The Past and Present of the Cyrillic Alphabet

  On March 17, 2008, the Russian “Izvestia” reported that most government officials and parliamentarians in Kyrgyzstan had reached a consensus and decided to abandon the Kirill alphabet and use the Latin alphabet instead   .
  ”Kazakhstan Today” reported on April 3 of the same year that Kyrgyzstan’s Minister of Culture and Education Ishenguli Porzhulova emphasized to President Bakiyev that it was too early to switch to the Latin alphabet, and the cost was too high. , The President agreed with the Minister of Education, not to put this plan into practice for the time being.
  In the past two years, there has been a lot of noise about the change of language in Kyrgyzstan. Not only Kyrgyzstan, after the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1989, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Georgia, Armenia, and Kazakhstan successively abandoned the Kirill alphabet and switched to the Latin alphabet.
  Kyrgyzstan gave up temporarily because of “not enough money”. It is estimated that the first stage of the plan will require an investment of 14 million US dollars. It can be seen that changing the text is indeed “laboring the people and hurting the money”. In this case, why do countries spare no effort to implement it? To quote the Kazakh government, the purpose of switching to the Latin alphabet is to shift from “the Soviet (colonial) identity, which dominates many aspects of national consciousness, to the (Kazakh) sovereign identity.” .
  Hidden behind this “word war”, the deeper level is actually a “political war”. Politicians who support the adoption of the Latin alphabet, with the agitation and support of the United States and other Western countries, are trying to free their country from the influence of Russia.
  
  In order to welcome the word festival, teachers tie garlands
  
  with . In sharp contrast to the Central Asian countries, the Kirill alphabet in Bulgaria, which is located in Eastern Europe, has received another “treatment”: every year, the whole country is held to commemorate the creation of the Kirill alphabet. Festival, solemn and grand.
  The full name of the text festival is “Bulgarian Educational Culture and Slavic Language Festival”, and the time is May 24 every year. During the festival, educational and cultural units at all levels across the country have held various exhibitions, seminars and various award ceremonies. In order to let the public know more about scientific undertakings, the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences also held a three-day open day, and its affiliated museums and institutes were open to the public. During the school holiday, various commemorative activities are held. Bulgaria first publicly celebrated the Slavic festival in 1851, and in 1990 the National Assembly declared the Slavic festival a national holiday.
  Like any other festival, if you do not participate in the festival, it is just a symbol for you; only by participating in person can you be infected by that enthusiasm and deeply understand its connotation. In 2005, as a Chinese teacher at the University of Sofia, I was fortunate enough to personally participate once.
  As the highest-level institution of higher learning in Bulgaria, the University of Sofia was busy a few days before the festival. In the early morning of the 23rd, teachers and students of the Oriental Language and Culture Center came to the school early. Many people held flowers of different colors; Bought in the market. Yellow-orange chrysanthemums, bright red carnations and roses, white lilies, charming Strelitzia… The lively atmosphere of the festival was suddenly rendered by the ocean-like flowers, and it also immersed Su Ri in the busyness and troubles of life. people into a selfless, lofty spiritual realm.
  People make concerted efforts and work together to bundle flowers, green branches and gypsophila with white flowers into beautiful garlands, which are hung on the doors of classrooms and teaching buildings and on the walls of teaching buildings. In front of the portraits of the sages.
  
  The large-scale parade attracts people who love culture at home and abroad
  
  On the 24th, the text festival reached its climax. The parade formed spontaneously from all walks of life first gathered in front of the Bulgarian National Palace of Culture. The parade headed by the Bulgarian President, Minister of Culture, Minister of Education and University Rector marched towards the National Library, followed by several parade formations composed of thousands of people from all over Bulgaria and from all walks of life. The marchers carried portraits of Kirill, the Metodi brothers and cultural figures, while others waved bouquets and national flags. Bands, drums, dance teams accompany them. The streets were lined with cheering crowds.
  The author followed the parade through the People’s Theater, the National Art Gallery, and arrived in front of the Kirill and Metodi statues in front of the National Library, where a grand memorial ceremony will be held.
  The President paid tribute to the statues of Kirill and Metodi, placed flowers in front of the statues with infinite reverence, and then delivered a speech, reviewing the history of the Bulgarian nation, inspiring those who fought on all fronts, and striving to advance the Bulgarian nation cultural prosperity.
  Those who came to lay flowers for Kirill and Metodi spontaneously included teachers and students from universities and middle schools, celebrities in the cultural circles, old people with white hair, and children of several years old. A flower expresses their admiration for the pioneers; a song conveys their respect for science and knowledge.
  After the commemoration ceremony, an old man in his 60s walked to the statue with his little granddaughter by the hand. The little girl placed a few red vigorous chrysanthemums on the steps with a solemn expression. I started chatting with them and found out that my grandmother is a middle school teacher who teaches Bulgarian and is now retired; my little granddaughter is about to graduate from elementary school. The girl told me: “Since I was a child, I fell asleep every day to the sound of stories told by my grandmother. For me, every syllable in Bulgarian is as beautiful as music. I don’t know these two grandpas of sculpture, But I like them and the words they left us.” This is the power from the people.
  The spirit of Bulgarian verse is respect for science and respect for culture. As Bulgarian Minister of Culture Danaylov said at the ceremony in 2007: “The mission of the people who integrate Bulgarian national culture into the treasure house of world culture is great. Culture and science are given priority in social life because of cultural and scientific achievements It can make our people stand before the European family and the world.”
  
  Brothers Kirill and Metodi
  
  ”These two grandfathers of sculpture” are the men who created the Kirill alphabet – brothers Kirill and Metodi. They were born in the city of Thessaloniki in the Byzantine Empire. The elder brother Metodi had held an important administrative position for many years, and the younger brother Kirill was educated at the famous Magnaura School in Constantinople. Later, they went to the monastery to study the classics, and in AD 855 founded the Slavic alphabet used by many Slavic countries on the basis of the Greek alphabet, that is, the “Glago” alphabet. This set of letters has been improved and is called the “Kirill” alphabet.
  Shortly after the birth of the Kirill alphabet, the Kirill and Metodi brothers were involved in fierce national and religious struggles. In 862 AD, the king of Great Moravia (830-905 years, the territory is about the present Czech, Slovakia, Austria) asked the emperor of the Byzantine Empire to help them fight against the military and religious cultural expansion of the Germans, the emperor of the Byzantine Empire sent Kiri Brothers to accomplish this mission. They engaged in education in Greater Moravia and promoted the Slavic script, so they were persecuted by the Germanic priests. The Germanic priests accused them of “heretics”, and in order to fight for “equal rights” for the Slavs, Kirill and the Metodi brothers went to Rome to meet the Pope. At that time, the contradiction between the Pope of Rome and the Patriarch of Constantinople for the monopoly of the church was very sharp. Pope Adrian II hoped to put the Western Slavs under his influence, so as not to be won by the Church of Constantinople. In the past, in view of this, the Pope complied with all their demands: prayers in Slavic, translation of Christian texts in Slavic script, independent jurisdiction over the Churches of Greater Moravia and Pannonia without interference from the Germanic Church. One of them was also awarded the title of bishop. The Kirill alphabet was finally approved by the Pope and won the victory in the cracks of religious struggle.
  In 869 AD, Kirill became ill from overwork and died in Rome. Mettody returned to Greater Moravia to continue translating books and making disciples, was imprisoned twice, and died in AD 885. After Metodi’s death, Germanic influence was firmly established in Greater Moravia, and all of Metodi’s disciples were expelled from the country. Among them, Clement and others took refuge in Bulgaria. At that time, Bulgaria had just accepted Christianity, and the domestic people’s acceptance level was not high. In order to unify the national ideology, King Boris warmly welcomed the arrival of Clement and others, supported their mission in Bulgaria, opened schools, trained students, and created the famous “Ohrid School”. Bulgaria became the center of the Slavic script and the center of the Slavic culture. The Greek, which had been the official language for a long time, was gradually replaced by the Slavic script. Bulgaria became the first country in the Balkans to write in the Slavic script. With the promotion of the Slavic script, Bulgaria entered the first flourishing period of culture and literature – the period of ancient Bulgarian literature.
  
  ”The sun shines on all the people”: the spirit of democracy passed on from generation to generation
  
  Bulgarians say that the Kirill and Metodi brothers are the pride of Bulgaria, and the Greeks say that they are the pride of Greece, because their birthplace Thessaloniki is in Greece. Their fathers were Byzantine nobles and their mothers were Slavs. Therefore, there is still controversy and disagreement about which country Kirill and Metodi are from, but the democratic spirit and scientific spirit they advocate are pursued and admired by people in all European countries.
  At that time, Kirill and Metodi passed through Venice on their way to Rome and had a heated debate with the local church members. These church members believe that prayers and translations of Christian scriptures can only be done in Greek, Latin and Hebrew, and that the Slavic peoples have no right to use their own language, which is the so-called “Trilingualism”. Kirill and Metodi declared righteously that every nation had the right to pray and read the scriptures in its own language, and left behind the famous saying “the sun shines on all the people”. It can be said that as early as the 9th century AD, they conveyed the democratic spirit advocated by the European Renaissance.
  The Kirill alphabet made the prosperity of ancient Slavic culture, especially the prosperity and prosperity of ancient Bulgarian literature and culture, and also created the Bulgarian national spirit of respecting knowledge and advocating science. The song “Advance, Revival People” spreads: “Advance, revive people, move forward towards a bright future! Rely on the new power of culture to strive for greater glory! Forward! Science is the sun, shining on On us! Onward! Where there is knowledge, a nation will not die out…”
  Unlike other languages, the Cyrillic alphabet, a symbol system used by humans to record language communication, seems to have been unable to escape the shadow of “politics” since its inception. , is inextricably linked with politics. Especially since the last century, it has been ill-fated: in the Soviet period, many countries, regions and ethnic groups were influenced by the Soviet Union and began to use the Kirill alphabet, and the Kirill alphabet reached its heyday. With the disintegration of the Soviet Union, the status of the Kirill alphabet declined rapidly. With the changing political situation, the Kirill alphabet deduces its own history of rise and fall.
  However, as a great creation, as a text that has flourished for more than ten centuries of civilization, as a tool for disseminating science and knowledge, as an important communication tool used by more than 300 million people in the world, as a perspective on the spirit of 300 million people The window of the home, its value will not change with political changes, it is eternal. The verses express a belief of the Bulgarians, a belief in the position of science and knowledge.