|Dimitar Miladinov (1810-1862)|
Dimitar Miladinov was born in Struga in 1810. After finishing education he worked as a teacher in several cities in Macedonia. He was convinced that the Macedonian nation could liberate itself from political and spiritual slavery only through education and literacy. Therefore, he insisted on elimination of the Greek language from the schools and churches in Macedonia and on introduction of the Macedonian language instead. Because of this he came into conflict with the Greek bishop from Ohrid.
A central part in Dimitar Miladinov's renaissance activity was the collection of Macedonian folk art. As a result of his engagement, the Macedonian literature acquired its most representative work: "Zbornik na Narodni Umotvorenija - The Collection of Folk Songs, Riddles and Costumes" that was published in Zagreb in 1861. The Collection consists of 662 folk songs mostly about love. There are also many songs about the heroes and the haiduks: Marko Krale, Momchilo Vojvoda, Bolen Dojchin, Dete Dukadinche. Undoubtedly, one of the most important segments of "The Collection" is the Macedonian-Croation dictionary that has cultural and historical value.
The creation of "The Collection" represents a major event in the cultural history of the Macedonian nation. Its contribution consists of the fact that the Macedonian nation became aware of the folk art as a national treasure and that the Macedonian language could be a noble resource for written expression and development of the Macedonian literature and culture. "The Collection" showed to the world that the Macedonian language lived in the bosom of the Macedonian folk art as a mark of its national originality. A lot of other poets learned from him how to create their own art. He died imprisoned in Istanbul in 1862. This was due to the false accusations for spreading Russian propaganda in Macedonia, i.e., for being a Russian agent there, made against him at the Ottoman authorities by the Greek clergy from Macedonia, which simply wanted to eliminate him due to his work on national awakening.