why is that?
did your parents, as far as you know, have the same problems to blend in or was it basically a "children's problem", if you will, because of blatantly rude comments by young kids? i take it your dad has been well-educated, so apparently he didn't have that much of a problem to fit in, did he?
so where do you see serbia in 20 years' time? having joined the euro, on its was to become the new spain? alienated even further? taken over by russian forces?
concerning the naming dispute with greece, do you think macedonia should give in?
1.) Because I believe that a.) by participating in an electoral process you are granting implicitly legitimacy to whichever candidate is ultimately elected and b.) if you vote for the person that happens to get elected you are partly responsible for bringing him/her to power. Should that candidate later disappoint and conduct actions/policies you find unethical, you are in a way responsible for the consequences. For instance, if I vote for Bush, I am responsible, in part, for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and all the people that have had their lives ruined/been killed by those policies. I find abortion disgusting and Obama is an abortion supporter. McCain was trigger happy to make ***** wars against China and Russia. The list goes on. In the end, all politicians engage in actions I find morally reprehensible, so I refuse to give them, or the electoral process itself, my vote.
2.) Depends on what you mean by integrated? My parents did not come to the US for the love of money. I don't think they're particularly into money, they're not very materialistic, and that doesn't help when you live in a society that is so oriented towards possessions. My parents don't own a home and after 30 years of being in the US, this year my father got his first new car. My parents stressed the importance of getting a good education and have somewhat "elitist" inclinations with respect to that. My mother studied philosophy and history of art and sociology. My father has a PhD in physics and extensive backround in math and computer science. His brother had an MD and PhD. His mother had an MD and so did his father. His aunt and his grandfather were pharmacists. So there's a long tradition of education in his family, and on my mother's side, even though they were peasants, they were all very intelligent people who did not quite blend into the rural culture around them. My uncle on the mother's side, who is a farmer and never finished high school, is one of the sharpest people I know, and my grandmother tells me that my grandfather (whom I never knew, he died a long time ago), was even more intelligent. Ultimately, getting an education does not help you blend into America if you don't have the money to go with it. My parents have been economically lower middle class in the US, and they've never blended well with other lower middle class people because many of these people have far less education and different interests, and the upper middle class people don't interact with them because they don't have money, a house they own, family vacations, etc. It's kind of strange.
3.) I have no idea. I think people are somewhat "exhausted" there and want to just get gobble up by the EU so they hopefully won't have to deal with any more separatists and the economy will improve. But I'm skeptical. Geographically, they cannot build the sort of relationship with Russia that they might like. I don't think they have a good future, in general.
4.) If Greece is pissed off *just* because of the name, that's a little immature. I'm pissed off about Bosnian Muslims calling themselves Bosniaks because it implies that Serbs and Croats are not native to Bosnia, but I wouldn't make political blockades over the issue. I think the Greeks are worried that Macedonian Slav nationalists will agitate the Slavs living in Greek (Aegean) Macedonia. The problem for the Macedonian Slavs is that their national identity is very recent and is entirely based on the region they inhabit rather than any real distinction from their neighbors. Genetically, there's definitely a strong Hellenic and Thracian component, but culturally they have nothing to do with ancient or modern Greeks (well, apart from Orthodoxy and the Cyrillic alphabet) and most historians and linguists agree that their language is essentially Bulgarian. They are a product of Titoist nation building. The best solution long ago was to have Vardar Macedonia partitioned into Serb and Bulgarian components, with Bulgarians getting the center, southwest and Ohrid area and Serbs getting the northeast Skopje and Tetovo areas and be done with it (the formerly "Serb" area is now mostly Albanian anyway). At the moment, neither Bulgarians nor Serbs really view them as a legitimate ethnic group and Greesk look on them as frauds who are trying to steal Greek history. So, for Macedonians to dump their title, what would they call themselves instead? South Serbs? Western Bulgarians? Balkans Slavs? Doesn't really work, since they don't really have a history as a distinct people for more than about 50-100 years.