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Old 02-14-2019, 11:07 PM   #21
Gocka
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Originally Posted by Soldier of Macedon View Post

Are you referring to my assertion that they don't associate our identity "solely" with Orthodox Christianity? If so, then I would've found it less disagreeable had the words "largely" or "significantly" (or something else which wasn't so absolute) been used in place of "solely".
Yes I think that's fair and probably what it was. I never heard someone say you must be Orthodox to be Macedonian, but I do know a majority consider an important part.

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Many may feel that way given the significance of Orthodox Christianity in Macedonia. Many don't. Perhaps an anecdotal example, but I have a relative married to a protestant with roots from eastern Macedonia and nobody in my family has ever treated her or her family as anything less than Macedonian. We have many friends that rarely if ever go to church, but again, none of us treat them as anything less. Just some of my personal experiences. In any case, for historical reasons Orthodox Christianity is viewed as the traditional religion of Macedonians and I don't think that is something which can be disputed. It's a big part of our culture and even those who aren't Orthodox Christians understand this.
I'm surprised you know a protestant Macedonian, I've never met one.

Honestly my experiences could be skewed base on where I'm from. Ohridzani are kind of weird. The past is a big part of Ohrid's identity, with the hundreds of churches and historical sites. Also in our neck of the woods we have a lot of Torbeshi and Albanians in Struga, Ohrid has a lot of Turks, so there is this turf war if you will between Muslims and Christians. That has to have some effect on their mentality and their rejection of other religions, particularly Islam. Despite those feelings its not like they have ever done anything about it so It brings me back to my first point, they may say it in passing at the kafana but in the end its not that important to them.
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Old 02-15-2019, 12:10 AM   #22
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I personally believe part of the reason for this is the failure of successive Macedonian governments to integrate these people into the greater Macedonian nation and actually make them feel Macedonian.....
I have often thought about this in the past, but that thought is tempered by the question of why they too didn't make an effort to reach out and declare their Macedonian allegiances more prominently. What do you think successive governments should've done?
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Rafael Moshe Kamhi is definitely the finest example though there were others.
He was a descendant of Iberian Jews so I don't think he considered himself to be Macedonian in an ethnic sense. Judging by his actions, he may have considered himself Macedonian in a national or civic sense.
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Old 02-15-2019, 12:36 AM   #23
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I'm surprised you know a protestant Macedonian, I've never met one.
I only know them so it's not all too common. That said, there is a protestant church in a suburb near where I grew up and I have seen crowds gather there over some weekends. It's a small place but at the front of the building there is a sign reading 'Macedonian Christian Church'. So they're around.
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......in our neck of the woods we have a lot of Torbeshi and Albanians in Struga, Ohrid has a lot of Turks, so there is this turf war if you will between Muslims and Christians. That has to have some effect on their mentality and their rejection of other religions, particularly Islam.
Honest question without the PC blinkers. In light of the history in Macedonia. In light of the behaviour of many ethnic Albanians, and even some Roma, Turks and our own Muslims when it comes to the integrity of Macedonia. In light of what is going on around the world. In light of their religious teachings and beliefs. Do you believe that a large Islamic population can ever be totally compatible in a free Macedonian society dominated by Macedonians? I am brought up in the West so my perspective is somewhat more open to a level of diversity than some parts of the Old World. However, every time I think about these issues, every time I see how our enemies denigrate or betray us, it inevitably leads me back to the most famous quote of one of Macedonia's most favourite sons: I understand the world solely as a field for cultural competition among the peoples. How prophetic. Other inhabitants or guests are welcome, but each house can only have one host. May his memory last for another 1,000 years. Нашиот совест. Нашиот нај славен Војвода. Слобода. Или Смрт. Once upon a time, it meant something.
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Old 02-15-2019, 01:52 AM   #24
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I have often thought about this in the past, but that thought is tempered by the question of why they too didn't make an effort to reach out and declare their Macedonian allegiances more prominently. What do you think successive governments should've done?
Well DPMNE always campaigned on this very Macedonian Orthodox Christian platform that alienated pretty much everyone else and I'm not fully aware of SDSM ever really doing anything for them either. I honestly don't know much of the Macedonian educational system so I can't comment accurately on this but maybe teach people the goal of our revolutionaries was a free Macedonia for all its people, not just the Macedonian Orthodox majority. I believe there were calls from the Macedonian Muslim community all the way back in the 1980s for greater support from the Orthodox majority due to the-then growing threat of Albanianisation, which has become a serious problem now.

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He was a descendant of Iberian Jews so I don't think he considered himself to be Macedonian in an ethnic sense. Judging by his actions, he may have considered himself Macedonian in a national or civic sense.
The vast majority of Macedonian Jews were Sephardics who's ancestors had fled Reconquista. I think whether he considered himself Macedonian in a national or ethnic sense is irrelevant and just semantics as there were other non-Macedonians who became komiti as well. To take up armed struggle to me shows these people had a love for their land and the revolutionary thought being preached by the VMRO resonated with them strongly enough for them to give their lives to the cause. Kamhi and the other Jews that become involved in the movement may not have been ethnic Macedonians or spoke the language natively but they clearly still did consider themselves sufficiently Macedonian in a sense to still fight for their land.
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Old 02-15-2019, 08:22 AM   #25
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However, every time I think about these issues, every time I see how our enemies denigrate or betray us, it inevitably leads me back to the most famous quote of one of Macedonia's most favourite sons: I understand the world solely as a field for cultural competition among the peoples. How prophetic. Other inhabitants or guests are welcome, but each house can only have one host. May his memory last for another 1,000 years. Нашиот совест. Нашиот нај славен Војвода. Слобода. Или Смрт. Once upon a time, it meant something.
That is hands down my favorite quote of any revolutionary.


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Originally Posted by Soldier of Macedon View Post
Honest question without the PC blinkers. In light of the history in Macedonia. In light of the behaviour of many ethnic Albanians, and even some Roma, Turks and our own Muslims when it comes to the integrity of Macedonia. In light of what is going on around the world. In light of their religious teachings and beliefs. Do you believe that a large Islamic population can ever be totally compatible in a free Macedonian society dominated by Macedonians? I am brought up in the West so my perspective is somewhat more open to a level of diversity than some parts of the Old World.
I hate to say it but Yes and No.

While living in Macedonia it's impossible to say that Islam is not a competing ideology that is incompatible with our and that both can not coexist.

Then while living in the USA and from my western perspective I want to say that they are not incompatible and that they can coexist. I've thought about it a lot. Why do I feel one way in Macedonia and another way in the USA.

At first glance you could make the mistake of thinking that Delchev's quote is not absolute and is maybe just a product of the surrounding he found himself in. That would be a mistake though, because upon further examination you will find that yes he was right, the competition is universal.

In the USA you don't see that in your face competition, all religions and creeds find their quite little corner and go about their business without imposing on others around them. You say, great opposing views can live side by side in harmony, but its much more complicated than that. The reason it works in the USA and other similar countries is because the American identity supersedes all others. The key part is that no one is trying to de-Americanize the USA. The prevailing competition is about how America should function politically, economically, socially, etc.

You look at Macedonia and the competition is for territory plain and simple. Albanians want Macedonia to be Albanian. They don't want Macedonia to be better for all Macedonian's regardless of religion or ethnicity. They want it to be better for them and shape the country in their image at the expense of everyone else. There is no division of ethnicity and nationality in Macedonia, its all the same and the competition is for the very ethnic make up of the land. Albanians see the west and think they are just replicating that in their actions. They are misguided and don't realize they totally misjudge how western culture works, they are merely taking the parts that help them dominate with out tempering the parts that make it peaceful and reciprocal to others around them.


The USA has national pride days for many different ethnic groups and religions. They fly their flags and and sing their songs, but they are one day events, and then people go back to being Americans. In their every day lives they still maintain a part of their native culture and do so freely with out persecution, but first and foremost they are Americans and rest the prevailing laws and customs. The constitution rules over all and no one seeks special treatment.

So there you have it. Yes they can coexist by it requires a certain mentality which honestly our region does not have and I don't think ever will. So for Macedonia the answer is a resounding no given who our neighbors are, given who our minorities are.

I wonder what the perspective is from a country that is somewhere in the middle. Like Germany for example or Sweden. The USA doesn't have a common ethnicity, just a common nationality. Macedonia bears the same nationality as the ethnicity, so this might make minorities apprehensive about adopting the nationality for fear it changes their ethnicity. Germany and Sweden have defined ethnic roots, so I wonder how they view this topic in relation to their minorities. Whether it functions as smoothly as the USA or as poorly as Macedonia, or somewhere in the middle.

As a caveat, the Turks in Ohrid at least are an exception to the region. They are very well integrated. They all identify ethnically as Turks, keep to their customs and religion, but not in a way that imposes on the Macedonian identity. They all speak Macedonian, go to Macedonian schools, have Macedonian friends. Most of the time when going into a shop in Ohrid you won't even know whether the keeper is Turkish or Macedonian. Yet go into a shop owned by an Albanian and he might as well put an eagle on his forehead. Their Macedonian is terrible, they are apprehensive by your very presence, apart from wanting you to buy something they don't want to see your face.

You could argue it because of numbers, but Turks in Ohrid are a similar sized minority to Albanians in many other parts of Macedonia and yet the difference is profound even though they share the same religion. Maybe the Turks don't see themselves as natives and are more willing to blend into the local culture instead of taking it over?

A big problem is a western assumption that there system of governance can function everywhere. It is partly true, but what they don't realize is that its about much more than just the system that is implemented, the people who implement it also have to have the right mentality to make it work. The American solution to everything is just give them our system and it will all work itself out. The OFA is built on that type of assumption, but what they don't know is "So koj si imet rabota".
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Old 02-15-2019, 09:51 AM   #26
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Then while living in the USA and from my western perspective I want to say that they are not incompatible and that they can coexist. I've thought about it a lot. Why do I feel one way in Macedonia and another way in the USA.
Do you think you'd still feel the same in the U.S. if they (Muslims) became a larger minority group? Do you think that they'd be as willing to integrate if there was a larger concentration of them there?
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Germany and Sweden have defined ethnic roots, so I wonder how they view this topic in relation to their minorities. Whether it functions as smoothly as the USA or as poorly as Macedonia, or somewhere in the middle.
They're only now learning about the complexity of diversity which their politicians are so eager to impose on the citizenry. For countries that were generally homogeneous until relatively recently, it's one thing accepting other Europeans who are largely of a Christian background as minorities, it is a whole other issue accepting people who aren't. To be fair, I also think the issue can often transcend race, it's about values and societal norms too. Not just the ability to integrate, but the willingness to integrate, to accept the culture of the native inhabitants and contribute to the prosperity of the country which gave you the privilege to call home. Of course there are rubbish people among other Europeans who have settled in Germany or Sweden, but in general, they integrate much easier.
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Yet go into a shop owned by an Albanian and he might as well put an eagle on his forehead.
Lol.
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You could argue it because of numbers, but Turks in Ohrid are a similar sized minority to Albanians in many other parts of Macedonia and yet the difference is profound even though they share the same religion. Maybe the Turks don't see themselves as natives and are more willing to blend into the local culture instead of taking it over?
They obviously don't have a complex. But they aren't comparatively huge in numbers (collectively across the country) and are satisfied with having the right and support to maintain their culture. For most normal people living in a country other than their ancestral homeland, that is sufficient.
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Old 02-15-2019, 06:54 PM   #27
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Do you think you'd still feel the same in the U.S. if they (Muslims) became a larger minority group? Do you think that they'd be as willing to integrate if there was a larger concentration of them there?
That's a tough one. The Muslim American population is pretty small Oddly enough NJ where I live in considered to have one of the largest Muslim populations in the USA, though I haven't noticed.

As long as there actions and attitudes remained consistent with what I have experienced so far then I wouldn't feel any different if they were a larger minority. All of the Muslims I have met in the USA are very eager to assimilate. A lot are refugee cases so the last thing they want is to replicate the shitholes they came from.

Now would they be as eager to assimilate if there were more of them, who knows. If you go by other minorities I'd have to say yes. But Muslims come from very different backgrounds than south/central Americans, or Europeans.

The USA is a special case because there is no strictly defined American ethnicity or religion. In other countries where the focus is put on traditional culture, in the USA the focus is on rule of law and politics. I imagine Australia must be very similar in this regard?

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They're only now learning about the complexity of diversity which their politicians are so eager to impose on the citizenry. For countries that were generally homogeneous until relatively recently, it's one thing accepting other Europeans who are largely of a Christian background as minorities, it is a whole other issue accepting people who aren't. To be fair, I also think the issue can often transcend race, it's about values and societal norms too. Not just the ability the integrate, but the willingness to integrate, to accept the culture of the native inhabitants and contribute to the prosperity of the country which gave you the privilege to call home. Of course there are rubbish people among other Europeans who have settled in Germany or Sweden, but in general, they integrate much easier.
As usual the Europeans are the guinea pigs that are one step ahead of the Americans.I guess in the next decade or two we will see what to real impact is not only on the ethnic make up of these countries, but whether their economies and social systems continue to function as they have.

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They obviously don't have a complex. But they aren't comparatively huge in numbers (collectively across the country) and are satisfied with having the right and support to maintain their culture. For most normal people living in a country other than their ancestral homeland, that is sufficient.
I think it comes down to Albanians believing that they are native to that land and don't view Macedonians as hosts, but even as occupiers to a degree. Turks know their ancestors came from somewhere else. Its not like they are deprived of anything in any way, so why complain.
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Old 02-16-2019, 02:45 AM   #28
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A lot are refugee cases so the last thing they want is to replicate the shitholes they came from.
Not sure that's how they all feel. Many emigrate or flee and become refugees because of economics or politics. Some would argue that when they arrive in their new countries a number of them (and their offspring) retain customs and attitudes that are not compatible with western societies. That perspective is given some weight when one reads about some of the events that have taken place in England, France and Germany. All that in spite of the somewhat accommodating nature of local authorities.
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The USA is a special case because there is no strictly defined American ethnicity or religion. In other countries where the focus is put on traditional culture, in the USA the focus is on rule of law and politics. I imagine Australia must be very similar in this regard?
It's similar in all the new world countries I would imagine (America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand). Not much emphasis is placed on religion these days but it is understood that people of a Christian heritage created functioning states and governments in these lands.
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I think it comes down to Albanians believing that they are native to that land and don't view Macedonians as hosts, but even as occupiers to a degree.
I agree. Then one only needs to read some sources from the Middle Ages to learn that such a perspective is founded on lies.
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Old 02-16-2019, 07:53 AM   #29
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Such perspectives are founded on nationalism and nationalist discourse/material being learned in schools from young age. It's too late in the game to change anything.

PS: Regarding religion and Macedonia: near the village of Banitsa (renamed to Vevi in 1926), a Bogomil burial ground once existed. In 1982, according to Eliyas Petropoulos, the bishop of Florina ordered the Obliteration of the cemetery and the removal of its tombstones.

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Old 02-17-2019, 12:48 AM   #30
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Such perspectives are founded on nationalism and nationalist discourse/material being learned in schools from young age. It's too late in the game to change anything.
Given that, do you think there's a chance of real peace between Macedonians and ethnic Albanians in Macedonia?
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