Macedonian-Bulgarian, Macedonian-Albanian, and Macedonian-Greek ties are all contentious issues. Most Macedonians have strong political sentiments on their neighbors and will not hesitate to voice them in most instances. Politics is often brought up in casual conversation over a cup of coffee. Avoid subjects such as the 2001 war against the NLA, Macedonia’s division during the Balkan conflicts, and Macedonia’s prospective membership in the European Union or NATO to avoid upsetting your hosts or newfound acquaintances. Don’t be afraid to bring up the Communist era or Josip Tito.
With the present situation in Kosovo, be very cautious while discussing politics, since there is a large Albanian minority here. Ask as many questions as you like (within reason), but refrain from making any comments. Keep in mind that one in every four persons you encounter on the street is likely to be Albanian, with much greater percentages in the west, and tensions between the Macedonian and Albanian populations may be severe at times. In a nutshell, keep your political views to yourself.