Linguistically, the South Slavic languages from which Macedonian developed are thought to have expanded in the region during the post-Roman period, although the exact mechanisms of this linguistic expansion remains a matter of scholarly discussion. Traditional historiography has equated these changes with the commencement of raids and 'invasions' of Sclaveni and Antes from Wallachia and western Ukraine during the 6th and 7th centuries. However, recent anthropological and archaeological perspectives have viewed the appearance of Slavs in Macedonia, and throughout the Balkans in general, as part of a broad and complex process of transformation of the cultural, political and ethno-linguistic Balkan landscape before the collapse of Roman authority. The exact details and chronology of population shifts remain to be determined. What is beyond dispute is that, in contrast to "barbarian" Bulgaria, northern Macedonia remained Roman in its cultural outlook into the 7th century. Yet at the same time, sources attest numerous Slavic tribes in the environs of Thessaloniki and further afield, including the Berziti in Pelagonia. Apart from Slavs and late Byzantines, Kuver's "Bulgars" – a mix of Byzantine Greeks, Bulgars and Pannonian Avars – settled the "Keramissian plain" (Pelagonia) around Bitola in the late 7th century.[b] Later pockets of settlers included "Danubian" Bulgars in the 9th century; Magyars (Vardariotai) and Armenians in the 10th–12th centuries,Cumans and Pechenegs in the 11th–13th centuries, and Saxon miners in the 14th and 15th centuries.
Having previously been Byzantine clients, the Sklaviniae of Macedonia probably switched their allegiance to Bulgaria during the reign of Empress Irene,[why?] and was gradually incorporated into the Bulgarian Empire before the mid-9th century. Subsequently, the literary and ecclesiastical centre in Ohrid became a second cultural capital of medieval Bulgaria. On the other hand, developments of Slavic Orthodox Culture occurred in Byzantine Thessaloniki.
Georgi Pulevski is the first known person, who in 1875 put forward the idea on the existence of a separate (Slavic) Macedonian language and ethnicity.
After the final Ottoman conquest of the Balkans by the Ottomans in the 14/15th century, all Eastern Orthodox Christians were included in a specific ethno-religious community under Graeco-Byzantine jurisdiction called Rum Millet. The belonging to this religious commonwealth was so important that most of the common people began to identify themselves as Christians. However ethnonyms never disappeared and some form of primary ethnic identity was available. This is confirmed from a Sultan's Firman from 1680 which describes the ethnic groups in the Balkan territories of the Empire as follows: Greeks, Albanians, Serbs, Vlachs and Bulgarians. The rise of nationalism under the Ottoman Empire in the early 19th century brought opposition to this continued situation. At that time the classical Rum Millet began to degrade. The coordinated actions, carried out by Bulgarian national leaders supported by the majority of the Slavic-speaking population in today Republic of North Macedonia in order to be recognized as a separate ethnic entity, constituted the so-called "Bulgarian Millet", recognized in 1870. At the time of its creation, people living in Vardar Macedonia, were not in the Exarchate. However, as a result of plebiscites held between 1872 and 1875, the Slavic districts in the area voted overwhelmingly (over 2/3) to go over to the new national Church. Referring to the results of the plebiscites, and on the basis of statistical and ethnological indications, the 1876 Conference of Constantinople included most of Macedonia into the Bulgarian ethnic territory. The borders of new Bulgarian state, drawn by the 1878 Treaty of San Stefano, also included Macedonia, but the treaty was never put into effect and the Treaty of Berlin (1878) "returned" Macedonia to the Ottoman Empire.
Y-DNA studies suggest that Macedonians along with neighboring South Slavs are distinct from other Slavic-speaking populations in Europe and near half of their Y-chromosome DNA haplogroups are likely to be inherited from inhabitants of the Balkans that predated sixth-century Slavic migrations. A diverse set of Y-DNA haplogroups are found in Macedonians at significant levels, including I2a1b, E-V13, J2a, R1a1, R1b, G2a, encoding a complex pattern of demographic processes. Similar distributions of the same haplogroups are found in neighboring populations. I2a1b and R1a1 are typically found in Slavic-speaking populations across Europe while haplogroups such as E-V13 and J2 occur at high frequencies in neighboring non-Slavic populations. On the other hand R1b is the most frequently occurring haplogroup in Western Europe and G2a is most frequently found in Caucasus and the adjacent areas. According to a DNA data for 17 Y-chromosomal STR loci in Macedonians, in comparison to other South Slavs and Kosovo Albanians, the Macedonian population had the lowest genetic (Y-STR) distance against the Bulgarian population while having the largest distance against the Croatian population. However, the observed populations did not have significant differentiation in Y-STR population structure, except partially for Kosovo Albanians. Genetic similarity, irrespective of language and ethnicity, has a strong correspondence to geographic proximity in European populations.
In regard to population genetics, not all regions of Southeastern Europe had the same ratio of native Byzantine and invading Slavic population, with the territory of the Eastern Balkans (Macedonia, Thrace and Moesia) having a significant percentage of locals compared to Slavs. Considering that the majority of Balkan Slavs came via the Eastern Carpathian route, lower percentage in the east does not imply that the number of the Slavs there was lesser than among the Western South Slavs. Most probably on the territory of Western South Slavs was a state of desolation which produced there a founder effect. The region of Macedonia suffered less disruption than frontier provinces closer to the Danube, with towns and forts close to Ohrid, Bitola and along the Via Egnatia. Re-settlements and the cultural links of the Byzantine Era further shaped the demographic processes which the Macedonian ancestry is linked to. Nevertheless, even present-day Peloponnesian Greeks carry a small, but significant amount of Slavic ancestry; the admixture ranged from 0.2% to 14.4%.
Krste Misirkov is the first person who in 1903 attempted to codify a standard Macedonian language and appealed for eventual recognition of a separate Macedonian nation when the necessary historical circumstances would arise.
The large majority of Macedonians identify as Eastern Orthodox Christians, who speak a South Slavic language, and share a cultural and historical "Orthodox Byzantine–Slavic heritage" with their neighbours. The concept of a "Macedonian" ethnicity, distinct from their Orthodox Balkan neighbours, is seen to be a comparatively newly emergent one.[d] The earliest manifestations of incipient Macedonian identity emerged during the second half of the 19th century among limited circles of Slavic-speaking intellectuals, predominantly outside the region of Macedonia. They arose after the First World War and especially during 1930s, and thus were consolidated by Communist Yugoslavia's governmental policy after the Second World War.[e]
Throughout the Middle Ages and Ottoman rule up until the early 20th century the Slavic-speaking population majority in the region of Macedonia were more commonly referred to (both by themselves and outsiders) as Bulgarians. However, in pre-nationalist times, terms such as "Bulgarian" did not possess a strict ethno-nationalistic meaning, rather, they were loose, often interchangeable terms which could simultaneously denote regional habitation, allegiance to a particular empire, religious orientation, membership in certain social groups.[f] Similarly, a "Byzantine" was a Roman subject of Constantinople, and the term bore no strict ethnic connotations, Greek or otherwise. Overall, in the Middle Ages, "a person's origin was distinctly regional", and in Ottoman era, before the 19th-century rise of nationalism, it was based on the corresponding confessional community. After the rise of nationalism, most of the Slavic-speaking population in the area, joined the Bulgarian community, through voting in its favor on plebiscites held during the 1870s, by a qualified majority (over two-thirds).
The first expressions of Macedonian nationalism occurred in the second half of the 19th century mainly among intellectuals in Belgrade, Sofia, Thessaloniki and St. Petersburg. Since the 1850s some Slavic intellectuals from the area adopted the Greek designation Macedonian as a regional label, and it began to gain popularity. In the 1860s, according to Petko Slaveykov, some young intellectuals from Macedonia were claiming that they are not Bulgarians, but rather Macedonians, descendants of the Ancient Macedonians. Slaveikov, himself with Macedonian roots, started in 1866 the publication of the newspaper Makedoniya. Its main task was "to educate these misguided [sic] Grecomans there", who he called also Macedonists. In a letter written to the Bulgarian Exarch in February 1874 Petko Slaveykov reports that discontent with the current situation “has given birth among local patriots to the disastrous idea of working independently on the advancement of their own local dialect and what’s more, of their own, separate Macedonian church leadership.” The activities of these people were also registered by the Serbian politician Stojan Novaković, who became the first to decide to use the Macedonian nationalism as an ideology, in order to oppose the strong pro-Bulgarian sentiments in the area. The nascent Macedonian nationalism, illegal at home in the theocratic Ottoman Empire, and illegitimate internationally, waged a precarious struggle for survival against overwhelming odds: in appearance against the Ottoman Empire, but in fact against the three expansionist Balkan states and their respective patrons among the great powers.
The first known author that overtly speaks of a Macedonian nationality and language was Georgi Pulevski, who in 1875 published in Belgrade a Dictionary of Three languages: Macedonian, Albanian, Turkish, in which he wrote that the Macedonians are a separate nation and the place which is theirs is called Macedonia. In 1880, he published in Sofia a Grammar of the language of the Slavic Macedonian population, a work that is today known as the first attempt at a grammar of Macedonian. However, per some authors, his Macedonian self-identification was inchoate and resembled a regional phenomenon. In 1885 Theodosius of Skopje, a priest who have hold a high-ranking positions within the Bulgarian Exarchate was chosen as a bishop of the episcopacy of Skopje. In 1890 he renounced de facto the Bulgarian Exarchate and attempted to restore the Archbishopric of Ohrid as a separate Macedonian Orthodox Church in all eparchies of Macedonia, responsible for the spiritual, cultural and educational life of all Macedonian Orthodox Christians. During this time period Metropolitan Bishop Theodosius of Skopje made a plea to the Greek Patriarchate of Constantinople to allow a separate Macedonian church, and ultimately on 4 December 1891 he sent a letter to the Pope Leo XIII to ask for a recognition and a protection from the Roman Catholic Church, but failed. Soon after, he repented and returned to pro-Bulgarian positions.
In 1903 Krste Petkov Misirkov published in Sofia his book On Macedonian Matters in which he laid down the principles of the modern Macedonian nationhood and language. This book written in the standardized central dialect of Macedonia is considered by ethnic Macedonians as a milestone of the process of Macedonian awakening. Misirkov argued that the dialect of central Macedonia (Veles-Prilep-Bitola-Ohrid) should be taken as a standard Macedonian literary language, in which Macedonians should write, study, and worship; the autocephalous Archbishopric of Ohrid should be restored; and the Slavic people of Macedonia should be identified in their Ottoman identity cards (nofuz) as "Macedonians". The next figure of the Macedonian awakening was Dimitrija Čupovski, one of the founders of the Macedonian Literary Society, established in Saint Petersburg in 1902. In the period 1913–1918, Čupovski published the newspaper Македонскi Голосъ (Macedonian Voice) in which he and fellow members of the Petersburg Macedonian Colony propagated the existence of a Macedonian people separate from the Greeks, Bulgarians and Serbs, and sought to popularize the idea for an independent Macedonian state. After the Balkan Wars (1912–1913) and the World War I (1914–1918), following division of the region of Macedonia amongst the Kingdom of Greece, the Kingdom of Bulgaria and the Kingdom of Serbia, the idea of belonging to a separate Macedonian nation was further spread among the Slavic-speaking population. The suffering during the wars, the endless struggle of the Balkan monarchies for dominance over the population increased the Macedonians' sentiment that the institutionalization of an independent Macedonian nation would put an end to their suffering. On the question of whether they were Serbs or Bulgarians, the people more often started answering: "Neither Bulgar, nor Serb... I am Macedonian only, and I'm sick of war."
The consolidation of an international Communist organization (the Comintern) in the 1920s led to some failed attempts by the Communists to use the Macedonian Question as a political weapon. In the 1920 Yugoslav parliamentary elections, 25% of the total Communist vote came from Macedonia, but participation was low (only 55%), mainly because the pro-Bulgarian IMRO organised a boycott against the elections. In the following years, the communists attempted to enlist the pro-IMRO sympathies of the population in their cause. In the context of this attempt, in 1924 the Comintern organized the filed signing of the so-called May Manifesto, in which independence of partitioned Macedonia was required. In 1925 with the help of the Comintern, the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (United) was created, composed of former left-wing Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (IMRO) members. This organization promoted in the early 1930s the existence of a separate ethnic Macedonian nation. This idea was internationalized and backed by the Comintern which issued in 1934 a resolution supporting the development of the entity. This action was attacked by the IMRO, but was supported by the Balkan communists. The Balkan communist parties supported the national consolidation of the ethnic Macedonian people and created Macedonian sections within the parties, headed by prominent IMRO (United) members. The sense of belonging to a separate Macedonian nation gained credence during World War II when ethnic Macedonian communist partisan detachments were formed. In 1943 the Communist Party of Macedonia was established and the resistance movement grew up. After the World War II ethnic Macedonian institutions were created in the three parts of the region of Macedonia, then under communist control, including the establishment of the People's Republic of Macedonia within the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRJ).
The available data indicates that despite the policy of assimilation, pro-Bulgarian sentiments among the Macedonian Slavs in Yugoslavia were still sizable during the interwar period. However, if the Yugoslavs would recognize the Slavic inhabitants of Vardar Macedonia as Bulgarians, it would mean that the area should be part of Bulgaria. Practically in post-World War II Macedonia, the Kingdom of Yugoslavia's state policy of forced Serbianisation was changed with a new one — of Macedonization. The codification of Macedonian and the recognition of the Macedonian nation had the main goal: finally to ban any Bulgarophilia among the Macedonians and to build a new consciousness, based on identification with Yugoslavia. As result Yugoslavia introduced again an abrupt de-Bulgarization of the people in the PR Macedonia, such as it already had conducted in the Vardar Banovina during the Interwar period. Around 100,000 pro-Bulgarian elements were imprisoned for violations of the special Law for the Protection of Macedonian National Honour, and over 1,200 were allegedly killed. In this way generations of students grew up educated in strong anti-Bulgarian sentiment which during the times of Communist Yugoslavia, increased to the level of state policy. Its main agenda was a result from the need to distinguish between the Bulgarians and the new Macedonian nation, because Macedonians could confirm themselves as a separate community with its own history, only through differentiating itself from Bulgaria. This policy has continued in the new Republic of Macedonia after 1990, although with less intensity. Thus, the Bulgarian part of the identity of the Slavic-speaking population in Vardar Macedonia has died out.[g]
Following the collapse of Yugoslavia, the issue of Macedonian identity emerged again. Nationalists and governments alike from neighbouring countries, especially Greece and Bulgaria, espouse the view that the Macedonian ethnicity is a modern, artificial creation. Such views have been seen by Macedonian historians to represent irredentist motives on Macedonian territory. Moreover, some historians point out that all modern nations are recent, politically motivated constructs based on creation "myths", that the creation of Macedonian identity is "no more or less artificial than any other identity", and that, contrary to the claims of Romantic nationalists, modern, territorially bound and mutually exclusive nation states have little in common with their preceding large territorial or dynastic medieval empires, and any connection between them is tenuous at best. In any event, irrespective of shifting political affiliations, the Macedonian Slavs shared in the fortunes of the Byzantine commonwealth and the Rum millet and they can claim them as their heritage. Loring Danforth states similarly, the ancient heritage of modern Balkan countries is not "the mutually exclusive property of one specific nation" but "the shared inheritance of all Balkan peoples".
A more radical and uncompromising strand of Macedonian nationalism has recently emerged called "ancient Macedonism", or "Antiquisation". Proponents of this view see modern Macedonians as direct descendants of the ancient Macedonians. This view faces criticism by academics as it is not supported by archaeology or other historical disciplines and also could marginalize the Macedonian identity. Surveys on the effects of the controversial nation-building project Skopje 2014 and on the perceptions of the population of Skopje revealed a high degree of uncertainty regarding the latter's national identity. A supplementary national poll showed that there was a great discrepancy between the population's sentiment and the narrative the state sought to promote.
Additionally, during the last two decades, tens of thousands of citizens of North Macedonia have applied for Bulgarian citizenship. In the period since 2002 some 97,000 acquired it, while ca. 53,000 applied and are still waiting. Bulgaria has a special ethnic dual-citizenship regime which makes a constitutional distinction between ethnic Bulgarians and Bulgarian citizens. In the case of the Macedonians, merely declaring their national identity as Bulgarian is enough to gain a citizenship. By making the procedure simpler, Bulgaria stimulates more Macedonian citizens (of Slavic origin) to apply for a Bulgarian citizenship. However, many Macedonians who apply for Bulgarian citizenship as Bulgarians by origin, have few ties with Bulgaria. Further, those applying for Bulgarian citizenship usually say they do so to gain access to member states of the European Union rather than to assert Bulgarian identity. This phenomenon is called placebo identity. Some Macedonians view the Bulgarian policy as part of a strategy to destabilize the Macedonian national identity. As a nation engaged in a dispute over its distinctiveness from Bulgarians, Macedonians have always perceived themselves as threatened by their neighbor. Bulgaria insists its neighbor admit the common historical roots of their languages and nations, a view Skopje continues to reject. As result, Bulgaria blocked the official start of EU accession talks with North Macedonia.
Despite sizable number of Macedonians that have acquired Bulgarian citizenship since 2002 (ca. 9.7% of the Slavic population), only 3,504 citizens of North Macedonia declared themselves as ethnic Bulgarians in the 2021 census (roughly 0.31% from the Slavic population). The Bulgarian side does not accept these results as completely objective, citing as an example the census has counted less than 20,000 people with Bulgarian citizenship in the country, while in fact they are over 100,000.
Although the local intellectuals initially rejected the Macedonian designation as Greek, since 1850s some of them, adopted it as a regional identity, and this name began to gain a popularity. Serbian politics then, also encouraged this kind of regionalism to neutralize the Bulgarian influx, thereby promoting Serbian interests there. The local educator Kuzman Shapkarev concluded that since 1870s this foreign ethnonym began to replace the traditional one Bulgarians. At the dawn of the 20th century the Bulgarian teacher Vasil Kanchov marked that the local Bulgarians and Koutsovlachs call themselves Macedonians, and the surrounding people also call them in the same way. During the interbellum Bulgaria also supported to some extent the Macedonian regional identity, especially in Yugoslavia. Its aim was to prevent the Serbianization of the local Slavic-speakers, because the very name Macedonia was prohibited in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. Ultimately the designation Macedonian, changed its status in 1944, and went from being predominantly a regional, ethnographic denomination, to a national one.
The vast majority of Macedonians live along the valley of the river Vardar, the central region of the Republic of North Macedonia. They form about 64.18% of the population of North Macedonia (1,297,981 people according to the 2002 census). Smaller numbers live in eastern Albania, northern Greece, and southern Serbia, mostly abutting the border areas of the Republic of North Macedonia. A large number of Macedonians have immigrated overseas to Australia, the United States, Canada, New Zealand and to many European countries: Germany, Italy, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and Austria among others.
The existence of an ethnic Macedonian minority in Greece is rejected by the Greek government. The number of people speaking Slavic dialects has been estimated at somewhere between 10,000 and 250,000.[h] Most of these people however do not have an ethnic Macedonian national consciousness, with most choosing to identify as ethnic Greeks or rejecting both ethnic designations and preferring terms such as "natives" instead. In 1999 the Greek Helsinki Monitor estimated that the number of people identifying as ethnic Macedonians numbered somewhere between 10,000 and 30,000, Macedonian sources generally claim the number of ethnic Macedonians living in Greece at somewhere between 200,000 and 350,000. The ethnic Macedonians in Greece have faced difficulties from the Greek government in their ability to self-declare as members of a "Macedonian minority" and to refer to their native language as "Macedonian".
Since the late 1980s there has been an ethnic Macedonian revival in Northern Greece, mostly centering on the region of Florina. Since then ethnic Macedonian organisations including the Rainbow political party have been established.Rainbow first opened its offices in Florina on 6 September 1995. The following day, the offices had been broken into and had been ransacked. Later Members of Rainbow had been charged for "causing and inciting mutual hatred among the citizens" because the party had bilingual signs written in both Greek and Macedonian. On 20 October 2005, the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) ordered the Greek government to pay penalties to the Rainbow Party for violations of 2 ECHR articles.Rainbow has seen limited success at a national level, its best result being achieved in the 1994 European elections, with a total of 7,263 votes. Since 2004 it has participated in European Parliament elections and local elections, but not in national elections. A few of its members have been elected in local administrative posts. Rainbow has recently re-established Nova Zora, a newspaper that was first published for a short period in the mid-1990s, with reportedly 20,000 copies being distributed free of charge.
Macedonians represent the second largest ethnic minority population in Albania. Albania recognises the existence of a Macedonian minority within the Mala Prespa region, most of which is comprised by Pustec Municipality. Macedonians have full minority rights within this region, including the right to education and the provision of other services in Macedonian. There also exist unrecognised Macedonian populations living in the Golo Brdo region, the "Dolno Pole" area near the town of Peshkopi, around Lake Ohrid and Korce as well as in Gora. 4,697 people declared themselves Macedonians in the 1989 census.
Bulgarians are considered most closely related to the neighboring Macedonians and it is sometimes claimed that there is no clear ethnic difference between them. As regards self-identification, a total of 1,654 people officially declared themselves to be ethnic Macedonians in the last Bulgarian census in 2011 (0,02%) and 561 of them are in Blagoevgrad Province (0,2%). 1,091 of them are Macedonian citizens, who are permanent residents in Bulgaria. Krassimir Kanev, chairman of the non-governmental organization Bulgarian Helsinki Committee, claimed 15,000–25,000 in 1998 (see here). In the same report Macedonian nationalists (Popov et al., 1989) claimed that 200,000 ethnic Macedonians live in Bulgaria. However, Bulgarian Helsinki Committee stated that the vast majority of the Slavic-speaking population in Pirin Macedonia has a Bulgarian national self-consciousness and a regional Macedonian identity similar to the Macedonian regional identity in Greek Macedonia. Finally, according to personal evaluation of a leading local ethnic Macedonian political activist, Stoyko Stoykov, the present number of Bulgarian citizens with ethnic Macedonian self-consciousness is between 5,000 and 10,000. In 2000, the Bulgarian Constitutional Court banned UMO Ilinden-Pirin, a small Macedonian political party, as a separatist organization. Subsequently, activists attempted to re-establish the party but could not gather the required number of signatures.
Macedonians in North Macedonia, according to the 2002 census
Macedonian diaspora in the world (includes people with Macedonian ancestry or citizenship).
Significant Macedonian communities can also be found in the traditional immigrant-receiving nations, as well as in Western European countries. Census data in many European countries (such as Italy and Germany) does not take into account the ethnicity of émigrés from the Republic of North Macedonia.
The official number of Macedonians in Australia by birthplace or birthplace of parents is 83,893 (2001). The main Macedonian communities are found in Melbourne, Geelong, Sydney, Wollongong, Newcastle, Canberra and Perth. The 2006 census recorded 83,983 people of Macedonian ancestry and the 2011 census recorded 93,570 people of Macedonian ancestry.
The Canadian census in 2001 records 37,705 individuals claimed wholly or partly Macedonian heritage in Canada, although community spokesmen have claimed that there are actually 100,000–150,000 Macedonians in Canada.
A significant Macedonian community can be found in the United States. The official number of Macedonians in the US is 49,455 (2004). The Macedonian community is located mainly in Michigan, New York, Ohio, Indiana and New Jersey
Macedonians began relocating to Slovenia in the 1950s when the two regions formed a part of a single country, Yugoslavia.
Other significant Macedonian communities can also be found in the other Western European countries such as Austria, France, Luxembourg, Netherlands, United Kingdom, and the whole European Union. Also in Uruguay, with a significant population in Montevideo.
The culture of the people is characterized with both traditionalist and modernist attributes. It is strongly bound with their native land and the surrounding in which they live. The rich cultural heritage of the Macedonians is accented in the folklore, the picturesque traditional folk costumes, decorations and ornaments in city and village homes, the architecture, the monasteries and churches, iconostasis, wood-carving and so on. The culture of Macedonians can roughly be explained as a Balkanic, closely related to that of Bulgarians and Serbs.
The typical Macedonian village house is influenced by Ottoman Architecture. Presented as a construction with two floors, with a hard facade composed of large stones and a wide balcony on the second floor. In villages with predominantly agricultural economy, the first floor was often used as a storage for the harvest, while in some villages the first floor was used as a cattle-pen.
The stereotype for a traditional Macedonian city house is a two-floor building with white façade, with a forward extended second floor, and black wooden elements around the windows and on the edges.
The history of film making in North Macedonia dates back over 110 years. The first film to be produced on the territory of the present-day the country was made in 1895 by Janaki and Milton Manaki in Bitola. In 1995 Before the Rain became the first Macedonian movie to be nominated for an Academy Award.
From 1993 to 1994, 1,596 performances were held in the newly formed republic, and more than 330,000 people attended. The Macedonian National Theater (drama, opera, and ballet companies), the Drama Theater, the Theater of the Nationalities (Albanian and Turkish drama companies) and the other theater companies comprise about 870 professional actors, singers, ballet dancers, directors, playwrights, set and costume designers, etc. There is also a professional theatre for children and three amateur theaters. For the last thirty years a traditional festival of Macedonian professional theaters has been taking place in Prilep in honor of Vojdan Černodrinski, the founder of the modern Macedonian theater. Each year a festival of amateur and experimental Macedonian theater companies is held in Kočani.
Macedonian music has many things in common with the music of neighboring Balkan countries, but maintains its own distinctive sound.
The founders of modern Macedonian painting included Lazar Licenovski, Nikola Martinoski, Dimitar Pandilov, and Vangel Kodzoman. They were succeeded by an exceptionally talented and fruitful generation, consisting of Borka Lazeski, Dimitar Kondovski, Petar Mazev who are now deceased, and Rodoljub Anastasov and many others who are still active. Others include: Vasko Taskovski and Vangel Naumovski. In addition to Dimo Todorovski, who is considered to be the founder of modern Macedonian sculpture, the works of Petar Hadzi Boskov, Boro Mitrikeski, Novak Dimitrovski and Tome Serafimovski are also outstanding.
In the past, the Macedonian population was predominantly involved with agriculture, with a very small portion of the people who were engaged in trade (mainly in the cities). But after the creation of the People's Republic of Macedonia which started a social transformation based on Socialist principles, a middle and heavy industry were started.
Most Macedonians are members of the Macedonian Orthodox Church. The official name of the church is Macedonian Orthodox Church – Ohrid Archbishopric and is the body of Christians who are united under the Archbishop of Ohrid and North Macedonia, exercising jurisdiction over Macedonian Orthodox Christians in the Republic of North Macedonia and in exarchates in the Macedonian diaspora.
Between the 15th and the 20th centuries, during Ottoman rule, a number of Orthodox Macedonian Slavs converted to Islam. Today in the Republic of North Macedonia, they are regarded as Macedonian Muslims, who constitute the second largest religious community of the country.
Macedonian cuisine is a representative of the cuisine of the Balkans—reflecting Mediterranean (Greek) and Middle Eastern (Turkish) influences, and to a lesser extent Italian, German and Eastern European (especially Hungarian) ones. The relatively warm climate in North Macedonia provides excellent growth conditions for a variety of vegetables, herbs and fruits. Thus, Macedonian cuisine is particularly diverse.
Shopska salad, a food from Bulgaria, is an appetizer and side dish which accompanies almost every meal. Macedonian cuisine is also noted for the diversity and quality of its dairy products, wines, and local alcoholic beverages, such as rakija. Tavče Gravče and mastika are considered the national dish and drink of North Macedonia, respectively.
Symbols used by members of the ethnic group include:
Lion: The lion first appears in the Fojnica Armorial from 17th century, where the coat of arms of Macedonia is included among those of other entities. On the coat of arms is a crown; inside a yellow crowned lion is depicted standing rampant, on a red background. On the bottom enclosed in a red and yellow border is written "Macedonia". The use of the lion to represent Macedonia was continued in foreign heraldic collections throughout the 17th and 18th centuries. Nevertheless, during the late 19th century the Internal Macedonian-Adrianople Revolutionary Organization arose, which modeled itself after the earlier Bulgarian revolutionary traditions and adopted their symbols as the lion, etc. Modern versions of the historical lion has also been added to the emblem of several political parties, organizations and sports clubs. However, this symbol is not totally accepted while the state coat of arms of Bulgaria is somewhat similar.
Flag of the Republic of Macedonia (1992–1995) depicting the Vergina Sun
Vergina Sun: (official flag, 1992–1995) The Vergina Sun is used unofficially by various associations and cultural groups in the Macedonian diaspora. The Vergina Sun is believed to have been associated with ancient Greek kings such as Alexander the Great and Philip II, although it was used as an ornamental design in ancient Greek art long before the Macedonian period. The symbol was depicted on a golden larnax found in a 4th-century BC royal tomb belonging to either Philip II or Philip III of Macedon in the Greek region of Macedonia. The Greeks regard the use of the symbol by North Macedonia as a misappropriation of a Hellenic symbol, unrelated to Slavic cultures, and a direct claim on the legacy of Philip II. However, archaeological items depicting the symbol have also been excavated in the territory of North Macedonia. Toni Deskoski, Macedonian professor of International Law, argues that the Vergina Sun is not a Macedonian symbol but it's a Greek symbol that is used by Macedonians in the nationalist context of Macedonism and that the Macedonians need to get rid of it. In 1995, Greece lodged a claim for trademark protection of the Vergina Sun as a state symbol under WIPO. In Greece the symbol against a blue field is used vastly in the area of Macedonia and it has official status.The Vergina sun on a red field was the first flag of the independent Republic of Macedonia, until it was removed from the state flag under an agreement reached between the Republic of Macedonia and Greece in September 1995. On 17 June 2018, Greece and the Republic of Macedonia signed the Prespa Agreement, which stipulates the removal of the Vergina Sun's public use across the latter's territory. In a session held on early July 2019, the government of North Macedonia announced the complete removal of the Vergina Sun from all public areas, institutions and monuments in the country, with the deadline for its removal being set to 12 August 2019, in line with the Prespa Agreement.
^ abcNasevski, Boško; Angelova, Dora. Gerovska, Dragica (1995). Македонски Иселенички Алманах '95. Skopje: Матица на Иселениците на Македонија. pp. 52–53.((cite book)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
^James Horncastle, The Macedonian Slavs in the Greek Civil War, 1944–1949; Rowman & Littlefield, 2019, ISBN1498585051, p. 130.
^Stern, Dieter and Christian Voss (eds). 2006. "Towards the peculiarities of language shift in Northern Greece". In: “Marginal Linguistic Identities: Studies in Slavic Contact and Borderland Varieties.” Eurolinguistische Arbeiten. Wiesbaden, Germany: Harrassowitz Verlag; ISBN9783447053549, pp. 87–101.
^A J Toynbee. Some Problems of Greek History, Pp 80; 99–103
^The Problem of the Discontinuity in Classical and Hellenistic Eastern Macedonia, Marjan Jovanonv. УДК 904:711.424(497.73)
^A Companion to Ancient Macedonia. Wiley -Blackwell, 2011. Map 2
^The Early Medieval Balkans: A Critical Survey from the Sixth to the Late Twelfth Century, John Van Antwerp Fine, University of Michigan Press, 1991, ISBN0472081497, p. 72.
^Во некрополата "Млака" пред тврдината во Дебреште, Прилеп, откопани се гробови со наоди од доцниот 7. и 8. век. Тие се делумно или целосно кремирани и не се ниту ромеjски, ниту словенски. Станува збор наjвероjатно, за Кутригурите. Ова протобугарско племе, под водство на Кубер, а како потчинето на аварскиот каган во Панониjа, околу 680 г. се одметнало од Аварите и тргнало кон Солун. Кубер ги повел со себе и Сермесиjаните, (околу 70.000 на број), во нивната стара татковина. Сермесиjаните биле Ромеи, жители на балканските провинции што Аварите ги заробиле еден век порано и ги населиле во Западна Панониjа, да работат за нив. На Кубер му била доверена управата врз нив. In English: In the necropolis 'Malaka' in the fortress of Debreshte, near Prilep, graves were dug with findings from the late 7th and early 8th century. They are partially or completely cremated and neither Roman nor Slavic. The graves are probably remains from the Kutrigurs. This Bulgar tribe was led by Kuber... Средновековни градови и тврдини во Македонија. Иван Микулчиќ (Скопје, Македонска цивилизација, 1996) стр. 32–33.
^"The" Other Europe in the Middle Ages: Avars, Bulgars, Khazars and Cumans, East Central and Eastern Europe in the Middle Ages, 450 – 1450, Florin Curta, Roman Kovalev, BRILL, 2008, ISBN9004163891, p. 460.
^W Pohl. The Avars (History) in Regna and Gentes. The Relationship Between Late Antique and Early Medieval Peoples and Kingdoms in the Transformation of the Roman World. pp. 581, 587
^They spread from the original heartland in north-east Bulgaria to the Drina in the west, and to Macedonia in the south-west.; На целиот тој простор, во маса метални производи (делови од воената опрема, облека и накит), меѓу стандардните форми користени од словенското население, одвреме-навреме се појавуваат специфични предмети врзани за бугарско болјарство како носители на новата државна управа. See: Средновековни градови и тврдини во Македонија. Иван Микулчиќ (Скопје, Македонска цивилизација, 1996) стр. 35; 364–365.
^Dejan Bulić, The Fortifications of the Late Antiquity and the Early Byzantine Period on the Later Territory of the South-Slavic Principalities, and Their Re-occupation in Tibor Živković et al., The World of the Slavs: Studies of the East, West and South Slavs: Civitas, Oppidas, Villas and Archeological Evidence (7th to 11th Centuries AD) with Srđan Rudić as ed. Istorijski institut, 2013, Belgrade; ISBN8677431047, pp. 186–187.
^Florin Curta. 'The Edinburgh History of the Greeks, C. 500 to 1050: The Early Middle Ages. pp. 259, 281
^Studies on the Internal Diaspora of the Byzantine Empire edited by Hélène Ahrweiler, Angeliki E. Laiou. p. 58. Many were apparently based in Bitola, Stumnitsa and Moglena
^Cumans and Tatars: Oriental Military in the Pre-Ottoman Balkans, 1185–1365. Istvan Varsary. p. 67
^J V A Fine. The Early Medieval Balkans. Pp 110–11
^Alexander Schenker. The Dawn of Slavic. pp. 188–190. Schenker argues that Ohrid was 'innovative' and 'native Slavic' whilst Preslav very much relied on Greek modelling.
^Per Curta, Preslav was the center from which the scriptorial innovation associated with the introduction of Cyrillic spread to other regions of Bulgaria. Florin Curta (2006) Southeastern Europe in the Middle Ages, 500–1250, Cambridge University Press, p. 221, ISBN9780521894524.
^Fine (1991, pp. 113, 196) Two brothers ... Constantine and Methodius were fluent in the dialect of Slavic in the environs of Thessaloniki. They devised an alphabet to convey Slavic phonetics.
^Petlichkovski A, Efinska-Mladenovska O, Trajkov D, Arsov T, Strezova A, Spiroski M (2004). "High-resolution typing of HLA-DRB1 locus in the Macedonian population". Tissue Antigens. 64 (4): 486–91. doi:10.1111/j.1399-0039.2004.00273.x. PMID15361127.
^Renata Jankova et al., Y-chromosome diversity of the three major ethno-linguistic groups in the Republic of North Macedonia; Forensic Science International: Genetics; Volume 42, September 2019, Pages 165–170.
^Florin Curta's An ironic smile: the Carpathian Mountains and the migration of the Slavs, Studia mediaevalia Europaea et orientalia. Miscellanea in honorem professoris emeriti Victor Spinei oblata, edited by George Bilavschi and Dan Aparaschivei, 47–72. Bucharest: Editura Academiei Române, 2018.
^A. Zupan et al. The paternal perspective of the Slovenian population and its relationship with other populations; Annals of Human Biology 40 (6) July 2013.
^Krste Misirkov, On the Macedonian Matters (Za Makedonckite Raboti), Sofia, 1903: "And, anyway, what sort of new Macedonian nation can this be when we and our fathers and grandfathers and great-grandfathers have always been called Bulgarians?"
^Sperling, James; Kay, Sean; Papacosma, S. Victor (2003). Limiting institutions?: the challenge of Eurasian security governance. Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press. p. 57. ISBN978-0-7190-6605-4. Macedonian nationalism Is a new phenomenon. In the early twentieth century, there was no separate Slavic Macedonian identity
^Titchener, Frances B.; Moorton, Richard F. (1999). The eye expanded: life and the arts in Greco-Roman antiquity. Berkeley: University of California Press. p. 259. ISBN978-0-520-21029-5. On the other hand, the Macedonians are a newly emergent people in search of a past to help legitimize their precarious present as they attempt to establish their singular identity in a Slavic world dominated historically by Serbs and Bulgarians. ... The twentieth-century development of a Macedonian ethnicity, and its recent evolution into independent statehood following the collapse of the Yugoslav state in 1991, has followed a rocky road. In order to survive the vicissitudes of Balkan history and politics, the Macedonians, who have had no history, need one.
^Kaufman, Stuart J. (2001). Modern hatreds: the symbolic politics of ethnic war. New York: Cornell University Press. p. 193. ISBN0-8014-8736-6. The key fact about Macedonian nationalism is that it is new: in the early twentieth century, Macedonian villagers defined their identity religiously—they were either "Bulgarian," "Serbian," or "Greek" depending on the affiliation of the village priest. ... According to the new Macedonian mythology, modern Macedonians are the direct descendants of Alexander the Great's subjects. They trace their cultural identity to the ninth-century Saints Cyril and Methodius, who converted the Slavs to Christianity and invented the first Slavic alphabet, and whose disciples maintained a centre of Christian learning in western Macedonia. A more modern national hero is Gotse Delchev, leader of the turn-of-the-century Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (IMRO), which was actually a largely pro-Bulgarian organization but is claimed as the founding Macedonian national movement.
^Rae, Heather (2002). State identities and the homogenisation of peoples. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 278. ISBN0-521-79708-X. Despite the recent development of Macedonian identity, as Loring Danforth notes, it is no more or less artificial than any other identity. It merely has a more recent ethnogenesis – one that can therefore more easily be traced through the recent historical record.
^Zielonka, Jan; Pravda, Alex (2001). Democratic consolidation in Eastern Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 422. ISBN978-0-19-924409-6. Unlike the Slovene and Croatian identities, which existed independently for a long period before the emergence of SFRY Macedonian identity and language were themselves a product federal Yugoslavia, and took shape only after 1944. Again unlike Slovenia and Croatia, the very existence of a separate Macedonian identity was questioned—albeit to a different degree—by both the governments and the public of all the neighboring nations (Greece being the most intransigent)
^When Ethnicity Did Not Matter in the Balkans. J V A Fine. pp. 3–5.
^Relexification Hypothesis in Rumanian. Paul Wexler. p. 170
^Cumans and Tartars: Oriental military in the pre-Ottoman Balkans. Istvan Vasary. p. 18
^Byzantium's Balkan Frontier. Paul Stephenson. p. 78–79
^The Edinburgh History of the Greeks; 500–1250: The Middle Ages. Florin Curta. 2013. p. 294 (echoing Anthony D Smith and Anthony Kaldellis) "no clear notion exists that the Greek nation survived into Byzantine times...the ethnic identity of those who lived in Greece during the Middle Ages is best described as Roman."
^Mats Roslund. Guests in the House: Cultural Transmission Between Slavs and Scandinavians; 2008. p. 79
^Loring M. Danforth, The Macedonian Conflict: Ethnic Nationalism in a Transnational World, 1995, Princeton University Press, p. 56, ISBN0-691-04356-6
^ abRoumen Daskalov, Tchavdar Marinov, Entangled Histories of the Balkans, Volume One: National Ideologies and Language Policies, BRILL, 2013, ISBN900425076X, pp. 283–285.
^The Macedonian Question an article from 1871 by Slaveykov published in the newspaper Macedonia in Carigrad he wrote: "We have many times heard from the Macedonists that they are not Bulgarians, but they are rather Macedonians, descendants of the Ancient Macedonians and we have always waited to hear some proofs of this, but we have never heard them."
^Соня Баева, Петко Славейков: живот и творчество, 1827–1870, Изд-во на Българската академия на науките, 1968, стр. 10.
^Речник на българската литература, том 2 Е-О. София, Издателство на Българската академия на науките, 1977. с. 324.
^Балканска питања и мање историјско-политичке белешке о Балканском полуострву 1886–1905. Стојан Новаковић, Београд, 1906.
^"Since the Bulgarian idea, as it is well-known, is deeply rooted in Macedonia, I think it is almost impossible to shake it completely by opposing it merely with the Serbian idea. This idea, we fear, would be incapable, as opposition pure and simple, of suppressing the Bulgarian idea. That is why the Serbian idea will need an ally that could stand in direct opposition to Bulgarianism and would contain in itself the elements which could attract the people and their feelings and thus sever them from Bulgarianism. This ally I see in Macedonism...." except from the report of S. Novakovic to the Minister of Education in Belgrade in Cultural and Public Relations of the Macedonians with Serbia in the XIXth c., Skopje, 1960, p. 178.
^History of the Balkans, Vol. 2: Twentieth Century. Barbara Jelavich, 1983.
^"Within Greece, and also within the new kingdom of Yugoslavia, which Serbia had joined in 1918, the ejection of the Bulgarian church, the closure of Bulgarian schools, and the banning of publication in Bulgarian, together with the expulsion or flight to Bulgaria of a large proportion of the Macedonian Slav intelligentsia, served as the prelude to campaigns of forcible cultural and linguistic assimilation...In both countries, these policies of de-bulgarization and assimilation were pursued, with fluctuating degrees of vigor, right through to 1941, when the Second World War engulfed the Balkan peninsula. The degree of these policies' success, however, remains open to question. The available evidence suggests that Bulgarian national sentiment among the Macedonian Slavs of Yugoslavia and Greece remained strong throughout the interwar period, though they lacked the means to offer more than passive resistance to official policies." For more see: F. A. K. Yasamee, Nationality in the Balkans: The case of the Macedonians. Balkans: A Mirror of the New World Order, Istanbul: Eren Publishing, 1995; pp. 121–132.
^"As in Kosovo, the restoration of Serbian rule in 1918, to which the Strumica district and several other Bulgarian frontier salients accrued in 1919 (Bulgaria also having lost all its Aegean coastline to Greece), marked the replay of the first Serbian occupation (1913–1915). Once again, the Exarchist clergy and Bulgarian teachers were expelled, all Bulgarian-language signs and books removed, and all Bulgarian clubs, societies, and organizations dissolved, The Serbianization of family surnames proceeded as before the war, with Stankov becoming Stankovic and Atanasov entered in the books by Atanackovic... Thousands of Macedonians left for Bulgaria. Though there were fewer killings of "Bulgarians" (a pro-Bulgarian source claimed 342 such instances and 47 additional disappearances in 1918 – 1924), the conventional forms of repression (jailings, internments etc.) were applied more systematically and with greater effect than before (the same source lists 2,900 political arrests in the same period)... Like Kosovo, Macedonia was slated for Serb settlements and internal colonization. The authorities projected the settlement of 50,000 families in Macedonia, though only 4,200 families had been placed in 280 colonies by 1940." For more see: Ivo Banac, "The National Question in Yugoslavia. Origins, History, Politics" The Macedoine, Cornell University Press, 1984; ISBN0801416752, pp. 307–328.
^Yugoslav Communists recognized the existence of a Macedonian nationality during WWII to quiet fears of the Macedonian population that a communist Yugoslavia would continue to follow the former Yugoslav policy of forced Serbianization. Hence, for them to recognize the inhabitants of Macedonia as Bulgarians would be tantamount to admitting that they should be part of the Bulgarian state. For that the Yugoslav Communists were most anxious to mold Macedonian history to fit their conception of Macedonian consciousness. The treatment of Macedonian history in Communist Yugoslavia had the same primary goal as the creation of the Macedonian language: to de-Bulgarize the Macedonian Slavs, and to create an national consciousness that would inspire identification with Yugoslavia. For more see: Stephen E. Palmer, Robert R. King, Yugoslav communism and the Macedonian question, Archon Books, 1971, ISBN0208008217, Chapter 9: The encouragement of Macedonian culture.
^The Serbianization of the Vardar region ended and Yugoslavization was not introduced either; rather, a policy of cultural, linguistic, and “historical” Macedonization by de-Bulgarianization was implemented, with immediate success. For more see: Irina Livezeanu and Arpad von KlimoThe Routledge as ed. History of East Central Europe since 1700, Routledge, 2017, ISBN1351863428, p. 490.
^In Macedonia, post-WWII generations grew up "overdosed" with strong anti-Bulgarian sentiment, leading to the creation of mainly negative stereotypes for Bulgaria and its nation. The anti-Bulgariansim (or Bulgarophobia) increased almost to the level of state ideology during the ideological monopoly of the League of Communists of Macedonia, and still continues to do so today, although with less ferocity... However, it is more important to say openly that a great deal of these anti-Bulgarian sentiments result from the need to distinguish between the Bulgarian and the Macedonian nations. Macedonia could confirm itself as a state with its own past, present and future only through differentiating itself from Bulgaria. For more see: Mirjana Maleska. With the eyes of the "other" (about Macedonian-Bulgarian relations and the Macedonian national identity). In New Balkan Politics, Issue 6, pp. 9–11. Peace and Democracy Center: "Ian Collins", Skopje, Macedonia, 2003. ISSN 1409-9454.
^After WWII in Macedonia the past was systematically falsified to conceal the fact that many prominent ‘Macedonians’ had supposed themselves to be Bulgarians, and generations of students were taught the pseudo-history of the Macedonian nation. The mass media and education were the key to this process of national acculturation, speaking to people in a language that they came to regard as their Macedonian mother tongue, even if it was perfectly understood in Sofia. For more see: Michael L. Benson, Yugoslavia: A Concise History, Edition 2, Springer, 2003, ISBN1403997209, p. 89.
^Once specifically Macedonian interests came to the fore under the Yugoslav communist umbrella and in direct confrontation with the Bulgarian occupation authorities (during WWII), the Bulgarian part of the identity of Vardar Macedonians was destined to die out – in a process similar to the triumph of Austrian over German-Austrian identity in post-war years. Drezov K. (1999) Macedonian identity: an overview of the major claims. In: Pettifer J. (eds) The New Macedonian Question. St Antony’s Series. Palgrave Macmillan, London; ISBN978-0-333-92066-4, p. 51.
^Additionally, some 100,000 people were imprisoned in the post-1944 period for violations of the law for the "protection of Macedonian national honor," and some 1,260 Bulgarian sympathizers were allegedly killed. (Troebst, 1997: 248–50, 255–57; 1994: 116–22; Poulton, 2000: 118–19). For more see: Roudometof, Victor, Collective Memory, National Identity, and Ethnic Conflict: Greece, Bulgaria, and the Macedonian Question, Praeger Publishers, 2002. ISBN0-275-97648-3, p. 104.
^Rae, Heather (2002). State identities and the homogenisation of peoples. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 278. ISBN0-521-79708-X.
^Danforth, L. The Macedonian Conflict. Ethnic Nationalism in a Transnational World. p. 25
^Ancient Macedonia: National Symbols. L Danforth in A Companion to Ancient Macedonia. Wiley –Blackwell 2010. p. 597-8
^The Handbook of Political Change in Eastern Europe, Sten Berglund, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2013, ISBN1782545883,p. 622.
^Transforming National Holidays: Identity Discourse in the West and South Slavic Countries, 1985–2010, Ljiljana Šarić, Karen Gammelgaard, Kjetil Rå Hauge, John Benjamins Publishing, 2012, ISBN9027206384, pp. 207–208.
^Предоставяне на българско гражданство, Справка за преиода 22.01.2002–15.01.2012 г. (Bulgarian citizenship Information for the period 22.01.2002–15.01.2012 year); Доклад за дейността на КБГБЧ за 2012–2013 година (Report on the activities of the CBCBA for 2012–2013 year), p. 7] Доклад за дейността на КБГБЧ за периода 23.01.2013 – 22.01.2014 година (Report on the activities of the CBCBA for the period 23.01.2013–22.01.2014 year), p. 6; Годишен доклад за дейността на КБГБЧ за периода 01.01.2014–31.12.2014 година (Annual report on the activities of the CBCBA for the period 01.01.2014–31.12.2014 year), p. 5; Годишен доклад за дейността на КБГБЧ за периода 01.01.2015–31.12.2015 година (Annual report on the activities of the CBCBA for the period 01.01.2015–31.12.2015 year), p. 6; Годишен доклад за дейността на КБГБЧ за периода 01.01.2016–31.12.2016 година (Annual report on the activities of the CBCBA for the period 01.01.2016–31.12.2016 year), p. 6; Доклад за дейността на комисията по българско гражданство за периода 14 януари – 31 декември 2017 г. (Activity Report of the Bulgarian Citizenship Commission for the period 14 January – 31 December 2017); Доклад за дейността на комисията по българско гражданство за периода 01 януари – 31 декември 2018 г. (Activity Report of the Bulgarian Citizenship Commission for the period 01 January – 31 December 2018); Доклад за дейността на комисията по българско гражданство за периода 01 януари – 31 декември 2019 г. (Activity Report of the Bulgarian Citizenship Commission for the period 01 January – 31 December 2019). Доклад за дейността на комисията по българско гражданство за периода 01 януари – 31 декември 2020 г. (Activity Report of the Bulgarian Citizenship Commission for the period 01 January – 31 December 2020).
^Bulgaria which has an ethnic citizenship regime and has a liberal dual citizenship regime makes a constitutional distinction between Bulgarians and Bulgarian citizens, whereas the former category reflects an ethnic (blood) belonging and the later the civic (territorial) belonging. In line with this definition, naturalization in Bulgaria is facilitated for those individuals who can prove that they belong to the Bulgarian nation...The birth certificates of parents and grandparents, their mother tongue, membership in Bulgarian institutions as the Bulgarian Church, former Bulgarian citizenship of the parents and so on are relevant criteria for the establishment of the ethnic origin of the applicant. In the case of Macedonian citizens, declaring their national identity as Bulgarian suffices to obtain Bulgarian citizenship, without the requirement for permanent residence in Bulgaria, or the language examination etc. For more see: Jelena Džankić, Citizenship in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia and Montenegro: Effects of Statehood and Identity Challenges, Southeast European Studies, Ashgate Publishing, 2015, ISBN1472446410, p. 126.
^Raymond Detrez, Historical Dictionary of Bulgaria, Historical Dictionaries of Europe, Rowman & Littlefield, 2014, ISBN1442241802, p. 318.
^Jo Shaw and Igor Štiks as ed., Citizenship after Yugoslavia, Routledge, 2013, ISBN1317967070, p. 106.
^Rainer Bauböck, Debating Transformations of National Citizenship, IMISCOE Research Series, Springer, 2018, ISBN3319927191, pp. 47–48.
^Michael Palairet, Macedonia: A Voyage through History (Vol. 2, From the Fifteenth Century to the Present), Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2016, ISBN1443888494, p. 347.
^Mina Hristova, In-between Spaces: Dual Citizenship and Placebo Identity at the Triple Border between Serbia, Macedonia and Bulgaria in New Diversities; Volume 21, No. 1, 2019, pp. 37–55.
^Risteski, L. (2016). “Bulgarian passports” – Possibilities for greater mobility of Macedonians and/or strategies for identity manipulation? EthnoAnthropoZoom/ЕтноАнтропоЗум, (10), 80–107. https://doi.org/10.37620/EAZ14100081r
^Ljubica Spaskovska, Country report on Macedonia, November 2012. EUDO Citizenship Observatory, Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, p.20.
^Eugene N. Borza, Makedonika, Regina Books, ISBN0-941690-65-2, p.114: The "highlanders" or "Makedones" of the mountainous regions of western Macedonia are derived from northwest Greek stock; they were akin both to those who at an earlier time may have migrated south to become the historical "Dorians".
^Nigel Guy Wilson, Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece, Routledge, 2009, p.439: The latest archaeological findings have confirmed that Macedonia took its name from a tribe of tall, Greek-speaking people, the Makednoi.
^Drezov K. (1999) Macedonian identity: an overview of the major claims. In: Pettifer J. (eds) The New Macedonian Question. St Antony’s Series. Palgrave Macmillan, London, ISBN0230535798, pp. 50–51.
^Jelavich Barbara, History of the Balkans, Vol. 2: Twentieth Century, 1983, Cambridge University Press, ISBN0521274591, page 91.
^John S. Koliopoulos, Thanos M. Veremis, Modern Greece: A History since 1821. A New History of Modern Europe, John Wiley & Sons, 2009, ISBN1444314831, p. 48.
^Richard Clogg, Minorities in Greece: Aspects of a Plural Society. C. Hurst & Co. Publishers, 2002, ISBN1850657068, p. 160.
^Dimitar Bechev, Historical Dictionary of the Republic of Macedonia, Scarecrow Press, 2009, ISBN0810862956, Introduction, pp. VII-VIII.
^J. Pettifer, The New Macedonian Question, St Antony's group, Springer, 1999, ISBN0230535798, pp. 49–51.
^Anastas Vangeli, Nation-building ancient Macedonian style: the origins and the effects of the so-called antiquization in Macedonia. Nationalities Papers, the Journal of Nationalism and Ethnicity, Volume 39, 2011 pp. 13–32.
^As the Macedonian historian Taskovski claims, the Macedonian Slavs initially rejected the Macedonian designation as Greek. For more see: Tchavdar Marinov, Famous Macedonia, the Land of Alexander: Macedonian identity at the crossroads of Greek, Bulgarian and Serbian nationalism, p. 285; in Entangled Histories of the Balkans – Volume One: National Ideologies and Language Policies with Roumen Daskalov and Tchavdar Marinov as ed., BRILL, 2013, ISBN900425076X, pp. 273–330.
^Chris Kostov, Contested Ethnic Identity: The Case of Macedonian Immigrants in Toronto, 1900–1996, Peter Lang, 2010, ISBN3034301960, p. 65.
^In a letter to Prof. Marin Drinov of May 25, 1888 Kuzman Shapkarev writes: "But even stranger is the name Macedonians, which was imposed on us only 10–15 years ago by outsiders, and not as some think by our own intellectuals.... Yet the people in Macedonia know nothing of that ancient name, reintroduced today with a cunning aim on the one hand and a stupid one on the other. They know the older word: "Bugari", although mispronounced: they have even adopted it as peculiarly theirs, inapplicable to other Bulgarians. You can find more about this in the introduction to the booklets I am sending you. They call their own Macedono-Bulgarian dialect the "Bugarski language", while the rest of the Bulgarian dialects they refer to as the "Shopski language". (Makedonski pregled, IX, 2, 1934, p. 55; the original letter is kept in the Marin Drinov Museum in Sofia, and it is available for examination and study)
^E. Damianopoulos, The Macedonians: Their Past and Present, Springer, 2012, ISBN1137011904, p. 185.
^Donald Bloxham, The Final Solution: A Genocide, OUP Oxford, 2009, ISBN0199550336, p. 65.
^Chris Kostov, Contested Ethnic Identity: The Case of Macedonian Immigrants in Toronto, Peter Lang, 2010, ISBN3034301960, p. 76.
^Raymond Detrez, Pieter Plas, Developing cultural identity in the Balkans: convergence vs divergence, Volume 34 of Multiple Europesq Peter Lang, 2005, ISBN9052012970, p. 173.
^L. M. Danforth, The Macedonian Conflict: Ethnic Nationalism in a Transnational World 1995, Princeton University Press, p. 45
^Detrez, Raymond; Plas, Pieter (2005), Developing cultural identity in the Balkans: convergence vs divergence, Peter Lang, pp. 50
^Second Macedonian newspaper in Greece – "Втор весник на Македонците во Грција...Весникот се вика "Задруга"...За нецел месец во Грција излезе уште еден весник на Македонците/A Second Macedonian Newspaper in greece...The Newspaper is Called "Zadruga/Koinothta"...Barely a month ago in Greece another newspaper for the Macedonians was released."
^"Нова зора" – прв весник на македонски јазик во ГрцијаArchived 9 May 2010 at the Wayback Machine – ""Нова зора" – прв весник на македонски јазик во Грција...При печатењето на тиражот од 20.000 примероци се појавиле само мали технички проблеми/Nova Zora – the first Macedonian-language newspaper in Greece...There were only small technical problems with the printing of the circulation of 20,000"
^Artan Hoxha and Alma Gurraj, Local Self-Government and Decentralization: Case of Albania. History, Reforms and Challenges. In: Local Self Government and Decentralization in South — East Europe. Proceedings of the workshop held in Zagreb, Croatia 6 April 2001. Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, Zagreb Office, Zagreb 2001, pp. 194–224 (PDF).
^Day, Alan John; East, Roger; Thomas, Richard (2002). Political and economic dictionary of Eastern Europe. Routledge. p. 94. ISBN1-85743-063-8.
^Deskoski: Vergina Sun flag is not Macedonian, we need to get rid of this Greek symbol, Republica.mk: "The Vergina Sun flag was a national flag for only three years and that was one of the biggest mistakes. Neither the Ilinden fighters nor the partisans in the National Liberation War knew that symbol. That flag is the biggest hoax of Macedonianism. We need to unanimously reject and get rid of this Greek symbol. Let the Greeks glorify their symbols."
Roudometof, Victor, Collective Memory, National Identity, and Ethnic Conflict: Greece, Bulgaria, and the Macedonian Question, Praeger Publishers, 2002. ISBN0-275-97648-3.
Κωστόπουλος, Τάσος, Η απαγορευμένη γλώσσα: Η κρατική καταστολή των σλαβικών διαλέκτων στην ελληνική Μακεδονία σε όλη τη διάρκεια του 20ού αιώνα (εκδ. Μαύρη Λίστα, Αθήνα 2000). [Tasos Kostopoulos, The forbidden language: state suppression of the Slavic dialects in Greek Macedonia through the 20th century, Athens: Black List, 2000]
The Silent People Speak, by Robert St. John, 1948, xii, 293, 301–313 and 385.