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a nation (natsiia, nation in the historical sense); the basic population of the People’s Republic of Bulgaria. Bulgarians also live in regions of Rumania, Greece, Yugoslavia, Turkey, the Ukrainian SSR, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia that border on Bulgaria, as well as in North and South America and in Australia. The number of Bulgarians in Bulgaria is more than 7.2 million persons (end of 1965). Outside the country, the Bulgarians in the USSR make up the largest group (351,000, according to the 1970 census). They speak Bulgarian. The majority of believers profess Orthodoxy. (Christianity was adopted in Bulgaria in A.D. 865 from Byzantium.) Some believers are also Protestants and Catholics. There is also a group of Bulgarian Muslims who live mainly in the Rhodope Mountains. Their ancestors were forcibly converted to Islam by the Turks in the 16th to 18th centuries. Bulgarians belong to the group of South Slavic peoples. The Slavic tribes that settled in the eastern part of the Balkan Peninsula in the sixth and seventh centuries and assimilated the local Thracian tribes played a major role in the ethnogeny of the Bulgarians. The Turkicspeaking proto-Bulgarians, who were related to the Bulgars, were another component in the formation of the Bulgarians. In the second half of the seventh century the proto-Bulgarians penetrated into the Balkans and together with the Slavic tribes formed a Slavic-Bulgar state in 680. Toward the ninth and tenth centuries the inhabitants of the First Bulgarian Empire were consolidated into a Slavic-speaking people who began to be called Bulgarians. The culture of the Bulgarians was formulated through a process of complex interaction of the ancient cultures of proto-Bulgarians, Thra-cians, and Slavs, who had been considerably influenced by the ancient tradition and culture of Byzantium in the Balkans.

The 500-year Ottoman yoke (from the end of the 14th century to 1878) retarded the national development of the Bulgarians. Their renaissance began at the end of the 18th century with the development of capitalist relations in the country; the Bulgarian nation began to be formed. The Bulgarians’ active struggle against Turkish oppression and also against the Greek merchant bourgeoisie and clergy, which had exerted a great influence in the country, contributed greatly to the rise of their national consciousness and the unification of their people.

The vigorous dissemination of professional and urban culture among broad strata of the people throughout the People’s Republic of Bulgaria, the close cultural contacts between the separate areas of the country, and also the revival of some traditional customs, which—changing their content in accordance with the new conditions of life—are entering into the developing socialist culture of Bulgaria, are characteristic of the national development of the Bulgarians.


Narody Zarubezhnoi Evropy, vol. 1. Moscow, 1964. (Bibliography, pp. 917–18.)
Istoriia Bolgarii, vols. 1–2. Moscow, 1954–55.
Istoriia na Bulgariia, vols. 1–2. Sofia, 1954–55.


References in periodicals archive ?
The vice-president announced to over 120 participants in the conference that with President Rumen Radev they are planning a national forum for Bulgarians abroad, dedicated to our national unity.
This was announced by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ekaterina Zaharieva during parliamentary scrutiny in the National Assembly in response to a parliamentary question about the efforts of the Bulgarian diplomacy regarding the recently recognized Bulgarian minority in Albania.
"The process of integration of cultures including the Bulgarian culture and mutual enrichment of different cultures is very intensive in Kazakhstan," she resumed.
On the one hand, by concentrating on the story less told (in other words, on the perspective of Bulgarian Muslims) she overlooks some overarching trends (such as economic patterns, social developments, and political attitudes) that have affected the relations between Muslim and non-Muslim in Bulgaria.
As President Bush said following the historic senate vote: "Americans have always considered the Bulgarian people to be our friends, and we will be proud to call you our allies."
The Deputy Prime Minister stressed that the Bulgarian authorities did not stop monitoring the situation with the study of the mother tongue by the ethnic Bulgarians in Ukraine, as this question is put at different levels.
Five years ago, most Bulgarians went to Spain, Greece and Germany.
Ukraineas ambassador to this country Vitaliy Moskalenko gave assurances that the rights and liberties of Bulgarians in Ukraine will be guaranteed in full.
The opposition cited Ministry data revealing that out of 58 000 applications Bulgarian expatriates have filed for voting at the elections, 44 174 were filed by Bulgarians living in Turkey.
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Bulgarian Foreign Minister Daniel Mitov dismissed recent rumours about fifteen <a href="http://www.novinite.com/articles/169724/Mysterious+Flags+in+Kiev+Downtown%3A+Russian+or+Bulgarian%3F">Bulgarian flags having been ripped in Kiev.

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