A Post- or Super-Nationality in the European Union
The Bulgarians: A Forged Mélange
The Bulgarians are comprised of two different ethnic groups, each having different cultural attributes – Slavic settlers who excelled as farmers and Bulgarian tribes who excelled at fighting. They became extraordinarily interlinked, losing any sign of their separate origins, due to their shared experience of the bloody wars of independence against the strong Byzantine regime and five centuries of cruel, predominately Muslim occupation. The Bulgarians endured those trials thanks to a unique intimacy with their popular written language, which they had been familiar with since the tenth century – long before any other European group managed to attain such a level of literacy.
In 866, Bulgaria accepted Christianity, and developed a unique religious attitude that was derived from Christian and Bulgarian myths, which became a source of national comfort and strength during the years when rural Bulgarian peasants received no support from their towns after the Turks had emptied Bulgarian towns of most of their Bulgarian dwellers, settling in their stead Turks, Greeks and Armenians. In the country's hills and mountains some Bulgarian convents remained, also, many Russians were aware of the Bulgarian who had taught them literature in a popular Slavic language; Slavic Russians had adopted Orthodox Christianity from Bulgarian religious scholars. This explains why Russia ensured that churches in Bulgarian villages were provided with holy books, so that the Bulgarian peasants could raise their spirits with religious myths, and why the Russian army was the only Christian force to have helped the Bulgarians during their war of independence. Those events also explain why the Bulgarians lamented the dismantling of the Soviet bloc; the Bulgarians were the only member of that bloc unhappy with its detachment from Russia. A symptom of that attitude was reflected in a subsequent sharp decline in the Bulgarian birth rate.
Bulgaria’s decision to join the EU stemmed from Bulgarian's ancient stance of identifying themselves with Europe, starting with their defense of the continent against Tatar and Muslim invaders in 717, when the Muslims laid siege to Christian Constantinople, continuing with their resistance to the Islamic attempt to conquer Europe – resistance that resulted in a subsequent islamic occupation of Bulgaria itself.
Therefore, the Bulgarians are a positive element within the EU, and may eventually form a cultural bridge between Slavic Russia and the rest of Europe.