Saturday, 16 December 2017 | News today: 0

Goran Trajkov: I’m glad when Carnegie Hall has the Macedonian Philharmonics on its repertoire

Many Macedonian artists have represented our country in New York, including those working here, in the city that never sleeps. As a Consulate we help in every respect that we can using our diplomatic contacts in order to promote their work worldwide, even in New York, Trajkov says

Goran Trajkov is Consul General of the Republic of Macedonia in the United States. He holds a degree in International Relations and Diplomacy and currently lives and works in New York, the city that never sleeps. He spoke with us about the dynamics of New York, about young artists who live there, promotion of Macedonian culture, whether foreigners are familiar with Macedonian music, do they like it…

You are acting Consul General of the Republic of Macedonia in New York City, which is, primarily, a business city. What is like to be a diplomat in the most dynamic city in the world?

Trajkov: Being a diplomat in the most commercialized city in the world where 10 million people pass through daily is a big challenge for a young person like me. Diplomacy, of course, has its own specifics in this part of the world and it is undoubtedly a daily lesson on how to represent a country. I am particularly pleased with the consular days I spend with Macedonian migrants, who can be found in very large numbers in this part of the continent, helping them with various issues related to our country.

When you do what you love, nothing is difficult. Macedonia is a small country, but very big when compared to how much it has to offer in every field, so, that’s why, we, the diplomats should represent it in the best light.

Apart from the consular work, do you take part in organizing events or manifestations and performances at the Macedonian Cultural Center in New York?

Trajkov: One of the objectives of the Macedonian Consulate in New York is promotion of Macedonian culture and tradition in this part of the United States, and, of course, promotion of the resources that the Republic of Macedonia owns. The Macedonian Cultural Center is a cultural corner that in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture helps Macedonian authors to promote themselves. Many events are held at the Center, and the Consulate always assists in their realization and promotion. Personally, I support all projects and I think that such center is more than needed and it is a great asset for our country.

Many Macedonian artists work in this city: Duke Bojadziev, Vladimir Vasilevski-Cetkar, Gorazd Poposki… Do you cooperate with them in terms of promotion of young artists, their music, art?

Trajkov: The primary activity of a Consul General is, above all, care for Macedonian citizens regardless of where they are in the world and what they do. We, as a diplomatic mission, are trying to help our citizens present their achievements and bring their work to the audience in every respect. It is a great pride and honor for me, as a diplomat, a representative sent by our country, to hear Cetkar greeting the audience in Macedonian language, Bojadziev playing on behalf of Macedonia, Carnegie Hall having the Macedonian Philharmonic Orchestra on its repertoire etc. And not just these names, many Macedonian artists have represented our country in New York, including those working here, in the city that never sleeps. As a Consulate we help in every respect that we can using our diplomatic contacts in order to promote their work worldwide, even in New York.

Are people in the U.S. familiar with the Macedonian culture? Given that it is a small country, are we enough present there and whether this conglomerate of nations living in the U.S. has the opportunity to learn about our country’s art, music, literature?

Trajkov: Many times I have been surprised how much foreigners, especially diplomats that we often hang out with privately, are familiar with Macedonian culture. Not only representatives of the Balkan countries, but beyond as well. Recently, at an informal hangout with my fellow diplomats, at a club in New York, the repertoire of the band that was performing that night included the anthology song “Macedonian girl.” The band is called “Ornamatik” and it is composed of Americans playing Balkan music, and recently Macedonian musician Riste Tevdoski became their member, so their repertoire regarding Macedonian music has been enriched with several other Macedonian songs.

Days of Macedonian Culture are being organized in several countries in Europe, the U.S., Australia, Canada, where folklore ensembles, the Philharmonic Orchestra, folk singers perform… What do you think it would be the most appropriate way to present the Macedonian culture abroad?

Trajkov: Macedonian tradition and culture, from historical point of view, weigh much more than the history and culture of our country’s neighbors. The task to present your culture as best as you can in a multicultural society such as the United States is very complex. It involves finding the best way for the so-called breakthrough in the world of millions of people. Macedonian government’s commitment to the promotion of ads in the world mass media in the last few years has been facilitating our work in representing our country. Many have heard of Ohrid, interest in Kokino site is great, as well as in Heraclea and Stobi, especially those who are visiting Macedonia for its historical sites and so on. I’m proud to represent a country that has rich culture and tradition, so we should choose the best way to upgrade that on a daily basis. In my opinion, the Republic of Macedonia is well on track in presenting itself, and I, personally, would add another aggressive media campaign following the example of Italy, the United Arab Emirates, Australia (best marketing campaign for 2015) or the progressive campaign of Estonia on social networks: Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat etc. I champion even larger budget for promotion of Macedonia. We are a country that actually has something to offer, without having to tell fictional stories. Macedonia has everything that a country needs to be represented internationally, to attract tourists, and the visits of foreign tourists, whose number in the last five years has been growing fast, confirm that.