The success we achieved in 2021 depended on our ability to tell the story to people eager for unusual trips. The new era of tourism in Macedonia that we are propagating is not based on the classic trips that are part of our everyday life, but on what people can hear from the local population - a story that they can truly feel and experience.
We celebrate 2021 with the stories of the local heroes that are important for the development of the tourism, and our desire for 2022 is to discover as many local heroes as possible, eager to tell their story and the story of the place where they spent their entire lives.
For us, this is the most important thing for which we exist.
We are aware that we always need good motivators, people who fight to show that Macedonia is a country where the mix of cultures, traditions, food and stories is a perfect recipe for a sustainable tourism.
We will end this year with another motivating story, about a group of local women from Krusevo, who had the courage to unite and tell their Krushevo’s story, which will be a reason for tourists to visit Krushevo.
This group of women from Krusevo counts 30 local women who know each other; they are local heroines who do small things of great importance for the development of tourism in Macedonia and for promoting Krusevo.
Today we will tell you this story together with Lefkija Gadzoska, one of the main coordinators of the organization "Krushevo Women" and one of the best hosts of our team-building trips that we organized in Krushevo.
The sunny weekend in Krushevo allowed us to drink coffee in the yard of the old school building which their association with the help of the city managed to reconstruct and use it for groups of tourists who are curious to learn something more about the Vlachs from Krushevo.
Lefkija told us about the beginnings of their organization. All women who are part of this association have individual experience in certain activities, but three years ago they have joined their forces and started a new project that aims to promote Krushevo in a different way.
Proud of what they have achieved during the pandemic and happy that more and more tourists are interested in learning about the tradition of the Vlach community in Krushevo, listening to Vlach music, tasting some of the specialties of the Vlach cuisine and of course learning some words of the Vlach language.
What we managed to notice as we tried the tasty dishes prepared by the skillful hands of these women was the fact that they are happy and fulfilled of what they are doing, constantly observing the tables to have everything on it. The food prepared by these Krushevo hosts depends on what the guests will ask for and that’s mainly the characteristic Krushevo and Vlach dishes.
Lefkija says that they have organized a large number of gastronomic experiences, and depending on the requirements of the guests, they can organize a classic snack or they can even organize lunch or dinner.
And if there is a holiday, for example St. Nikola – fasting table, and if the guests do not fast, then they can prepare a dining table with game (hunting) meat, also Vlach pie, Vlach bread, sheep or goat cheese, pitulici with cottage cheese or garlic, çomlek – traditional dish characteristic for this region, beans with sausages and selsko meso – Balkan pork and mushroom stew.
Of course, neither the homemade brandy nor the cherry or nut liqueur is left out here and of course the Turkish delight, the meringues and the famous Krushevo cookies with wine or plum jam.
For these women, it is normal to have hot ajvar and lutenica on the table, a dip (dipping sauce) made of peppers or pindzur, and depending on the season, a roasted pumpkin with honey can be found on the table.
If you talk to the women from Krushevo, you will notice that each of them has their own interesting abilities. One prepares traditional recipes, healthy and home-made medicinal syrups, another will tell you that she produces liqueurs; the third has experience in producing ointments from herbs, as well as marmalades, forest fruit jam, and a number of other products that can find in their basements.
Not only the food plays an important role in this story, this story is also about the way of life and thinking of these women from Krushevo. For them, the food has its own story, the objects with which they prepare it have their own story, also the objects in which the food is cooked have their own history, each of the women in the organization has its own story, and also the building where the guests have the opportunity to taste the food has its own unusual story.
Lefkija says that they always work on promoting important names from the history of Krushevo, such as the Macedonian Shakespeare - Vasil Iljoski, who was born in Krushevo and whose memorial room with his personal belongings, awards and recognitions will be opened in 2022, when in fact, is his 120th Anniversary.
This women's association started functioning just before the beginning of the pandemic. They remember some good moments when all the activities they held were previously organized in the yard of a typical Vlach house and inside it, but with the new situation they transferred the activities to the arranged space of the old school building which also has the features of an old Krushevo building which with the help they received from the municipality they decorated with traditional elements of an old house from Krushevo from the 19th century.
Today, the Women's Association also cooperates with the "Center for Human Relations", which mainly consists of young high school and university students who are committed to the inclusion of people with disabilities, as well as their biological or foster families. Together they help each other by participating in activities such as collecting herbs and teas, sticking labels and packaging products.
The impressions of the guests are the most important thing for these heroines. The biggest gift that they can get are the smiles and the satisfied faces of the guests. The honesty, the kindness and the hospitality are their main guide in the New Year. The kindness of the people of Krusevo is the main reason why a story like "FeelKrushevo" is growing so fast.
Most important of all is the fact that the story of "Krushevo Women" manages to develop because these local heroines tell stories that can be truly experienced.