The President of the Republic of North Macedonia, Stevo Pendarovski, addressed the Summer School of the International Seminar on Macedonian Language, Literature and Culture via video message, which this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic is being held digitally.
The integral text of the address of President Pendarovski is below.
We are organizing this Summer School of the International Seminar on Macedonian Language, Literature and Culture in unusual conditions. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we cannot be together on the Lake Ohrid shores which was an inspiration for the Slavic educators St. Clement and Naum of Ohrid and the Macedonian revivalists Miladinovci, Prlichev and Shapkarev.
Nevertheless, I am glad that even the pandemic did not prevent us from continuing, at least virtually, the tradition of the International Seminar. It is especially important to continue it for at least a few reasons.
First, we celebrate significant anniversaries, including the 75th anniversary of the publication of the Macedonian alphabet and orthography. In 1945 we completed the process of codification of the Macedonian standard language. Thus, the Macedonian language became the language of education, science and art not only in the Republic of North Macedonia, but also in university departments and lectureships in Europe and the world. Although due to the unfavorable socio-historical and political conditions the Macedonian language was relatively late standardized, its historical continuity is indisputable. Its long oral and written tradition and the richness of dialects has long been closed issue in the world linguistic science.
However, we are again witnessing an anachronistic rhetoric of denying the specificity and historical continuity of the Macedonian language. That is why we need an appropriate scientific and reasoned answer, which, of course, we have. The four volumes on the Macedonian language recently published by the Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts, the Institute for Macedonian Language “Krste Misirkov”, the Faculty of Philology “Blaze Koneski” and the Council for Macedonian Language are in that direction exactly.
Both the people and the events we celebrate this year are a confirmation of the continuity of the Macedonian language. In 1920, the folk storyteller Marko Cepenkov died. The same year another narrator was born – the writer Slavko Janevski who is considered the author of the first published novel in standard Macedonian language.
This year we mark a century since the birth of the founder of the Macedonian dialectology, Bozidar Vidoeski. He founded this international seminar as a creative community which counts over 5,000 participants from over 60 countries who have so far participated and had the opportunity to get acquainted with the Macedonian language and its specifics. This extremely important international event had and still has a great role in the affirmation of the Macedonian language, literature and culture around the world.
Therefore, ladies and gentlemen, we understand your participation in this digital seminar and the desire to learn more about the Macedonian language and culture not only as your commitment to the scientific truth, but also as an act of solidarity with the Macedonian Slavists and Macedonian language researchers. And, for that, I am really grateful to you.
I wish you fruitful work, inspiring discussions, deepened cooperation and friendships. Moreover, I sincerely hope and wish to see you in Ohrid next year.