Traditional Song and Dance Liven Up London
Traditional Macedonian song and dance came to London on 12th October when the Association of Macedonians in the UK (AMUK) brought folklore group Ensemble Drimkol in to perform. This was the first known presentation of Macedonian folklore in the UK.
AMUK is non-governmental organisation that holds fundraising events for Macedonian causes and socials for Macedonians in the UK, and also works to raise the profile of the Macedonian community here. Event planner Bona Petroska says that aside from having this event to, “introduce and promote Macedonian culture and folklore to the British public,” AMUK also used the evening as a fundraiser, “to help with the purchase of instruments and traditional costumes for folklore ensembles in Macedonia.”
Major Macedonian migration began over 100 years ago after the Ilinden Uprising of 1903. It is thought that there have been five additional waves of emigration since then, with many Macedonians entering the UK when Yugoslavia allowed emigration to the West in the 1960s and 1970s, and again as the country broke up during the early 1990s. An estimated 10,000 Macedonians live in the UK with most of them concentrated in the greater London area.
Petroska says their event turned out to be quite a memorable evening. “The event was a success in every way. We were surprised how much interest there was among the non-Macedonians that were present at the event. The Ambassador to the Republic of Macedonia was our honorary guest, and there were journalists and folklorists who attended.”
The group advertised by sending emails to their 500 contacts, putting flyers and posters up around the city, posting event information on Facebook, and sending invitations to media outlets and active folklore groups in London. Petroska stresses the importance of having “the proper tools to be able to prepare all the advertising materials” for your event.
“Using sites like Eventgroove gives you an option to choose already existing templates and make it work for your own event. It saves a lot of time. The good thing is that you can prepare everything else by using the same colour scheme; posters, tickets, flyers, raffle tickets, and anything you need to promote the event. It all looks so professional, and the delivery is fast, so you do not need to worry about having everything in time for the event.”