K. Misirkov- Macedonian, Macedonian culture

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Our confidence, not only in the preservation of our nation but also in the ultimate triumph of the ideal of all Macedonians to achieve independence, is founded as we mentioned earlier not so much on the weakness of our enemy, or on aid from abroad, as on the knowledge of our people and of their past.

Some, however, may ask whether there really exists a Macedonian national culture and a Macedonian history which could be compared to that of the Serbs (read in here "and Bulgarians" - B.K.) and which would serve as foundation for the Macedonian an ideal of an independent Macedonia? Fortunately, we are able to give a positive answer to this: Macedonian national culture and history, being different from those of Serbia and Bulgaria, exist primarily because they have not been submitted to systematic and unbiased study. Both the Serbs and the Bulgarians, with great partiality and self-interest, chose to take from Macedonian culture and history only those aspects which attested to glory of the Serbian or Bulgarian national name, and simply ignored the questions of crucial importance either because they did not concern them or because they ran counter to the national ideals of the Serbian or Bulgarian historical researchers and their fellows.

I said that this was fortunate for Macedonian national culture and history because the Macedonian people were thus armed with an invincible weapon in their battle for human rights land a free national life on an equal footing with the other cultured nations.

Unfortunately, the independent study of Macedonian culture and history was begun only a short while ago by the Macedonians themselves, who, at the end of the last century began to lose faith in the scholars of Belgrade and Sofia with their more or less unanimous contention that the Slavs, during the Middle Ages, were a disorganized and unenlightened people who were spared from Hellenization thanks only to the state which had been first founded by the Turanian Bulgarians and later included in the Serbian state of Nemanjich.

But such assertions were equally erroneous in Belgrade and in Sofia, being backed as they were by the authority of Jagich and Marin Drinov.

We Macedonians have found this to be an error which resulted in a misconception on the part of both the Bulgarians and the Serbs, not only of the history of Macedonia and the Macedonians during the Middle Ages, but also of the history of the Serbs and Bulgarians.

We are able to show that the case was quite the contrary, that it was in fact the Macedonians who were the most active of all the South Slavs, more so even than the Turanian Bulgarians, throughout the entire Middle Ages right up to the conquest of the Balkan Peninsula by the Turks; we can also show that it was the Macedonians who waged the longest and hardest battle for their spiritual and political emancipation during the nineteenth century and the first quarter of the twentieth century.

Our failures, both in the Middle Ages and in more recent times, were the result of circumstances, which had nothing in common with the national awareness, and alleged lack of organization of the Macedonians.

The age long struggle of the Macedonians for cultural advance and national preservation, beginning 400-500 years before the emergence of the Serbian state of Nemanjich and continuing through the rise and decline of this state, taken together with the epic struggles for religious and political freedom, has gone to the making of Macedonia's national culture and of our national history.

K. Misirkov- Macedonian, Macedonian culture, “Mir”, XXX, 7155, 19.IV.1924, 1.