Memorial house of Kocho Racin

Days are they – days
the hardships of hired labourers!

Rise in the morning early
return in the evening late,
in the morning take with you joy
in the evening bring back grief –

a plague on it, may it be
damned, this life of a dog!

Kocho Racin is one of the most prominent intellectuals coming from Macedonia and is deemed one of the founders of contemporary Macedonian literature, and his collection of poems “White Dawns”, published in Samobor near Zagreb in 1939, is one of the most important poetical works in Macedonian contemporary literature.
The memorial house of Kocho Racin, located in Veles, was built on the left side of the Vardar River and represents the traditional Veles house, which today is considered the type of house with the most attractive architecture. The house was built in the late 19th century and consists of a ground floor made of stone, a prominent white façade on the first floor, and a steep roof covered with tiles. The house in which Racin was born, lived and worked underwent full reconstruction in 1963, yet it has retained its authentic appearance and, typical of the old Macedonian houses, it features a ground floor and a first floor. Racin’s pottery workshop and the kiln in which he fired the clay products are on the ground floor. Upstairs there are two rooms, a kitchen and a guest room, as well as a chardak with a beautiful view of the old town.
On the chardak, there is a permanent exhibition of documents and objects that belonged to the great poet, whose collection of poems “White Dawns” is the most translated book by a Macedonian poet. The memorial house features his original manuscripts as well as many other memorabilia from his life and work. Thirty-one love letters and cards from Kocho Racin to Rahilka Firfova-Raca are showcased there, several of which were written with his blood in the 1920s.
“I take your name as mine, and that’s why I grant you immortality, a condensed sigh after you. Anthology of pain… and my portrait if you ask… a drop of blood from my body and soul – you already have it… My future name – binds me forever to you… Forgive me or curse me – all the same. And I love it all, forgive it all and forget it all. I have one regret only: I failed to hear the meaning through the sound of your words… or at least their trace in ink…”, is written on one of the cards.
Racin’s house is most frequented during “Racin Meetings” and “Children’s Racin Meetings”, which are organized in his honor. During the summer, a pottery workshop is held at the Memorial House, where top Veles potters teach the interested students about the basics of pottery, preventing this craft from dying out.

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