Solving the Macedonian name dispute

A group of Balkan scholars recently met in Ohrid and in its aftermath in a creative brain storming exercise have finally come up with a solution to the name dispute over Macedonia (esp. hat tip to Jelena V.). The solution is strikingly simple: The final name of the country is McDonia. It is sufficiently different from the contested name and yet sounds strikingly similar. In addition, it can also resolve McDonia’s financial woes by signing a 20 year lease of the country to a well-known American fast food chain. This shall secure sufficient income for the country and will revive the beef and potato industry. Finally, the insertion of the golden arches will aestetically compliment the existing flag. There are many opportunities for resolving further problems. For example, the largest nation in the country could be simply known as BigMac, the population constituting a quarter Quarter Pounders and many new names to diffuse ethnic tensions.

Finally, it would also provide for an opportunity to liven up the plans for Skopje 2014.

3 Responses to Solving the Macedonian name dispute

  1. S. Lazovik says:

    Florian, you made me laugh loud with this article. Anyway, this entire problem is kind of funny. On one side you have the Greeks, who claim that they have the exclusive rights on the name Macedonia, and on the other hand you have a Slavophonic people that not only claim exclusivity for the name, but also are convinced that they are descendants of the ancient Macedonians, and only hairs to the cultural heritage of Alexander the Great (who by the way did his best to spread Hellenic culture wherever he went).
    I am not a Greek, and I am not a Slav – Macedonian (although I was born and grew up in what is now FYROM). This helps me see things without any partiality, and so I give exclusivity over the name to none of the two parties in conflict. Why? Because, as Hellenic as they might have been, the ancient Macedonians do not exist any more. They ceased to exist a long time ago. They melted with the rest of the ancient Greek tribes, or Romans that later invaded the southern Balkans, or got exterminated by the many nations that were pouring into the Roman Empire in the last centuries of its existence. There is no doubt that the cultural heritage of the ancient Macedonians belongs to the now day Greeks. Alexander spread Hellenism, and this gives the Greek state of today the exclusiveness over ancient Macedonian history.
    On the other side, I don’t think that the Greeks have the exclusive right to the name Macedonia. This is a strictly geographical name, and designates a region that spreads over now days Greece, Bulgaria and FYROM. Since the times when the first Slavic tribes settled there, and until the final days of the Ottoman Empire – this land has been home to many different ethnicities ( Greeks, Serbs, Albanians, Bulgarians, Turks, Jews, Walachs and others). Even today, after all the ethnic cleansing and forced assimilation, the geographical region called Macedonia is still home to many different cultures and ethnicities. So, every one living in the geographical borders is a Macedonian, regardless of his or her nationality or religion. There is no Macedonian nation. There never was!
    The above said facts somehow clarify the situation, but offer no solution to the problem, since the Slavophonic population of FYROM cannot change the name of their country without changing their identity as “Macedonians” and their language as “Macedonian”. Since the creation of the FYROM in 1944 and until this very day, they are taught that they are Macedonians, and their language (that was so laboriously “modernised” in order to have as little resemblance as possible to the Bulgarian language) is Macedonian. They even sat down and created a new alphabet and called it “the Macedonian alphabet” !
    As the economy of the Greek state is in dire straights, I see the rise of the extreme right and nationalism in Greece. FYROM already has a far right government and it’s economy has never been worst. This kept in account, I’m afraid that the future brings nothing but BIG trouble for the southern Balkans, and if the E.U. and the U.N. really want to save themselves from future headaches, I think it’s best to forcibly impose a name on FYROM, as well as clarify once and for all the issue with the identity of the Slavophonic population of FYROM.

    • Voynik_Makedonski says:

      Ancient Macedonians do still exist, they just aren’t skewering Athenians and Persians anymore. However, what are known as Greeks today are actually a mixture of mostly Turkish and Ethiopian lineage each of which is a spectrum of cultures in their own rights.

      Greece was founded in 1832 with Otto, Prince of Bavaria becoming King of Greece. So how can Greece have rights to Macedonia’s name when Macedonia is at least 2000 years older than Greece? Remember, what we know as ancient Greece wasn’t a country, just a part of the Mediterranean city-states, they didn’t call it Greece or Hellas or anything. The word Hellas is of German origin just like their first king.

      As an aside, the Macedonians didn’t kill the Spartans like they did the rest of the states out of respect for the discipline and strength of the Spartans. Go find a map of Phillip and Alexanders conquests and you will see Sparta and Eprius (Where Alexander’s mother is from) as the only ones still there.

      Also, Cleopatra and Aristotle were Macedonians, but you can work those ones out easier yourselves.

      And Nikola Tesla was Serbian…

  2. egejche says:

    Florian, I guess you think you are funny. Too bad. Don’t quit your day job.

    As long as non-Macedonians think they know better than Macedonians who they are and what their name should be, the problem will not go away. The arrogance of Macedonia’s enemies is limitless.

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