MAKEDONIJA – MACEDONIA – МАКЕДОНИЈА

Centar Skoplja nekad-The centre of Skopje in the past

Centar Skoplja nekad-The centre of Skopje in the past

Centar Skoplja sad-The centre of Skopje now

Centar Skoplja sad-The centre of Skopje now

Crkva Svetog Jovana Bogoslova- The Church of St. John the Theologean-Kaneo

Crkva Svetog Jovana Bogoslova- The Church of St. John the Theologean-Kaneo

Haljine za albanske mlade-Dresses for the Albanian brides

Haljine za albanske mlade-Dresses for the Albanian brides

Manastir Sveti Naum Ohridski-The Monastery of Saint Naum

Manastir Sveti Naum Ohridski-The Monastery of Saint Naum

Manastir Sveti Pantelejmon-St. Panteleimon monastery

Manastir Sveti Pantelejmon-St. Panteleimon monastery

Pogled na Ohrid s jezera-A view of Ohrid from the lake

Pogled na Ohrid s jezera-A view of Ohrid from the lake

Slovenski apostoli Cirilo i Metodije-Apostles to the Slavs Saints Cyril and Methodius

Slovenski apostoli Cirilo i Metodije-Apostles to the Slavs Saints Cyril and Methodius

Spomenik Skenderbegu na ulazu u albansku cetvrt u Skoplju-The monument of Skanderbeg at the entrance to the Albanian quarter in Skopje

Spomenik Skenderbegu na ulazu u albansku cetvrt u Skoplju-The monument of Skanderbeg at the entrance to the Albanian quarter in Skopje

Spomenik Sv. Klimentu Ohridskom-Monument of St. Clement of Ohrid

Spomenik Sv. Klimentu Ohridskom-Monument of St. Clement of Ohrid

Ulica u albanskoj cetvrti-A street in the Albanian quarter

Ulica u albanskoj cetvrti-A street in the Albanian quarter

Veliko snizenje-Big discount

Veliko snizenje-Big discount

U potrazi za zvaničnim imenom, sa kojim bi se čitav svet složio, a posebno Grčka kao prvi sused, ova zemlja se privremeno zove Bivša Jugoslovenska Republika Makedonija i tako sadrži obeležje jedne velike države iz koje je potekla. Na taj način su Makedonci jedini zadržali privilegiju da se bar formalno prisete velike ideje jugoslovenstva, koja je nekada bila aktuelna na  jugoistočnom Balkanu. Problem je u činjenici da se Makedonijom naziva i deo severne Grčke, što je povezano sa Aleksandrom Velikim, koji je rođen u tim krajevima. Njegovim imenom nazvane su sve važnije institucije oba entiteta, koji kao da se takmiče ko će više koristiti to slavno istorijsko ime.
Privlačan mi je stari deo glavnog grada Skoplja, u kome Albanci imaju svoje živopisne radnje. Nalaze se u malim kaldrmisanim ulicama i sokacima koji podsećaju na Orijent, kao zaostali iz minulih vekova. U njima se prodaju svileni materijali svih boja, sa najrazličitijim ornamentima i aplikacijama, jer albanske mlade u toku svadbe više puta menjaju svoje raskoške haljine. U malim istočnjačkim restoranima služe se najbolji ćevapi u somunu i pravi domaći ratluk sa svežim orasima i lešnicima kojih ima više nego one slatke lepljive mase koja ih spaja. Novi deo Skoplja je savremen kao i u većini današnjih gradova, a najnoviji deo se gradi po ugledu na stari Rim.
Ipak, Ohridsko jezero sa okolinom je nešto što ovoj maloj zemlji na Balkanu daje svojstvenost, koja objedinjuje pravoslavnu i starogrčku kulturu, sa blagim daškom islama. Biser srednjovekovne vizantijske arhitekture, mali manastir Sveti Naum Ohridski stoji uzvišeno na obali jezera i kao da prkosi Albaniji, koja je na svega nekoliko koraka od njega. Na drugom kraju je mestašce Struga, u kome se odlično pripremaju čuvene ohridske pastrmke i dimljene jegulje. Oduvek sam se pitao kakav to nagon dovodi jegulje čak u ovaj deo sveta. „Kako Struga nema druga“ kažu stihovi, a nadaleko čuvene pesme i igre odražavaju duh ovog setnog naroda, koji kroz njih iskazuje svoju životnu radost, ljubavnu tugu, pečalbarsku nostalgiju ili neostvarene želje. Makedonska narodna muzika je veliko nadahnuće savremenoj muzici, zbog svojevrsnih ritmova koji u njoj postaju sveopšti.
Ne dâ Makedonija svog Aleksandra Velikog nikome, čak je i aerodrom u Skoplju nazvala njegovim imenom. Ne želi da ustupi svoj identitet susednim Grcima, zbog čega spor oko imena države i dalje traje. Ostaje, međutim, činjenica da je Aleksandar u šesnaestoj godini života već vodio vojsku na Aziju, dok danas neke nove dečake u tim godinama majke još odvode u školu.
Pitam se kojoj civilizaciji bi trebalo dati prednost?

Maj 2009.
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In search of an official name that would be acceptable to everyone in the international community and especially to Greece, its first neighbour, this country is temporarily called the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, therefore retaining a reference to the bigger country it was part of. In this way Macedonians are the only privileged people to at least formally recall the great ideal of Yugoslav unity which was once popular in the South-East Balkans. The problem is that the Northern part of Greece is also called Macedonia, which is linked to Alexander the Great who was born in those parts. In both Macedonian entities, most important institutions bear Alexander’s name, as though they are competing over who will use more this famous historical name.
I am very attracted by the old quarters of the capital city Skopje, where Albanians have their picturesque shops. They are situated in small cobbled streets and alleyways, reminiscent of the Orient and times gone by. They sell silk fabric of all colours, patterns and decorations, because Albanian brides change their opulent dresses several times during the wedding ceremonies. In small Eastern like restaurants best chevapchichi is served in specially made buns and the home made Turkish delight contains more walnuts and hazelnuts than the glutinous gel that holds them together. The new part of Skopje looks contemporary like any modern city, and the newest part of the city is being built after the blueprint of the ancient Rome.
Yet Lake Ohrid and its surrounds give this small Balkan country its peculiar charm, where Orthodox and Ancient Greek cultures embrace, taking in a whiff of Islamic heritage. A small Monastery of St. Naum is a true gem of Byzantine medieval architecture and is proudly perched on the shore of Lake Ohrid, as though it is challenging the neighbouring Albania which is but a few steps away. On the other side of the lake is the small town of Struga, famous for its deliciously cooked trout and smoked eel. I have always wondered why eels were compelled to settle in this part of the world.
The verse says ‘There’s no friend like Struga’ and sentiments of sadness, nostalgia for homeland, unrequited love as well as joie de vivre of these melancholic people are showing in their world famous music and dance. Macedonian folk music is a great inspiration to modern music worldwide, especially because of its particular rhythms which convey something truly universal.
Macedonia is not giving up its Alexander the Great. Even the airport in Skopje bears his name. It does not want to concede its identity to the neighbouring Greece, which is the reason why the conflict over the state’s name still continues. However the fact remains that at 16, Alexander was already leading his army towards Asia, whereas today some boys of the same age are still taken to school by their mothers.
I wonder which civilisation is more advantageous?

May 2009

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