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A Vibrant Community

Macedonia has a community of Muslims who speak Macedonian language as their mother tongue. Their ethnic, cultural and religious affiliations are so diverse that it is hard to name a sole feature that would apply to the whole community. There are different ethnic and communal feelings of belonging and identity, and ethnologists are still missing data necessary for reconstructing their collective background and history. But researchers’ doubts should not stop us from exploring and admiring the rich cultural heritage of these people and their contributions to Macedonian culture. Macedonian Muslims traditionally live in western Macedonia, in the Reka region, Debarska Zupa, Drimkol, but also along Albanian and Kosovo borders, in Gora and Golo Brdo regions. They are distinguished by the beautiful Macedonian language with clean pronunciation and singing accent – the true gems of the standard literary language, which are nowadays disappearing from its urban variants.

Macedonian Muslims are connected with the high mountains and the tradition of sheep breeding. They are master cheese makers, and both white and yellow cheeses from their regions are highly appreciated. Coming from areas rich in wood and stone, they are famous for traditional building and carpentry. As migrant workers, they have been appreciated as builders throughout Western Europe. In Italy one of the most sought after companies restoring historical buildings is owned by a Macedonian Muslim.  Read more …