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Cyrillic alphabet and all you should know about it

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the Cyrillic alphabet is a method of representing in a written form the verbal communication. Several countries around the globe have it as an official script. With Bulgaria's entrance into the European Union, in 2007, the Cyrillic alphabet became the third official alphabet used in EU (aside from the Latin and the Greek one). The origins of this alphabet bring us back in the 9th century, the period of St. Kiril and Methodius. Geographically this took place in Ohrid, today's Macedonia. Back then it was the Bulgarian kingdom.

The brothers, Kiril and Methodius, started using a different script for translating the Holy Bible in order it to be closer to the people. This script is called Glagolica.Glagoli” which translated from Old Slavic means “talk” and gives the name of the first Slavic script. Glagolica had 41 letters and combines two different scripts which are Hebrew and Greek.

Two students or ideology followers of Kiril and Methodius- Kliment and Naum, decided to continue with what their teachers were doing- spreading the teachings of the Bible through teaching people how to read. In many songs, they are referred to as “light givers” because of giving people the ability to read. Kliment and Naum figured out that the alphabet of 41 letters is a little bit too ambitious and that it is possible for this to be simplified. Kliment refined the system of signs and in an honor of his teacher, Kiril names it Kirilica or Cyrillic.

Nowadays, this script is used as a system of around 30 signs, and among the countries where it is official are Russia, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Ukraine, Tajikistan. By the way, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kazakhstan have the Cyrillic alphabet as the official alphabet along with Latin.

In Ohrid, you can visit many places dedicated to Kiril, Metodij, Kliment, and Naum because they originated from here. Here the first Slavic University was formed- Ohrid Literary School, by Kliment in the year of 886. This is considered as a crucial step for the Slavic culture.

If you find yourself in one of the mentioned countries that have Cyrillic as an official script, you can get a souvenir with Cyrillic letters. Some sellers claim that Cyrillic letters bring luck, so feel free to buy a t-shirt or mug with some sentences in Cyrillic.

Please don’t get tattoos.

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The author

Zlata Golaboska

Zlata Golaboska

I am Zlata and I am an architect living in the Balkans. I am passionate about cities, how people influence architecture and vice versa, and how places change our lives.

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