Vera Blog: My experience in North Macedonia

ECHO II – Traditions in Transition
October 21, 2020
Life beyond EU Funding Campaign
October 23, 2020


am Vera from Istanbul, Turkey and if you are reading this blog, I see that you are interested in coming to Northern Macedonia or Bitola! Welcome and hope you enjoy reading my experience! I have started my journey in Northern Macedonia on 14th of September 2020. Prior to my arrival everything was obscure and misty, however as a grand- daughter of two Balkan immigrant Turks, I knew that Macedonians were not so different from us. The cultural similarities are easily spottable from cuisine to literature, from architecture to language and many more!

During my first month, I have had the chance to meet amazing people from Czechia, Macedonia and Turkey. We had so many opportunities to share cultural ideas and values, similarities and differences which made us laugh at the end! As volunteers at SFERA we had conducted many projects, which we could help the vulnerable and enhance culture.

Unfortunately, we did not get to travel around as much as previous volunteers here in Bitola due to COVID- 19 restrictions, however we had more time to discover Bitola! Compared to where I grew up, Bitola seemed like a small village at first hand, yet it is the second biggest city in Northern Macedonia. People here LOVE going out and meeting up with their friends& family at any hour of the day.

The main street ‘Sirok Sokak’ is full of people and very much alive even it is at 8 am or 23.00 pm! There are many attractions in and around the city such as Heraklea (still have not been there), many music festivals (the international classical music festival), the contemporary jazz festival etc. In addition, the food culture is a major element in the city, people love eating good food and sitting at a restaurant for hours which I find very fascinating!

I’ve tried so many different dishes here and all I can say is Macedonian grilled cheese is my favorite, so far. However, I still have so much that I have not tried.

I hope that I will have the chance to discover more! CIAO and hope you all a safe and healthy day!

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