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Macedonia Has 15 Villages Named 'Novo Selo', Each of Them Different from the Other

There are more than 15 villages in Macedonia that bear the name 'Novo Selo', meaning New Village, scattered all across its territory, Telegraf.mk has learnt.

What is more than obvious is the fact that besides the common name, they are completely different from each other - some are more developed, with asphalt paving and schools, while others are inhabited by few families, with muddy roads and old churches.

Telegraf.mk's team has visited five of these villages. First they went to the Novo Selo near the town of Stip, located at its entrance. 

Chronicles say that Dame Gruev and Goce Delcev use to work there, as teachers. The school they taught in, is now housing the Rectorate of the Goce Delcev University.

The welcoming locals told Telegraf.mk that most of the village inhabitants used to work as blacksmiths and horse saddle makers. There were over 138 shops in the village, said electrical engineer Vanco Causev, who believes that the Novo Selo near Stip was founded before the 13th century because many churches there date from that period, the most important being St. Spas (or St. Salvation).

The Novo Selo near Stip is famous for its history. Photo: Vlatko Perkovski

"This Novo Selo is historically very important for Macedonia, especially for the Eastern part of the country. Here, the emphasis is on the patriotic struggle, the freedom fighters, the awakening of the national awareness of the Macedonians. Not a single Turkish soldier could enter it, and if he made that mistake, he wouldn't leave the village alive," Causev explained.

He added that the settlement was famous for the medieval battles.

More and more bachelors live in Novo Selo in Strumica

In the Novo Selo near Strumica, the Telegraf.mk team ran into one of the most respected elder persons. Sixty-five-year-old Nikola Kampacki has lived his childhood and received his education in Novo Selo near Stip, but continued his life in the Strumica Novo Selo.

"There are around 2,700 inhabitants living here, but the young people are leaving the village. Only the retired people have remained here. The young mainly move abroad, to search for their fortune. My son is in London. Only the beautiful houses are left here where no one lives," Kampacki said.

Novo Selo near Strumica is modern. Photo: Vlatko Perkovski

According to the retiree, when he came to live in the village, there were over 1,000 students in the school, while today there are only around 400.

"The school was renovated and another was opened for people with special needs; there are also kindergartens but less and less people live here. Here, those who have remained are facing problems of finding a spouse, many bachelors have remained here," he added.

The entire village celebrates the same holiday

From Strumica the reporters headed towards the region of Kumanovo where there are two villages bearing the name 'Novo Selo'.

The two settlements face similar problems involving potable water, non asphalted roads, non functional sewage systems….

According to Sasa Arsic, in the first Novo Selo in the Kumanovo region, the population is 95% Serbian, while the remaining 5% are ethnic Macedonians.

"There are around 370 residents or more than 80 households. Most of the people work in agriculture, but many also work outside the village, in Kumanovo, and Skopje, or abroad. The women work in the bee industry in Kumanovo," Arsic said.

One of the Novo Selo near Kumanovo has only three residents. Photo: Vlatko Perkovski

The church St. Nicolas, the saint whose holiday is celebrated on May 22 was built to commemorate the holiday the two New Villages observe.

The second Novo Selo in the Kumanovo region has only three permanent inhabitants

"One of them is aged above 80, while the other two are my brother and his wife who live in our parents' house. In the old days, some ten people used to live here, there are six ruined houses, while some were burnt in a mass fire that occurred few years ago. During the weekend, life seems to come back into the village. Life here is tough, but it's great in weekends since it's peaceful. That the reason I built a cottage, to come with my family", said Mile Dodevski, born in this Novo Selo, who now lives in Skopje.

St. Nicolas church in Novo Selo, Kumanovo. Photo: Vlatko Perkovski

Strange illness has devastated the entire village

Telegraf.mk team visited one of the two New Villages located in the vicinity of Skopje. One is near the Gjorce Petrov municipality, and the other near Zelenikovo. However, reporters decided to visit the second.

The story here, told by 61-year-old Jordan Manev, says the old village was built behind the St. Nicolas church. 

"Then the name of the village was Seliste ('Big Village'), but some strange plague spread in the village, some strange disease and people started dying. Then, two twin brothers, with two twin oxes plugged the farmland in the new village, where the name comes from" Manev said.

He explained that only a small number of people have decided to live there, as many of the houses are now used for summer retreats. Those who have stayed mainly do farming.

There is an old-new church in the village dedicated to St. Nicolas. On the hill called 'Ramniste', according to Manev, a tomb was found with some ten graves inside.

- See more at: http://www.independent.mk/articles/16576/Macedonia+Has++Villages+Named+%27Novo+Selo%27%2C+Each+of+Them+Different+from+the+Other#sthash.a9JC7DhJ.dpuf

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