MACEDONIANS IN PERU?!
We knew there are many Macedonians all over the world, but we would never thought that there are some "Nashi" in Peru too!
Thanks to our friend Mr. Grozdan from the Memorabilia blog, we can read about his interesting trip and his experiences from around the world. Let his story amaze you and enjoy, what we can call a real adventure!
It is a long, incredible story how did I persuade my first and most capable (by all world standards of journalism) editor Jordan - Joco, Diviot Petel - Ivanovski to let me file from the earthquake-stricken Peru. If interested you can find that report here. It goes on.. The very next day after my arrival I called the Yu-embassy. For one it was practical: they would know if other journalists were there, I would feel a bit safer once they knew I was there, they would show some gratitude for the newspapers from home I was bringing and they would like to hear the latest political gossip and to find out, from a Macedonian, what kind of person was their new boss: ambassador Kole Casule, a fine friend of mine. The konsul-general, I think someone called Lazic a Montenigrin guy, told me that there were only two YU-communities in Peru. The ustashas those were the Croats and then the chetnicks which were the Serb nationalists. They were at each other's throats and the Embassy staff tried to be as neutral as possible.
-Thus, no Macedonians that you know of, comrade Lazic?
-No. There are, closest to your parts half-a-dozen or so guys from around Pirot, but they are Serbs: Ichkovic or Asparukhovich, they keep their distance, peasants, stink like hell, they have broiler farms around their houses, all married with local fat Indios from the jungle.
This Lazic was some ignorant secret service fool sent to Lima as a reward before retirement. Most of the Consuls and Consul-generals of former SFRY were either formal employees of the Ministry of interior or their detached eyes and ears, the "co-operating comrades". Ichko, but also Asparukh or Asen would denote either a Bulgarian or a Macedonian whose father or grandfather insisted on such a name as a clear sign what is their political orientation. A sort of defiance to Serb pressure against Macedonian ethnicity.
-Could you call them they are first-door neighbors, may just as well chat with them, how and why did they come here.
-Piece of cake.
He, actually, took me there. Stayed for a while and when the hosts had begun playing worn-out singles with Macedonian songs asked me whether I did not think it was time to go.
-I'd like to stay, folks, but it is far from here to the center, so I better get a free transport back. They lived somewhere around Miraflores of what I remember, near the sea and I would not get in any cab because it was totally unsafe. (There were reports that big, plump people were abducted and killed because gangs out in the provinces made amulets of human fat: I was a perfect target for those.)
-No way, we haven't eaten yet. The fun is just beginning, they said. And you have not told us anything. Neither have we,-said a guy from the souther Macedonian town of Valandovo, Ichkov.-We shal drive you to your hotel.
When we were "all among us" the Macedonian men and their Indios women with handsome kids, the story opened up. They were partizans, some 30 all in all who towards the end of WW2 decided to march to Salonika, to Solun, and liberate it because they expected that all the partizans will go like one body and one soul to liberate ALL OF Macedonia. They were sorely mistaken, but they found out that little fact too late, when, surrounded, they were taken prizoners of war by the British and American forces. They were lucky: the Greeks would have killed them all.
The war raged for another three years but they were sheltered in Anglo-American camp. To be returned to Yugoslavia they would have been surely shot by the YNA (Yugoslav People's Army) as deserters and traitors. The Greeks wanted to kill them all without trial. So, when the Americans asked them whether these boys (they were all 18-19 would agree to be resettled to America - they accepted.
Only when they boat reached Panama they realized or were told that their final destination was Peru. half a dozen, desperate and with idea that it was their last chance to rich USA and Canada (traveling peniless over all of Mexico?) dived from the boat with a hope to swim to the shore.
-We have seen them eaten up by the sharks minutes after they hit the water.
-Why don't you come back home?
-We can't, they'll shoot us.
I could not believe my ears. Told them that Kole Casule, a partizan like them, a good guy, a writer and a proud Macedonian is coming as ambassador, that he will help them for sure. Their eyes welled with tears of hope and desperation.
I got stoned.
Upon my return I wrote series of articles about them. One day now Petre M. Andreevski stopped me and said:
-I want to shake your hand. For your serial about the Macedonian in Peru. The truth will not die.
I would like that at least some of them enjoy the Indian summer of Valandovo and Dojran.