North Macedonia has a colorful history, and every bit of that history influenced and shaped the culture that today is well known. Being long in the presence with the Ottoman Turks in the region, culinary traditions of North Macedonia has mixed influences of Mediterranean, Balkan and Turkish kitchens. Some of the more famous dishes of North Macedonia are kebapcinja, a grilled beef kebab. Next to it is the well known Burek, a meal often filled with cheese, meat or spinach. North Macedonia also has meals that are common across the Balkans, such as taratur, yoghurt mixed with grated cucumber, and baklava, a sweet and delicious dessert.
North Macedonia has specialties, such as ajvar, a jarred red pepper sauce, tavce gravce, perfectly baked beans, shopska salata, which is a salad, mixed with carefully sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, white cheese and onions. Another famous meal is selsko meso, delicious pork chops, mixed with mushrooms and brown gravy.
Alongside Orthodox Christian and Islamic holidays, North Macedonia celebrates Independence Day on September 8th, which began in 1991. when the citizens of Macedonia voted for separation from federated Yugoslavia.
In terms of sports and recreation, North Macedonia had a slow development process for modern sports culture. After WWII, popular sports included football, volleyball and basketball, all endorsed by larger industrial companies, often to field their own teams. Tennis saw its entrance late 20th and early 21th century, and became more popular in the bigger city centres. North Macedonia was first presented as an independent country in 1996., durng the Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.