Monday, 18 December 2017 | News today: 14

Naumoff: I love living in Macedonia and all the country has to offer

Alexander Naumoff is an American, who until the age of 29 lived in Chicago. First he came to Macedonia in 1998 and since then, as he told Republika, he wanted to come and live here. The 32-year-old American has Macedonian origin that comes from his grandfather side, and, as he says, the genes have brought him back to the country. The hospitality of the Macedonian people, according Naumoff, is the true symbol of the country. And the fact that he got married to a Bitola woman shows that he likes the Macedonian people a lot. He says he has no intentions of leaving the country because Macedonia is a beautiful country with great potential.

When did you first come to Macedonia?

Naumoff: The first time I came to Macedonia was in the summer of 1998 with my grandfather, father, and two brothers. I was 14 years old. That visit changed my life and really made me appreciate the beauty of Macedonia that I’ve never experienced before.

You come from a country with different culture and tradition than Macedonia. How did you manage to adapt to the life here?

 

Naumoff: I would say for the most part, I adapted pretty quickly. My grandfather was born in Gjavato just outside of Bitola, so I am part Macedonian by blood. And because of him immigrating to America as a little boy, I was always being reminded as a kid about Macedonia, my father’s family growing up, and some of the cultures and traditions. Before I moved to Macedonia, I also visited Macedonia 3 separate times, so I got more used to the culture and traditions here. Each time I visited Macedonia, I learned new things about the culture and traditions. And I made the decision to move to Macedonia 3 years ago. I guess it was just my genes that brought me back to Macedonia.

Do you speak Macedonian? Is it easy or not?

Naumoff: I wish I could say I do. I wasn’t taught Macedonian growing up and there were no Macedonians living near our family so we could at least hear the language. Since I started coming to Macedonia, I learned a little bit of the language each time. And since I’ve lived here, I have picked up a lot of the language. It is a little difficult for me to speak Macedonian because English is my native language. I can understand Macedonian easier than I can speak it.

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What is your opinion about the Macedonian people?

Naumoff: Ever since my first visit to Macedonia, I’ve been constantly telling my American friends and family about this beautiful “Pearl of the Balkans” and that the people there are very friendly and polite. So I think that explains how highly I’ve thought about the Macedonian people. Also the fact that I got married to a Macedonian woman shows that I like the Macedonian people a lot. I have reunited with family and made terrific friends since I’ve moved here. I think the thing that impresses me the most is the hospitality of the Macedonians.

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Do Macedonian people provide help when you need it?

Naumoff: I would say yes. I’ve never had a bad experience asking or getting help. The people near where I live now are extremely helpful and polite.

How much free time do you have to travel across Macedonia?

Naumoff: Well, I’m pretty busy at work but I try to make time on holidays and long weekends to visit villages/cities in Macedonia. There are still a lot of places in Macedonia that I haven’t been able to visit yet, but I definitely plan on traveling across the country to visit archaeological sites, mountains, monasteries, and other beautiful sceneries that I’ve read about.

What do you think, which are the best places to visit in Macedonia?

Naumoff: I would say Bitola, Heraklea, Pelister Mountain, Oteševo, Lake Prespa, Ohrid and Lake Ohrid, Galichica, Sveti Naum, Radožda, Skopje city and Vodno, Popova Kula, and Popova Shapka.

Do you like traditional food? Macedonian recipes?

Naumoff: I love old Macedonian traditional food. I’m a huge fan of Mousaka, Tavche Gravche, burek, pastrmka, pastrmajlija, zelnik, and chorba.
Do you miss your home country?

Naumoff: There are some things I miss about living in the United States. I miss some little things such as the convenience of navigating on streets and locating places, choices on items to buy, American football, but I would say the number one thing I miss the most are my memories growing up there with my family and friends.

What are your plans, are you staying in Macedonia?

Naumoff: Since I moved here, I’ve really loved living in Macedonia and everything it has to offer. That’s why I plan on staying in Macedonia. I am married to a Bitola woman living in Bitola, helped start a company in Bitola, and have my family living in Macedonia as well. I have no intentions of having my family leave Macedonia. Macedonia is a beautiful country with a lot of potential but sometimes you need to be a little brave to overcome obstacles that could affect your judgment of this place. You can have a balanced life here with time to enjoy with your family and friends, good healthy food, and time to travel all around the country and Europe. I personally think that based on me living in the United States for 29 years, you wouldn’t be able to have these exact same characteristics in that country. But make no mistake, I will always love and cherish the United States of America for teaching me values on patriotism, work ethic, and customer service. I will be constantly traveling to the USA to visit my family and friends I still have there.

By: K.N.K.