Australian Macedonian Advisory Council

The ´Macedonian´ Patriotic Organization and the United ´Macedonian´ Diaspora

Australian Macedonian Advisory Council
March 08, 2010
The MPO (‘Macedonian´ Patriotic Organisation) which is the oldest and one of the largest FYROM organizations operating in the USA and Canada, has been removed from the “Macedonian-American 2010 Census Project“, due to the MPO’s stance on the ‘Macedonian’ ethnicity. The MPO published a census in its American publication “Macedonian Tribune” - A calling on ‘Macedonians’ of Bulgarian, Vlach, and Roma origin, whilst excluding the singular ‘Macedonian’ ethnicity. The issue has caused a blow to all FYROM parties involved in the census project (including the United ´Macedonian´ Diaspora (UMD)), which only recognize a single ‘Macedonian’ ethnicity. The united approach for which the coalition was formed upon seems to have failed; exposing an ongoing issue which can only be described as an identity crisis.

According to the “Australian ´Macedonian´ Weekly”, in December last year, members of the coalition reached a concrete agreement to call on all ‘Macedonians’ in the U.S. census documents to identify themselves as simply ‘Macedonians’. According to a US census in 2000, only 43,783 people had identified themselves as ‘Macedonians’, which the US-based FYROM coalition believe to be much larger.

As written on the UMD website, “UMD led efforts to form the coalition so that several ´Macedonian´-American groups could work for a common cause an accurate count of ´Macedonian-Americans´. Unfortunately, the MPO deviated from that goal by calling on its members to identify themselves as something other than ´Macedonian´ on U.S. Census forms, said UMD President Metodija A. Koloski, who stated: “After discussions amongst members, the Coalition determined that the MPO should no longer be included in the Coalition which is continuing its efforts to educate ´Macedonian-Americans´ of the importance of participating in the Census and to respond in a consistent manner to questions relating to race, ethnicity and national origin”.

Therefore it is logical to suggest that the FYROM coalition, by excluding one of its largest and oldest organizations - simply for advocating a Bulgarian, Vlach, and Romani ethnicity alongside ‘Macedonian’ - reveals gaping holes in a united identity. If the MPO poses such a threat to the coalition´s notion of a shared national identity, then this is clearly a very serious issue which continues to plague FYROM and its diaspora.

UMD President Metodija A. Koloski was also quoted as stating: “It is incomprehensible to imagine anything else but ‘Macedonian´”, clearly a statement which contradicts the actions of the MPO.

Andrea Alushef, who is the current president of the MPO, declined to comment beyond the allegations of the UMD, stating: “The MPO is engaged to assist the U.S. census. Our membership is very different. It is made up of Macedonians from all parts of Macedonia and we believe that the Macedonians of all ethnic groups should be named in the census, including all Macedonians, four or five generations away from our homeland. Since its founding in 1922 until 1990, we stand for a free and independent Macedonia “, emphasized Alushef.

Australian Macedonian Advisory Council (AMAC)

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