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Macedonia profile


Geographical Macedonia, covering a large swathe of land from the source of the River Vardar (Axious in Greek) to its estuary at Solun (Thessaloniki in Greek) has a very rich and varied history which is reflected in the present-day political climate and division of the geographical region Macedonia had its heyday during the build-up of its ancient empire ending with the sudden death of Aleksandar III of Macedon (also known as Alexander the Great), then for a short while again during the reign of the Tsar Samoil. The region continued to exert influence afterwards through its status as the Bishopric of Bitola and Ohrid. Then as an independent state, Macedonia did not see the light of the day again until the short-lived Krusevo Republic of 1903, and now as the independent (although officially still named ‘former Yugoslav’) Republic of Macedonia. Today geographical Macedonia is made up of four political entities: Vardar Macedonia which is the Republic of Macedonia; Pirin Macedonia which is in Bulgaria; Aegean Macedonia which is in Greece; and a tiny silver north and south of Debar which is in Albania.


Full name: Republic of Macedonia (listed by the UN as The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia)
Capital: Skopje
Area: 25,713 sq km (9,928 sq miles)
Major language: Macedonian, Albanian
Major religion: Christianity, Islam
Life expectancy: 73 years (men), 77 years (women) (UN)
Currency: Macedonian denar
Besiste Population: 30 as of May 2015


A chronology of key events:

1913 - Ottoman rule in Europe ends after five centuries. Macedonia is partitioned between Serbia, Bulgaria and Greece. What is now FYROM is incorporated into Serbia.

1914 - World War I. Macedonia is occupied by Bulgaria.

1918-19 - End of the war, Macedonia becomes part of Serbia again. The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes is founded, and is renamed Yugoslavia in 1929.

1941 - Germany invades Yugoslavia.

1945 - Establishment of Yugoslav socialist federation, comprising six republics, including Macedonia, with Tito as president.

1967 - Mariovo was divided into three sub-regions: Bitolsko Mariovo, Prilepsko Mariovo and Tikvesko Mariovo.

1970 - left Selo Besiste for good with my family to a new country Vienna, Austria.

1980 - Death of Tito, rise of nationalism among federation’s constituent republics.

1991 - Majority of voters support independence in referendum.

1993 - Gains UN membership under the name Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

2006 - Return to my birth place with my wife Linda and younger son Christopher for the first time after 35 years.

2007 - Lived in the village for 30 days with my parents to experience ’Life In The Village’ in modern day.

2009 - Return to my birth place on a hiking trip with my older son David.

2010 - Return to my birth place on a hiking trip with numerous trips to the border mountains to experience modern sheppard duties and making tepano cheese.

2013 - Return to my birth place on a hiking trip and to research the history of Mariovo for my upcoming book.

2016 - Return - I timed it just right in order to take part in the festivities of the annual Petkovden in my village. The other reason was to deliver personally addressed envelope contained a hand written letter along with the money realized from my book.

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Last Update: October 15, 2017