Coming from Macedonia to Australia
Read the Macedonian version of this story
Author: Michael Vrtkovski
Storyteller: Peter Vrtkovski
Community Language School: "Goce Delcev" Macedonian School, Newcastle
Main School: Wirreanda PS
Our son and daughter had already moved to Australia. We decided to follow.
Where do you come from?
Charlija was my home. It was a very small town situated in Macedonia. My family had to work very hard so that we could provide our family with food, shelter and comfort as well as a good life.
We always had to work outside all year round, no matter what the weather was like; freezing cold and snowing in winter, boiling hot in summer, windy and rainy conditions also had to worked in and the job had to be done.
The food that we mostly ate was "Graf". This was beans boiled in water with spices and pepper. We would all eat from the same pot at the same time and it would last us up to about 3 days. This was very economical.
We had a days in the year where we would wait all year just so they could come. The most important one was called "Mitrovden". That was on the 8th November and we would invite loads of guests and visitors to come and enjoy themselves at our house.
"Bozic" (Christmas) and "Veligden" (Easter) were the times when we would go to church and then afterwards we would all gather in the center of the town and dance around and enjoy ourselves celebrating the important celebrations and moments while a band would play for us.
What was your arrival in Australia like?
In the airplane it was very hard for us to talk because we didn't know a word of English. When we arrived in Sydney at the airport we were very welcomed by our friends and relatives and from then on we were feeling a lot better alongside with our close family and friends.
What is it like for you here and now?
I like it here now very much because I have fitted in properly and I am very happy. I am proud to be an Australian Citizen.
Why did you Leave?
I was years old when I came to Australia.
My son and my daughter were in Newcastle, Australia and we decided to come join them. Australia was a very beautiful, rich and big country.
The language there was very hard to learn without any schooling or learning and we had to find a job immediately so that we could survive.
Every morning we would say "Dobro Utro" (Good Morning) to our workmates and customers and to the employees.
It was very hard to get used to getting up the same time every morning and going to catch the bus to and from the factory.
What do you think of Australia now?
Now it is a very comforting country to live in and we have everything we need. It is very important that we got used to living in the Australian culture. We feel that this is our country because we have a very big family that lives in Australia.
The most important thing is that we keep our religion the same way we did in Macedonia. In the same way we sing our old songs from Macedonia and a couple of then come back to out memories they are: "Abre Steelwork, Steelwork Avstaljiski" and"Germanija". These songs remind us of the past.