By Aleksandar Popovski, UMD Member, Florida
The modern practice of a regular population census dates back to the traditions of Ancient Rome, or more precisely, the Roman Republic. At that time, a census was conducted every five years, presided by two magistrates called censors. The censors were elected from a pool of candidates that previously served as consuls, the highest political office in the land. To be a censor was considered the peak of one’s political career and afforded the individual and his family the highest honors.
Those that took part of the census also had a share of the honor. Individuals that were free, had property, were of good moral character, and had a legal standing (by birth, adoption, or decree), were eligible to be inscribed in the register of citizens. Only Roman citizens could enjoy all the rights and privileges offered by the Republic – the right to vote, the right to be a part of public life (cursus honorum), the privilege of bidding for state contracts, and many other benefits. The saying “civis romanus sum” (I am a Roman citizen) was used as an expression of pride and belonging to the Roman state.
The census today is and should be a source of honor for each individual. By being recorded on the list of residents, the individual lets the state know that he exists, and that the state should take care of him and his family. In one sense, census registration is necessary to derive any sort of right – how can one seek benefits from the state if he/she is not on the list of residents thereof? For the individual, census registration means that she considers the state as home and is proud to be part of the list of her inhabitants.
Dear Macedonians, think of this census as an expression of love towards yourself and your loved ones and choose to be a part of it. Being Macedonian is a great honor and an even greater responsibility. Use this opportunity to increase your individual and family honor by adding your name to the rolls.
Any opinions or views expressed in articles or other pieces appearing in UMD Voice are those of the author alone and are not necessarily those of the United Macedonian Diaspora and its young leaders’ program Generation M; the appearance of any such opinions or views in UMD Voice is not and should not be considered to be an endorsement by or approval of the same by UMD and Generation M.