Charity as an Expression of the Macedonian Bulgarians’ Self-Determination and the Unity of the Bulgarian Nation - Списание "Македонски преглед"

четвъртък, 23 август 2018 г.

Charity as an Expression of the Macedonian Bulgarians’ Self-Determination and the Unity of the Bulgarian Nation

The charity events carried out among and for the Macedonian Bulgarians in the period 1878–1951 were part of a common process for the country. Their roots can be sought in the National Revival period, when, by means of voluntarily self-organization, donations and alms on behalf of many Bulgarians, significant public projects were completed. Not only was this tradition continued with the restoration of the Bulgarian state after the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–1878, but it was also enriched in terms of manifestations, practices and span.  

Through characteristic and memorable examples, the paper illustrates the wide range of goals and motives behind charity gestures, directed mainly to the preservation of national memory and sense of national unity, and to the alleviation of suffering for the refugees that were driven away from their homes. An emphasis is placed also on the statute of donations, their amount and the way they were used, and perhaps most importantly – the origins, the financial and social standing of the people who gave for their fellow countrymen. The direct impact that the changes in the national unification program and the political situation in the region had on donations is distinctively outlined. 

The elimination of charity funds and foundations and the embezzlement of their finances and properties by the totalitarian Communist authorities at the end of the 40s – the beginning of the 50s of the 20th century was not simply an assault on the donors’ will, bit also an act that severed the ties and sense of community between the different parts of the Bulgarian lands.  

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