THE BIRTHRIGHT PROGRAM RESUMES IN 2022
A 3-week journey for young Macedonian adults.
The United Macedonia Diaspora (UMD) and its partner, Macedonian Center for International Cooperation are pleased to announce the resumption of the Birthright Macedonia program next year.
Birthright Macedonia will start on July 1 and end on July 22, 2022.
In 2022, the Birthright program will be expanded to run in Bitola for the first time and will be held concurrently with the program in Skopje. Birthright in Bitola will be administered by our new partnership with the Birthright Macedonia Bitola Alliance consisting of four organizations, the Organization of Women Bitola, the Center for Local Initiatives Bitola, Innova Lab Bitola, and the Tactical Management in Complexity Hub.
As in the past, the program will give young Macedonian adults, from around the world, an opportunity to reconnect to their ancestral roots or connect with them for the first time. While in Macedonia, Birthright participants will conduct an internship that complements their academic and career goals or their general interest.
Formally organized trips to various parts of the country will also be resumed. On the heritage weekends of the program, participants will be exposed to the sights, sounds, flavors, and history of their heritage. See below for more information about the weekends.
For detailed information, please click HERE and click on Birthright Macedonia.
Because participation is limited, applications will be processed on a first-come basis.
Young Macedonian adults will savor every step they take on their journey with Birthright Macedonia. Most importantly, they will experience their heritage, their history, why Macedonia is so important in the Balkans and everything that being Macedonian means to them.
WELCOME TO MACEDONIA!
BIRTHRIGHT MACEDONIA DISCLAIMER
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the lives and activities of many persons around the world. Although the virus seems to be in remission, there is no guarantee it will not return and have a major impact in the foreseeable future.
It is recommended that participants to the Birthright Macedonia program purchase flight insurance when acquiring their airplane ticket to Macedonia in the event the program is canceled.
As per Macedonian regulations, all travelers ages eighteen and older entering Macedonia must provide one of the following documents:
- Vaccination certificate with two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine;
- Negative PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to travel;
- Negative rapid antigen test taken within 48 hours prior to travel; or
- Certificate of COVID-19 recovery issued within the previous 180 days, counting from the day of recovery.
If the pandemic intensifies prior to the inception of the Birthright Macedonia program in 2022, the program will be canceled until further notice. All monies will be refunded to participants who paid the application and other fees associated with the program.
The United Macedonian Diaspora, the Macedonian Center for International Cooperation, and the Birthright Macedonia Bitola Alliance partners, their staff, and participating entities will not be held liable for any loss incurred by the cancellation of the Birthright Macedonia program.
WEEKEND HERITAGE TRIPS
(Please note: this is only a sampling of the heritage trips. Trips may be altered by organizers, and are optional for participants.)
Enjoy a full day experiencing the sights, sounds, and flavors of the nation’s capital. Start with a visit at the base of Kale, a medieval 6th-century fortress that offers a commanding view of the city’s major points of interest, and a visit to the Skopje Old Bazaar. Then head to Mount Vodno, where a cable car takes you on a breathtaking ride to the top. Stand at the base of the Millennium Cross, one of the tallest man-made structures in Europe. From the crest of Vodno, witness the 360-degree panorama of the city of Skopje below and the valleys in the distance. The day ends with a trip to Matka Canyon, meandering along a stone walkway high above the river below. Enjoy a delicious Macedonian meal at one of Skopje’s finest restaurants.
The City of Consuls, Bitola, offers a memorable experience from her present to her past. Our stops include the Bitola Museum, which was constructed as an Ottoman military school where Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the first President and founder of modern Turkey attended; Shirok Sokak, the enchanting Main Street that will give you a feel from the life of consuls; the Old Bazaar, a maze of shops which used to be one of the biggest of its time; and the nearby Heraclea Lyncestis, an important settlement founded by King Philip II of Macedon in the middle of the 4th century BC, which became a stop on the Roman Via Egnatia with beautiful, well-preserved, early Christian floor mosaics. You will enjoy a mixture of Ottoman, neoclassical, 19th-century romantic architecture on this day trip which will then lead you to the Baba Mountain range and Pelister. Here you will capture and carry the unforgettable scent of the one-of-kind Molika pine tree and surrounding nature and enjoy delicious meals in the mountain in one of Macedonia’s renowned restaurants Bitola is famous for.
Depart Friday after work. Spend two glorious days in the City of Ohrid on beautiful Lake Ohrid. Come to this UNESCO World Heritage for Cultural and Natural Site, one of only 28 sites so designated in the world. The Ohrid Summer Festival features national and international music and theatre artists and ensembles.
Relax, stroll down the narrow streets, browse its chic boutiques and savor Macedonian cuisine at the many lakeside eateries. Visit the historical and natural attractions of the area and one of its many Churches. At one point in its history, Ohrid had 365 Churches – one for each day of the year. Enjoy swimming in the lake throughout the weekend. On our way back to Skopje, we will stop at the Via Egnatia Restaurant (named after the Roman Empire Road Via Egnatia) in the “country” of Vevchani (home to the world-renowned Vevchani Carnival) – they have their own passport and money.
Galichnik Wedding Festival
Participate and witness a variety of activities of this centuries-old Macedonian event in the village of Galicnik nestled in scenic Mavrovo National Park. You will be exposed to many aspects of Macedonia’s traditions and culture. Enjoy the music, food, and activities in the village’s ancient, stone amphitheater. Dance in the streets with the entire town! Celebrate the festivities that start on Saturday and continue into the wee hours of Sunday morning! Of course, don’t miss the wedding. Everyone is invited. This is Macedonian tradition at its best!