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Let's hate again

The hatred far beyond the grave

By Bozhan BozhkovPublished 2 months ago Updated 2 months ago 3 min read
The image was created by AI Bing.

"She’s cool, but I can’t like her, cos maybe some of her ancestors have slayed some of mine at some point. ”

That were the words of a little boy on the wedding reception of a cosine of my wife. The boy was also a relative of hers.

Let me explain in more detail.

We are Bulgarians, so was the groom. The bride was a girl from Istanbul. A Turkish girl. Marriages between Bulgarians and Turks are uncommon, despite the historical coexistence of both communities in Bulgaria. Lingering memories of Ottoman rule, referred to in Bulgaria as 'The Yoke' or 'The Turkish Slavery,' persist in the collective consciousness, perpetuated by deliberate narratives crafted by those in power.

Indeed, at least the last centuries of the Ottoman rule Bulgarians weren't technically enslaved, but their rights were severely limited compared to Muslims. They were exposed to the attacks of various gangs and lacked substantial protection from the state. However, they did possess certain freedoms, such as the ability to travel and engage in commerce, particularly in the final century of Ottoman rule. Nevertheless, memories of earlier periods, characterized by conquest and religious coercion, remain vivid in popular folklore. There are folks songs about the great hero, who liberated tree chains of slaves, many tales about that time, when many people were forced to change their faith by force. Also many people have been killed if they refused to change their faith.

One notable figure in Bulgarian history, Tsar Ivan Shishman, met a grim fate when he refused to embrace Islam and was subsequently executed.

Following his demise, subsequent attempts to assert Bulgarian sovereignty were short-lived, marking the end of the Second Bulgarian Empire

These memories, carefully nurtured by the organizers of the Bulgarian national liberation movement, were later exploited by communist authorities to sow discord and division among the populace. Divided people, as history has shown time and again, are far easier to control.

While the communist rule may have provided a semblance of protection against lawlessness, it came at a steep cost: the suppression of individual freedoms and independent thought. It much more it protected us from freedom. Even from any free thought. These memories, deeply ingrained in the national psyche, continue to be weaponized by agents of Russian influence in Bulgaria, perpetuating a state of collective paralysis that blinds many to objective reality if it challenges their entrenched beliefs.

I’ve written about the hatred and mistrust of the different. Today’s post is about hatred based of the events long since buried in the past.

Shakespeare four centuries ago tried to warn us of the consequences of the hatred based on something, that happened in time immemorial. Still many people sigh about the fate of Romeo and Juliet and continue to hate other because of events, which should be forgotten long time ago.

About the boy from the beginning of this story – I tried to explain him, that yes, it is possible that some of his ancestors may have suffered from hers in the past. Also it is possible some of her ancestors have suffered from some of his rebellious ancestors, albeit with a lower probability.

It's a sobering truth that many of our forebears, if we dig deep enough into history, have likely been both perpetrators and victims of injustice. To cause today harm to someone does nothing to rectify past wrongs.

As time has passed, I can only hope that the boy, now a grown man living abroad and engaging with people from diverse backgrounds, has shed the prejudices of his youth.

Today, with unprecedented ease of global communication and travel, we have unparalleled opportunities to connect with individuals from all points of the globe.

Especially we who live in the countries of the European Union can travel at least to the nearest countries almost so easily and often not more expensive than between the borders of our countries.

But it is disheartening to observe how too many people who travel around the world and even work abroad, live still in their bubble of delusions and prejudices, completely subject to the propaganda of those who again want to redistribute the world.

Nevertheless, there remains cause for optimism that rationality and empathy will ultimately triumph over the primal instincts of tribalism and distrust. As we continue to navigate an increasingly interconnected world, may we all strive to cultivate understanding, compassion, and a commitment to transcending the barriers of prejudice that divide us.

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About the Creator

Bozhan Bozhkov

Hi, dear readers. I'm Bulgarian. I used to be a physicist, that's my education, but now I work as a network administrator. For many years, I have been writing a blog, and have also written several fairy tales and short stories, and a novel.

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Comments (1)

  • Novel Allenabout a month ago

    History stays ingrained in our psyche, at certain times it peeps it head out, depending on the situations. In most cases people's own people had a hand in their historical development, like Africans selling Africans to slave traders. Life happens almost the same everywhere, sadly.

Bozhan BozhkovWritten by Bozhan Bozhkov

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