When I told my friends “I am going to live in Macedonia”, they threw up their arms and ask me where is Macedonia exactly? “It is not too far away”. I answered. “In fact, Macedonia is close to Greece”. They were reassured, even more when I told them some good things about my host country that they didn´t expect it. “Macedonian citizens are really nice”. This is one of the friendliest countries in the world. It is interesting to see foreigners here. But, also, it can be interesting for foreigners, and for Spanish people particularly, to know some facts about Macedonia and its culture.

Macedonians have only one surname, of their father or husband´s surname sometimes, but in Spain we keep both the father´s and the mother´s surname.

Plava is the colour blue in Macedonian, and also is blonde hair. In Spain, we say “pelo rubio”. By the way, hair in Macedonian language is “cosa”. Cosa is the word which we use in Spanish to say “thing”. It is interesting.

Macedonian and Spanish people, both, at Christmas time we eat a bread or cake which contains a hidden coin which gives good luck to the receiver. Also, in Macedonia, Carnival is held between January and February. Parades, music and dancing are conjugated in both countries.

Vino is wine in Macedonian and also in Spanish. We use the same word: “vino”, but not “pivo”. Pivo es beer, “cerveza” in Spanish. The Spanish “Z” is too hard for foreigners. A trick to can do it: The Spanish Z has the “th” sound in the English thin.

In Macedonia, some people drink “bunar”. This is a kind of wine similar to “rebujito” in Spain.

People here smoke too much, but cigarette packets contain 19 cigarettes, not 20. Now, in truth, to smoke here is much cheaper than in Spain. The price of one packet is one euro.

Macedonian people go out often, they hang out with friends, like in Spain, like in the south of Spain. Sometimes, my feeling is that our character is really similar. But, obviously, always something surprises you, much even when you arrive here. For example, Macedonians put a poster in the street, and also in their houses, when a person dies. It was weird for me when I saw it for the first time in my life. For the first time in my live I am living in Macedonia, but not for much more time.

Fortunately, I understood what it is the most important thing: there is not country too far away, there is not language too much different and there is an universal way to understand each other if we try it.

My suggestion to Spanish people: Try to know Macedonia. Visit this country at least once in your life. Remember, the Spanish and Macedonian flags have the same combination of colors: red and yellow, by sheer coincidence, or not. Discover it!

 

ROSARIO LOPEZ

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