The Macedonian daily Dnevnik (not related to the Bulgarian daily with the same name) writes the following:
Бугарите колку сакаат може да ??а оспоруваат засебноста на македонскиот народ, дури и во своите вицови – една верзи??а на темата “На??кус бугарски виц” е токму “Македонски народ”. Но, фактот дека постои посебна рубрика на вицови за Македонци во бугарскиот фолклор го докажува токму спротивното – постоењето засебен македонски идентитет културно различен од бугарскиот. Парадоксално, ама токму бугарските вицови во кои на??многу се понижуваат и исмеваат Македонците се антрополо??ко сведо??тво во прилог на тезата дека Македонците и Бугарите на културен план се два различни света. Впрочем, како ??то сведочи и ово?? бугарски парадокс ??то го прочитав на еден интернет-форум: “Сите луѓе настанале од ма??муните, а само Македонците од Бугарите”
Here’s a translation of this in English:
The Bulgarians may argue about the existence of the Macedonian people, even in their jokes – one of the versions of “the shortest Bulgarian joke” is exactly the “Macedonian people”. But the fact that there’s a separate set of jokes about Macedonians in the Bulgarian folklore proves exactly the opposite – there is a separate Macedonian identity, culturally different from the Bulgarian. The paradox is that exactly the Bulgarian jokes, which laugh at the Macedonians are anthropological proof that the Macedonians and the Bulgarians are two different cultural worlds. There’s an example of this Bulgarian paradox, which I read at an Internet forum, “All people come from the monkeys, only the Macedonians – from the Bulgarians”.
And here’s an explanation:
The writer, Zharko Trajanoski, obviously is not aware of the Bulgarian folklore, or else he would have known that there is no section “jokes about Macedonians”, but there are sections “jokes about people from Gabrovo”, “jokes about people from Plovdiv”, and of course, the famous “jokes about Shopi”. Which doesn’t mean there are separate nations of the Shopi, plovdivchani or gabrovtsi.
Plus, there are far worse and harsh jokes about the Shopi than about the Macedonians in the Bulgarian folklore.
But the fact that the Macedonian “Dnevnik” would publish a whole article on that (there are more examples to show that the Greeks are obssesed with the Macedonians, etc.) shows that indeed the Macedonians are having a problem with their identity, a problem that lasts now for nearly 20 years.
As for the shortest Bulgarian joke, it is not translatable in English, but it is (with the right pronunciation) a talk between two people:
– A, be!
– A, de?
disclosure: I am born in Skopie. My Grandfather is one of the creators of the Macedonian alphabet, and has published the first book in Macedonian, in 1938.
Благодарам за преводот и забеле??ките. Напи??ав и посебен пост како одговор.
Zharko has responded to me at his blog. It’s in Macedonian, but basically he defends his positions.
Here are some responses to his comments:
Yes, Zharko, there are. Like there are for the shopi, or the citizens of Gabrovo. Or of Aberdeen, Scotland.
Zharko, the first joke (“Oh, Moon, Moon, Macedonian land, how are we going to divide you”) is just to make the point how much land the Macedonians claim is theirs from ancient times.
The second jokes – I’ve never heard it in the version you are saying it, but have heard it in the version with Bulgarians as main characters.
I’d like to point out that respect is being earned, and is not given by default. By education one gives seats to elderly people in the metro, but if you want to be respected for your dignity, then you have to show this dignity, and not get upset at jokes…