Today in Nebregovo, President Stevo Pendarovski visited the Memorial House of Blaze Koneski and addressed the final event of the 6th Open Days of the Institute for Macedonian Language “Krste Petkov Misirkov”.
As part of the event, President Pendarovski laid fresh flowers in front of Blaze Koneski’s birth house and visited the interior of the memorial house, the renovated school classroom and the church in Nebregovo.
Prof. Dr. Elena Jovanova-Grujovska, Director of the Institute of Macedonian Language and Prof. Dr. Ljudmil Spasov, full-time professor at the Faculty of Philology “Blaze Koneski” also addressed the event, and Koneski’s poetry was recited by students from Nebregovo and Prilep.
Dear friends, good day to you all,
At a time when all our strongholds are seriously challenged, at a time when we are facing suffering and death globally, at a time when the pandemic has distanced us from others, often from ourselves, it is imperative that we emphasize the importance of value anchors that provide stability in an unstable environment.
One of our common values is, of course, what Blaze Koneski, philologist, linguist, visionary, left behind as a life work. He survives as the protector of our modernity – linguistic, intellectual, literary, educational and institutional. A quiet man, who, with his commitment, responsibility, diligence and calmness, should be a model for our present and future action in promoting the common cause.
Therefore, we must constantly honor the person who is a paradigm of our national emancipation and progressiveness, not only on jubilees. He was a man who did not need honors. His greatness was further accentuated by his modesty and personal ascetic profile. He left us a legacy – thoughts, word, emotions, spirituality and language, without asking for compensation. Namely, we have the responsibility not to forget what Koneski left us as a cultural heritage because through his work, in fact, all layers of our culture are overseen.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is very important to oppose the culture of oblivion, which, unfortunately, is a great threat in these fast times. It is necessary to re-articulate in our present, the marks of those who are the armature of our national and cultural continuity. This gathering, dedicated to Koneski, does exactly that – positioning his legate in the present, acknowledging that without a look at the significant sequences and personalities from our distant and recent past, we will not be able to see all the options for tomorrow.
Being here, in Nebregovo, at the foot of where the ascent to the monastery “Assumption of the Most Holy Mother of God” begins, it becomes clearer what kind of veins Koneski’s personality and life path are composed of. And it is quite clear that from this spring springs the wisdom, spirituality and composure of such greatness.
At a time when we often know how to devalue words through endless repetition and use, I would like to remind you of a remark of Koneski, who in his conversations with Cane Andreevski asked himself a long time ago: “The language of politics templates everyday life. Will the moment of an extreme impoverishment come, of a unification of expression? The attitude towards the word is something that we miss the most. And there should be an effort to improve our linguistic expression. It is done at every moment and in every environment. Both in the patriarchal and in the modern environment.”
Today, when words are often scattered in public speech empty of any value, it is good to remember Koneski’s well-known wise recommendation: “Keep the word well tied like an untrained horse that bites, kicks, hits. Keep it! Because, if you let him go so untamed on the streets, no one knows who will want to ride it.”
Ladies and Gentlemen,
At the end, let me briefly share with you some of my observations regarding the relationship between the political and the artistic. Being engaged in thinking about the political in our lives is not a negative thing, especially from the point of view of modern reading of culture. Starting from the cultural, artistic and aesthetic modalities in the dramatic pearls of ancient, Hellenic literature, through the European firsts of the word, such as Shakespeare, Goethe, Moliere, Lorca, Brecht, Beckett to our contemporaries, for centuries the key place of the artistic, humanistic thinker of the social, intergenerational processes in each community. Koneski belongs to exactly that group – a noble, politically conscious archivist of the world and its subtle social dynamics. Deprived of his legacy, we would not exist, because it has long been said that man exists through language, and through language, through words, our opinion is formed.
I am honored to be today in the home where Blaze Koneski was born and spent his most significant formative years of life. We must not lose this here, we must find a way to revive it so that the new generations have a place to come to. Because, as Koneski once said: “Everything is projected – we are leaving, and the country remains.”