Tuesday - 21 May, 2013
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A selection of Macedonian blogs in Greece
Aegean Macedonian Culture
Anti-macedonian policy during the elections for the European Parliament against Rainbow by the Greek state and the Greek mass media
A scandal by the Parliamentary committee
Greek TV stations sabotage EFA-Raibow
Ultra-nationalists want "borders with Serbia"!
"Hellenic Post" sabbotages EFA-Rainbow Campaign
Typical example of censorship of Rainbow
Attack of the Greek Neo-nazi party
A Greek - Macedonian dictionary by Vasko Karatza printed with the support of EFA - Rainbow
"Extracts of Letters"
Τι έλεγε κάποτε το ΚΚΕ για τους Μακεδόνες
Denying Ethnic Identity:
The Macedonians of Greece, by Human Rights Watch
Linguistics and politics II:
Greece's stance towards
its Macedonian minority
and the neighbouring
Republic of Macedonia.
and Omitted Truths
R. Nikovski: Memorandum to the European Parliament
Facts behind the Greek politics towards Macedonia
"Proposed disciplinary measures to stamp out the Macedonian minority in Greece by the National Security Service"
Promotion Speech - Modern Macedonian-Modern Greek Dictionary by Vasko Karadzha
Victor A. Friedman - University of Chicago
21 September, 2011
It is a pleasure for me to be here with you to celebrate the publication, in Greece, of the Vasko Karadhza's Modern Macedonian-Modern Greek dictionary by the publishing house Zora. I would like to take this opportunity to thank my hosts for making it possible for me to join you. This is my first visit to Lerin since 1976, when I stopped here with a friend on our way to Visheni to visit the sisters of my father's best friend, Atanas Panchev, who was known in America as Athan Pantsios. It is also my first visit to Greece since the promotion of Vasko Karadzha's Modern Greek - Modern Macedonian dictionary in 2009. At the time of that promotion, I characterized it as "an important step in the normalization of Greek relations toward one of its own linguistic minorities, and also, we might hope, toward one of its neighboring states, the Republic of Macedonia." In that speech I also noted how I had been harassed by Greek academics at an international conference in Thessaloniki in 1994 for referring to the Macedonian language, and I expressed the hope that such days of intolerance might be past. Unfortunately, members of the Greek political party Hrisi Avgi proved my hope was in vain. As many of you know, in an act of violence that I characterized as "a tantrum from the cradle of democracy," a gang of them interrupted the promotion and, screaming threats and obscenities, vandalized the podium and assaulted me as I attempted to photograph their obviously illegal activities. The meaning of assault in law is a crime causing a victim to fear violence. The swing at my head with a huge, heavy helmet that the bearded thug was captured on video taking constituted assault. My colleague Riki van Boeschoeten was told by the commander of the police force that the police had accompanied the thugs to the nearest metro station after the incident. The incident received no significant coverage in Greece, my official complaint to the US Embassy in Greece went unanswered, and as far as I can tell, Greece continues what German historian Stefan Troebst called "its amok diplomacy toward Macedonia." It is thus with less hope but considerably more apprehension and defiance that I join you today.
It is worth noting that the influence of Greek anti-democratic forces reaches all the way to American organizations supported by US taxpayers' money. It was a sufficiently sad commentary on the state of Greek Studies in the United States that when an American member of the Modern Greek Studies Association (MGSA), an organization whose listserv is hosted by the University of California at Irvine, posted one of the videos of the Hrisi Avgi assault, not one Greek member of that organization condemned the actions of the thugs. Instead, on 19 October 2009, the MGSA distributed an ugly and hysterical call encouraging readers to pressure the University of Utah into canceling the Seventh Macedonian-North American Conference on Macedonian Studies that was held at the University of Utah in 5-7 November, 2009. Although the call did not originate with the MGSA, its unedited and unmoderated distribution by them gave academic support to the barrage of emails and telephone calls that inundated the office of the President and the Department of Languages and Literature at Utah demanding that the conference be cancelled. My protest to the University of California at Irvine for allowing its resources to be used to distribute such materials went unanswered. Fortunately, the University of Utah stood its ground on principles of academic freedom, and they also provided security to prevent a recurrence of the June incident. Greek members of the fascist organization Stohos came all the way from New Hampshire to disrupt the meeting but were, fortunately, prevented from doing so. Instead, they intimidated one of the participants into not contributing to the volume of conference proceedings for fear that he would not be allowed into Greece again. The paper, entitled was entitled "Tasos Kostopoulos on Macedonia and the Slavs in Greece: When a Forbidden Language Speaks Truth to Power." The paper discussed Kōstopoulos' 2000 book I Apogorevmeni Glōssa 'The Frobidden Language', for which, unfortunately, Kōstopoulos refuses to allow an English or Macedonian translation. But this brings me to more positive reflections.
The very fact that we are gathered here today to celebrate the publication of this Modern Macedonian - Modern Greek dictionary in Greece is a clear step forward from the situation documented by Kostopoulos. The European Court of Human Rights played an important role in this progress when it found the Greek state in violation with respect to its ethnic Macedonian citizens' human rights in 2005. It is ironic that the next year on September 29, 2006, at the inauguration of Latvian collector Juris Cibuls' exhibition of primers in Thessaloniki, the Deputy Mayor for Culture and Youth of that city ordered the organizers to take the Macedonian primer out of the show case so that it could not be displayed. In 2009 I said in my speech that I wondered whether perhaps times had changed. Hrisi Avgi indicated that they had not. If I am delivering this speech right now, it means that what I am sure will have been the lovely banquet the night before was allowed to proceed without incident.
Just as it was appropriate to have the Greek-Macedonian dictionary promoted in Athens, so it is appropriate for the Macedonian-Greek dictionary to be promoted here in Lerin. As the capital of the Modern Greek-speaking world, Athens was the place to promote a dictionary that had the potential to help Greeks learn another of the languages spoken in Greece. Similarly, as one of the major Macedonian-speaking towns in Greece, Lerin is an appropriate venue to help Macedonians understand their present and past in what is now the Greek state. With this dictionary, Macedonians in Greece can read the narratives of their grandparents and great-grandparents, and even further back than that. One of our oldest Modern Macedonian texts is the 16th century dictionary from Kostur. The recently published Sunday Gospel of Konikovo (Δυτικό), an 18th century manuscript with one column in vernacular Modern Greek and the other in Modern Macedonian is another example of Macedonian cultural heritage from the former Ottoman provinces of Greece.
The manuscript of the Konikovo evangelie was found by chance in the library of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria, Egypt, which almost prevented its publication when it discovered that a Macedonian text was involved. This attitude is part of Greece's general denial of the existence of its ethnolinguistic minorities, which has even reached the world of American Mens' magazines. The November 2006 issue of Maxim featured a photo spread of international "Miss Maxim"s each a scantily clad and provocatively posed representative of a different country with a putative quotation from the model and a "hometown fact" about the country such as the difference between Holland and Netherlands, the number of bulls killed annually in bullfights in Spain, and the number of tons of radioactive dust released in the 1986 Chernobyl disaster. The hometown fact for "Miss Maxim Greece" was the following: "According to the Greek government there are no ethnic divisions in Greece" (176).
But in addition to the older works that help us understand the history of Macedonian in the former Ottoman provinces of Greece, Modern Macedonian linguistic treasures remain to be documented right here in Greece today. As I said in 2009, dialects are the repository of the culture and history of their speakers, and—especially in the case of marginal and isolated dialects— of precious information about earlier stages of a language or the possibilities of how a system can change over time. In 2003, the value of dialects was recognized by UNESCO in its Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, which Greece ratified in 2007. At this point in time, the Macedonian dialects of Greece are endangered and/or moribund. While Greece continues to instill fear in speakers and obstruct researchers, we must continue the work—one can even say struggle—of trying to document these dialects.
As Riki van Boeschoeten pointed out in 2009, Vasko Karadzha was a man who loved both the Macedonian language and the Greek language. The dictionary grew out of longtime work as a translator. He translated major works of Greek literature including Seferis, Ritsos and Kavafis into Macedonian. In his foreword to the Greek-Macedonian dictionary, Mr. Karadzha expressed the wish that the dictionary might contribute to a better understanding between the Greek and Macedonian people by improving their linguistic skills. Vinozhito has now increased the potential of this understanding by publishing a Macedonian-Greek volume to accompany the Greek-Macedonian. The quality of Marija Čičeva-Aleksiḱ's editing and enrichment of the Macedonian-Greek volume together with the grammatical apparatus is of the highest professional quality, and the Center Maurits Coppieters is to be congratulated for funding such a useful and important project, and the Dom na Makedonska Kutltura can be proud of sponsoring such fine dictionary. We can continue to hope that despite Greek government policies, this dictionary will be used by Macedonians, Greeks, and others to become acquainted with the cultural richness each of these languages has to offer to the world.
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to read the Abecedar!
Promotion of the
Primer at the OSCE HDIM
Greek irredentism and expansionism officially sanctioned by the Greek Parliament
Letter to Carla del Ponte,
Chief Prosecutor for the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
The Yugoslavian Crisis
Document of the Ministry
of Foreign Affairs
Related to the article - The obvious linguistic particularity - Eletherotypia, 18/11/2006
The ten Greek myths
on the “Macedonian issue”
By IOS team – Eletherotypia, 23/10/2005
Who says there are no
minority languages in Greece?
The "secret" census
in north Greece, in 1920
Map showing the Cultures and Languages in the E.U.
Council of Europe
Framework convention for the Protection of national minorities
Συνέντευξη: Ευάγγελος Κωφός, Έλληνας ιστορικός
Δημοκρατία της Μακεδονίας - Σκόπια είναι όνομα που εκφράζει την ταυτότητά σας
Ο Παύλος Φιλίποβ Βοσκόπουλος απαντά στον Ευάγγελο Κωφό.
«Το Μακεδονικό ζήτημα είναι η αχίλλειος πτέρνα του ελληνικού μύθου».
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