||The Slovaks in Bulgaria (Notes for their historical and ethno-cultural development)
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||Slovak immigrants settled in Bulgaria in the 1884-1910 period. Their settlement was conditioned by the establishment of an independent Bulgarian state after the country's liberation from the rule of the Ottoman Empire (1878) and the passing of a Law on the population of the unpopulated (state-owned) lands in Bulgaria (1880). They settled along the lower reaches of the Danube, not far from Pleven, mostly in the centres of population Podem, Gorna Mitropolija, Brushlyanitsa and Voivodovo. In the mid-1930s, living there were about 1600 Slovaks.
They brought along progressive agricultural production to their new home places, whereby they contributed to the economic development of the regions where they settled. The Slovak peasants also carried a great number of other specific features, setting them apart from the Bulgarian environment in all aspects of material, social and cultural life.
The Slovaks in Bulgaria founded Slovak schools in the places where they lived, along with Evangelical-Lutheran religious temples, which became symbols of the national identity of the Slovaks, consolidating in them the sense of belonging to a group and enhancing their resolve to survive in the far-away alien world, despite the hardships and the hostile conditions they often encountered. The everyday life and the national and cultural development of the Slovaks in Bulgaria was shaped by processes, characterizing two basic trends. One was the preservation of the features of their original cultural and ethnic specificity. The second aspect of their development away from their homeland was the gradual ethnocultural rapprochement with the culture and way of life of the Bulgarian population surrounding them. In the 1922-1930 period, about one-quarter of the Slovaks living in Bulgaria emigrated to Argentina.
In the 1945-1957, about 95 per cent of the Bulgarian Slovaks resettled in the Czechoslovak Republic, where they sougth life security and preservation of their national identity.