Em Baba, Em Nevesta
Lecture by Dr. Kathy Dimitrievski
Dr. Kathy Dimitrievski
The Canadian Macedonian Historical Society kicked off its lecture
series on Sunday October 16 by presenting an entertaining and informative
lecture by Dr. Kathy Dimitrievski entitled "Macedonia...Em
Baba, Em Nevesta" which explored the history and rich culture
of Macedonia told through its folk songs, from ancient civilization
to modern times.
Dr. Dimitrievski is an American whose husband Josif is of Macedonian
descent. Although she herself is not Macedonian she fell in love
with both the melodies and lyrics of Macedonian music while attending
Macedonian dances with her husband. Her love of the music resulted
in her researching and writing her doctoral dissertation on the
oral history of Macedonians through their folk songs over many
Her doctoral research was published in 2001 as the book Macedonia...Em
Baba,Em Nevesta. The book chronicles Macedonian history through
times of struggle, sorrow and joy through the many songs. Dr. Dimitrievski's
research includes oral histories from Macedonia, Pirin, Egej, Mala
Prespa, the United States and Canada as well as Internet testimonies
and surveys. Of special interest are interviews with the now deceased
Aleksander Sarievski, Vaska Ilieva and Petranka Kostandinova along
with an interview with Violeta Tomovska.
Since Macedonians were not formally educated until the mid- 20th
century, much of their history went unrecorded except in oral form
through stories and music passed down from one generation to the
next. Dr. Dimitrievski found that folk songs (izvorni) are revered
within the Macedonian community and served as useful educational
tools in passing down culture and historical memory.
Following the lecture guests had the opportunity to drink Macedonian
tea (planinski chai), ask questions of Dr. Dimitrievski and watch
tapes of some her interviewees. The tapes were particularly fascinating
as we were able to hear young and old alike sing some of the folk
songs she referred to in her lecture.
If you are interested in other oral history accounts, the Canadian
Macedonian Historical Society library has over 50 tapes with hundreds
of hours of videotaped interviews from various community members
about their lives and experiences. The library is open every Sunday
from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Dr. Kathy Dimitrievski with Virginia Evans