Heritage and Culture

”... And as our ancestors have recognized the region and the world as a field for cultural competition among people, I can proudly confirm today that we survive as a country guided by that idea. Macedonia is an example where different values exist and are respected, where specificities are promoted and integrated in the overall cultural map of the country. This is the essence of the European values that we all represent and call upon”.

Excerpt from Ms. Maja Ivanova’s address at the
International Congress dedicated to the “International Culture and Music”
November 2010, Ankara, Republic of Turkey

Ms. Maja Ivanova integrates her efforts in promoting the overall cultural heritage in her activities, both in the country and abroad. In the Republic of Macedonia, she is involved in many important events that are dedicated to specific and significant segments of the cultural heritage and way of living.

Every year, with particular pleasure, she accompanies her husband at the opening ceremony of the “Ohrid Summer Festival”, the President of the Republic of Macedonia being its patron. She attends regularly the opening of the Film Festival “Manaki Brothers” in Bitola, and the performances of the Macedonian Philharmonic Orchestra, plays, gala events, promotions of new books, exhibitions in the country. She participates with special honor at the Struga Poetry Evenings, an area where she is active.

Culture is a challenge, but also an area that depicts nation’s heritage and history. In this regard, Ms. Ivanova with great pleasure attends events, theatrical performances and concerts of all ethnicities in the Republic of Macedonia, expressing her respect and appraising the achievements of the artists.

Out of her activities aimed at promotion of the authentic Macedonian cultural and traditional features remarkable is her patronage of the event “Krushevska Sofra”, which promotes and affirms the traditional dishes from Krusevo and the Macedonian wine.

”The attention given to the act of preparing food with love and care, along with the quality of the products in this region and their organic origin, result in quality and delicious cuisine. However, there is something more important than that, something which is particularly visible in your town - the meaning and importance attached to one of the most beautiful traditions of our people - the family table as a hearth, as a home, as a source of the most appreciated values of our country”, Ms. Ivanova said at this traditional event.

Among Ms. Ivanova’s appearances aiming at promotion of Macedonian music and culture abroad is her participation at the International Congress dedicated to the “International Culture and Music”, which was held in November 2010 in Ankara, Turkey. The Congress was attended by the host, Ms. Hayrunnisa Gul, the First Lady of the Republic of Turkey, Ms. Lilita Zatlere, the First Lady of the Republic of Latvia, Ms. Mehriban Aliyeva, the First Lady of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Ms. Barbara Miklic Turk, the First Lady of the Republic of Slovenia, who, through their speeches and moderating separate sessions, to present some of their traditional features in culture and music. Besides the First Ladies, this event was attended by many prominent persons from the Republic of Turkey, as well as famous musicians and musicologists. As the topic of the Congress imposed the necessity and pleasure, Ms. Maja Ivanova with great honor presented the Macedonian Culture through the Macedonian folklore, entwined in the folk dances and songs of the ensemble “Tanec”. Generally accepted was the feeling that the performance of “Tanec” united all present guests and brought closer everyone to what our folklore has managed to maintain throughout the centuries.

”Macedonian folklore is one of the most recognizable values of Macedonian identity. In our folklore, one can recognize the characteristics of Balkan peoples, but, furthermore, it reflects and generously embraces and celebrates the triumph moment of recognizing its own features, of the Macedonian tradition. This is yet another fact that Macedonia has always been a mixture of different cultures”.

”The art, tradition and culture are essential integration thread of each nation. Traditions and achievements of previous generations are a source of immense power that helps me to overcome obstacles and gives me the will to confront new challenges. In this regard, I support all initiatives for cultural, artistic expression, preservation of tradition, folklore, creating new forms of expression through poetry, music and art. The participation of our national folklore ensemble “Tanec” at public events that I have attended, I am trying to show that our existence and identity are a result of what our ancestors were able to persevere. That our tradition, our customs, songs and folk dances are historical social expression of our people and a benefit we should cherish”.

Excerpts from Ms. Maja Ivanova’s address at the International Congress in Ankara

In the Ivanov family religion occupies a special place and is a guide in their lifestyle.
"Kant has said: I respect the starry heavens above and the moral law within. We cannot speak of a normal society no matter how modern and developed it is, if there is no room left for ethic norms and values. We, as individuals, must constantly work on promoting moral values through our own behavior within the family, within the working environment, in the immediate neighborhood. It is an ongoing process. If we do not behave morally or if moral values are not part of our life, it is impossible to teach others about them", Ms. Ivanova said in the interview for the portal "Premin".

The celebration of the great, the most important Christian holidays, ever since assuming the office of President, the Ivanov family shares with the Macedonian citizens. Raised in a Christian spirit, they practice their religion, but also respect different religions. All major religious holidays, along with his husband, she celebrates with the citizens celebrating the day. They regularly participate at the solemn Christmas Mass at the Catholic Cathedral "Sacred Heart of Jesus". They also celebrate Iftar, Bayram, Ramadan Bayram...

"The Republic of Macedonia, although under different influences, which contributed much to develop a unique model of values, mutual recognition and acknowledgment of cultural wealth, managed to survive in peace and harmony established in it, regardless of religious, ethnic and linguistic differences among its citizens. Macedonia even today develops and tries, by promoting the benefits of diversity on every basis, to maintain mutual respect, understanding and shared appreciation of coexistence and harmony as a basis for prosperity of the country", Ms. Ivanova said on one occasion.

Ms. Ivanova says proudly that her spiritual journey includes the capitals of Christianity - Vatican, Istanbul, Jerusalem. Accompanying her husband, she visits Vatican in May, marking the celebration of St. Cyril. She obediently bows her covered head before His Holiness, the Head of the Catholic Church, respecting the strict and centuries-old protocol, filled with inspiration and willingness for the new challenges in her everyday life.

In Istanbul, on two occasions, she had the opportunity to meet with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. She took the opportunity to ask obediently the Patriarch in prayers not to forget our Macedonia and ask a blessing for her family and friends.

Traveling to the cradle of Christianity, Jerusalem, exalted her spirituality. For Jerusalem she says that she will always remember it and, as before, in every future occasion, she will again experience the same strong and unusual emotions. The place where every stone has its own particular symbolism and meaning ...


Photo gallery