site.btaMacedonian Language, History Extolled at Independence Day Ceremony in Skopje
"Today Europe and the world are talking about the Macedonian state, the Macedonian people and the Macedonian language. Today our homeland, the Republic of North Macedonia, is an internationally recognized state whose borders are drawn on the map of the world. And this is and must be our driving force. Today the brakes are only in our hands and in some of the politicians here at home," North Macedonia’s Prime Minister Dimitar Kovachevski said here on Thursday evening, addressing a ceremony marking the country's Independence Day.
"Science observes that the Macedonian language, which is most directly related to our Macedonian identity, has its own continuity that can be easily traced back to the 9th century, and that worldwide recognition for it was obtained 70 years ago. As [Blaze] Koneski says, 'Language is our true homeland'. And this homeland of ours, the Republic of North Macedonia, is now an internationally recognized state, both territorially and in terms of identity. Through science, art, literature. But also as a political reality. And if this is the case, why would you put the brakes on your own prospects? Such attempts are clearly due to foreign interests in a geostrategic positioning diverging from the Macedonian Euro-Atlantic strategic goal. They are also associated with populism for political, electoral and personal, material ends," the Prime Minister argued in his speech.
"Let us not make concessions. Let us leave no room for anyone to identify and place us in our historical context. Because we have our own history and our own language, confirmed at a scientific, international level. Patriotism is not how we look at the past, but how we build the present and the future using the experience of the past," Kovachevski said.
For her part, Prof. Iskra Panovska-Dimkova, Head of the Department of Macedonian Language at the Faculty of Philology of the Sts Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje, said that all that today's North Macedonia is "cannot be viewed separately from the centuries-long continuity in the evolution of the Macedonian language and the Macedonian nation, and the independence of the state with regard to the Macedonian language only implies greater responsibility to advance, foster and assert this language."
After Macedonia’s parliament declared its independence on November 17, 1991 by a resolution based on the results of a referendum held on September 8, 1991, on January 15, 1992 Bulgaria became the first country to recognize the new state under its constitutional name.