and foreign language and do not care for their Bulgarian language, but learn to read and speak Greek and are ashamed to call themselves Bulgarians."

It is not a question of blaming certain people for the personal choices they have made in their lives, whether in the name of career advancement, to better fit in certain environments, or for some other reason. In this sense, the story of, say, Mehmed Pasha Sokolovic (Sokolu Mehmed Pasha), which is embedded in the plot of Ivo Andric's The Bridge of Drina, is instructive. For this novel, the writer receives the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1961.
Mehmed Pasha Sokolovic is a janissary born Baica (Boyko) Nenadic in Herzegovina, recruited into the janissary corps at the age of 13. During his career growth in the state structures of the Ottoman Empire, rising to the highest step - the post of Grand Vizier, Mehmed Pasha never forgets his origins. Thanks mainly to his insistence (and to the other two Serbian janissaries in the Ottoman government at the time, Rustem Pasha and Ali Pasha Semiz), the autocephalous Serbian Pec Patriarchate, which existed during the reign of Tsar Stefan Dusan (Dusan's Patriarchate), was restored in 1557. . Mehmed Pasha placed his cousin Makarie Sokolovic on the patriarchal throne, and while he was Grand Vizier, the post of Commander-in-Chief of the Ottoman Navy (Kapudan Pasha) was taken over by another janissary of Serbian descent, Piali Mehmed Pasha. According to folklore, Mehmed Pasha Sokolovich built a church in the village of Poblache, on the site of his mother's grave.

The Bulgarian folklore is famous for its historical song about enicharina and its slave blond Dragan. Here's the conversation between the two songs:

"- Mori Dragano, my slave!
What else do I ask, right to say!
Do you have a brother, do you have a sister,
do you have a father, do you have a mother?
And Dragan said in his voice,
- I have a father, I have a mother,
I have a brother, I have a sister.
- Where is your brother? And is he enslaved?
His dragan replies sadly:
- When did they come to Wallachia,
Turks killed young Bulgarians;
and my brother was in this army;
and now thirty years,
what a brother i have not seen!
- Mori Dragano, my slave,
if you see him, do you know him?
- I see him, I know him
on the caged head, on the large breasts.
And Dragan's enicharin asks:
"What's up with your brother's head?"
- My brother has a sign from him,
that he was killed by a fierce army.
And Dragan's enicharin asks:
"What's your big breast brother?"
- My brother has a breast sign,
with an arrow wounded in a fierce army.
Pa opened your chest Janisser,
white breasts, curly hair,
and to Dragan he was sad to say:
- Get up, sister, let's go home,
let's go home, mom let's see! "

The acceptance of an alien identity often has different dimensions in history. If we return to the topic of Bulgarian education in modern times, it should be borne in mind that it was not until the nineteenth-nineteenth century that Bulgarian children were granted the right to choose to speak the spoken vernacular simply because before this was not taught in such a language in schools.

Now let us turn our attention to the personalities of the brothers Dimitar and Konstantin Miladinovi - people who have helped tremendously with their cause for the existence of Bulgarian education and the science of spoken language. They are both graduates of Greek schools, but their mentality is very different from that of the persons already mentioned. The two brothers do not live long in the alien, with alien identity, but sacrifice and die for their own and their native.

Dimitar Miladinov was born around 1810, and Constantine - about 1830. Although his father is a potter from the town of Struga, he does not deprive his children of his education. Dimitar studied at the Ohrid Greek School, then at the famous Ionian Greek High School. Growing up in an entirely Greek-speaking environment, he is not allowed to be assimilated into it. As Boyan Penev concludes:

"While some of the students succumbed to Greek influence and were taught to despise their nationality, the more alert and gifted Bulgarian youths were influenced by the patriotism of their Greek classmates."

After graduating from the Ioannina High School, D. Miladinov was briefly a teacher at the Ohrid Greek School, then in the village of Magarovo, in Bitola and in Struga. With his big brother, Dimitar is a student and the younger Konstantin. And Constantine follows in his brother's footsteps. He studied at Ioannina, after which he entered the Faculty of History and Philology of the University of Athens. After graduation, he returned to his native land to be a teacher. Over time, gaining more serious observations on the development of education in his native Macedonia, D. Miladinov came to the following conclusions, shared with Al. Exarch:

"Six-eighths of almost Macedonia, which is inhabited by monolingual Bulgarians, all learn Hellenic script and are called Greeks by the Greeks. (…) The torrent of the Hellenic language will become unstoppable for the local places if strong measures are not taken. "

In 1856, Dimitar Miladinov was forced to leave the teaching post at Struga. The following is a year spent among the Serb population in Bosnia and Austria. In Novi Sad, it is likely that D. Miladinov had met with GS Rakovski, who was there at the same time. Anyway D. Miladinov returns to Macedonia with even more patriotic feelings.
From 1857 he dated his letter to the Bulgarians in Struga:

"What nonsense and insolence - a Bulgarian to recommend for the Greek! Let us not pay attention to such people who deny their people, let us first adopt the Slavic idea and then see what other nations have done. "

Following is an invitation from the residents of the town of Kukush to D. Miladinov, to assist in the opening of a Bulgarian school in the city. Dimitar Miladinov replied to the request with a letter of resentment:

"I jump for joy when I see your love and desire for our mother tongue. (…) The Phanariots would curse us, they would say that the Bulgarian word is contrary to God - as we said before. Those times are over. The rays of the sun penetrated the dungeon… You were the first in Eastern Macedonia to study the language of our ancestors, you were the first to immortalize your homeland in Slavic history. ”

In November 1857, D. Miladinov started working in Kukush, introducing the Bulgarian language for both local schools. He manages to get Bulgarian books commissioned by Veles and Constantinople and other teachers in the city. In the next 3 years he helped in the development of the Bulgarian schooling in Ohrid and Struga. In a note to the "Tsaregradsky Gazette" of 1860, he commented on the results of his tireless work: "And here only Bulgarian read and write, and in Greek - no."

Rayko Jinzifov shares in his memories the impressions of D. Miladinov's students:

"It was fun to watch the children, who need to learn to read Greek fluently for a whole year, now learn to read freely and understand the stories of Bulgarian history in just 2-3 months. (…) The love for the native language intensified to such an extent that after the end of school hours married people, 20-25 years old, attended school every day and zealously studied Church Slavonic and Bulgarian. Even the elderly learned to read to each other in their shops. The priests followed the example of the young people.

With his work of Bulgarian enlightener Dimitar Miladinov draws quite a few enemies from the Greek circles. After his slander, on February 16, on February 1861, he was detained by a comma in his house and taken to Ohrid, then to Bitola. Kuzman Shapkarev remembers parting with the famous teacher:

"When we were accompanying him from afar like the apostles of Christ to a manifest doom, he was quite calmly pointing his hand at us, saying, 'What made you so scared, children? A handful of blood is a human life; how scared will i be? I am going to true death, but the Bulgarian people will not die with me; he will remain alive and one day rise again; then I will appreciate my blood too! I have sown the seed, and you shall be alive to reap its fruit. "

Konstantin's younger brother, until 1860, for 3 years, studied at Moscow University, where he was preparing for research. In 1861, he managed to find a publisher for the joint Bulgarian Folk Songs with his brother Dimitar. The folk songs in question, which the two brothers collected among the Bulgarian population during their teaching, are 660 in number. They originate mainly from the region of Struga, Kukush, Prilep and Panagyurishte. For the time being, they are the most comprehensive study on Bulgarian folk art.
Constantine is in Zagreb, where he was finishing his work on printing a collection of folk songs when he learned the news of his brother's detention. Alarmed, he goes looking for him, but is also detained without being given the opportunity to meet Dimitar, whom they have not seen for many years. While investigating their criminal case, both brothers died, probably poisoned by their enemies.

The Bulgarian people create a legend for both brothers. According to her, the two were released from prison, but seeing each other after a long separation, in a burst of joy from their great brotherly affection, they embraced and died so hugged. As B. Penev notes: “this people may not have fully understood their idealism, their self-sacrifice for a higher ideal, but he felt this, and only through the images of his poetry did he express his naive and immediate idealism and his love for them. "

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