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Old 03-04-2011, 01:05 PM
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Ok, I give up: What is with the tension between "FYR" Macedonia and Greece Proper?


Ok, I give up: There have been very emotional mass protests in the recent past by Greeks who protest against the new country of Macedonia (or FYROM, it's capital at Skopjye).

The issue seems to be because of the name Macedonia is also connected to a Greek province.

But why is it a big issue? Is Paris France upset that we have a Paris, Texas? Is Hamas angry that we have a Palestine, Texas as well? Mexico angry because we have a 'New Mexico'? (Ok maybe about the Mexican-American war, but not the name itself)

And why are the Macedonian (FYROM) people Slavic? At least they speak a Slavic language. What relation do Slavs have with Macedon? Why would they want a Greek name? And why do Greeks care that much? (A little care I understand, but not as much as I've seen).

The Wikipedia articles explain some of the conflict, but I still don't get it.
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Old 03-04-2011, 01:20 PM
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The wikipedia article explains all of the conflict. But if you want the cliff's notes version... two words: Greater Macedonia. Emphasis on the word "Greater", meaning "larger". If you still don't get it, see: Greater Serbia.
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Old 03-04-2011, 01:23 PM
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It's nothing like Paris, Texas, where a place has just been named after another place. The country and the Greek province are both part of the ancient country of Macedonia -- the country that Alexander the Great started off as king of.
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Old 03-04-2011, 01:28 PM
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Ok, I give up: There have been very emotional mass protests in the recent past by Greeks who protest against the new country of Macedonia (or FYROM, it's capital at Skopjye).

The issue seems to be because of the name Macedonia is also connected to a Greek province.

But why is it a big issue? Is Paris France upset that we have a Paris, Texas? Is Hamas angry that we have a Palestine, Texas as well? Mexico angry because we have a 'New Mexico'? (Ok maybe about the Mexican-American war, but not the name itself)
My guess is, from the way things always go in the Balkans and especially in the last 20 years, the Greeks are afraid an independent state of Macedon bordering on their own province of Macedon implies an irredentist territorial claim down the road. That's what nationalism is all about . . . even though it doesn't apply here because the Greek Macedonians are Greek-speakers, not Slavs. But the name -- and the ancient territorial associations -- might be enough to cause trouble. As Walter Lippmann wrote in Public Opinion (1922):

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Now it happened in one nation that the war party which was in control of the foreign office, the high command, and most of the press, had claims on the territory of several of its neighbors. These claims were called the Greater Ruritania by the cultivated classes who regarded Kipling, Treitschke, and Maurice Barres as one hundred percent Ruritanian. But the grandiose idea aroused no enthusiasm abroad. So holding this finest flower of the Ruritanian genius, as their poet laureate said, to their hearts, Ruritania's statesmen went forth to divide and conquer. They divided the claim into sectors. For each piece they invoked that stereotype which some one or more of their allies found it difficult to resist, because that ally had claims for which it hoped to find approval by the use of this same stereotype.

The first sector happened to be a mountainous region inhabited by alien peasants. Ruritania demanded it to complete her natural geographical frontier. If you fixed your attention long enough on the ineffable value of what is natural, those alien peasants just dissolved into fog, and only the slope of the mountains was visible. The next sector was inhabited by Ruritanians, and on the principle that no people ought to live under alien rule, they were re-annexed. Then came a city of considerable commercial importance, not inhabited by Ruritanians. But until the Eighteenth Century it had been part of Ruritania, and on the principle of Historic Right it was annexed. Farther on there was a splendid mineral deposit owned by aliens and worked by aliens. On the principle of reparation for damage it was annexed. Beyond this there was a territory inhabited 97% by aliens, constituting the natural geographical frontier of another nation, never historically a part of Ruritania. But one of the provinces which had been federated into Ruritania had formerly traded in those markets, and the upper class culture was Ruritanian. On the principle of cultural superiority and the necessity of defending civilization, the lands were claimed. Finally, there was a port wholly disconnected from Ruritania geographically, ethnically, economically, historically, traditionally. It was demanded on the ground that it was needed for national defense.
There's also a matter of national pride, "Macedonia" being universally associated with Greek history and Alexander the Great. The modern Greeks regard themselves as the rightful heirs of the whole classical Hellenic heritage.
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Old 03-04-2011, 11:54 PM
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Let me preface by saying I just drank a glass of wine so I hope this makes sense.

Ethnicity and nationality in the Balkans is very complicated and doesn't really have a neat parallel to how we view it in the United States. You just have to keep that in mind. You hear one thing from one person and a totally conflicting thing from another person; it's really confusing, and even though I have actually made a concerted effort to learn Balkan history, I still don't really know what's going on. (Not the least because what I've heard from Bulgarians often totally conflicts with what I read in mainstream English-language books.) You have to keep in mind that borders have shifted a lot over time, and that this entire region was part of the Ottoman Empire for hundreds of years.

There is a large region of Northern Greece, the FYROM, and Western Bulgaria that is considered by the people who live there to be "Macedonia". The Bulgarian part is called Pirin Macedonia (the Pirin Mountains run through it) and many people who live in the region consider themselves to be ethnically Macedonian instead of Bulgarian, and people in that region speak Bulgarian with a "Macedonian accent." However, the Northern Greeks consider themselves to be the descendants of the original, ancient Macedonians. When Macedonians and Bulgarians say that they are Macedonians, the Greeks get annoyed because they believe that their culture is being misappropriated by Slavs. That is the essence of the issue.

And yes, he majority of citizens of the FYROM are Slavs - there is also a large Albanian minority.

It's not as well-known as the Greek issue, but Bulgarians also have a major problem with the existence of an independent Macedonia. Bulgarians will tell you that Macedonians ARE Bulgarians and that Macedonia should be part of Bulgaria and that it was artificially separated from Bulgaria after...I want to say WWI, but it might have been one of the Balkan Wars. It is certainly true that the linguistic and cultural distinction between Bulgarians and Macedonians is very minor. (Like I already mentioned, there is distinct accent, but Bulgarian and Macedonian are in essence the same language.)

If you want to see people who are part of this conflict talk about it, I recommend reading the comments at literally any video of Macedonian music at youtube. The very first thing I came up with when I searched at youtube was this.

By the way, just to the east of Macedonia is Thrace, which is claimed by Greece, Bulgaria, and Turkey. If there were a modern country named Thrace, I guarantee you that one (or all three) of those countries would have a shit fit.
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Old 03-05-2011, 01:31 AM
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When Macedonians and Bulgarians say that they are Macedonians, the Greeks get annoyed because they believe that their culture is being misappropriated by Slavs. That is the essence of the issue.

And yes, he majority of citizens of the FYROM are Slavs - there is also a large Albanian minority.
All made more interesting in that many northern Greeks are no doubt descended from Hellenized Slavs and likely more than a few Slavic Macedonians are descended from Slavicized Greeks. Pretty much the entire area of Macedonia and Thessaly ( minus well-fortified Thessalonica and few other coastal sites ) was overrun and settled by Slavic tribes starting as early as the late 500s, certainly by the early 600s. Macedonia in general ( both the modern Slavic and Greek parts ) would not have reverted to Byzantine Greek control until after 1018 when Bulgaria was conquered. Bulgaria itself only expanded to exercise a loose suzerainty over that region in mid-800s, though it is commonly thought that the Slavic tribes in Bulgaria proper and those that quite independently penetrated modern Greece had a common linguistic origin, associated with the Antes.

Last edited by Tamerlane; 03-05-2011 at 01:31 AM.
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Old 03-05-2011, 02:26 AM
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The Wikipedia articles explain some of the conflict, but I still don't get it.

You won't ever get it.

A lot of Greeks just don't like the idea that Slavs would call themselves Macedonians, they feel like they're robbed of their heritage (Alexander), and for some reason that nobody outside the Balkans can understand it's a huge deal and almost worth a declaration of war.

Just never pronounce the word "Macedonia" anywhere near a Greek*, avoid any spot (real or internet based) where a Macedonian and a Greek could be present at the same time and your sanity will be preserved.



(*) Preemptive comment : yes, I know, not every Greek is like that.
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Old 03-05-2011, 03:37 AM
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Ok, I give up: There have been very emotional mass protests in the recent past by Greeks who protest against the new country of Macedonia (or FYROM, it's capital at Skopjye).

The issue seems to be because of the name Macedonia is also connected to a Greek province...
Not only a province but a 3,000 year old history. Macedonia is Greek. The embezzling of the name Macedonia is a travesty of Slavic and/or Muslim people trying to claim part of the Ancient Greek tradition and history for themselves.

This is not like Paris, Texas, or Athens, Georgia. City names are considered a kind gesture to historical ancestors.

This is like the NW Mexican peninsula declaring independence and calling themselves the Nation of California.

The US would never stand for it, nor should it. The only reason the Former Yugoslavian Republic of M? got their name is because of the incompetence of Greek politicians to stand up for their historical heritage.

Makedonia is Greek. Read some historical books if you disagree.
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Old 03-05-2011, 07:10 AM
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This is like the NW Mexican peninsula declaring independence and calling themselves the Nation of California.

The US would never stand for it, nor should it. The only reason the Former Yugoslavian Republic of M? got their name is because of the incompetence of Greek politicians to stand up for their historical heritage.

Makedonia is Greek. Read some historical books if you disagree.
If the Mexican state of California became independent and named itself the Republic of California, I'd be willing to bet this would be the least of the US's concerns. The break-up of Mexico, and whatever caused it might be a concern. But absent any indication that the RoC was looking to expand into the US State of California, I doubt that we would have any objection.

No one in the continents of the Americas get upset over the name the United States of America, you know. Over 200 years, and have yet to hear any serious objection to the USA claiming the whole of two continents. The actual policy of hemispheric dominance, sure. The name, not so much.

In other words, get over yourselves. You would think the Greeks would know that obsessin over what happened 1200 years ago is a losing game. You were relatively unscathed by the latest blow-up over the ethnic rivalries in the Balkans.

It is not your politicians who were incompetent (at least no more than usual). It was your position that was deemed unworthy of sympathy and childish. The Greeks are losing this by attrition. But the more they fight, the faster they lose.
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Old 03-05-2011, 09:21 AM
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This is like the NW Mexican peninsula declaring independence and calling themselves the Nation of California.

The US would never stand for it, nor should it.e.
You mean the area that is now called Baja (Lower) California? I am a California native and it wouldn't have occurred to me in a million years to have a problem with that new name. Especially given that it's already kind of called that. I bet that you couldn't find ten people here that would have a problem with that new name.
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Old 03-05-2011, 12:14 PM
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You mean the area that is now called Baja (Lower) California? I am a California native and it wouldn't have occurred to me in a million years to have a problem with that new name. Especially given that it's already kind of called that. I bet that you couldn't find ten people here that would have a problem with that new name.
I'm another (Alta) Californian, and I have to agree. That part of Mexico is already called Baja California, and no one cares.

The sheer fury of the Greek objection over the name of Macedonia does baffle me. And I've spent a lot of time in the area (been to Macedonia three times; could never afford to go to Greece) and generally have a pretty decent idea of how things work in the region.
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Old 03-05-2011, 12:53 PM
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You won't ever get it.

A lot of Greeks just don't like the idea that Slavs would call themselves Macedonians, they feel like they're robbed of their heritage (Alexander), and for some reason that nobody outside the Balkans can understand it's a huge deal and almost worth a declaration of war.
I don't know if Naxos is actually Greek (his location field is empty), but if so it sure seems you're right. But I'd also like to understand it. I can see why Greece would be concerned if there was in the Republic of Macedonia an active irredentist movement aimed at annexing the Macedonian parts of Greece and Bulgaria. Not that it could ever be successful. But just using the name (which is justified, as the country of Macedonia is entirely part of the historical region of Macedonia) and the image of Alexander the Great? That's fairly harmless.

For that matter, is it the name of the country (Macedonia) or the use of Alexander's image that's bothering the Greeks more?
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Old 03-05-2011, 01:16 PM
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Not only that, but Alexander and the Macedonians weren't Greek. Not ethnically, and not really culturally. Macedonia was a very different place. It was more like Hispania to Rome: influenced culturally, but with its own independant future. The Macedonians for their part preferred to be considered Greek, but it wasn't exactly true then. These days, perhaps, but then not all of historical Macedon is part of Greece: it included chunks of southern Buglaria, the Republic of Macedon, and the Greek province of macedonia.

So, all in all Naxos is very much wrong, and given the Greek nymic and the sudden angry passion, I'm betting he is a Greek with a very non-neutral point of view here.
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Old 03-05-2011, 01:20 PM
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I'm another (Alta) Californian, and I have to agree. That part of Mexico is already called Baja California, and no one cares.
Yep. No biggie.

But we don't have the history that the Balkans do.
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Old 03-05-2011, 03:18 PM
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You won't ever get it.
This. It's the Balkans, it's not supposed to make sense.
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Old 03-05-2011, 04:10 PM
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Actually, I think Naxos reversed the California example. The "traditional" region of California includes both Upper California (the US state) and Lower California (the two Mexican states). But Americans refer to Upper California as simply "California", which is similar to the (FY) Republic of Macedonia using this name despite its territory covering only part of the traditional region of Macedonia.

As far as I can tell, the Mexicans don't care about Americans appropriating the name "California". But on the other hand there isn't an ancient, semi-mythical race of "Californians" whom Mexicans consider themselves the cultural heirs of, unlike those uncultured gringos up north.
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Old 03-05-2011, 04:31 PM
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Also you have to remember Bugarian and Macedonian are basically the same language. Bulgarians considered the Macedonians to be Bulgarians. Before WWI the Serbians referred to them as South Serbs.

You also have claims that Montenigrins are actually Serbs. My mother is from what is now Croatia and my father from what is now Serbia, they spoke the same language which is now called Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian and Montenigrin.

The real problem with the area is it IS such a mixture of people. There's no clear cut divisions. For example in Romania right in the middle of the country is a huge area of Hungarians. It would make sense to put these people in Hungary. But there's no way to do it and keep a contiguous area, 'cause then you'd have a whole bunch of Romanians in Hungary.

Back the OP questions, the Macedonians will say they are Greeks who were "Slavisized" over the years. The Greeks maintain this was never the case.

In additon to concepts of Greater Serbia, there is a movement for Greater Bulgaria, Greater Croatia and Greater Albania, all seeking to put as many of the nationalities under one flag as possible.

Indeed the forced population movements of WWII, solved the problem where 1/3 of Poland was actually Germany and huge areas of Finland are now in Russia. Since the populations were moved there's no huge call to get those lands returned. Not to say forced populations is a good thing, it causes huge suffering.
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Old 03-05-2011, 05:54 PM
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You also have claims that Montenigrins are actually Serbs.
I don't recommend telling this to any Montenegrins you happen to run across.
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Old 03-05-2011, 06:27 PM
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The real problem with the area is it IS such a mixture of people. There's no clear cut divisions.
This. But also, the area has simply been a huge crossroads of peoples since before the Romans. We know there were some major ethnic migrations during the laer Roman period, but we don't entirely know how much. The cultural and ethnic shifts, immigrations and emigrations, have turned it into one giant noodle platter.
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Old 03-05-2011, 09:29 PM
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Oh geez, where to begin...

Ok, this may be a little around the circle but bear with me. In Balkans, one of the biggest causes of an individual and group anxiety is the idea that a group of people living in a geographically well-defined region has a national -- and with it, religious and ethnic -- identity that is not very clear. An identity that due to some historical event can be questioned. This historical event can go very deep back into past, it may have as many versions of the story as there are days in between past and current, no matter, the seed of doubt, once sown, is there for eternity. Did I mention historical documents that contradict each other every year as they were published?

These regions are usually mixed as they are always on the edge of the national fatherland epicenter and as such are subject to all kinds of mixing with other groups but most of all, these regions are relatively low in significance in both intellectual and practical sense. Anyone with half a brain wants to leave that region and move closer to center thus making such regions perpetually backwater of the country they belong to.

What these regions are good for is for elites to manipulate its population into a loud, fighting, no-prisoners-taken war machine because that is the only time they get to shine. And the luminescence is usually directly related to the degree of doubt in their identity; in fact, it can be said that in war they shine as much as is the stain on their national identity.

It is no wonder that in a lot of cases the worst leaders of the Balkan national groups come from a region like that - case in point, both Milosevic and Karadzic come from Montenegro.

Something similar can be said of northern Greece and province of Macedonia. Long time ago some Slavs came down from Russian steppes in 6th and 7th century and decided to stay, of all places, in a place called Macedonia. Over time they took the name of the place to distinguish themselves from everyone else and the name stayed on. They were even defined as a Macedonian nationality within former Yugoslavia not even 20 years ago. We never heard of problems then. It is only when Macedonians decided to upgrade from a province to a country that voices became louder and in fact, became official political thread in Greece. It was only able to become “official” because the region itself and the long asleep issue was awakened by the smooth operators from the center (Athena). That’s really all it is - useful idiots of a doubtful identity doing their best to prove they are the purest form while other pressing issues (and trust me there are plenty of those all over Balkans and Greece) go on as always.

Personally, what was really stunning to me is that they were able to block process of UN recognition of country of Macedonia after the breakup of Yugoslavia and force them to take up the most stupid and humiliating name ever. It just tells me to stay the hell away from that region as far as possible and show finger to any UN official.
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Old 03-05-2011, 09:44 PM
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It is no wonder that in a lot of cases the worst leaders of the Balkan national groups come from a region like that - case in point, both Milosevic and Karadzic come from Montenegro.
Karadzic does, but Milosevic was Serbian. He was born in Pozarevac.
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Old 03-05-2011, 10:14 PM
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Karadzic does, but Milosevic was Serbian. He was born in Pozarevac.
2nd generation Mexican born and raised in Grand Rapids, MI will make him an American only technically; his identity will be totally different matter. Similarly, while technically true that he was born and raised in Pozarevac that does not make him a Serb as I use the term in its narrow definition to elaborate my theory. His family origin is Montenegro and everyone down there will tell you Milosevic is Montenegrin. As for distinction of Serbs and Montenegrins, please let’s not start kicking that trash can.
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Old 03-05-2011, 10:56 PM
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All made more interesting in that many northern Greeks are no doubt descended from Hellenized Slavs and likely more than a few Slavic Macedonians are descended from Slavicized Greeks...
EnSlav-ed, surely?
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Old 03-05-2011, 11:19 PM
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2nd generation Mexican born and raised in Grand Rapids, MI will make him an American only technically; his identity will be totally different matter. Similarly, while technically true that he was born and raised in Pozarevac that does not make him a Serb as I use the term in its narrow definition to elaborate my theory. His family origin is Montenegro and everyone down there will tell you Milosevic is Montenegrin. As for distinction of Serbs and Montenegrins, please let’s not start kicking that trash can.
I agree with you that Milosevic was Montenegrin, but the comparison with Mexican-Americans is not really apt. In the Balkans, families maintain their nationality FOREVER, regardless of their place of birth. I had students in Bulgaria who were born in Bulgaria and their parents were born in Bulgaria and everyone they were related to was born in Bulgaria - and they were still Turkish. Not Turkish-Bulgarian, just Turks who happened to live in Bulgaria and have Bulgarian citizenship.

Nationality in the Balkans just doesn't work the way it does in the US.
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Old 03-05-2011, 11:51 PM
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In the Balkans, families maintain their nationality FOREVER, regardless of their place of birth.

Nationality in the Balkans just doesn't work the way it does in the US.

Quite true in general, especially as to the second, but sometimes it can get weirdly fluid. My father's side of the family ( through both his parent's lines ) are all of Croatian Serb descent ( i.e. Serbs from Croatia ). But in that case as little a thing as switching your confession ( say by marrying into a family and converting ) could result in switching ethnicities. There otherwise is not an awful lot to distinguish one from the other, despite fiercely held pride in that tenuously defined ethnic grouping. Serbs and Croats are notoriously hyper-nationalist these days, but in that region it could be surprisingly easy to change tribes.

And of course to pre-rise-of-ethnic-nationalism to everyone outside Croatia ( including the Hapsburg government ) everybody from Croatia was a "Croat" - they simply used the term as a geographic identifier.

The Balkans are an ever-confusing welter of weird ethnic issues.
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Old 03-06-2011, 01:06 AM
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Not only a province but a 3,000 year old history. Macedonia is Greek. The embezzling of the name Macedonia is a travesty of Slavic and/or Muslim people trying to claim part of the Ancient Greek tradition and history for themselves.

This is not like Paris, Texas, or Athens, Georgia. City names are considered a kind gesture to historical ancestors.

This is like the NW Mexican peninsula declaring independence and calling themselves the Nation of California.

The US would never stand for it, nor should it. The only reason the Former Yugoslavian Republic of M? got their name is because of the incompetence of Greek politicians to stand up for their historical heritage.

Makedonia is Greek. Read some historical books if you disagree.
Out of curiousity, if the name Macedonia is this central to Greek national identity, why didn't they adopt the name when they broke free from Turkish rule? Call themselves the Kingdom of Makedonia instead of the Kingdom of Ellados and establish a prior claim to the name?
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Old 03-06-2011, 02:09 AM
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Bulgarians considered the Macedonians to be Bulgarians. Before WWI the Serbians referred to them as South Serbs.
Some of them considered themselves to be Serbs. My ex's father was from a family that had been in Macedonia for as long as any of them knew, but they had always considered themselves Serbs rather than Macedonians. There's a similar dynamic with Montenegro - you could have people within a single (nuclear) family where half of them called themselves Montenegrins and the other half Serbs. That's a good part of the reason why the vote for independence was so close (55-45%). I'd imagine a Montenegrin national identity is probably developing a lot more rapidly since independence, though.
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Old 03-06-2011, 03:44 AM
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Some of them considered themselves to be Serbs. My ex's father was from a family that had been in Macedonia for as long as any of them knew, but they had always considered themselves Serbs rather than Macedonians.
Out of curiosity, where were they from in Macedonia? In eastern Macedonia, the language blends almost into Serbian and I found communicating to be a lot more difficult than it was in Skopje.

I don't have any insight, I'm just curious because you know I like languages and I find the south Slavic language continuum to be really interesting.

BTW, anecdotally, I worked in an English language summer camp for high school aged kids for a couple weeks in the summer of 2007 in Bulgaria and for some reason a TON of my students were from Montenegro. Montenegro had only been independent for a little over a year at the time and the kids were INSANELY patriotic. When we went on outings they would chant "Cherna Gora Cherna Gora!" just walking around. (Cherna Gora = Serbian for Montenegro.) I have seriously never seen anyone just so fucking excited about their country. But at the same time, they all agreed that their language was Serbian, and they seemed to get on perfectly well with the Serbian kids at the camp.
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Old 03-06-2011, 09:30 AM
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Quite true in general, especially as to the second, but sometimes it can get weirdly fluid. My father's side of the family ( through both his parent's lines ) are all of Croatian Serb descent ( i.e. Serbs from Croatia ). But in that case as little a thing as switching your confession ( say by marrying into a family and converting ) could result in switching ethnicities. There otherwise is not an awful lot to distinguish one from the other, despite fiercely held pride in that tenuously defined ethnic grouping. Serbs and Croats are notoriously hyper-nationalist these days, but in that region it could be surprisingly easy to change tribes.

And of course to pre-rise-of-ethnic-nationalism to everyone outside Croatia ( including the Hapsburg government ) everybody from Croatia was a "Croat" - they simply used the term as a geographic identifier.

The Balkans are an ever-confusing welter of weird ethnic issues.
Serbs in Croatia as a regional group is the perfect example of what I was trying to convey with my little regional theory of people who try too much to be pure while mixed through generations. The way they were manipulated (if you know the story from 1991 until their expulsion) is almost borderline masochism and prime example of never ending story of Balkan - instead of mutual respect for differences and agreement on similarities they went the way of hating the differences and disagreement on similarities.

Little off-topic...

Funny thing, at my office we were discussing multi-cultural state of affairs in Canada and how it is incredible that these same people from Balkans can live in Canada along each other with no problem but transport those same people down there and things go downhill. On top of that, here you still have quite a number of people living their life in Canada while being fully engaged in every day conundrums of Balkan and thus making up very rare bird - respectful and peaceful on the street of Toronto but full of rage on the pages of local discussion forum; something of a modern Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde brought to you by very fast DSL. Further rumination on the subject led me to challenge everyone in the office to come up with a cultural or social custom from their country of origin that is superior or at least equal to what’s currently a custom in Canada (more than half of the people in the office are either recent or 2nd generation immigrants and they exclude Western Europe countries). Well, needless to say no response received yet.
  #30  
Old 03-07-2011, 03:09 AM
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Out of curiosity, where were they from in Macedonia?
To be honest I have no idea. But it would make sense to be in the part that's closer to Serbia.

Quote:
they all agreed that their language was Serbian
I wonder how long that will last. I suspect they'll be calling it Montenegrin within a generation, if they aren't already starting to.
  #31  
Old 03-07-2011, 08:00 AM
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This is like the NW Mexican peninsula declaring independence and calling themselves the Nation of California.

The US would never stand for it, nor should it.
Actually, as has been pointed out already, save for a fringe of addled Tea-Partiers the US would not give a hoot. We got more pressing matters to concern us than centuriesr-old points of pride about a name (that in any case was the Mexicans' name first, as mentioned). Matter of fact, the US State Department HAS recognized the Republic of Macedonia under its official name, not "Former..." for some years now. The issue seems childish to those who are uninformed about the political implications... and even to some who are informed.

Ah, nationalism... there's one idea that needs to go into the wastebin mondo pronto...

Last edited by JRDelirious; 03-07-2011 at 08:03 AM.
  #32  
Old 03-07-2011, 09:03 AM
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And why are the Macedonian (FYROM) people Slavic? At least they speak a Slavic language. What relation do Slavs have with Macedon?
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All made more interesting in that many northern Greeks are no doubt descended from Hellenized Slavs
And even more interesting that most Greeks are more Slavic than not. They just happen to speak a non-Slavic language.
  #33  
Old 03-07-2011, 12:45 PM
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The US would never stand for it, nor should it. The only reason the Former Yugoslavian Republic of M? got their name is because of the incompetence of Greek politicians to stand up for their historical heritage.
I'd be very interested to hear how they were supposed to prevent FYROM from "getting" the name. It's not a trademark.
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Old 03-07-2011, 01:01 PM
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I'd be very interested to hear how they were supposed to prevent FYROM from "getting" the name. It's not a trademark.
A trademark infringement suit not being an option, presumedly he was suggesting the traditional method when one nation wants to impose its will on another nation - declare war.
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Old 03-07-2011, 01:11 PM
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I discounted a declaration of war in response to name-stealing as too silly.

ETA: Though it raises the amusing possibility of France and the UK declaring war on the US for stealing flag colors.

Last edited by Really Not All That Bright; 03-07-2011 at 01:14 PM.
  #36  
Old 03-07-2011, 01:26 PM
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Look, if the Duchy of Grand Fenwick can declare war on the U.S. over name-stealing a wine . . .
  #37  
Old 03-07-2011, 01:37 PM
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And even more interesting that most Greeks are more Slavic than not. They just happen to speak a non-Slavic language.
Slavic is a language group. How can the Greeks be Slavic if the large majority of them speak Greek?
  #38  
Old 03-07-2011, 01:49 PM
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Ah, nationalism... there's one idea that needs to go into the wastebin mondo pronto...
It would do a world of good in ME...
  #39  
Old 03-07-2011, 01:54 PM
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Ah, nationalism... there's one idea that needs to go into the wastebin mondo pronto...
I wouldn't say that. I consider myself a nationalist, in the sense that my identity is largely derived from the national group I belong to. I suppose that your Puerto Rican nationality also informs your identity as a person. But as any other ideology, it can lead people to do good things, and it can lead people to do bad things.

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Slavic is a language group. How can the Greeks be Slavic if the large majority of them speak Greek?
What he means is that modern Greeks are closely ethnically related to modern Slavs (South Slavs at least). Slavic is an ethno-linguistic group, it can refer both to the languages and to the ethnicities.

Aren't Romanians also closely related to Slavs, despite them speaking a non-Slavic language?
  #40  
Old 03-07-2011, 02:06 PM
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I'd be very interested to hear how they were supposed to prevent FYROM from "getting" the name. It's not a trademark.
They did not prevent the name, they also prevented the flag for the new country.

I found this link to be quite informative of how Balkan mind works http://web.mit.edu/hellenic/www/macedonia.html

If it was not so mean spirited and dangerous it would be funny.
  #41  
Old 03-07-2011, 03:30 PM
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What he means is that modern Greeks are closely ethnically related to modern Slavs (South Slavs at least). Slavic is an ethno-linguistic group, it can refer both to the languages and to the ethnicities.

Aren't Romanians also closely related to Slavs, despite them speaking a non-Slavic language?
I don't really understand how that would make the Greeks Slavic. I have no doubt that the Greeks are closely related to the peoples that surround them, but why would all these peoples be called Slavic? Why not call all of them Greek instead? Or Romanian, or Thracian, or Illyrian...?
  #42  
Old 03-07-2011, 03:37 PM
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The reason is that modern Greeks are (mostly) descendant from the same people that modern Slavs are descendant from, rather than from ancient Greeks.
  #43  
Old 03-07-2011, 03:46 PM
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I don't really understand how that would make the Greeks Slavic. I have no doubt that the Greeks are closely related to the peoples that surround them, but why would all these peoples be called Slavic? Why not call all of them Greek instead? Or Romanian, or Thracian, or Illyrian...?
Why do we call France France, or Germany Germany?
  #44  
Old 03-07-2011, 03:53 PM
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It's simple: Greece remembers what happened to Greek independence the last time they had an independent Macedonia to the north of them.
  #45  
Old 03-07-2011, 04:03 PM
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If there were somehow a referendum within Greek Macedonia (not Greece as a whole) offering the possibility of the territory joining a Greater Macedonia, how many people would vote for it?
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Old 03-07-2011, 04:08 PM
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The reason is that modern Greeks are (mostly) descendant from the same people that modern Slavs are descendant from, rather than from ancient Greeks.
Cite?
  #47  
Old 03-07-2011, 06:18 PM
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Cite?
Make of this what you will. To me it suggests that the opposite is true: that Macedonians are more Greek than Greeks are Slavic.
  #48  
Old 03-07-2011, 06:23 PM
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It's simple: Greece remembers what happened to Greek independence the last time they had an independent Macedonia to the north of them.
Nice. So the vainquished get the rights to the name of their conqueror?
  #49  
Old 03-07-2011, 06:40 PM
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Nice. So the vainquished get the rights to the name of their conqueror?
Well, the Greeks were calling themselves the Roman Empire for quite a long time, too.
  #50  
Old 03-07-2011, 10:09 PM
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Out of curiousity, if the name Macedonia is this central to Greek national identity, why didn't they adopt the name when they broke free from Turkish rule? Call themselves the Kingdom of Makedonia instead of the Kingdom of Ellados and establish a prior claim to the name?
For the same reason the United States of America did not call itself California.

As far as your reference to the world "kingdom", Greece (Ellada is the native name of the country) there were too many European kingdoms, mainly the German, the Russian and the British, that interfered with the politics of the area and each wanted to have a say to what will happen to this country after the native Greeks revolted against the 400 year occupation of the Turks.

Greece has many other areas with distinctive names but the main name that was used since ancient times was Ellada - Greece. Macedonia is one part of it.
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