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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 ?
Bulgarians in Toronto will rally on Sunday, March 3, at 10 am local time for a peaceful demonstration before the Bulgarian Consulate in the Canadian city at 65 Overlea Blvd, Toronto, ON, M4H 1P1.
Bulgarians in Hungary have asked President, Rosen Plevneliev, to have the State assist them to reopen the Bulgarian school in Budapest.
The Foreign Ministry calls on Bulgarians in Israel or with travel plans to go there to register in the "I Am Traveling To.
A conference, titled "Policies for Bulgarians Abroad," is held on November 7 and 8 in the capital of Belgium.
The French paper cites reports of the Bulgarian 24 Chasa daily noting that thanks to their Bulgarian license plates, the Italians' "dolce vita" is "still possible" because of the much lower car taxes in Bulgaria.
Some of the Bulgarian-populated lands in Balkans were liberated from Ottoman Turkey by the Russian Empire in the Russian-Turkish War of 1877-1878 to form the Third Bulgarian State, which struggled up until the communist takeover in 1944 to unite all other Bulgarians in the Balkans in one state, including by waging the First Balkan War of 1912-1913 against the Ottoman Empire together with its neighbor allies, Serbia, Greece, and Montenegro.
Furthermore, Redzhepov, together with the chairman of the so called "European Institute Pomak" Efrem Mollov, claims that the Bulgarian Muslims, aka Pomaks a who are widely believed to be the descendants of Christian Bulgarians converted voluntarily or by force to Islam during the period of Ottoman Yoke a were in fact descendants of the so called Proto-Bulgarians who fled into the mountains when Knyaz Boris I, ruler of the First Bulgarian Empire in 852-889 AD, adopted Christianity as the national religion in 864 AD, abandoning the Proto-Bulgarians' pagan religion.
Ukraine is home to a large ethnic Bulgarian minority descended from Bulgarians from Bulgaria proper who fled the atrocities in the Ottoman Turkish Empire in the 19th century.
The conference, titled "Policies for Bulgarians Abroad," is to be held on November 7 and 8 in the capital of Belgium.
This was revealed by Ivanka Slavcheva, a chief expert at the State Agency for Bulgarians Abroad, at the opening of the sixth session of the world parliament of Bulgarians.
The tradition of Bulgarians from Macedonia serving in the ranks of the Bulgarian army is old.

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