After visiting the springs and waterfalls, we hadn't gone very far towards the village centre of Vevčani when we first noticed a kiosk on the village street that was cooling its cases of beer in the spring water for sale.
That's right, because even now in July the spring water is only a few degrees warm. The kiosk owner told us in a nice and friendly manner that she had been working this way for decades, saving herself large refrigerators and therefore high energy costs.
Watercourses in the village of Vevčani
By the way, both in the cities and in the "flat" country like here in Vevčani, we were amazed that everyone could speak or understand at least a few words of English, no comparison to many other countries where people are often really stubborn when it comes to using foreign languages meets.
We should learn from several examples what a crucial role water plays here in Vevčani, not only in terms of cooling drinks. Initially there was a functioning grain mill and, a little later, a water-powered gang saw for producing beams and boards in the middle of the village.
Short break with a Macedonian cappuccino
We interrupted our tour through the narrow and sometimes steep streets of the village to eat a Macedonian cappuccino with ice cream and baglava in a really well-equipped restaurant. Hmm, very tasty. The compilation alone indicates the international guest list here in town.
Only a little later we learned about a real curiosity here in town, because we had already seen "passes" that were being offered for sale at a stand right at the entrance to the springs. Now we encountered this pass sale again. Once curious, we naturally wanted to find out what the background to these passport sales was. And if you don't ask, you remain stupid!
The Vevčani Emergency!
The Vevčani emergency occurred on May 26th and again on August 7th of 1987. On those days, the residents of the village of Vevčani protested with all the power at their disposal against a decision by the Yugoslav government to withdraw water from the springs of Vevčani to redirect to Struga. There have been disputes with Struga for a long time because it was claimed that the water belonged to the city of Struga. On both days mentioned there were such violent clashes that many additional police forces had to be deployed to clear up the situation. The residents of Vevčani made calls for more democracy and freedom, which were also heard by the Yugoslav government. This is how the call for the independent Republic of Vevčani arose, planned by the residents of the village.
There is even its own currency!
With the fall of communism, the residents of Vevčani used these long-gone stories to give additional impetus to slowly growing tourism. This is how the independent Republic of Vevčani came into being in the middle of the village. To further promote the character of independence, the "Independent Republic of Vevčani" declared in 2002 the introduction of the "Vevčani Ličnici", an independent currency in its republic. The "Ličnici" is produced in the following sizes: 1, 2, 5, 10, 50, 100, 500 and 1,000 (of course only for tourist purposes). The coins were issued by the artist Simun Lesoski.
The Vevčani-Radožda dialect
It should be noted that the residents of Vevčani also speak a unique dialect that differs significantly from the rest of Macedonia, the Vevčani-Radožda dialect. Remnants of this very traditional dialect can be found in three other villages, such as Radožda and Mali Vlai and the Albanian village of Lin.
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