Sunday, February 25, 2018

Macedonia: One Name, Three Countries

Words have meaning and names have power. ~Author unknown

Macedonia has been mentioned often in the news recently.  The Greeks are the most vocal about which country should claim the name: "Macedonia is Greek."

I refuse to take sides because I see no point in starting wars over the naming of countries. The Greeks don't like the idea of a separate Slavic country that uses the name "Macedonia." This country, capital Skopje, used to be a part of Yugoslavia, which split up in 1991. The United Nations, in order not to offend the Greeks, refers to the country as "The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).  Most people refer to it simply as "Macedonia" or the Republic of Macedonia.

To complicate things further, there is a region in southwestern Bulgaria, Blagoevgrad Province, that goes by the name "Pirin Macedonia." When I listen to Radio Blagoevgrad's folk music program the announcers often refer to their region as "Macedonia."

Greece and the Republic of Macedonia are in the process of negotiating a name that would be agreeable with both countries.

Why isn't there the same conflict going on with the name "Thrace", another name that that appears on the maps of Greece, Bulgaria, and Turkey?  For that I have no answers.

The Bulgarian National Radio uses this distinction: Aegean Macedonia for Northern Greece, Vardar Macedonia for the Republic of Macedonia, and Pirin Macedonia for southwestern Bulgaria.

Today's post features dances from Greece, Bulgaria, and the Republic of Macedonia.

Video #1 is Leventikos, (also known as Pusteno in Vardar Macedonia) a popular dance in Northern Greece. The dancers are from the Greek city of Edessa. Dances often cross borders; this is one of them.  There is another dance after Leventikos at 3:00: Nkainta.

Video #2 is Silent Dance from the Pirin region of Bulgaria (Blagoevgrad Province.) There is an accompaniment with kaval (open ended flute), and the coins on the women's costumes. Silent, it's not.

Video #3 is a children's group dancing Bufcansko from the Republic of Macedonia. This version has a bounciness to it. The girls really know their stuff.

The music is played by Pece Atanasovksi and his ensemble.

If you enjoyed this you may also like:

Fun and Easy Folk Dances from Macedonia

A Tribute to Lyubka Rondova

Lyubka Rondova was a Bulgarian refugee child uprooted from her village in Aegean Macedonia during the Greek Civil War. She passed away almost two years ago. She was best known for folk songs from the Pirin region of Bulgaria.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.