BIG Greek Lie 16

BIG Greek Lie 16 - The Macedonian Language Does Not Exist

(Modern Greeks believe the Macedonian language doesn't exist)

By Risto Stefov

[NOTE: Our apologies to the Greek people if they find these articles offensive. Our objective here is NOT to create tension between the Macedonian and Greek people but rather to highlight the problem that exists within the Greek State and its institutions. As long as the Greek State denies our existence as Macedonians with rights and privileges, we will continue to publish these types of articles.]

"If you peel away all that Greece has taken from others, you will find an empty carcass of a people shocked to find that they have been living a lie-a lie that they invented and a lie that will ultimately destroy them." Steve S.

There are some western academics and authors today who believe that the suppression of the Macedonians in Greek occupied Macedonia has arisen out of Greek efforts at nation-building. After Macedonia's occupation and partition in 1912, 1913, a great effort was made to turn its inhabitants into the citizens of the Greek nation-state. In order to make sure its citizens were loyal to the Greek state, politicians and intellectuals rewrote history, creating a myth that ALL Greek residents were "ethnic Greeks". "Ethnicity" was purposely confused with "nationality" which led directly to the denial of the existence of the Macedonians. Denying the existence of the ethnic Macedonians quickly led to the denial of everything that was Macedonian and for those who insisted otherwise, denigration and human rights abuses followed.

After denying the ethnic existence of an entire nation, it was not difficult for Greece to deny the existence of the Macedonian language. Unfortunately for Greece, it was not as easy to hide a language as it was to hide an entire ethnicity. Ever since Macedonia's occupation and partition in 1912, 1913, Macedonians living inside Greece or should I say inside Greek occupied Macedonia, continued to speak their language even at the risk of being persecuted. After numerous efforts on the Greek part, to ban this language and make it illegal, Macedonians continued to speak it. Having to explain themselves why there are so called "Greeks" speaking a non-Greek language inside Greece, Greek authorities resorted to calling the language "Slav", "Bulgarian", "Serbian" and even an "idiom" but never Macedonian. This idiom, according to some Greek explanations, was some sort of lost Slavic dialect probably a remnant of the "Bulgarian schools" from the Exarchate days when Macedonia was still under Ottoman rule.

"...I asked him what language they spoke, and my Greek interpreter carelessly rendered the answer Bulgare. The man himself had said Makedonski. I drew attention to this word and the witness explained that he did not consider the rural dialect used in Macedonia the same as Bulgarian, and refused to call it by that name. It was Macedonian, a word to which he gave the Slav form of Makedonski, but which I was to hear farther north in the Greek form of Makedonike". Allen Upward, The East End of Europe. London, 1908, pp. 204-205.

The Greeks may have been able to fool their own people and outsiders with no interest in Greek or Macedonian affairs, but they could not fool those people who actually had interest in learning the truth and those who spoke Macedonian and whose mother tongue has been Macedonian for dozens of generations. In fact some believe that Macedonians spoke Macedonian and lived on Macedonian lands before the so called "Ancient Greeks" were civilized. One thing is certain, Macedonians spoke Macedonian before the Bulgars descended from the Volga.

"The Greeks will not admit the Slav language in Churches or schools; the inhabitants of Macedonia are in the great majority Slavs; they call themselves now Macedonians, and what they desire and what we ardently desire for them is an autonomy under European control. -In whatever way Macedonia might be divided, the people would always be discontented, and would fight again as soon as possible. The only hope I can foresee is in a strong autonomy, which neither Greeks nor Bulgars nor Serbs would dare attack; then the Macedonians, who are really intelligent and docile when they are well treated, would peacefully develop this beautiful fertile country, and might learn to be civilized. -Surely Europe will not leave Macedonia under people whom the Macedonians hate, and whom they will continually fight. As the little Balkan states can never agree, but always fight for Macedonia, let none of them have it. -We might then have peace, the Catholics would again have heart, and all the years of hard work among them would not have been wasted." Catholic Sister of Charity, Augustine Bewicke, January 4th 1919. Letter to Ian Malcolm, a British diplomat. Sister Augustine lived in Macedonia for 33 years.

The Macedonian language is at least three thousand years old and fifteen-hundred years ago formed the basis of what we now call Church Slavonic, the language of Kiril and Metodi from Solun and the language of all Slavonic Churches. There are also people who believe that the Slavic family of languages began in Macedonia and was spread throughout Eastern Europe by Macedonians.

Here is what Christian Voss has to say. "The case of the Slavic-speaking minority, which until today is officially denied in its very existence, in a comparative perspective is very strange, especially in view of their large number. The Slavic dialects in Aegean Macedonia - a territory of about 35.000 square kilometers - have approximately 200,000 potential speakers. Since only one third of them makes active use of the vernacular, which since 30-40 years is not the primary code any more, the term "Slavic-speaker" presents a more or less ethnic category which is supported on the sociological level (cf. Voss 2003: 116-117).

The demographic development in the region is determined by several waves of ethnic cleansing in form of population exchange between Greece and Bulgaria (Neuilly 1919) and Greece and Turkey (Lausanne 1923) as well as in form of expulsion (during the Balkan Wars 1912-1913 and at the end of the Greek Civil War 1948-1949). As a result, the indigenous Slavic-speaking population, which until 1912 constituted the majority in Aegean Macedonia (with 30-40%), became minorised - except the western part, i.e. the prefecture of Florina, where they are still the majority and where many villages had no settlement of Asia Minor and Pontos refugees (Voss 2003a: 62-64).

My survey of 270 villages in Northern Greece, where until today Slavic dialects are spoken, results from fieldwork conducted in the area between 1999 and 2003 (Voss 2003d): 112 of them are in Western Macedonia (i.e. the prefectures Kastoria, Florina, and the northern part of Kozani), 121 of them belong to Central Macedonia (i.e. the prefectures Pella, Kilkis, Thessaloniki and the northern part of Imathia), 38 of them in Eastern Macedonia (i.e. the prefectures Serres and Drama)."

So, without going into details, it is not a case where a Macedonian language never existed or a case where a Macedonian language did exist and became extinct and is no longer in use. It is a case where a Macedonian language existed, exists and is spoken by Macedonians today.

So, the big question here is why is Greece insisting that there is no such thing as a Macedonian language? And why do they insist that the Macedonians in Greek occupied Macedonia are "Slavic Speaking Greeks"?

Yes, the Macedonian language is a "Slavic language" but so is Russian, Ukrainian, Polish, Serbian, Croatian, Bulgarian, Czech, Slovak, etc. The Greeks have no problems with the Russians calling their language Russian or with the Poles calling theirs Polish. So why do they have a problem with Macedonians calling their language Macedonian?


It is well known that the Macedonian people living in Macedonia spoke a dialect of the Slavic branch of languages since the days of Kiril and Metodi. If I am not mistaken, by the turn of the 20th century there were at least fifty Macedonian dialects spoken in the territories of Macedonia. The Macedonian language, especially the dialects spoken in Greek occupied Macedonia, is an old and widely used language which took its time to develop and mature into the many dialects of this day. It is an oral and a mother language to all Macedonians and has been for as far back as the collective memory of Macedonians can recall.

Also, there are more than four-hundred million people in Europe that speak variants of this language so how can Greece say it doesn't exist?

Unlike "Greek" which is an imposed language, Macedonian is a natural language that has been orally passed on from generation to generation and has survived and flourished in the hearts and minds of the Macedonian people. I would say it is a precious language facing extinction that must be protected and preserved under all circumstances. Unfortunately Greece is totally ignorant of what a precious jewel it has and instead of cherishing it, it is bent on destroying it, choking the life out of it.

The Macedonian language exists not only in Macedonia but also in Canada, the USA, Australia and the world over. Only the Greek state and some Greeks deny its existence and that makes them conspirators in another BIG Greek lie. And now I leave you with this:

"Being shocked and increasingly concerned, I struck the village mayor when I heard him speak Bulgarian, which he wishes to call Macedonian, and I recommended that in the future he should always and everywhere speak only Greek, and that he should recommend that his villagers do the same." Greek Infantry Lieutenant Dim. Kamburas, Armensko, January 25, 1925.

You can contact the author at rstefov@hotmail.com

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