Fictitious Academia: Political activism, covered in academic cloak in the University of Utah

Pan-Macedonian Association

Fictitious Academia:
 Political activism, covered in academic cloak in the University of Utah

By Nina Gatzoulis*
The presentations of the majority of the academics participating in the 7th “Macedonian”- North American Conference on “Macedonian” Studies at the University of Utah that took place from November 5-7, 2009, amounted to an anti-Hellenic delirium. The Universities of Utah and Chicago jointly organized the conference, in cooperation with the United “Macedonian” Diaspora (UMD) of Skopje based in Washington D.C.
Most of the presenters, with a few exceptions, aimed to launch an aggressive propaganda attack against Greece, presenting their views without scientific and academic research criteria, without references to sources thereby promoting unilateral research.
Dr. Vasiliki Neofotistos in her presentation “Alexander the Great and the mythic lands”, implied that the educator Thanasis Lerounis approached the Kalash tribe in Afghanistan through an education program, funded by Greek ministries and thus created the myth of the Kalash as descendants of the soldiers of Alexander the Great. However, she claimed that “Macedonia” approached the tribe of the Hunza in 2008 on private initiative. Dr. Neofotistos used the term “Macedonia” freely, rather than the Republic of “Macedonia,” creating the impression that the entire region of Macedonia (in Greece, Bulgaria, and Albania) belongs to Skopje. Dr. Neofotistos referred to FYROM as “Macedonia”, and she only named the Slavs as “Macedonians”, while the Albanians citizens of “Macedonia” were referred as “the Albanians”, which is academically unacceptable.
An unrivaled individual in anti-Hellenism was Dr. Philip Shashko, whose presentation titled “Tasos Kostopoulos on Macedonia and the Slavs in Greece: When a forbidden language speaks truth to power”, was an eruption of hatred against Greece. Dr. Shashko cited, and presented as scientific evidence, the contents of Tasos Kostopoulos’ book (journalist of the Sunday addition Ios in the Greek newspaper Eleftherotypia)!
The culmination of the political-activism and racism with a “scientific” cover was Dr. Loring Danforth’s presentations. Dr. Danforth spoke about the research he has completed for the book he has co-authored with the Dutch anthropologist who teaches at the University of Thessaly, Dr. Riki van Boeschoten, entitled “Macedonian refugee children from the Greek Civil War”. Although it was stated that during the Civil War in Greece, Greek and “Macedonian” children were kidnapped and led by the communists into communist countries, their research did not include any Greek children.
Mary Rossova from a village of  “Aegean Macedonia” in her presentation “From Trnaa to Toronto: The life story of a dete begalec”, recounted how her family with the help of partisans fled to escape the “bad” Greek soldiers in locations across the Iron Curtain countries. She talked about her life in the communist countries and how she finally arrived in Canada, “although,” as she mentioned “a capitalist country” she lives happily with her family there. Trying to give a bad image of Greece she said that upon visiting her homeland in “Aegean Macedonia”, she found her old house in ruins and complained that one…Greek official at the border treated her with arrogance!
Traian Dimitriou, also a dete begalec (refugee child) in Dr. Danfroth’s research presentation titled “A Macedonian child in a Greek technical school during the Greek Civil War”, narrated how he ended up in a children’s camp of Queen Frederika in Leros. His vast criticism was that the trip by boat to the island “was awful because the sea was stormy!” He only took weekly baths (!) and was forced to sing the Greek national anthem daily! There was reporting by the ‘victims’ of the camps that many of the children were sold to wealthy families. When the members of the panel were asked by a representative of the Pan-Macedonian Association if there are documented sources for these allegations, they admitted they had none.
Both children of the Greek Civil War stressed that they did not want to leave their homeland, but had to remain in the former communist countries against their will. Since the communist governments kept them against their will in what way is it Greece’s fault? They failed to indicate that they had every opportunity to go back and stay in Greece when the Greek government through various U.N. resolutions, called on all Greek citizens who were displaced during the Greek Civil War in communist countries to go back to their homeland (see: UN Resolutions 382 (V Section C), 1950; 618 (VII), 1952; 517 (VI), 1952). There is no doubt regarding Greece’s and the UN’s position on this issue, even though Dr. Danforth implied that the U.N. resolutions were inconclusive. Therefore this claim is not true as is also evident by the strong support of the U.S. Government at the time at all levels. President Harry S. Truman addressing the Congress and with reference to Resolution 514, did not leave any doubt about the strong support of the U.S. to the U.N. resolutions:
It is indeed noteworthy that FYROM accuses Greece that she banished her children, while the Slav/communists kidnapped the Greek children from all over Greece in order to “protect” them. Obviously they chose to forget that the mastermind behind the mass kidnapping of the children was the right hand of Tito, Edvard Kardelj. If the “child saving” was done to protect children, how do they substantiate their claim that the camps of Queen Frederika were not protecting the children?
The Danforth /van Boeschoten research was unilateral, and only examined the cases of children who willingly were led by their communist parents, or even sent to Iron Curtain countries with the consent of their parents. Conversely, among the expatriates who attended the conference was Mrs. Irene Damopoulou Karatzios.  Mrs. Karatzios was one of the children amongst thousands of other children with or without parents who were abducted by partisans and were led into several Iron Curtain countries against their will. When Dr. Danforth was asked if Mrs. Karatzios could speak about her plight, he prohibited her to speak in a peremptory manner. In a private discussion with Mrs. Karatzios, Dr. Danforth said he read the book “The Cry of Irene” which was written about her and implied that her claims are untrue!
An excerpt of Mrs. Karatzios’ plight in the book “The Cry of Irene”, authored by Dr. Ioannis Bougas, is provided:  (ISBN: 969-454-022-X email:
My mother’s denial to give my little brother and myself away to the communist guerillas, so that we might be delivered into the iron curtain countries, a deed organized by the KKE, placed her in the ranking of a shady “ reactionary” and put the entire family as KKE’s target for revenge. First they took my mother to help the rebels in the mountains carrying materials, where she was often physically tortured. My brother, along with other residents of our village and I, were ordered to abandon our homes and forced to live in makeshift huts in the nearby forest.
Later, they led us cross the borders secretly and we entered Albania. After walking on foot for several days, almost without food or water, we arrived in a dirty prison labor camp. Once reunited with our mother, we spent some time in various prisons in Albania, and finally we were dragged in the galley of Loulé in Romania, where my brother and I attended the Russian-Romanian schools of their “father” and “god” Stalin. In addition we suffered incredible pressure from the leaders of KKE to give up our motherland Greece and become Slavomacedonians           
One of the most balanced and informative presentations was that of Dr. Bill Darden titled “Greek articles vs. Slavic relatives in the Strumchki (Makedonski) Apostol and other early Slavic text” which focused on the difficulty of translating the Bible from Greek to Slavic.
Dr. Emilija Crenkovska presented on “The language of the Old Church Slavonic writing of Macedonia in the period of the Byzantine and Ottoman Empire”, in the “Macedonian” language, without translation or even a written summary of the content of her speech. Members of the Pan-Macedonian Association, knowledgeable of the language of  FYROM and the local Greek slavophone idioms explained that Dr. Crenkovska spoke in the Serbo-Bulgarian language of FYROM that she named “Macedonian”. When a member of the Pan-Macedonian Association conveyed this information to the panelists he did not receive an answer, and some individuals in the audience urged the presenters not to pay attention to such interventions!
Quite notable was the reaction of the Dr.Victor Friedman, Professor of Linguistics and Balkan Studies from the University of Chicago. When a member of the Pan-Macedonian Association tried to approach him in a friendly manner, the academic exploded and started shouting, “the ‘Macedonians’ have a right to exist!” Also one could characterize as inappropriate the efforts of Dr. Friedman and Andrew Graan (doctoral candidate under the auspices of Dr. Friedman) to distract the university journalist who was interviewing Mrs. Karatzios and the writer of this article. Addressing the journalist, Dr. Friedman said: “take everything they say with a grain of salt…”
Members of the Pan-Macedonian Association U.S.A have attended several propaganda events organized by FYROM and its Diaspora in American universities. Unfortunately, while the Greek embassy is being informed of such events, the Greek state is absent in FYROM’s efforts to defame Greece. It is particularly important that representatives of the Greek State participate in such conferences to refute the ignorant argumentation of the academic community of FYROM.  Moreover, relevant scientific conferences with the participation of foreign academics have to be seriously considered by Greece in the future. In addition the libraries of American universities should be enriched by contemporary English-language material on the issue of Macedonia. These failures generate “data” which Hellenism will be forced to face in the future.
*Mrs. Gatzoulis is the Supreme President of the Pan-Macedonian Association USA

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Demetri Stathopoulos says:

Our former Bulgarian “friends” in FYROM continue to spread “good neighborly relations” by continuing to imply they are related to ancient Macedonians.

“Future generations will laugh at the fact that someone today is trying to divide people into ancient and Slavic Macedonians,” noted the PM when asked whether Sunday’s exhibition was an attempt to resume the process of antiquisation.

FYROM is attempting to deny the identity of Macedonians (and all Greeks for that matter) so you’d think Dimitras (of Helsinki Greece) would be protecting the rights to self-identification of Macedonians too no? Doesn’t seem so.

To me he seems too busy getting awards and being a keynote speaker for “human rights activists” like Bill Nicholov. Clearly Helsinki Greece hires competent “human rights” activists.

Demitri Stathopoulos says:

I’d just like to add something troubling about Mr. Danforth’s statements here that caught my eye.

He states “Greek” and “Macedonian” meant very different things in the 4th century BCE than they do now. In my opinion the complex history of the meaning of those words over the past two millennium does not bear on the rights of people in the Balkans to assert their national identities now. ”

And in my opinion, that statement is at the heart of why Mr. Danforth has supported FYROM in the name dispute thus far. He is attempting to create equivalence between our two historical narratives when clearly Greeks have a far far better case than FYROM for the Macedonian cultural space.

From my standpoint, Mr. Danforth effectively just denied Greeks their identity in everything but name.
(neutering it to the period he arbitrarily decided for us)

While he phrases it more politely (and I think he genuinely means well) he effectively seems to be arguing the same arguments some of the Ottomans, communists, and even Nazis used to argue about Greeks (that we are too “mongrel” to be “real” Greeks). While I do not see myself as a “pure” ancient Greek (a common negative stereotype promoted by FYROM nationalists in the media) and I am well aware we were officially Roman citizens during the middle ages, I still on balance consider myself related to ancient Greeks more than anything else for a number of reasons. (largely inescapable)

As Mr. Danforth knows that given the span of time we are talking about, the modern Greek language (demotic) is remarkably similar to the Koine used by ancient Athenians, Macedonians, Spartans, et al (although of course not as close as the artificially constructed Katharevousa) As far as I know, some version of Greek has been in constant active use somewhere in the region for the last several thousand years in an unbroken chain (e.g. as a liturgy language akin to classical hebrew, as an educational language, as the official language of the Roman/Byzantine state, etc…) At bare minimum there appears to have has been some cultural continuity vis-a-vis language alone.

Of course at this juncture some always like to patronizingly inject “Well an American speaks English but that doesn’t make them English”. However, is this such a situation? I would offer English being spoken half way around the world in America or Australia is not remotely the same as Greek being spoken in the same tiny region in and around Greece since ancient times (by many people over the ages that considered ancient Greeks their ancestors and whom modern science seems to indicate are at least to some degree genetically related to ancient Greeks).

While language is not an absolute in all situations, language is clearly not a minor factor in transference in culture as some have disingenuously tried to suggest (much why German”speakers” over the ages are considered Germans, French “speakers” are often called French, etc..). I would also note FYROM nationalists seemingly have no interest whatsoever in preserving ANY version of the Hellenic language spoken by ancient Macedonians. That’s roughly akin to the UK rebranding Polish as “English”while claiming they are trying to preserve the “English” language.

The next argument some of FYROM’s supporters typically present against us with is “Greeks have little in common culturally with ancient Greeks”. For instance, Greeks today (mostly) don’t pray to the ancient gods (largely because early fundamentalist christian Roman emperors forcibly erasing pagan religions). While this is true religion is only a tiny part of culture other than in extreme fundamentalist situations. Contrary to the assertion modern Greeks have nothing in common I say the exact opposite of that claim is true.

Greeks have a tremendous amount in common (probably far more so than most groups that claim an ancient past) The reason for this is simple. Much of ancient Greek outlook is still in active use today-and by no means only by Greeks. The Greek worldview of philosophy, biology, drama, mathematics, physics, logic,the axiomatic method, etc…etc… and many more bits of Greek culture are still in use around the globe to this day.

Some of what Mr. Danforth probably attributes as “American” culture in actuality are ancient Greek culture. While I do not object if Mr. Danforth wishes to rebrand aspects under another name, I do find it rather offense that he attempts to suggest that modern Greeks don’t have things in common with ancient Greeks… when in fact Mr. Danforth himself shares major cultural similarities with ancient Greeks. (he would have had a far far different world view today had ancient Greeks never existed)

In my opinion Mr Danforth’s statement is like Greeks suggesting that Americans cannot claim ownership and kinship with early Americans because…

“the complex history of the meaning of those words over the past two hundred years does not bear on the rights of people in America to assert their national identity now. ”

I have read some of the anthropological theories some of Mr. Danforth’s colleagues seem to subscribe to. They are tremendously political viewpoints (mostly in the extreme left sphere) yet are being pawned off as hard “science”. They constantly frame ethnic identities as being “constructed” and “imagined communities”. While this isn’t entirely inaccurate, this argument is heavily influenced by post modernist nonsense (as Aktritas wisely noted although I’m not sure the advocates realize those influences) The philosophy behind it effectively attempts to give the power to construct (or deconstruct) any ethnic group’s cultural domain in an ad-hoc fashion at their discretion (rather than that of the effected ethnic group)

To give you an example of what I mean….

I’d be curious if Mr Danforth (or any human rights activists that have carte blache have supported FYROM up to now despite our concerns)… would publicly state to secular ethnic Jews living in Israel “the complex history of the meaning of the word “Jewish” and “Palestinian” over the past two hundred years does not bear on the rights of people in the middle east to assert their national identity now”

How about uttering those words to 1.6 billion Chinese “speakers” who claim to be related to ancient Chinese Loring? How about any nation at all that claims an ancient past

If not… I would say Greeks are being singled out in such a fashion effectively amounts to severe prejudice against us. (including by some human rights groups whom in my opinion just because they include the words “human rights” in their name… doesn’t exclude them from having prejudices and politics). Aside from creating arbitrary cutoff dates where Greeks should now redefine their identity , their view of Greeks is inherently racist. (i.e we are too “mongrel” to be “real” Greeks. See Nazi eugenicists)

In my opinion, people like Tompkins, Friedman, Helsinki Greece, FYROM, et al…. don’t see us as “real” Greeks. (i.e. they deny our identity in everything but name) It explains perfectly their anti-Greek attitudes. We are too lowly to be “real” Greeks. Since the past doesn’t count for anything, perhaps Greeks should start using the approach of the former ethnic Bulgarians,

Greeks can call themselves “ethnic Skopians” now, suggest FYROM is “occupied” and “divided”. and make a few changes in one of the dialects of the Greek language so we can rename it the “Skopian language”. Given it is the more modern history (and FYROM are claiming to be related to ancient Macedonians now), does this mean that self-proclaimed “human rights” groups would support us “ethnic Skopians” in registering associations in FYROM under those names?

LP says:

Speaking of videos on Youtube, here’s another one that might attract Mr. Stojanov’s attention:



KE says:

And the joke continues Mr. Stojanov: Your organization just announced:

“Thanks for your questions. We contacted the author, which is one of Macedonia’s preeminent scholars on ancient Macedonian history, and he informed us that he is planning to publish this study mentioned above, along with two books. If anyone wants to contact him, please PVT us and we will send you his e-mail address. His material is ready, however, his colleagues are working to translate the material in English so the documents will be bilingual. If anyone wants to devote time to helping translate, let us know. He intends to send copies to global policymakers. UMD plans to invite him to present his work at the 2nd UMD Global Conference in Toronto in June.” (already archived in webcitation)

The “preeminent” scholar of course is the infamous Aleksandar Donski, the person that spoke to the ghost of Alex Veliki! ;->
Risto Stefov needs to be invited as well -- I’m sure you can help along Mr. Stojanov by reminding the membership of who the Diaspora really listens to.

I do wish Dr. Danforth is re-invited to the 2nd UMD Global Conference -- his academic credentials most certainly need to be buttressed by sharing the podium with more kooks. This is becoming too easy, no pretenses are being kept.

BTW Mr. Stojanov I do hope that in 2010 instead of showing us videoclips of people dancing or singing you provide us with real proof that the said people are your co-nationals and not simply Mr. Karatzios’ relatives. It doesn’t have to be a TV statement like that kid -- just find the videos where people are dancing to the various “patriotic” songs -- you know the one saying “Begajte Grci” that your co-nationals serving as policemen in the area dance while raising their fists, or the more recent ones like Alexandar Car Makedonski, Biser Balkanski. I have no doubt the videos must exist -- they at least make a statement: your co-nationals in Greece are “loyal citizens”… ;->

Demitri Stathopoulos says:


Funny you should mention the hypocrisy of FYROM media censorship. I’ve tried posting to Mina online (factual quotes that attest to FYROM’s Bulgarian history) but the moderators almost always erase them. Their “news” organizations seem to be basically outlets for promoting historical distortions and hatred against Greeks, Albanians, and Bulgarians. It’s really too bad that they censor facts about their very own ethnic Bulgarian national heroes because if they confronted their own past it would resolve the name issue much faster and dramatically improve relations. They’d realize it wasn’t Greek “propaganda” that’s the problem here but communist propagandists that erased their ethnic Bulgarian consciousness. (and to a lessor degree the Ottoman Turks that tried to do it to everyone when they conquered the region)

I have no clue what FYROM wants from Greeks. If they aren’t happy calling themselves ethnic Bulgarians or Serbians anymore that’s perfectly fine but I fail to see how hiding their true history and calling themselves after a region in someone else’s country (rather than start with a fresh page) is going to help either of us over the long haul They seem to blame everyone but themselves for all their national ills. About the only thing that unites them is their common hatred of Greeks and their “persecution”.

If FYROM nationalists prefer speaking a Slavic language in their country and relate to Slavic culture and heroes that’s perfectly acceptable. The bottom line is ancient Greek culture was rather useful…with parts of it spreading around the world. Even if we renamed ourselves “Romans” we would not be able to escape our Greek cultural roots. If people like Dimou truly see himself as Albanian… he should call himself Albanian instead of Greek and learn how to speak Albanian. If some FYROM nationalist living in Florina see themselves as slavic.. they too should call themselves Bulgarians and treasure their Bulgarian dialect.

I think ancient Macedonians, Athenians et al would have preferred to be remembered as Greeks. Nearly everything I know about them suggests they would have preferred us to keep the name Thessaloníki. I find it dubious that Aristotle didn’t see himself as Greek. I sincerely believe they would have preferred for their ancestors to continue to speak the Greek they loved dearly rather than a completely different Slavic language that didn’t even exist.

Perhaps the former ethnic Bulgarians of FYROM feel different but I fail to see how they are “Macedonian” if they can’t even be bothered to learn to read the language of their own self-proclaimed ancestors. For instance. why not read first hand the ancient inscriptions that make it quite clear they competed as self-identifying Greeks (and were accepted as fellow Greeks) in the ancient Olympic games?

KE says:

Straight from the mouth of a former UMD board member (already archived in a safe 3rd party location):

In a hypothetical scenario, if a more radical group was to be established in the Aegean part of Macedonia perhaps in the way the UCK/KLA did in Kosovo and Macedonia -- then no group should undo their work and denounce them, etc or it will hurt the entire cause, rather each group could do its part to ensure the Macedonian Cause is furthered and not hurt (perhaps in the way that all Albanian groups around the world pushed the ‘human rights’ PR while UCK/KLA were killing people). See Filip Petrovski’s “Ramkoven Dogovor” blog post (

You people cannot keep this shit among yourselves can you? Then you complain about the hostility you meet from our side.

Mr. Stojanov I do owe you a longer response from before but it will have to wait -- I’ve got real work to do.

Χρήστος says:

@Goran Stojanov

I agree about the lies that you were fed. Probably this is the cause of your attempts to use this blog as a propaganda tool, playing an innocent victim with poor reading comprehension skills, while dealing with others in the background. You make ridiculous claims about the “openness” of Maknews, although they restrict free speech. You can say anything you want here.

Every Greek has elements of Macedonian, Thracian, Epirote, Thessalian, Ionian, Continental, Peloponnesian, Aegean and Cretan identity. These identities form the Greek culture. Deal with it.

Bulgarians wanted to unite Macedonia with their motherland. They are the founders of “your” revolutionary movement. You worship ethnic Bulgarians. Deal with it.

Your state is nothing but a toy for the strategic control of the region. Western and Eastern powers couldn’t care less about “macedonism” and your absurd genetic and historical theories. If the Albanians play their cards right, you will fall in a second. There are four of them for each one of you, all in the same region. We’re twice as many and they heavily depend on us economically. The waiting game has a purpose. Deal with it.

Demitri Stathopoulos says:

Perhaps if more of the former self-identifying Bulgarians of FYROM weren’t so focused on their hate and trying to deny Macedonians their ethnic identity (and all Greeks for that matter)… they would find the balance of their true roots.

“No matter whether we call ourselves Bulgarians or Macedonians we shall always feel as a nationality with a Bulgarian national consciousness,” (Misirkov – Sofia, No. 5, May 11th, 1924)

Demitri Stathopoulos says:


Still avoiding answering. It is quite common for FYROM nationalists to avoid or change the subject when details of your Bulgarian past comes up but whether you accept it or not the facts will not disappear no matter who “recognizes” you.
We will also keep repeating these things ad infinium until enough FYROM nationalists start to realize our quotes and references to your Bulgarian heritage (from the very lips of all your own national heroes) are very real and not “Greek propaganda”.

“The political and military leaders of the Slavs of Macedonia at the turn of the century seem not to have heard Misirkov’s call for a separate Macedonian national identity; they continued to identify themselves in a national sense as Bulgarians rather than Macedonians.(Loring Danforth, “The Macedonian Conflict: Ethnic Nationalism in a Transnational World”, Princeton Univ Press, December 1995 p.64)

“Ever since 1878 there had been a sizeable Macedonian presence in Bulgaria…Most if not all Macedonians in Bulgaria at this period regarded themselves as ethnically Bulgarian and the refugees were a potential political lobby of considerable size.” (“Ideologies and national identities: the case of twentieth-century” by John R. Lampe, Mark Mazower 2004 page 125)

Modern Slavs, both Bulgarians and Macedonians, cannot establish a link with antiquity, as the Slavs entered the Balkans centuries after the demise of the ancient Macedonian kingdom. Only the most radical Slavic factions—mostly émigrés in the United States, Canada, and Australia—even attempt to establish a connection to antiquity […] The twentieth-century development of a Macedonian ethnicity, and its recent evolution into independent statehood following the collapse of the Yugoslav state in 1991, has followed a rocky road. In order to survive the vicissitudes of Balkan history and politics, the Macedonians, who have had no history, need one. They reside in a territory once part of a famous ancient kingdom, which has borne the Macedonian name as a region ever since and was called ”Macedonia” for nearly half a century as part of Yugoslavia. And they speak a language now recognized by most linguists outside Bulgaria, Serbia, and Greece as a south Slavic language separate from Slovenian, Serbo-Croatian, and Bulgarian. Their own so-called Macedonian ethnicity had evolved for more than a century, and thus it seemed natural and appropriate for them to call the new nation “Macedonia” and to attempt to provide some cultural references to bolster ethnic survival. (Eugene N. Borza, “Macedonia Redux”, in “The Eye Expanded: life and the arts in Greco-Roman Antiquity”, ed. Frances B Tichener & Richard F. Moorton, University of California Press, 1999)

In the 1990s,Macedonians speak a language codified in 1946,spoken by less than two million people, and with a very slender literature. They are members of an Orthodox Church whose authority was established by a socialist political regime in 1968.They are heirs to a 1903 revolution that until the 1940s was described by almost all sources as being Bulgarian. They are descendants from people who were called, and at times called themselves, Serbs or Bulgarians.”
“The history of the Balkan Peninsula?” Ferdinand Schevill page 432)

There is no such thing as “pure” ethnicities Goran (just one more hate filled negative stereotype FYROM nationalists promote against Greeks). Any DNA test will prove every ethnic group on earth is mixed. Our cultures have also mixed. There is Bulgarian, Albanian, Serbian and other “blood” in Greeks too. However, an ethnicity is not just blood or borders. There is also culture. Ours on balance falls in the Greek sphere. Yours in the Bulgarian one. FYROM nationalists freely chose that via their choice of slavic toponyms for their cities, their use of a Slavic language, by identifying with self-identifying Slavs of the past, and by distancing yourselves from the Greekness that ancient Macedonian deeply loved. If you prefer Slavic themes for your country that’s perfectly fine. Others prefer Arab. Others Chinese. Others Spanish. Macedonians just happen to prefer Greek.

FYROM have a couple of choices here.

a. Be propelled by their hatred of Greeks to hide in shame from their ethnic Bulgarian past an eternity and try to omit “Greek” from every ancient history book that includes “Macedonians” next to it. This rationally also would also mean you have to deny the Greek ethnic identity in the hopes that one day someone might believe you are “ancient Macedonians that love their culture”…… yet freely speak Slavic and deride Hellenism at every chance?

Think of your own ill treatment of Greeks (that actually speak a variation of the Koine Greek of ancient Macedonians) then consider what is the likelihood of anyone ever taking your nation seriously?

b. Live in peace with your Macedonian neighbors and accept a compromise solution that no longer requires FYROM to deny our ethnic identity as both Greeks and Macedonians.

Goran Stojanov says:

Christos wrote:

“Serbs messed up the Bulgarians of Macedonia into thinking they were something other than Bulgarian? ”

Christos, I don’t think we can continue our conversation in this manner. If we are unable to rise above the primitive propaganda that we were fed… t

Demitri Stathopoulos says:

Why are you avoiding answering Goran? Are you scared to face the truth of your Bulgarian ancestry? Why are you ashamed that your roots are on balance ethnic Bulgarian? That your modern language is essentially a Bulgarian dialect…”typed on a Serbian typewriter” (aka finalized by the communists). Was Tsar Samual a self-identifying “Macedonian”… or a self-identifying Bulgarian Goran?

Nevertheless we agree with you. There are indeed Macedonians in Greece. 2.5 million of them plus the millions of more Greeks that consider ancient Macedonia part of their collective history. There are also a few FYROM nationalists (aka former self-identifying Bulgarians).

Art. 2. To achieve this goal they [the committees] shall raise the awareness of self-defense in the BULGARIAN POPULATION in the regions mentioned in Art. 1., disseminate revolutionary ideas – printed or verbal, and prepare and carry on a general uprising.
Chapter II. – Structure and Organization
Art. 3. A member of BMARC can be any BULGARIAN, independent of gender
(statutes of BMARC co-authored by Delchev and IMRO friends)

“We are Bulgarian more than the Bulgarians in Bulgaria. The population of Skopje is pure Bulgarian. The Serbian not only want to colonize Macedonia with Serbs from other part of Yugoslavia, but they wish to kill our Bulgarian consciousness. They took our right to call ourselves Bulgarians, even Macedonians, they intrude their schools and education, so much false and Jesuit, so much as the study of St. Sava and finally they come to the idea for the special Macedonian nationality, which they discover in South Macedonia.”

The self-identifying ethnic Bulgarians of IMRO are your national icons today right? You seem to confuse nationality with ethnicity. You are Bulgarian by ethnicity…. and ancient Paeonian (or Dardinian) by location.

Christos Karatzios says:

Mr. Stoyanov,

You and your compatriots (like Aleksandar Donski) who like etymological history seem to forget that both Slavic and Greek are IndoEuropean languages and each share some common words. This being said, of course Greek influenced other languages. Think of the Slavic words “aerodrom”, “avlija”, “eucharistia”. Where are their roots? In any case, the ancient Greek “vavo” or “baubo” meant “old woman”. For your information, in Japanese “baba” can also mean “old woman”. Perhaps, there is an older more universal origin like the word “mama”? I am not a linguist though. What I am trying to say is that “babo” in Greek is not necessarily Slavic. There are Slavic words which have been adopted by Greek and I am not belittling this. It doesn’t imply we are Slavs as you are trying to imply. I never mentioned the Roman Saturnalia for “kalanda”. Why did you bring it up? There are older Greek traditions of Dionysios that I mentioned which you mutated to “Saturnalia”.

As for Spiro from Vinozhito. I am not denying that there are people who feel “Macedonian” in the non Greek sense of the word. Heck a whole 4000 of them voted for their party in Greece (and not all of their are your ethnic brothers and sisters though). They are allowed to voice their opinion publicly and associate. Feeling and being are different animals. The complexity is should Greece recognize them as “Macedonians” when there are other Macedonians who vastly outnumber them living next to them which have been using this identity long before the Serbs messed up the Bulgarians of Macedonia into thinking they were something other than Bulgarian?

I can carry a camera and film myself saying that there exists a “Macedonian nation” in Greece. When the proof comes down to the pudding, as I wrote before, it is all noise and no substance. I would have thought you more sophisticated than youtube videos.

The Vinozhito supporters would never put up a BLUE flag with the Star of Vergina in the background and would celebrate kolende on January 7. If they do support Greece as you (and Pavle Voskopoulos Filipov) claim, then their website would not be supported by would it? They would never support noted anti-Greeks Nakratzas and Lithoksoou would they?

One more thing: since you like to compare this website with maknews. I would have already been banned on their forum. The tolerance of your posts, the absence of death threats to people, and the actual CONVERSATION between you and others here go to show you the difference in sophistication between maknews and Enough said.

Christos Karatzios

Goran Stojanov says:

Mr. Karatzios,

The members of the Macedonian ethnic minority of Greece are loyal to their country. They respect its flag, calendar, etc. The question is if their country, the Hellenic Republic, is loyal to them too. Or does it look down upon their language and culture, and even tries to eradicate it.

If the word babo originates from the greek word vavo, than Greeks must have influenced half of Europe into using it. Baba is a word of the core Slavonic dictionary, shared by all Slavic speaking people: Russians, Polish, Ukrainians… As for the custom of kolede (kalenda), it most likely is rooted much deeper than the roman Saturnalia. Similar customs are recorded in the Bible that were at least a thousand years older.

Now I got carried away, and I forgot to wish you a Happy New Year. And instead of me using Google to translate it in Greek, I will utilize a genuine Greek speaker to wish you a Happy New Year:


And now the same man will wish you a Happy New Year in Macedonian:


Здраво, јас са викам Спиро Царо. Јас сум од Солун, член на Виножито, студирам математика. Неколку луѓе верват дека нема Македонци во Грција и нема македонска нација и јазик. Јас сум Македонец, јас сум од Солун. И за многу години до сите Македонци во цел свет.

Zdravo, jas sa vikam Spiro Charo. Jas sum od Solun, chlen na Vinozito, studiram matematika. Nekolku lugje vervat deka nema Makedonci vo Grcija i nema makedonska nacija i jazik. Jas sum Makedonec, jas sum od Solun. I za mnogu godini do site Makedonci vo cel svet.

Hi, my name is Spiro Caro. I am from Solun, I am member of Vinozhito and I study mathematics. Few people believe that there are no Macedonians in Greece, and that the Macedonian nation and language do not exist. I am Macedonian and I am from Solun. And I wish all the best to all Macedonians all over the world.

I hope you will accept his best wishes, since he greeted all Macedonians, all over the world. And you are a Macedonian, aren’t you. Pan-Macedonian that is.

Za mnogu godini,
Goran Stojanov

Demitri Stathopoulos says:

It seems Goran hasn’t been honest with us. I found Goran quoting someone that laughably suggested no mixing ocured between FYROM nationalists and other Slavic nations in the region (see the ethnic Bulgarians of IMRO to see if that claim is actually true)

“In any case it may be shown, from their history as well as from their language, that the Macedonians are neither Serbs nor Bulgarians, but rather a separate ethnic group, namely the direct descendants of those earliest Slavic immigrants, who had settled the Balkan peninsula long before the Serbian or the Bulgarian invasion, and have not mixed with either of these two ethnic groups.”
Karl Hron, Das Volkstum der Slaven Makedoniens (Vienna, 1890), p.31

Goran even seemed to try and suggest a connection between FYROM and ancient Macedonia (contradicting his earlier stances in this thread that modern FYROM nationals aren’t related)

“The Development of the Idea of the Macedonian Nation ny Goran Stojanov”
“In all areas that I visited I heard no names but those of Alexander (the Great) and Marko Krale. They both live in the national memory as figures of general significance.” (Viktor Grigorovich, Ocherk puteshestviya po Evropeiskoy Turcii/s kartoyo okresthostey Ohridskago i Prespanskago ozer, Izdanie vtoroe, Moscow, 1877, 139).

“He confirms that “on many occasions” he heard “from Macedonian activists that they were not Bulgarians, but Macedonians, heirs to Ancient Macedonia . . .They are entirely Macedonians . . .” (P. R. Slaveykov, Makedonskii vprosi, Makedoniya, V,3, Caregrad, 18.I 1871, 2). ”

Here are some more quotea for you Goran.

“Some will ask why I speak of breaking away from the Bulgarians when in the past we have even called ourselves Bulgarians ”

“We are Bulgarian more than the Bulgarians in Bulgaria. The population of Skopje is pure Bulgarian. The Serbian not only want to colonize Macedonia with Serbs from other part of Yugoslavia, but they wish to kill our Bulgarian consciousness. They took our right to call ourselves Bulgarians, even Macedonians, they intrude their schools and education, so much false and Jesuit, so much as the study of St. Sava and finally they come to the idea for the special Macedonian nationality, which they discover in South Macedonia.”

‘I have received all letters which were sent by or through you. May the dissents and cleavages not frighten you. It is really a pity, but what can we possibly do when WE OURSELVES ARE BULGARIANS…’
(Gotse Delchev, IMRO leader, in letter to Nikola Maleshevski -- Sofia, 1 May 1899,)

Art. 2. To achieve this goal they [the committees] shall raise the awareness of self-defense in the BULGARIAN POPULATION in the regions mentioned in Art. 1., disseminate revolutionary ideas -- printed or verbal, and prepare and carry on a general uprising.
Chapter II. -- Structure and Organization
Art. 3. A member of BMARC can be any BULGARIAN, independent of gender
(statutes of BMARC co-authored by Delchev and Imro friends)

‘The idea that Alexander the Great belongs to us was at the mind of some outsider groups only. These groups were insignificant in the first years of our independence. But the big problem is that the old Balkan nations have been learned to legitimize themselves through their history. In the Balkans to be recognized as a nation you need to have history of 2,000 to 3,000 years old. Since you (Greece ) forced us to invent a history, we did invent it.’
(FYROM Foreign Minister Denko Maleski -- 1991 to 1993)

‘We do not claim to be descendants of Alexander the Great.’
(FYROM’S Ambassador Ljubica Acevshka in speech to US representatives in Washington, -- January 22 1999)

‘We are not related to the northern Greeks who produced leaders like Philip and Alexander the Great. We are a Slav people and our language is closely related to Bulgarian.'(FYROM´s Ambassador to Canada Gyordan Veselinov -- Interview to Ottawa Citizen Newspaper 24 February 1999)

“We are Slavs who came to this area in the sixth century … We are not descendants of the ancient Macedonians” (Kiro Gligorov, FYROM’s first President -- Foreign Information Service Daily Report, Eastern Europe, February 26, 1992)

“To everyone of us it is clear that this entire thesis, this entire thesis for ethnogenesis from Macedonians, it isn’t so. Ancient Macedonians until today is founded on a series of mystifications and semi-historical truths which are emitted from Republic of Macedonia and that by using and abusing the media…
Ljubco Georgievski June 2009

“But now cries from the Macedonians can be heard: we are Bulgarians, we are more Bulgarians than the Bulgarians themselves. …….. You could be victors over Bulgaria and impose on it all sorts of treaties but this cannot change our conviction, our consciousness that we are not Serbians, that up till now we have called ourselves Bulgarians and this is what we are today and this is what we want to be called in the future.”

And when all the FYROM nationalist gibberish of 19th century “ethnic Macedonians” is all said and done…. here is the cold hard census reality. There was no such thing as a ethnic Macedonian back then (other than few scattered crackpots that believed things like Aristotle wasn’t Greek) You mostly called yourselves Bulgarians back then but one’s living in Ottoman region (along with Serbs, Greeks, Jews, Roma, and others)

Nothing will change ancient history Goran. Ancient Macedonian artifacts continue to be written in Greek… not your Bulgarian dialect you modified and renamed “Macedonian”. In a thousand years they will still be written in Greek. You are about as believable as ancient Macedonians as Egyptians that can’t read hieroglyphics.

You are just torturing Greeks and yourselves with your ethnic insecurities over your own Slavic heritage. Bottom line: Alexander wasn’t Slavic. He was a self-identifying Greek that spoke Greek and identified with Greece. You, and FYROM nationalists like you, not only hypocritically deny modern Greeks their identity (contradicting your own human rights positions when it comes to Greeks) but your hatred runs so deep you also deny ancient Greeks like Alexander that same right.

Why are you so ashamed of your Bulgarian roots Goran? Is calling yourself “Macedonian” more glamorous?

Christos Karatzios says:

Mr. Stoyanov,

It seems that whatever I write to you, you will only selectively pick out what you want to see and comment on this small part leaving out the major points. This is a case of not being able to see the forest from the trees. In this particular case you only got “they are speaking in their ‘native language'”. You avoided all of the following:

1) They are celebrating Christmas on December 25 -- Gregorian calendar.
2) They are speaking Greek among themselves including the band members.
3) The flag behind on the side of the building is the Greek flag of the Star of Vergina (on a blue background).
4) THE CUSTOMS AROUND CHRISTMAS IN GREECE (INCLUDING THE PREFECTURES OF MACEDONIA) ARE NOT NEW. There is no revival Mr. Stoyanov…kolde babo has been going on for decades. I also like to dance salsa and sing in Spanish. Am I Cuban? All of the above points (including my personal experience) make me conclude that they are not your minority Mr. Stoyanov.

Again, kolde is akin to “kalanda” and “babo” is old lady (you are right). The word babo/baba, can be traced back to the ancient Greek “vavo”. Look it up. Now how do you know that the children go around town singing the song you have stated in Greece? I know of children going around singing Greek Christmas carols. I did it when I was young…and yes, I waited around to be given money.

Halloween is the origin of kalanda Mr. Stoyanov? The Celtic Halloween was not celebrated out of Anglo-Saxon countries let alone the Balkans! What are you stating here? That you are also ancient Celts? The tradition of kalanda (going around singing and asking for money or food around Christmas) more likely has origins in pagan ancient Greece and the cult of Dionysios. Why do you avoid this point and try to steer away from Greek influence?

Our region of Macedonia had contacts with Serbs and Bulgarians and there are Slavic influences in Greece. This is not deniable. Make yor point clear Mr. Stoyanov: are we Slavs because of this? Otherwise…dosta spolaiti.

Happy New Year.
Christos Karatzios

Goran Stojanov says:

Yes Christos,

They seem to me quite relaxed too and they seem to have a lot of fun. It also seems that they cannot miss a chance to sing and dance and enjoy their liberty to use their native Macedonian language.

Babo is a vocative from baba=grandmother. The custom in Macedonia is that small children go from house to house and sing a fertility song: “Kolde babo, Kolde, Daj mi babo kolace, da ti rodi malache, Kolde, Kolde, Koldee…” They beg for food, a cookie in this particular song, and their blessing is for the flocks to be fertile. The custom is old, probably related to the Celtic Halloween, or they both originate from an older pagan tradition.

What is important, though, is that these people are reviving their old customs. It is a revival, big time, and it happens all over the Greek portion of Macedonia, as south as Γιαννιτσα (Macedonian: Enidze Vardar) and Negush (Greek Nausa). The songs that they sing, the dances that they dance, the customs, it is all IDENTICAL with the songs, dances and customs in R. Macedonia.


You seem to have studied for a long time. Too bad you don’t want to participate. Their rules are simple: not to use rude words, not to use that ugly acronym, and to respect us for who we are. The skirmishes were not between Macedonians from Greece and Macedonians from R. Macedonia. Both groups were Aegean Macedonians, and the group that left the forum, left it because in their understanding was too lenient toward Greeks, and not promoting our Macedonian truth vigorously enough. I think they were overreacting, but that is ok too. They created another forum:

So, when you have a really bad day, and you need something stronger than usual, I recommend you to visit them.

Your messages in Greek did not get through. Google was confused:

μουτ με κεπ = Mut with ADS= Мут со реклами

άστε ντούα = we are a shower = ние сме еден туш

άϊ κίχου =Ai kichou = Ai kichou

And finally Ms. Danilovich, just as you stopped counting, I realized that Mr. Droutsas’ statement has a second sentence: “We (Greeks) are born with (Macedonian identity) it, and we die with it.”

Now how is he Macedonian, being from father Cretan and mother Austrian?

Let me quickly give you the link, before you get upset with me again, and start counting:

Bob says:

“He just posted something about a movie that became popular in Greece about the Civil War. ”

I like the sincere responses. At least maknews posters have no trouble mentioning the role of the autonomists unlike some people in Greece who wish to portray them as genuine left-wingers caught up in a class struggle. Pretending to be an anti-nationalist is easier if you paint the people you support as non-nationalists.

KE says:

Mr. Stojanov please spare me the lectures about maknews membership -- it’s unfortunately part of my daily reading list (several times a day -- being the masochist fool that I am -- and yes I realize it’s really bad for the soul to read some much bile directed at your people every day, not to mention that you made my life more difficult by disabling the new posts search shortcut). maknews members are clearly divided into those with roots in what is now tfYRoM and those with roots in Greek Macedonia. There are fairly frequent flame wars between the two. Very few have partial roots in Pirin and you only have one active member from Pirin (who regularly gets attacked for not being “patriotic” -- that means Bulgarian-bashing -- enough). I can dig up proof if Lubi has not erased it. Only those members whose ancestors became Greek citizens in 1912-13 can claim Greek citizenship (unless their ancestors have already lost it, either because of the Civil war, or use of the relevant articles of the Greek citizenship code- mainly article 20/17) -- and of those that had, some have apparently lost it already. You only have 3 regular members (of your nationality) that live in Greek Macedonia (Vodenka, Suhin and Abecedar) and a veritable handful of irregulars that write very infrequently either to advertise some event or to bash Vinozhito ;-P. In fact it’s amazing that out of more than 4000 votes for Vinozhito so few have joined your happy kozi-bashing party. Hell there are more active distinct commentators and blogers for your cause in Greece than that sorry lot. You have yet to attract his separatist highness Trajan Pasois for example (he’s got quite a pen, think of Risto Stefov writing in Greek).

Then you’ve got your sample turncoat (a former non-conscript member of the Greek Air Force no less) in SN (who still manages to get attacked from time to time for not adopting all of your phraseology when discussing things), your fence sitter half-and-half (fatso) and your pseudo-psychologist pro-Turkish Karamanli (HLM). A specimen here and a specimen there.

And yes, you’ve got a few actual Greeks that you keep around as cannon fodder for when one of the mods has a bad hair day and wants to kick some kozi butt (and out of a sudden they find themselves banned). Of the ones that have a track record long enough to talk about, galvert has survived by not writing and imathiotis because Zvezdakoski wants a member of the Greek lobby (or so he thinks) around to play with. I’ve seen so many try and reason with you with civility but firmness and then one fine morning they get banned for saying nothing different (in any way shape or form) to what they were saying before. I was not even looking to become cannon fodder -- I was going to keep silent but I never got there.

In any case I’m actually fairly certain that not only most members are not Greek citizens but even that those that could successfully claim it have not done so (out of nationalist pride and because they never found use for it). UMD’s latest appeal might motivate them to move off their collective butts -- so that our consular offices can get to work.

Dream on about the financiers caring about CoE treaties and signatures. They can force Greece to stop objecting to issues of foreign policy important to their interests but if you seriously think they care about the FCPNM etc. you are really deluding yourself. On the other hand the examples you gave were of countries that were destroyed and split -- I realize this is a recurring dream of your lot but that requires fault lines where they don’t exist in modern Greece.

Nice to hear of the Serbs -- I also thought they were included but web searches for your constitution kept coming up with the one from the 1990s. What about the Bosniaks who are also numerous? In any case, I’m glad to hear that you do place a number requirement on the official minority status -- 35K out of 2million translates to how many out of 10 million (citizens)? 😉

Regarding ΚΟΛΕΝΤΕ ΜΠΑΜΠΟ as usual you are misinforming us. There is no need for a revival as the custom has been celebrated in Greek Macedonia without an issue for a very long time. Α web search for ΚΟΛΙΝΤΑ/ΚΟΛΝΤΑ ΜΠΑΜΠΟ/ΜΠΑΜΠΩ
will show this is not something that has recently been revived. Many more Christmas and New Year customs have non-Greek names:

So Mr. Stojanov you’ve discovered that Greeks use some non-Greekicized Slavic words and phrases. So what? Should we continue with the madness of language cleansing that was attempted in order to make ourselves worthy of our identity to your lot? In any case, since you like to play with Google translate you can also try a few other phrases that Greeks use: μουτ με κεπ (which fully describes the effect of your activities here) and άστε ντούα (which fully describes the way in which you want to appropriate people’s identity). While you are at it try the “άϊ κίχου” that you did not pass on to your fellow maknews member.

As for the census anecdote -- either you are misquoting your former president or he was making things up -- the 1994 census is recorded as one setup specifically to address the Albanian population figures given their 1991 boycott. And Samaras was not a member of the government in 1993. I cannot understand why you insist on making a fool of yourself.

Christos Karatzios says:

Mr. Stoyanov,

Kolende Babo/Kolde Babo/Kolinda Babo is not demotic or katharevusa Greek. However, it is the Slavic version of Kalanda tou Patera…I am sure of the first word: “kalanda” however, “babo” means “father” in Slavic but I also know the word “i babo” to also mean “the grandmother” in certain areas of Greece. Seeing that this is Christmas, I think that “father” is the proper definition.

“Kalanda” for your information is a Greek word which means “carols” as in Christmas carols. It actually comes from the Latin word “calendae” which means the beginning of the month. Also for your information this is an ancient Greek tradition when people (usually children) would go aroung singing praises to their masters, teachers etc on the eve of ancient Greek feasts or holidays (I can anticipate the agitation in your compatriot activists -- oh my -- Greek continuity?! How could that be? There were no “greeks”/geeks/gayreeks until 1829?). In Christian times, kalanda were sung in early January since in the Julian calendar, Christmas is in January. The Church of Greece adopted the Gregorian calendar so kalanda are mostly sung on December 24, or Christmas Eve. One of the commonest Greek carols contains the words: “Kalin esperan arhontes…na bo st’arhontiko sas;” which means “Good evening my lords…may I enter your mansion?”… to sing the news of Christ’s birth? Again. notice the reference to “lords” or “masters” similar to how ancient Greeks would praise their landlords etc on holidays (more Greek continuity -- how terrible!).

Around Christmas time, these traditions are kept all over Greece . The fact that they are called “kolde” by bilingual Greeks means nothing. I have a few comments about the youtube posts you sent me:

1) They are celebrating Greek Christmas since the dates are clearly Dec. 23, 2009. If they were adherents to your church they would be having “kolde” in January wouldn’t they? You might want to also refer to them as “Patriarchists” if we were living 100 years ago. If I am correct, your ancestors were “Exarchists”.

2) They are speaking Greek among themselves and even the band singer praises the “klarino” player in Greek. Why is that if you are implying something that I suspect?

3) Obviously the songs are being sung in Slavic. There is no “restriction”. As well, they don’t seem oppressed to me. I have also danced “lito” or “pustseno”. It does not define my ethnicity.

Contrary to what you believe, the tradition of kalanda, and the lighting of bonfires (or boubounes) is not a new revival. You would like to think that the “Egejski” are waking up as is written in maknews. Sorry, kalanda, boubounes, ragoutsaria, karnavalia etc have been happening in Greece for ages. Sorry no “ethnic” revival here.

If you believe that I can feel as Greek as I want, then can you pass on this information to the VMRO, Vinozhito, the UMD, maknews, MINA, MHRI etc and ask them to cease their propaganda? If you were sincere in wanting to know about kalanda then please also pass on this information to your friends over at maknews. Tell them they have posted about Christian traditions in Greece that have their roots in ancient and pagan Greece.

For more information on kalanda:

Thank you,
Christos Karatzios

Goran Stojanov says:

True, but one forum participant already has commented how inappropriate such a comparison is.

We are making some progress, don’t you think?


KE says:

Mr. Stojanov it appears that my extreme sense of sarcasm (given how much I enjoy the animal parallels drawn daily in the forums you frequent) has really managed to confuse you. Just to save you the trouble -- I did not get a “no kozi allowed” message -- my registration attempt simply never progressed beyond the initial e-mail telling me that I would receive a second e-mail to complete the process. Lubi’s filters sniffed the kozi in me out I guess. 🙂

Goran Stojanov says:

Oh, and I forgot to mention the source of the Mr. Samaras claim for a 300 thousand strong Greek minority and the whole census sharade: it is the book of memoirs “Macedonia is all that we have” by the former Macedonian president Mr. Gligorov.

Goran Stojanov says:


As for the “no kozi allowed” reject message, I just posted a question on

Now you realize, don’t you, that most of the participants of this forum are, or were, Greek citizens. There are few Macedonians from the other parts of Macedonia, and few foreigners that participate, but the vast majority are Macedonians that live in, or originate from the Aegean Macedonia. There are some ethnic Greeks too. One person that goes by SoutherNeighbour has nice civil posts, and he receives equally civil treatment. He just posted something about a movie that became popular in Greece about the Civil War.

As to who will force Greece to sign/ratify the CoE minority treaties and how, look back at the Ottoman Empire. What destroyed it? Let me help you: indebtedness. While Greece is able to service its debts, the financiers will tolerate it. When it start to slip up, they will hit it where it hurts most. Yugoslavia was dismantled for a debt that was much smaller: 20 bil dollars, compared to the Greek that is at least 20 times bigger.

As for the preamble, Serbs are included now, since 2001. They were initially omitted because Miolsevic declared that he will attack whoever makes Serbs a minority. After he was safely buried under the pear three, we were able to do the Serbian minority a justice. The other minorities are much smaller. But if Ms. Gatsoulis finds credible sources that confirm a Greek minority in R. Macedonia of 35 thousand, I don’t have any issues to amend the preamble with Greeks as a traditional minority in R. Macedonia.

Mr. Karatzios,

I understand you very well. And as I said before, you are free to feel as Greek as you wish.

Now I understand that an old custom is being revived in the Greek portion of Macedonia lately. Its name is ΚΟΛΝΤΕ ΜΠΑΜΠΟ. Since I don’t understand Greek, I asked the Google to help me, and the Greek to English translation came up as: Cold Bamboo!? Then I tried the Greek to Macedonian translation and I got: Студената Bamboo.

What does this phrase mean? Is it demotiki or katharevousa?


Christos Karatzios says:

I forgot to mention the name of the former Italian foreign minister whose quote I provided above: his name was Giovanni Amadori-Virgili. Apologies…

Christos Karatzios says:

Mr. Stoyanov,

My native language is Greek. I understand a few things in the slavic idiom spoken in the area of Dytiki Makedonia (Western Macedonia) through my mother’s side of the family. It is not my native nor my mother “language” as you call it. I can’t say that it is fair of you to characterize a family of dialects as “native” to the region of Macedonia. What is native Mr. Stoyanov in a region that has been inhabited by many peoples? When do we start the clock and consider the beginning of something native? Various forms of Greek have been spoken IN CONTINUITY in the region since at least the 6th century BC. I suppose this would be native now wouldn’t it?

The standard language codified for political reasons in Skopje (ARTIFICIALLY I may add -- many Bulgarian, Greek, Turkish and Albanian words were purged by the linguists of Blaze Koneski NOT allowing the “language” to naturally evolve into a standard form) is not understandable by my family members at least. I know this first hand as many in my family say that what is spoken in Skopje (when they are shown TV news from Skopje) sounds “too Russian” or “too Serbian”. A few words are understandable but only in a disjointed manner and not enough to make sense of what is spoken. However among themselves they can speak a slavic idiom quite easily. I would listen to my grandmother speak with her sisters when they wanted to say something secret about me when I was growing up. I found it amusing that they also spoke something which they described as a “bastardemeni glossa” or a “bastardized tongue” -- a tongue without a mother as it had Bulgarian, Greek, Turkish, Serbian, Vlach, and Arvanite words. In case you would like to know, no Greek policeman or secret service agent threatened them or charged them for this “crime” as your friends in the UMD or maknews like to claim about the oppressed “Egejski”. Moreover, as a child I was never warned not to speak this in public.

The various idioms spoken in our region have been known as “Voulgarika” for generations.

In contrast to what you claim, modern Greek and Katharevousa are mutually intelligible and most Greeks (including myself) understand Katharevousa Greek. It is like speaking modern English and Shakespearian English. The “Voulgarika” idioms and the standard language of your country are not as understandable as you would like them to be. My family should serve as the clearest witnesses.

I will leave you with the immortal words of Michel Paillares reporting to Hilmi Pasha in his book “L’Imroglio Macedonien”:

“What do I care about ethnologic or linguistic theories?…That which interests me is that all these Macedonians, regardless of what langauge they speak, prefer to get crucified by the Bulgarians instead of to deny their Hellenism…These unsung heroes are Greeks, and I kneel in front of their supreme grandeur.”

And the words of former Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs, entitled “La questione Rumeliota (Macedonia, Vecchia Serbia, Albania, Epiro) e la politica italiana”, published in 1908 as number 1 in a series by the Biblioteca Italiana on foreign policy:
“Through their patriotic sentiments and their devotion to Greek traditions and Greek culture, the Slav-speaking Greeks of Macedonia express their vigorous determination to be Greeks.”

Many of my family members where killed by Bulgarian komitadjis because they wouldn’t declare Exarchist and Bulgarian. My great grandmother died with the word “Grcki” as a last cry. Please spare me the repeated attempt to “awaken” the “native” out of me with maps from Wikipedia.

Razbra Mr. Stoyanov?

KE says:

Mrs. Gatzouli I know very well that you do not follow the lines of any government given that you have an open feud with the previous leadership of the foreign ministry. And I actually like that as any statements (such as the recent ones of one of the ManMacedonian vice-presidents) that could be used against the Greek government can easily be dismissed as unrelated to Greek government policy.

Unfortunately a lot of “nefarious” numbers circulate among Greek circles on the subject you mention (including the numbers of declared Vlachs -- not all of which were pro-Greek in 1912 and also today). A certain Mr. Cholevas, relatively well respected unfortunately, has been the source of a lot of misinformation in this regard. The “German census” is one of these stories that until and when I’m presented with actual verifiable (and not second-hand information in some book written by an interested party) I have no reason to believe that it is anything but self-serving misinformation. I mean seriously, what sort of a citation is “according to General Th. Goulas”? If the PanMacedonian can find the original source in the German Army archives then we can take things more seriously -- and even then the validity of a census run by an occupying army is very debatable -- the Italians are said to have done one in Thesprotia that produced results according to their liking.

As for your 2nd-sourced (I’m afraid than in any 3rd party eyes Chrysanthopoulos can be viewed as the equivalent of their Todor Simovski, a scholar with an ax to grind) “unofficial” statistic (at least someone with access to Yugoslav records can check this one out) there are a few problems (maybe due to errors in transcription) that I am trying to make sense of: how an “unofficial statistic” can be published in 1959 in an OFFICIAL publication of the FRY, the study (census?) take place in 1960, be entirely out of place with respect to the official census results of 1951 AND 1961 (the total population is less than that even that of the 1951 census!) and despite having been published be labelled as “never published”. Seriously, if indeed the original source claims these numbers please (a) get your dates and nomenclature straight so that no one can easily dismiss your argument and (b) translate the original pages alongside a photocopy and come out with a public announcement. That would be a far more powerful argument than a vigorous but very poorly attended demonstration in NYC that a Cypriot activist shamed everyone into supporting.

That said 15k Greeks is (a) a number that sounds reasonable at least, especially if the Vlach number of 20k only include the RumanoVlachs and (b) a far cry from 100k Greeks or more as the more sensationalistic claims from some people on the Greek side have been.

With all due respect Mrs. Gatzouli, for the PanMacedonian to do anything that adopts the logic of the Stojanovs of this world (massive “hidden” minorities, secret census results etc.) is what I feel is taking issues frivolously. It accomplishes nothing other than reducing real arguments about any problems the Greeks in tfYRoM face to arguments about Greek counter-irridentistm etc. I have no doubt that these people exist and given the evidence I’ve seen they have to be more than 400. At the same time wild claims about their numbers are hurting them and those that try to help them.

Nina Gatzoulis says:

Stojanov said: “They are not 1400 as I thought (and didn’t check) but about 400…”

I do have to bring up the issue of the Greeks in FYROM because that’s a subject that has been put under the carpet by many entities that there is no significant Greek population in FYROM, but others insist the opposite. And let me inform some people of this thread that the Pan-Macedonian Association does not follow the lines of any government. If there is reason to express our opinion, we will expresess it…

First of all let’s take a look at what Dr. Chrysanthoulos has written:

Μια ανεπίσημη στατιστική του 1960
Ο Μιχάλης Χρυσανθόπουλος στο βιβλίο του “Ο Ελληνισμός της Δημοκρατίας των Σκοπίων” (1993) αναφέρει πως τo 1960 υπήρξε μια ανεπίσημη στατιστική στην “Ο.Γ.Δ της Μακεδονίας”, που όμως δεν δημοσιεύτηκε ποτέ (πηγή του είναι το “Savezni zavod za Statistika -- Statisticki Kalendar Federa tivna Narodna Republica Yugoslavia” -- Beograd 1959 -- σελ. 23).
Με βάση την στατιστική αυτή , στο κρατίδιο το 1960, δήλωναν :
· “Μακεδόνες” 726.000
· Αλβανοί 200.000
· Τούρκοι 104.000
· Βούλγαροι 80.000
· Σέρβοι 35.000
· Αιγαίοι Μακεδόνες 35.000
· Βλάχοι 20.000
· Έλληνες 15.000
· Άλλοι 11.000
· ΣΥΝΟΛΟ 1.226.000

The translation of the above paragraph:

Michael Chrysanthopoulos in his Book ‘Hellenism in Skopje’s Democracy” (1993) states that in 1960 there was an unofficial statistic which took place in the “Yugoslav Democracy of Macedonia”. This statistic was never published. His source is: “Savezni zavod za Statistika -- Statisticki Kalendar Federa tivna Narodna Republica Yugoslavia” -- Beograd 1959 -- pg. 23).
According to this statistic in 1960 the numbers are as follows:
· “Macedonians” 726.000
· Albanians 200.000
· Turks 104.000
· Bulgarians 80.000
· Serbs 35.000
· Aegean Macedonians 35.000
· Vlachs 20.000
· Greeks 15.000
· Others 11.000
· Total 1.226.000

There is also the German census of 1941 which according to General Th. Goulas on a total population of 800,000 one hundred thousand Greeks by genus and Christian Orthodox by religion were registered…

I would suggest that we don’t treat this issue so frivolously.