Report about the first school district to start teaching in Macedonian language – 1892 in Kostur
DIMITRIJE BODI TO VLADAN DORDEVICH
20th August 1892
Consulate of the Kingdom of Serbia No. 786 20th August 1892 Bitola To the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Vladan Dordevic Belgrade
I have to inform You, dear Sir, that some intellectualist movement among the local teachers has recently appeared in the town of Kostur, which insists upon rejection of Greek and Bulgarian propaganda, and the introduction of the Macedonian dialect as the language of teaching in the schools. This initiative has in fact been started, Sir, by several town teachers hostile to Hellenism and Bulgarianism, due to their policies concerning education, and especially due to the discrimination of the local teaching staff.
I was particularly intrigued by these events, since “where two are quarrelling, the third profits,” so that I found out through my confidential agents on the spot that there had ben a secret meeting of six teachers, They decided to propose to the local Church and school community that the vernacular be introduced in the town school instead of Bulgarian.
If You are interested in these matters, Sir, please answer me with a ciphered telegram.
DIMITRIJE BODI TO VLADAN DORDEVICH
26th August 1892
Consulate of the Kingdom of Serbia 26th August 1892 Bitola To the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Belgrade
In connection with Your telegram of 24th August this year, it is my honour to let you know that I have taken steps for providing closer information concerning the events in Kostur. According to my humble opinion, Sir, what has been happening in this town could have far-reaching consequences for our cause in this region, where we have so far had little success indeed. For the time being, it is essential for us to suppress foreign propaganda, and later it will be an easy job. It is sufficient for us to find a priest and a few people, and the job is done. l have heard from my own people that the local community at its meeting of 22nd August this year, decided that the teaching in the new 1892/1893 school year should be done in the Macedonian dialect. The town teachers were even given the task of working a programme for the language teaching and a provisional grammar of the Macedonian dialect. If the teaching in the town school should prove to be successful, then after the autumn semester it will also be spread to the neighbouring villages of Mavrovo, Licista, Tiholista and Sestovo. A commission of three teachers was charged with begining the work and it has already been meeting in the Economy boarding-school.
This is the latest news for the time being, Sir, as regards the movement in Kostur. As soon as I hear other news, I shall report it immediately to You. Please receive on this occasion as well my deepest respect,
DIMITRIJE BODI TO THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
1st September 1892
Consulate of the Kingdom of Serbia No. 791 Belgrade lst September 1892 Bitola
To the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Belgrade
I informed You in my letter of 26th August, this year, about the news concerning the action for introducing the Macedonian dialect into the town school in Kostur. Having the importance of this question in mind, I committed myself fully to it. I sent a man from the Consulate to Kostur, who, after his one-day stay informed me that the Commission for the establishment of a Macedonian literary language, which would be the language of instruction in the town school in Kostur, had already for some time had attheir disposal quite a large amount of material for creating a Macedonian grammar and Macedonian dictionary. Yet, even at their first meeting, the Commission encountered huge difficulties in supplementing the vernacular with words it does not possess. Our man, who met the members of the Commission, acted cleverly and advised them to fill the gaps in the Macedonian vocabulary with words from the Serbian literary language. The members of the Commission did not reject the suggestion, although they did not accept it etiher, saying that they would consult the church-school community. If we promised aid to the Community for the printing of the dictionary and the grammar, Sir, I hope they would accept our linguistic assistance. And not only that. They would agree to replace the other Bulgarian textbooks with Serbian ones. If you approve my step, Sir, please give me more extensive instructions.
Please accept, Your Excellency, expressions of my deepest respect.