Slovenians in Macedonia
According to the census of the population from 2002, there are 365 Slovenians living in Macedonia (in the period from 1994 to 2002, this number has been reduced by 38), but the estimated number according to the Embassy is about 500 Slovenians and their descendants.
After the disintegration of former Yugoslavia, Slovenians in Macedonia felt the need and desire to be more organized, to meet and socialize in their new country. Thus, on 30th September 1994, a Slovenian Society was registered, and then on 10th January 1999 renamed in Slovenian Association »France Prešeren« in Skopje. The association, which today counts around 160 members from all over Macedonia, has it's own status, program goals, tasks and an annual work program. It is opened to all Slovenians and their descendants, relatives and anyone else who feels any link with Slovenia and its culture. It is a non-governmental, apolitical and non-profit organization, with a goal to preserve and axpand the cultural and scientific values of the Slovenian nation, language, culture and folklore in Macedonia, while not ignoring the values of the Macedonian nation, it represents a bridge between nations. President of the Association is Mrs. Anastazija Ribarski.
In the end of 2007, Slovenians from Bitola established the second Slovenian association in Macedonia under the name Triglav. At the meeting of the Management Comittee held in early 2007, elected for president was Mrs. Tanja Franc. The Association encourages socializing, cares about social and cultural ties with Slovenia, organizes learning of Slovenian language, customs, traditions and cultural heritage and historical values. At the same time provides various forms of assistance and information, organizes cultural and scientific meetings.
The Association recieves financial aid from the Government's Office for Slovenians Abroad. Source of income is also the annual fee for the members of the association and the tuition from non Slovenian students who attend the Slovenian language lessons.
Mrs. Anastazija Ribarski, president
Mrs. Tanja Franc, predisent
Studying Slovenian language and culture in Macedonia
In cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Sport, the Slovenian Association »France Prešeren« organizes remedial classes of Slovenian language and culture. Children get their first contact with Slovenian language from the music lessons »Ciciban«. In early 2007, language classes also started taking place in Bitola. The Macedonian Government provides space on the basis of an agreement for cooperation in education, culture and science between the two governments. At the University of St. Ciril and Metodius in Skopje in 2007, for the first time Slovenian language was placed at the Bologna program and from the fifteen free spaces, in the academic year 2007/2008, fourteen were filled with new students who wished to learn the language at a higher, academic level.