Macedonia: Monday May 29 2017 Day 9
Gastarbeiter houses -- diaspora people (Macedonians who went to work abroad) who,come back and build big gaudy houses for 150k+ Euros
This of the three Macedonias Became independent in 1945, one of the six parts of Yugoslavia. In 1991 Macedonia left quietly by giving up entire military lock stock and barrel to Serbia. Since Serbs are a tiny and successful minority's in Macedonia, they were left be. Serbian Orthodox Church claims the property of Macedonian Orthodox Church but otherwise conflict free.
Birth rate among Albanians grew 400% while Slav population stagnated (low birth rate, emigration).
During the Kosovo, 300k ethnic Albanians welcomed by Macedonia, 200k stayed. Kosovo Liberation Army started guerilla actions, supported by western powers and supplied with guns from the Kosovo conflict. Agreement in 2001 left peace but unresolved demands like bilingual education everywhere
Two major Macedonian parties. Standing party got the plurality but lost the coalition. Violent protests, broke in to the parliament building.
2001 document says that the party that gets the most Albanian votes must be part of the Government. No other minority group has this. 120 seats in parliament. 50 by one party, 49 by second, four other parties took the remainder. A former member of the Kosovo Liberation was minister of defense(!) now speaker
President has powers to pardon crime or halt trials. He cancelled investigations into corruption of 50 some politicians for corruption.
To understand national politics need to understand local politics, local politicians, and international crime. Crime: drugs, human trafficking. Oh and oil money mixed with religious evangelism.
Eleski Skok "Deers Leap" 1700s. The technique to put all the rocks together so they hold was very impressive: all the rocks interlock.
Two young people were in love, but the Bey wanted to take the girl. The boy killed the Bey and was fleeing soldiers; he turned into a deer and leaped to the other side
Another story is that the Bey was hunting in the woods after a deer for several days. The deer leapt across and escaped, impressing the Bey who ordered bridge built.
Old Village of Janče Jанче
Modern Homes are owned by gastarbeiters
Zastava, sold under license by Fiat. Suicide doors. Common in Yugoslavia: cheap, small
St Jovan Bigorski Monastery
- Dedicated to John the Baptist
- Dates from 11th c
- A monk had a dream about this place, found an old icon, started Monastery here.
- Biggest and most beautiful iconostasis (cenotaph?)
- Pilgrims from all over come here.
- Respected by local Christians and Moslems as a holy place
- Vulnerable to raiders, so there was a permanent guard in the towers
- Fresco outside church: sinner being judged,
Driving from Monastery, passed the main national park in Macedonia, region with ski slopes and a large dammed lake.
One of the most diverse cities in Macedonia. Mixture of Albanian (mostly Muslims), ethnic Macedonians (Orthodox), Turkish (mostly Muslim) 60k citizens
Sharina Jamia -- Painted Mosque Шарина Уамja
First built in 1470s. Unlike most Mosques -- built by Pasha or Bey -- this was built for the graves of two women Shatravan water fountain used for ablutions. Before each 5x day prayer you clean yourself. In the late 1800s it was rebuilt to its current form. Mosque is painted similar to frescoes, rather than ceramic mosaics.
Complex where Dervishes live. A type of Muslims More towards Shia, a bit more liberal. (women don't have to wears scarves, can drink alcohol, representative images, etc). These are in particular Baba dervishes. Baba means elder or wise man.
Dervishes go into trance to reach divine. Prayers from loudspeaker, was visiting during prayer time
Bektashi dervish was a jolly bearded man. Showed a photo of their Baba Edmund meeting the pope. Until 1925 seat was near Ankara Turkey. Hadji Beletas Veli is founder of their order, born in Iran in the 13th century, first Tekje founded. They believe the Islam of the righteous way, of tolerance and peace. Tekje is similar to a monastery. Allowed to get married, though the highest ones take a vow of celibacy. Don't know how many Bektashi there are because suppressed during Communist time. Spread out in Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Russia, Macedonia. No orders in the radical Islam countries like Saudi Arabia, etc A sub branch of Alevi which is Shia-ish Women are equal, do ceremonies together, can drink, etc.
Bektashi not a separate religion, it's a teaching Doctrine accepts anyone in principal. A person is born twice, physically and again spiritually. Must be vouched for by another person. Care about quality and righteousness not quantity of followers. They don't have obligatory 5x per day prayers, anyone can come in any time to pray. Three foci : Hands, tongue and torso. Monogamy, With hands you can do good and bad, work and fight. With tongue you can speak good or bad.
Democracy Lab, NGO founded by two American Council program Alumns
"A democracy that works for everyone" Two Macedonians and an American Peace Corps volunteer. One was a State Department fellow, previously development officer for local government. Met Emir, who was in another State Dept program. American Council gave support for their International Woman's Day event. Already have two grants, one from USID around civic engagement. Online platform to connect young people to ways they can engage politically. Other is with US Embassy on a program to combat extremism -- keep young people fro, becoming radicalized. Both programs are national: Karavatsi, Gostivar, Tetovo, one other.
Visit to Alumns house to see how Turkish Coffee is made
Draco, Simona, Simon. Nine years apart, born same day
- Heaping teaspoon percup, then four cupfuls of water
- Agroplod Macedonian coffee
- 3-5 minutes, when you get small bubbles
- Pour out in portions
- Grandmother taught her
- Engagement party the bride to be has the grooms family over and must prepare and serve properly the Turkish coffee to everyone. To the groom she serves the coffee salted -- if he'll tolerate that he'll stick with the bride even when times are rough.
- Nachi cakes must be made with nurturing care so the dough unfold . Specific to Tetovo.
- You spend hours drinking the coffee, it's a social event
- Kids will play at telling the fortune from the coffee grounds.
Mosque loudspeakers' call to prayer loudly audible in the apartment