Macedonia, Republic of

Macedonia, Republic of
(This entry deals with Macedonia from 1941 onward. Previously it was part of the Ottoman Empire and then the kingdom of Yugoslavia. There is also a province of Greece called Macedonia.) The estimated Romany population is at least 200,000, although the 1994 census listed only 42,707, a decrease from the 55,575 recorded in 1991 in spite of the availability of census forms in the Romani language.
   During World War II, Macedonia was handed over by the Germans to the Bulgarians and Italians. Most of the Romanies managed to persuade the occupiers that they were Turks or Muslim Albanians. Those who were identified as Romanies had to wear yellow armbands. Some were taken as forced laborers to Bulgaria and a small number to camps in Poland. Many joined the Partisans, and it was said that Tito promised them their own state after the war. This promise-if it had been made-was not carried out, as the Yugoslav government would have seen a smaller Macedonia as a prey for Greek and Bulgarian expansionist ambitions.
   The largest Gypsy community in Europe developed in Shuto Orizari on the outskirts of Skopje in the aftermath of the earthquake of 1963. About 90 percent of the inhabitants are Gypsies.
   In May 1980 Nasa Kniga, a publishing house in Skopje, produced the first Romani grammar written in the Romani language. The author was Shaip Jusuf. The Pralipe Theater operated until 1990 when the Communist Party forced the company to vacate its premises and the actors immigrated to Germany.
   In 1990, too, the Egyptian Association of Citizens was founded in Ohrid by Nazim Arifi, consisting of some 4,000 residents of Ohrid and neighboring Struga, who-although many scholars consider them to be of Romany origin-claim to be descendants of Egyptians brought to the Balkans during the rule of the Ottoman Empire. The association claimed 20,000-30,000 adherents, and "Egyptian" was included as a separate identity in the 1994 census in Macedonia.
   On 1 September 1990, the leaders of the Macedonian Romany community called on all Romanies to stop identifying themselves as Albanians simply on the basis of a common religion, Islam, and declared 11 October 1990-already a public holiday-to be a day of celebration of the cultural achievements of Romanies in Macedonia. Nevertheless, in the census of 1994, many declared themselves to be Macedonians or-if they were Muslims - Albanians or Turks.
   In 1991 Macedonia became de facto independent. President Kiro Gligorov publicly acknowledged the Romanies as "full and equal citizens of the Republic of Macedonia." They were recognized as a nationality in the new constitution. Romani-language radio and television programs from Skopje joined those already being broadcast from Tetovo. A few bilingual (Macedonian and Romani) magazines are published.
   A Romani educational program in schools began in principle in September 1993, consisting of language classes for grades 1-8. A 40,000-word Macedonian-Romani dictionary and other teaching material are still being prepared. The main dialects are Erlia (Arlia), the most widely spoken and the mother tongue of an estimated 80 percent of Macedonia's Romanies, Burgudji, Djambazi, and Gurbet. It has been agreed to use Erlia as the basis for a standard language using the Latin alphabet for educational purposes. In addition to the planned introduction of the Romani language in primary education classes from the 1993/1994 academic year, there are proposals for Skopje University to inaugurate a Department of Romani Studies for the study of, and research into, the language, history, and culture. Some 100 potential teachers of Romani attended a seminar convened by the Ministry of Education at Skopje University in October 1993. The full implementation of the Romani language program has been slowed down by the lack of materials and qualified teachers. There are more than 50 Romany students attending various full-time courses at the university.
   The main political party for the Gypsies in Macedonia is the Party for the Complete Emancipation of Romanies in Macedonia (PSERM), claiming a membership of 36,000. Its president, Faik Abdi, has also been a member of the Macedonian parliament, representing Shuto Orizari. The PSERM has been the prime mover in securing Romany rights.
   Many Romanies from all over the country took part in the festivities on 8 April 1993, marking the de jure creation of the new state and coincidentally Roma Nation Day. In general, Macedonia can be considered a country where the Roma enjoy equal recognition at all levels. However, some interethnic conflict, mainly between Albanians and Romanies, has been reported as well as occasional instances of police brutality, for example, in Kumanovo and Prilep. The Romany ethnicity of alleged perpetrators of crimes is increasingly emphasized by the Macedonian media, creating a link between Roma and crime. For example, on 22 February 2003 the Skopje dailies Dnevnik and Vestí, reporting a violent fight between two group of teenagers in which a young non-Romany man was killed, stressed that two of the perpetrators were Roma.

Historical dictionary of the Gypsies . .

Игры ⚽ Поможем написать курсовую

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Macedonia naming dispute — Macedonia (region)     Macedonia (Greece)    …   Wikipedia

  • Republic of Macedonia — For other uses, see Macedonia. Republic of Macedonia Република Македонија Republika Makedonija …   Wikipedia

  • Macedonia (terminology) — This article is about the use of the name Macedonia and its derivatives. For specific uses of the term, see Macedonia (disambiguation). Macedonia …   Wikipedia

  • republic — /ri pub lik/, n. 1. a state in which the supreme power rests in the body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by representatives chosen directly or indirectly by them. 2. any body of persons viewed as a commonwealth. 3. a state in which… …   Universalium

  • Macedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic Of — Introduction Macedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Background: International recognition of The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia s (F.Y.R.O.M.) independence from Yugoslavia in 1991 was delayed by Greece s objection to the new state s… …   Universalium

  • Macedonia —   Macedonia (region) (approximate extent)   Republic of Macedonia …   Wikipedia

  • Macedonia — [mas΄ə dō′nē ə, mas΄ədōn′yə] 1. ancient kingdom in SE Europe: now a region divided among Greece, the country of Macedonia, & Bulgaria 2. country in the Balkan Peninsula: formerly (1946 91) a constituent republic of Yugoslavia: 9,928 sq mi (25,713 …   English World dictionary

  • Republic of Karelia — Республика Карелия (Russian)   Republic   …   Wikipedia

  • Republic of Mirdita — 1921 …   Wikipedia

  • Macedonia Square, Skopje — Macedonia Square (Macedonian: Плоштад Македонија, Ploštad Makedonija ) is one of the main squares of Skopje, Macedonia. It is located in the central part of the city, and it crosses the Vardar River. The Christmas festivals are always held there… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”