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16-08-13, 23:10
Albanian folk music falls into three sylistic groups, with other important music areas around Shkodër and Tirana; the major groupings are the Ghegs of the north and southern Labs and Tosks. The northern and southern traditions are contrasted by the "rugged and heroic" tone of the north and the "relaxed, gentle and exceptionally beautiful" form of the south. These disparate styles are unified by "the intensity that both performers and listeners give to their music as a medium for patriotic expression and as a vehicle carrying the narrative of oral history".

Albanian folk songs can be divided into major groups, the heroic epics of the north, and the sweetly melodic lullabies, love songs, wedding music, work songs and other kinds of song. The music of various festivals and holidays is also an important part of Albanian folk song. Lullabies and laments are very important kinds of Albanian folk song, and are generally performed by solo women.

16-08-13, 23:11
The Ghegs from north of the Shkumbini River are known for a distinctive variety of sung epic poetry. Many of these are about Skanderbeg, a legendary 15th century warrior who led the struggle against the Turks, and the "constant Albanian themes of honour, hospitality, treachery and revenge". These traditions are a form of oral history for the Ghegs, and also "preserve and inculcate moral codes and social values".
Styles of epics also include the këngë trimash/kreshnikësh (Songs of brave men/frontier warriors), ballads and Vajtims maje krahi (cries). Major epics include Mujo and Halil and Halil and Hajrije.
The most traditional variety of epic poetry is the Albanian Songs of the Frontier Warriors. These epic poems are sung, accompanied by a lahuta, a one-stringed fiddle.
Somewhat further south, around Dibër and Kërçovë in Macedonia, the lahuta is not used, replaced by the çifteli, a two-stringed instrument in which one string is used for the drone and one for the melody. Though men are the traditional performers (exception made for the sworn virgins), women have increasingly been taking part in epic balladry.
Along with the def, çifteli and sharki are used in a style of dance and pastoral songs. Homemade wind instruments are traditionally used by shepherds in northern Albania; these include the zumarë, an unusual kind of clarinet. This shepherds' music is "melancholic and contemplative" in tone. The songs called maje-krahi are another important part of North Albanian folk song; these were originally used by mountaineers to communicate over wide distances, but are now seen as songs. Maje-krahi songs require the full range of the voice and are full of "melismatic nuances and falsetto cries".

16-08-13, 23:16
Southern Albanian music is soft and gentle, and polyphonic in nature. Vlorë in the southwest has perhaps the most unusual vocal traditions in the area, with four distinct parts (taker, thrower, turner and drone) that combine to create a complex and emotionally cathartic melody. Author Kim Burton has described the melodies as "decorated with falsetto and vibrato, sometimes interrupted by wild and mournful cries". This polyphonic vocal music is full of power that "stems from the tension between the immense emotional weight it carries, rooted in centuries of pride, poverty and oppression, and the strictly formal, almost ritualistic nature of its structure".
South Albania is also known for funeral laments with a chorus and one to two soloists with overlapping, mournful voices.

The Tosk people are known for ensembles consisting of violins, clarinets and def.
Southern instrumental music includes the sedate kaba, an ensemble-driven by a clarinet or violin alongside accordions and llautës. The kaba is an improvised and melancholic style with melodies that Kim Burton describes as "both fresh and ancient", "ornamented with swoops, glides and growls of an almost vocal quality", exemplifying the "combination of passion with restraint that is the hallmark of Albanian culture."

16-08-13, 23:21
Cham Albanian folk music can be divided into three main categories: the iso-polyphonic, the polyphonic and the folk ballads.

Iso-polyphony is a form of traditional Albanian polyphonic music. This specific type of Albanian folk music is proclaimed by UNESCO as a "Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity". Chams sing a different type, called the cham iso-polyphony. Although they border with Lab Albanians, their iso-polyphony is influenced more by the Tosk type.

16-08-13, 23:47
Albanian folk dances show a very diverse pattern of styles and characteristics, which makes it impossible to make a general description in order to distinguish them as “Albanian” . On one side there are big differences between the dances from the Gheg people in the north and Tosk people in the south, on the other side we have the influences of the neighboring countries and the influences from foreign invaders from the past. In general the folk dances might be divided into two groups: the Urban and Rural dances. The city dances from Tirana, Elbasan, Berat and other cities are very different in character and style than those of the rural areas around those cities. This is also the case with the folk music. The urban style developed differently from the rural regions, which expressed itself in different costumes, music, songs and dances. This urban style had its reflections on neighboring villages also, but not an overall influence to the country side. As for the rural folk dances we might divide them in dances from the North, the South and the Middle of Albania, but no strict borders between these regions. The south is generally divided in Toskëria, Myzeqë, Labëria and Çamëria, but there are specific areas within these regions which have a specific tradition: Lunxhëria, Tepelenës and Zagoria for example. These areas have their specific style and character of folk dances which cannot be classified in the general division and do not match with the overall common folk dances within the region. The North, being Gheg country, is rather clear, the style and character is almost the same in each district, although there are some minor differences. Folk dances from the Tropoja district have a distinct character and style, as also the Dibër district has, but originates from the same source as the other districts in the region. The Middle of Albania is something quite different. Here we find a combination of Gheg and Tosk elements. The ethnic division of Ghegs and Tosks is well illustrated by the difference in dances and costumes, but also in the music accompanying the dances. The music to the dances of the Ghegs is often accompanied by either zurla and tapan (Surle and Lodra in Albanian) , def or daire or orchestra with ciftelije, sharkije and flutes. The ciftelije is unique for the northern Albanian music. The southern Tosk dances are usually accompanied by a “sazet”, an orchestra with def, violin, clarinet, llauto and fiz-harmonika. The central Albanian dances, especially the urban dances are accompanied with orchestras which combine the instrumentation of both northern and southern regions. The clarinet is often leading here, but might be in the company of a tapan (Lodra) or def. In the Myzeqë region a smaller variant to the zurla is also in use. No need to say that in these days the electric key boards have replaced instruments like the gajda and other traditional instruments.

16-08-13, 23:51
Although the separate dances had their own names (and some still have) the dances are often named by the region where they come from. The most common form is Valle, but also Vallja is used.
This might cause confusion as one Valle Korçare is not the same dance as another Valle Korçare. Both dances are from the Korça region, but might differ in character and style. Valle Kuksit or Vallja e Kukës are both accepted as names for the same dance. The best way to translate this is Kukës-dance and Dance from Kukës. Especially in Kosovo the old term Kërçim, or shortened to K’cim, is also in use. In order to make it clear which dance is mentioned the title of the song to which the dance is executed, or the specific style or gender of the dancers can be added to the name.The most popular dances are the Valle Pogonishte for whatever festivity, Valle Napoloni for wedding parties, Valle Kuksit and the Valle Shamia e Beqarit, which is the last dance at a wedding party, danced by the bride and groom, burning the bachelor’s kerchief.

16-08-13, 23:59
RAPSODI Rapsodi is a special traditional music genre. Rapsodi are poetry mainly about homeland,war and famous warriors. They are always accompanied with instruments such as Ciftelia or Sharkia.In a special way, they are patriotic songs which are dedicated to brave warriors,continuous wars against the Turkish and Serbia. Rapsodi is also known for its charismatic interpretation, for the old traditional Kosovo away from every oriental element that represents, for the clear pronunciation of the word, for his distinctive vocals, gestures, and acting in singing as well. Their topics were very actual because they always tell a homeland story by singing. SOFRAT Sofrat represents a group of male artists and singers who sing together siting around the table. Their songs are mostly folklore with different social topics which are followed by generations.These songs are accompanied with many instruments.The musicians are also part of sofra. Sofrat, organized into traditional orders represent a precious treasure of cultural heritage in Kosovo.Lots of traditional artists have become famous from their interpretations in Sofra. Depending from the rhythm, sofra songs can be accompanied with various traditional dances. Most popular sofras are Sofra Pejane,Sofra Gjakovare etc. Nowadays, sofra continues to be very popular and present almost in every wedding.It happens to be organized also as a part of cultural program in some cities. WEDDING SONGS These songs are characteristic for weddings. They're separated on two parts. The first part are Songs for the bride before she gets married. They're usually accompanied with Def - a traditional instrument and are similar to poetry. Most of those songs are original creations that are a moment dedication for that person getting married. The second part are songs for the couple. They are accompanied with lots of instruments and have interesting topics. Some of them express congratulations for the couple, characteristics of living together etc. Wedding Songs usually goes together with specific traditional dance, therefore they are interesting and important because represents also lots of general Kosovar tradition information. DIRGE (Kenge Vaji) Its one of the most famous Albanians characteristics. They represent an original and very emotional creations which are dedicated to a close and beloved person after their death.It is specific because its an art born from the suffer. This genre is almost the oldest.It has many variations and it is very popular because it has to do with a special condition that people confront in their daily life. Dirge can be created from one or more persons. The most difficult and rarest variation is The polyphonic Dirge because it needs four participants to be in a harmony. LULLABIES Lullabies are short poetic monologues, where the parents express their wishes about their children before sleep. The most usual artistic and literary figures that are used are comparison and personification. They're too lyrical. Their characteristic is that most of them start with "Nani-nani djalin/vajzen" or "Nina-nana". Lullabies are the finest representative about expressing parental love and the irreplaceable role of family in Kosovo tradition.

17-08-13, 00:08
CIFTELIA Ciftelia is an original unique instrument in Kosovo. This is a two-stringed instrument in which one string is used for the drone and one for the melody.It's wooden instrument with a small head and a long tail.It is used in a style of dance and pastoral songs, mostly on Kosovo and it is known as a Gheg Instrument. Together with Sharkia it represent a strong traditional instrument and are characteristics of rapsodian genre. SHARKIA Sharkia it’s a traditional instrument usually with five wire (2+1+2). There are also some other kinds of sharkia, one of them is with 12 wires. Sharkia’s sounds are deep and vibrant. Often this instrument is accompanied with a good part of lyrical and epic songs, as well as various popular traditional dance. Sharkia is known as complex instrument, is used alone or in orchestral formations as the main tool. The most characteristic thing about sharkia, is that the play focuses primarily on the first wire, two others run iso. In entrances and ends of phrases is included the third wire, which gives basic tone. This creates a special effects, which are characteristic of this instrument. LAHUTA Lahuta is a typical Kosovarian instrument which is formed by an arc and chord consisting horse hair since 1950. Lahuta’s shape is semi-spherical and covered with tanned leather which gripped the sides of its wooden pegs. Lahuta often is decorated with symbols of ancient cults as the head of the goat, snake, or historical figures. Lahuta’s sound is nasal and fits very well with the content of epic songs.

17-08-13, 00:19
The Arbereshe in South Italy and Sicily are said to be mostly Tosks
Is there music also similar to the Tosk folk-music ?


17-08-13, 00:25
Like in many European countries, the traditional costumes have vanished almost completely from daily life. However, if you are lucky you may find some people in full dress, most of the time elder women from the villages, when they are going to market or to a special occasion.
The folk costumes of Albania show a great diversity in styles and patterns, not to mention the colours used, ranging from a simple black and white to purple, green, orange and deep blue. All of this in a country of just about 3 million people, and just the size of 29.000 square kilometres. It seems every village has its own costume and within it may be divided even by religion, class, age or social position. The basic garments can be identified as belonging to just a few groups, but the way these have evolved in different places, has resulted in a great diversity.

17-08-13, 00:43
The traditional Albanian polyphonic music can be divided into two major stylistic groups as performed by the Ghegs of northern Albania and Tosks and Labs living in the southern part of the country. The candidature file id dedicated to the iso-polyphonic music performed by the Tosks and Labs of southern Albania. The term iso is related to the ison of Byzantine church music and refers to the drone, which accompanies the polyphonic singing. The drone is performed in two ways: among the Tosks, it is always continuous and sung on the syllable ‘e’, using staggered breathing; while among the Labs, the drone is sometimes sung as a rhythmic tone, performed to the text of the song. It can be differentiated between two-, three- and four-voice polyphony. Two-voice iso-polyphony represents the simplest form of Albanian polyphony and is popular all over southern Albania. Iso-polyphony is practised mainly by men, but there is a number of female singers, too. The music is performed at a wide range of social events, such as weddings, funerals, harvest feasts, religious celebrations and festivals such as the well-known Albanian folk festival in Gjirokastra. Albanian iso-polyphony is characterised by songs consisting of three parts: two solo parts, a melody and a countermelody with a choral drone. Four-part singing is found less often and only among the Labs. This form consists also of two solo parts, but is accompanied by a double drone, one choral and one solo. The structure of the solo parts differs according to the different ways of performing the drone, but there is also a great variety of structures within the two drone types, especially in the pedal style that is popular with all groups performing this music.

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17-08-13, 02:18
Song of Çelo Mezani
The sun arose in Malavire,
Çelo came out in Harile,
Çelo came out in Harile,
Out to offer his condolence,
Out to offer his condolence,
Near the well of Sulejmani
They awaited Çelo Mezani.
When the rifle rang the first time,
Çelo turned and looked around him,
Çelo turned and looked around him.
When the rifle rang the second time,
Çelo folded, closed his eyelids,
Çelo folded, closed his eyelids.
When the rifle rang the third time,
Çelo then was truly slaughtered,
Çelo then was truly slaughtered.
Off they went to tell his mother
That her son had now been slaughtered,
That her son had now been slaughtered.
“Do not utter these words to me,
For my Çelo is still living,
For my Çelo is still living.”

17-08-13, 02:23
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wuw3ITNlvcI What was it Janina’s eyes saw?
Ja-a, Janinë-o!
On a Friday did it happen,
Ja-a, Janinë-o!
At the five wells in the canyon,
Ja-a, Janinë-o!
Zenel Çelo and another,
Ja-a, Janinë-o!
Zenel with that Velça fellow,
Ja-a, Janinë-o!
And the hero Jaçe Mavro,
Ja-a, Janinë-o!
How he rose in daring venture,
Ja-a, Janinë-o!
Cleaved the enemy’s battalions,
Ja-a, Janinë-o!
And did slaughter the young pasha,
Ja-a, Janinë-o!

17-08-13, 02:29
From the poetry of Bilal Xhaferri

Cham Ballad

In the distance fades a rainbow
Over the tips of the pyres,
A tearful word of farewell
In the pouring rain.
In the distance fades Chameria, our homeland in flames
And all of the roads take us northwards.
Over ancient Epirotic lands moans a Mediterranean wind,
Over the precious fields of our ancestors,
Lightning now feeds on the abandoned pastures,
Olive groves, unharvested, groan like the waves beating against the coast,
And on all sides, Cham land,
Enveloped in clouds,
Gasps and drowns in blood and tears,
And forlorn.
The bullets slicing through the darkness show us the way,
Flames that have devoured the soil, light up our path,
Behind us the storm lashes at the creaking doors of one-time homes.
And the road stretches northwards, northwards forever.
A folk now in exile, we wander in the downpour,
Farewell Chameria!

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17-08-13, 02:49
The Sheperdess

I was grown up among these mountains
together with lambs and sheep
with nightingales among the grove
after the bells, play and joy
like my eagle

o flower of grass wind-o nanina
o come my friends let's play-o nanina
o the field is dressing up with laughter-o nanina
the mountain is shaking, what happened??
the shepherds play with joy

to many bells sounds
high in the sky, the mountain of snow
on the mountains love comes more goods
today a flared shank.

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21-08-13, 18:16
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFwjtFBi60AThe words were written by the Albanian poet Asdreni (1872-1947). The music was composed by the Romanian composer Ciprian Porumbescu, originally for the song "Pe-al nostru steag e scris Unire" (or "E scris pe tricolor unire").

Oath to the Flag

Around our flag we are united,
With but one will and one desire,
A sacred oath are now proclaiming
For our salvation to aspire,
May only those avoid the struggle,
Those who are traitors to our laws,
Undaunted is a hero through and through,
He dies a martyr to the cause.

With weapons in our hands a-brandished,
We will defend our fatherland,
Our sacred rights we’ll not relinquish,
The foe has no place in our land,
For God has told the world, proclaiming:
The nations of the earth shall wane,
And yet will live, will thrive Albania.
For her our fight won’t be in vain.

Our flag, our nation’s sacred symbol,
We swear an oath to your fair name,
Defend our country, our Albania,
Protect her honour and her fame,
Our praise goes to those mighty heroes
Who in our nation’s past did fall,
Their memory will be cherished evermore,
In life and death will they live all.

21-08-13, 18:24
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ilaL0T-MufQNationalist figure and guerrilla fighter, Çerçiz Topulli (1880-1915) was born in Gjirokastra. On 25 February 1908, his band killed the commander of the Turkish gendarmerie on a street in Gjirokastra. Five of Topulli’s guerrillas, himself included, then fled to the village of Mashkullore, where on 5 March they were surrounded by 150 Ottoman troops. Although they were vastly outnumbered, Topulli and his fighters managed to keep the Turks at bay from dawn until dusk and then fled into the mountains, an event which was later celebrated in folk ballads such as the following song.

February fled and March then entered.
Gjirokastra’s Turkish gendarmes
Lost their captain. Curse his surname!
With his life he paid, dishonoured.
From Janina came a soldier
To the plane of Mashkullore,
From that tree at Mashkullore,
Çerçiz spoke out in defiance:
“Draw back, sergeant, all your forces,
Let my fighters go their way now,
For these heroes will do battle,
As has been their wont and custom,
Red you’ll be, in crimson spattered.”
“Çerçiz, Hajredin was slaughtered.”
“Makes no difference that they killed him,
Listen carefully, heed me, Kapllan,
We’ll not cease retaliation
On your officers and soldiers,
Place their heads beneath our cleavers
As we thus avenged our Mother.”

21-08-13, 18:31
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vs5UvG3-VxY&ampFrom the poetry of Fan Noli (1882-1965)

Dead in exile

(Elegy written in Berlin on the death of writer and political figure Luigj Gurakuqi, 1879-1925, who had been assassinated in Bari on 2 March 1925 by an agent of Ahmet Zogu.)

Oh mother, mourn our brother,
Cut down by three bullets.
They mocked him, they murdered him,
They called him traitor.

For he loved you when they hated you,
For he wept when they derided you,
For he clothed you when they denuded you,
Oh mother, he died a martyr.

Oh mother, weep bitter tears,
Thugs have slain your son
Who with Ismail Qemali
Raised the valiant standard.

Oh mother, weep for him in Vlora,
Where he bore you freedom,
A soul as pure as snow,
For whom you have no grave.

Oh mother, he did his utmost
With eloquence and heart of iron,
Alive in exile, dead in exile,
This towering liberator.

21-08-13, 18:36
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFTO0H61haoFrom the poetry of Sejfullah Maleshova (1901 - 1971):

How I Love Albania

I've no farm estates or manors,
I've no shops or lofty buildings,
Yet I love my land, Albania -
For a barn in Trebeshina,
For its boulders and its brushwood,
For a hut above Selishta,
For two fields ploughed in Zallishta,
For a cow and for a donkey,
For an ox, a little lambkin,
This is how I love my country
Like a shepherd, like a peasant.

Yes, I love my land, Albania,
For the clover in its meadows,
For a quick and agile maiden,
For its spring of water gurgling
From the cliffs and flowing swiftly
Through the leafy oak tree forests,
Tumbling down to form a river,
Yes, I love my land, Albania,
For the fenugreek in blossom,
For the birds that fly above it,
For the nightingales a-singing,
In the shade and in the brambles,
Trilling songs of love and longing,
This is how I love my country,
Like a poet in devotion.

Yes, I love my land, Albania,
Right from Korça to Vranina,
Where the farmer sets off early
With his hoe and plough a-toiling,
Sows and reaps by sun and moonlight,
Yet, he has no food to live on,
Where the farrier and saddler
Day and night stoop o'er their duties
Just to get a few stale breadcrumbs,
Where the porter at the dockyards,
Laden down with iron and barrels,
Bears his load, barefoot and ragged,
Always serving other people.
Yes, I love my land, Albania,
Right from Skopje to Janina,
Where its people in misfortune
Suffer, live their lives in serfdom,
Yet they have a fighting spirit -
This is how I love my country,
Like a revolutionary.

21-08-13, 18:41
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKmbu_O2zY0 From the poetry of Naim Frasheri (1846-1900)

Oh mountains of Albania

Oh mountains of Albania and you, oh trees so lofty,
Broad plains with all your flowers, day and night I contemplate you,
You highlands so exquisite, and you streams and rivers sparkling,
Oh peaks and promontories, and you slopes, cliffs, verdant forests,
Of the herds and flocks I'll sing out which you hold and which you nourish.
Oh you blessed, sacred places, you inspire and delight me!
You, Albania, give me honour, and you name me as Albanian,
And my heart you have replenished both with ardour and desire.
Albania! Oh my mother! Though in exile I am longing,
My heart has ne'er forgotten all the love you've given to me.
When a lambkin from its flock strays and does hear its mother's bleating,
Once or twice it will give answer and will flee in her direction,
Were others, twenty-thirty fold, to block its path and scare it,
Despite its fright it would return, pass through them like an arrow,
Thus my wretched heart in exile, here in foreign land awaiting,
Hastens back unto that country, swift advancing and in longing.
Where cold spring water bubbles and cool breezes blow in summer,
Where the foliage grows so fairly, where the flowers have such fragrance,
Where the shepherd plays his reed pipe to the grazing of the cattle,
Where the goats, their bells resounding, rest, yes 'tis the land I long for.

21-08-13, 18:47
The music of Jericho is a fusion between rock, alternative, electronics and traditional ethnic Albanian music characteristic for region of Kosovo and northern Albania.

Band members:

Petrit Çarkaxhiu - Vocal & Rhythm Guitar
Leonard Canhasi - Solo Guitar
Suad Jamini - Bass Guitar
Visar Rexha - Drums
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_nGgWejv-8 Our Song

Mother is asking: "Where are my boys, where have they gone?"
a great shame has stepped the gates of our home
stone upon stone, they're pulling down our tower
come back my boys, how could you forget your Mother

O God give us back the honor of home
in this dread of solitude don't leave us alone

Wake up brother, there is no other day but today
Mother is calling, her tears of mourn are about to waste
stone upon stone, our tower we'll pull it up again
the time has come to kick out of home this shame

O God give us back the honor of home
in this dread of solitude don't leave us alone

How fleeting the years have gone
that memory brings back this song
how easy we all forgot
the pain we felt once long ago

those songs we sang jointly
remained an echo in the memory
all now are singing lonely
my country is an 'orphan'

once more if we could walk
and be reunited like once upon a time
a heart for a heart law
become a flag for all of us

the hand that stretches out when I fall
it's the one that is holding us tight
don't let it be forgotten
for we have no other hearth

21-08-13, 18:50
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v90XIaX3yE0 Cold November

Is there a memory, oh to warm me up on these days?
Is there a path which makes me turn as a man and look ahead?
Is there a memory to give us a meaning, won't you tell me?
Oh won't you tell me, where to find the strength to sing today?

Still fresh is that glance of scorn
Still fresh that cold ache in bones
Still fresh even the traces left by the footsteps on the road
A frozen glance fell upon the home which I never saw anymore

Cold November haunts me still today
cold November in years echos

A century passed on walking but yet we fell
A century passed but on our feet yet we can't stand
A century passed of lessons, yet how come we learnt nothing?
Oh ignorant mind, a greedy eye a whole nation can pull down
How much longer till we love each other
how much longer till we change our own destiny
how much longer till someone else's life we value
Oh won't you tell me, where to find the strength to sing today?

Cold November haunts me still today
cold November,
oh November…

They swore and hit me, "the unfaithful you'll turn" - they told me
they undressed and dressed me, even myself I recognize no longer
the veil they sew for me, oh how proudly today I hold it
the dance they started, oh like a bride how beautiful the step I pride

21-08-13, 18:54
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IE_Wgq7HzAE Mother's Milk

Orient-Occident, Occident or Orient
to the market they take you like a sheep
between the two civilizations
both have taken you by the rope
both are pulling you and you're foaming
you're tiresome
long time you've been standing in the noise
you've got to breathe, they're choking you
your have no voice left out to scream
so violently they've messed you up in your head
and how much longer till they all chop you to pieces
till they split you and boil you
till you understand that you won't be keeping on in confusion
the baby won't be able to eat the roasted chicken
won't be able to eat the chilly pepper
you're forcing the baby to go and run
before s/he can start to walk first
you might as well give it an arabian pacifier
or you might give it a french pacifier
but still s/he will demand for the mother's milk, you moron!
mother's milk, you moron!

22-08-13, 14:59

22-08-13, 15:00

22-08-13, 15:04
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0k2GJW8F38M 0:42 Gjergj Kastrioti(6 May 1405 – 17 January 1468), widely known as Skanderbeg, was a 15th-century Albanian lord. He was appointed as the governor of the Sanjak of Dibra by the Ottoman Turks in 1440. In 1444, he initiated and organized the League of Lezhë, which proclaimed him Chief of the League of the Albanian people, and defended the region of Albania against the Ottoman Empire for more than two decades. Skanderbeg's military skills presented a major obstacle to Ottoman expansion, and he was considered by many in western Europe to be a model of Christian resistance against the Ottoman Muslims. 1:10 Queen Teuta was an Illyrian queen of the Ardiaei tribe who reigned approximately from 231 BC to 227 BC. Despite her ongoing acts of piracy, she is revered for her resistance and free will against her persecutors. 3:32 Ali Pasha of Tepelena or of Yannina, surnamed Aslan, "the Lion", or the "Lion of Yannina", (1740 - 24 January 1822) was an Ottoman Albanian ruler of the western part of Rumelia, the Ottoman Empire's European territory which was also called Pashalik of Yanina. 3:47 Shote Galica (1895 - 1927) was a warrior of çeta (guerrilla group, from the word Centuriae, military formation) of the Albanian insurgent national liberation with the goal of unification of all Albanian territories, and supporting a democratic national government in Albania. Azem Galica, was an Albanian nationalist who fought for the unification of Kosovo with Albania. 4:00 Mic Sokoli (1839 - 1881) was an Albanian nationalist figure. He was a noted guerrilla leader during the years of the League of Prizren and took part in the fighting in Yakova against Mehmet Ali Pasha. Mic Sokoli is remembered in particular for an act that has entered the chronicles of Albanian legendry as a deed of exemplary heroism. At the battle of Slivova against Ottoman forces in April 1881, he thrust himself against a Turkish cannon, his chest pressed against its mouth, and died heroically in battle. 4:32 Pashko Vasa (1825, Shkodër, Albania, Ottoman Empire – June 29, 1892, Beirut, Lebanon, Ottoman Empire) also known as Vaso Pasha or Vaso Pashë Shkodrani, was an Albanian writer, poet and publicist of the Albanian National Awakening. 4:41 Frasheri Brothers Abdyl Frashëri (June 1, 1839 - October 23, 1892) was a prominent Hero of Albania. Frasheri was an Albanian Statesman, diplomat, and politician in the Ottoman Empire. He is one of the first Albanian political ideologues of the Albanian National Awakening, being an initiator and prominent Leader of Albanian League of Prizren. Sami Frashëri (June 1, 1850 – June 18, 1904) was an Albanian writer, philosopher, playwright and a prominent figure of the National Renaissance movement of Albania, together with his two brothers Abdyl and Naim. Naim Frashëri (25 May 1846 – 20 October 1900) was an Albanian poet and writer. He was one of the most prominent figures of the Albanian National Awakening of the 19th century, together with his two brothers Sami and Abdyl. He is widely regarded as the national poet of Albania. 4:45 Çerçiz Topulli (1880 - 15 July 1915) was a patriotic nationalist figure and guerrilla fighter. He was known for fighting the Turks in 1907 and 1908 and then, after the Turks left, the Greeks, who invaded in 1913 and 1914. 5:02 Hasan Prishtina originally known as Hasan Berisha (born 1873 in Vıçıtırın, Kosovo Province, Ottoman Empire – died 1933 in Thessaloniki, Greece) was an Albanian politician, who served as Prime Minister of Albania in December 1921. 5:12 Isa Boletini (January 15, 1864 – January 23, 1916) was an Albanian nationalist figure and guerilla fighter, born in the village of Boletin near Mitroviça, Ottoman Empire. He was a freedom fighter in Kosovo and became a major figure of Albanian resistance against the Ottomans, Serbia and Montenegro. 5:36 Theofan Stilian Noli, better known as Fan Noli (January 6, 1882 – March 13, 1965) was an Albanian-American writer, scholar, diplomat, politician, historian, orator, and founder of the Albanian Orthodox Church, who served as prime minister and regent of Albania in 1924 during the June Revolution. 5:44 Gjergj Fishta (October 23, 1871 – December 30, 1940) was an Albanian Franciscan friar, poet, rilindas, and a translator. Notably he was the chairman of the commission of the Congress of Monastir, which sanctioned the Albanian alphabet. In 1921 he became the Vice President of the Albanian parliament. In 1937 he completed and published his epic masterpiece Lahuta e Malcís, an epic poem written in Gheg dialect of Albanian. It contains 17,000 lines and is considered the "Albanian Iliad". Gjergj Fishta was the first Albanian candidate for the The Nobel Prize in Literature. 5:54 Adem Jashari (28 November 1955 – 7 March 1998) is considered to be one of the chief architects of the Kosovo Liberation Army. Jashari was a chief commander in the Drenica operation zone of the KLA. 5:57 Ibrahim Rugova (2 December 1944 – 21 January 2006) was the first President of Kosovo, serving from 1992 to 2000 and again from 2002 to 2006, and a prominent Kosovo Albanian political leader, scholar, and writer. He oversaw a popular struggle for independence, advocating a peaceful resistance to Yugoslav rule and lobbying for U.S. and European support, especially during the Kosovo War.

22-08-13, 15:06
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDqCfdYZDTM My blood

why don't you love me??
why don’t i love you??
(when) we have grown up together
there's so few of us
and we suffer so much
yet we are of one blood

issues that are not insured
that ruin your trust
take a step and a see
we can't find a proper path

you have to hold on in this world
Hit me trample me take out your anger
i am of your blood, look and see
no one (truly) loves you as much as i do
turn your trust to me again

we lie to ourselves these days
we bow our heads
you and i
we have lost our senses

22-08-13, 15:21
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lb3XJ0CO7F0In post-war Kosova, apart from all the socio-economical problems that resulted from the conflict, the issue of the missing persons still touches the lives of many families. The fate of thousands of people still remains unknown. Reflecting this issue, Koperativa designed and produced Eliza Hoxhas music video, featuring short stories of nostalgia, vanishing memories and loneliness. Using different layers of expression such as typographic design, video and photography, the video tackles the issue in a rather more poetic way, setting the viewer on an emotional state and raising awareness about the issue of missing persons.

22-08-13, 15:31
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Pl-9M3gVxYOh Arberi
(During the Middle Ages, the Albanians called their country Arbëri or Arbëni and referred to themselves as Arbëresh or Arbnesh)

At the shore seagulls speed flying
like our song full of yearn
we sing with love from afar
oh Arberia

Our ancestors left you in sorrow
how long gone without seeing you
but today you are like a flower
oh Albania

Waves of the sea foam full of eddies
together with friends at the shore we came
for how much yearn we have, the sea has no waves
oh you Beautiful Arberia
we gaze from afar and on you contemplate
oh Beautiful Albania

The branches dance, you a root farther apart
among the waves of storms
so many years forlorn
but your branches never withering
oh Arberia

This song of ours, for you always
haunts us like a fire at the bosom
at your hearth we are forever
oh Albania

22-08-13, 15:34
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGXArzeuavIFrom the poetry of Naim Frasheri (1846-1900)

The Words of the Candle

Here among you have I risen,
And aflame am I now blazing,
Just a bit of light to give you,
That I change your night to daytime,
I'll combust and I will wither,
Be consumed and be extinguished,
Just to give you brightness, vision,
That you notice one another,
For you will I fade and tarnish,
Of me there will be no remnant,
I will burn, in tears lamenting,
My desire I cannot suffer.
Of the fire I am not fearful,
I will never be extinguished
If I burn of my desire,
Try to shine as best I'm able.
When you see that I have vanished,
Do not think that I have perished,
I'm alive, among the living,
In the rays of truth I'm standing,
In your souls do I take refuge,
Do not think I'm stranger to you,
Patience was bestowed upon me,
Thus I glow with steadfast courage,
Doing good is all I long for,
That you not remain in darkness.
Forward now and gather 'round me
Talk, smile, eat, drink and make merry,
Love within my soul is harboured,
Yes, for mankind am I burning,
Let me melt and let me smoulder,
To grow cold I do not wish for.
Let my wretched corpse be consumed
For our true God the Almighty,
May my lungs scorch, charred to ashes,
For mankind I'll melt and vanish,
With me all man's joys I'll carry,
Bear them to the Lord Almighty.
Humanity is what I long for,
Goodness, gentleness and wisdom,
If you'll with me be companions?
If you'll love me as I love you,
If you all love one another,
Work not for the Prince of Darkness.
Venture towards me, fleeting heart, do
Come, approach this fire a little!
Though the flame may singe your wings, it's
Sure to sanctify your spirit.
With the torch that here consumes me
I the eyes of men have opened,
Been of them a true companion.
I do know them, they do know me,
I've observed them all in passing,
Mothers, kith and kin, and fathers,
All of them are my concern still,
All who lived here on this planet,
Even now I see them 'mongst you,
For I recognize their spirits.
I, like you, have changed, transfigured,
Changed and altered my companions,
Many times have I turned into
Earth and wind and fire and water.
I'm a spark come from the heavens,
From the sun I'm glowing embers,
Through the skies I fly, a-soaring,
And live deep within the ocean,
Often in the soil I sleep or
Take my rest in fruits and honey,
I'm a suckling lamb or kid goat,
Flower, grass or leaves a-sprouting,
So much do I have to tell you,
Yet I fear my speech will fail me.
What's the point to put to paper
Words this flickering tongue's inspired?

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27-08-13, 19:50
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pW0-5ufba7A The Arbëreshë are a linguistic and ethnic Albanian minority community living in southern Italy, especially the regions of Basilicata, Molise, Apulia, Calabria and Sicily.They settled in Southern Italy in the 15th to 18th centuries AD in several waves of migrations, following the death of the Albanian national hero George Kastrioti Skanderbeg and the gradual conquest of Albania and throughout the Byzantine Empire by the Ottoman Turks.

27-08-13, 19:55
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55USbm8NdLA Arvanites are a population group in Greece who traditionally speak Arvanitika, a dialect of the Albanian language. They settled in Greece during the late Middle Ages and were the dominant population element of some regions of the Peloponnese and Attica until the 19th century.Arvanites today self-identify as Greeks.

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05-11-13, 05:41
Hello guys I'm Probably posting in the wrong place but I have checked the previous forum sections for Music/Albania and there does not seem to be a section for my query. I am wondering if anyone here knows where I might be able to get free Clarinet music sheets online for traditional Albanian folk songs.. Any help would be appreciated.

12-01-14, 14:35

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12-01-14, 15:03
Hello guys I'm Probably posting in the wrong place but I have checked the previous forum sections for Music/Albania and there does not seem to be a section for my query. I am wondering if anyone here knows where I might be able to get free Clarinet music sheets online for traditional Albanian folk songs.. Any help would be appreciated.

M'vjen keq, nuk jam ne gjendje per me t'ndihmu. Provo ne ndonje forum shqiptar.

04-03-14, 22:04
Born in Tirana, Albania, in 1981, in an artist family, Elina Duni makes her first steps on stage as a singer at the age of five and sings for the National Radio and Television.
In 1991 after the fall of the communist regime, she arrives in Switzerland and settles in Geneva together with her mother where she starts the classical piano and discovers jazz.
Some musical, film and theater projects after, she studies singing and composition at the Hochschule der Künste Bern, in the jazz department.
During this time she develops the Elina Duni Quartet with Colin Vallon on piano, Patrice Moret on double bass and Norbert Pfammatter on drums – which represents a return to her musical sources, a combination of Balkan folk songs and jazz.

Cover of traditional song:


04-03-14, 22:08
Cover of traditional song:


25-07-14, 22:47
Cover of traditional song:


25-07-14, 22:51
Dedicated to sexually abused women during the last war in Kosovo


Who am I?
A hopeless body, yet still in motion
It is I, who am I?
A soul in oblivion, a life in recollection
Suppressed, crestfallen,
tired, defeated I stand
Is it I?Is it I? Is it I?

Silence tears me up, yet silence keeps me going
Cause it is the only life I have got
And silence hurts, wrecks me daily
Yet remains the only friend I can get
To talk to, and what can I say
Other than, I am in pain, so much pain

This is not I, my mirth long forgotten
And the day is over, no, no, no
It is no longer I, an endless darkness
And a roaring silence......
Suppressed, crestfallen,
tired, defeated I stand
Is it I?Is it I? Is it I?

Silence tears me up, yet silence keeps me going
Cause it is the only life I have got
And silence hurts, wrecks me daily
Yet remains the only friend I can get
To talk to, and what can I say

Listen, you listen to me
I shall step forward, return to life
Now, you listen to me
I shall find some strength to break the silence

25-07-14, 22:54

The sky sheds its light over the city,
while the soul leaves the body in solitude,
this distant voice once again leaves me uneasy,
posing a million questions to the scene.

Oh how fearful it is to think of my life as only a drop in the water,
no, it can’t be solely by chance, the pain that a mother feels when her kid is suffering,
no, it can’t be solely poetry when the heart shivers in the presence of love,
no, it can’t be solely irony when living amongst millions of injustices.

As a new life is born, a new universe is formed,
as another one fades in the immortal foreverness,
sadness surrounds when believing that all we are, are passengers of time.

No, it can’t be solely by chance, the pain that a mother feels when her kid is suffering,
no, it can’t be solely poetry when your heart shivers in the presence of love,
no, it can’t be solely irony when living amongst millions of injustices.

As much as it scares me, it also leaves me speechless,
at the end, this mystery is not only a tale,
as I am still alive.

No, they can’t be solely history, the ones that gave their lives in the fight against slavery,
no, it can’t be solely fantasy, the power of a dream which knows neither time nor boundaries,
no, it can’t be solely a miracle, to pave your future for a life in continuation,
perhaps we are one, perhaps we are energy, derived from the same pain and the same happiness,
forever human.

25-07-14, 22:55

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24-11-14, 20:59
North Albania

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1aCNrH1tq8 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1aCNrH1tq8)

24-11-14, 21:18
South Albania


24-11-14, 21:50


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04-01-15, 14:33
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vg53ugGVvo8 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vg53ugGVvo8)

06-02-15, 22:43
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PF-PNYrjnKg (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PF-PNYrjnKg)

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18-02-15, 19:57

Very nice tune

21-05-15, 20:57


21-05-15, 21:02
South Albania


21-05-15, 21:04
North Albania


21-05-15, 21:06


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21-05-15, 21:11
Central Albania


21-05-15, 21:14
North Albania


21-05-15, 21:16
North Albania


21-05-15, 21:26
Very nice tune

"Vallja e Shotes" is an idyllic dance for a girl and a boy, showing their interest in each other. At first the girl is teasing the boy, then the boy shows as though he is not interested in her, but in the end the boy receives the scarf of the girl, showing her love for him and sometimes the girl receives the scarf of the boy in return.

The dance and tune "Shota" is often related to the Kosovar female freedom fighter Shotë Galica, wife of the freedom fighter Azem Bejt Galica. For Kosovo and Albania she has a status as one of the people who fought for independence of the Albanians in the year 1919 and onwards and was declared a Peoples Heroin by the Albanian government after WWII. Despite the rules of the "Kanuni i Lekë Dukagjinit /The Code of Lekë Dukagjini" (a set of traditional Albanian laws), she dressed up as a man and fought alongside her husband.




01-06-15, 20:58
As part of the central traditional structure of Albanian customs, the wedding represents a moment of particular importance in the life of an Albanian.


The age of engagement of two people in Albanian tradition has been a relative notion that has often changed over time. Even though there were definite parameters in the majority of the population, the average age for the man was 20 to 30, while for the woman it was 15 to 18. Exceptions were not rare and often they were extreme. They were greatly dependent onsocial and economic circumstances and family relations, civil status, etc.

Betrothal of unborn children

Betrothal of unborn children is an archaic form that has now ceased to exist, but it was found until a few years after the Second World War. Even at that time it was not common, rather a rarity.
This kind of engagement happened during occasional gatherings, particularly during festivities, where two pregnant women were friends, especially if the friendship was based ongood relations between families that were highly esteemed for their wealth, honor, courage and patriotism.
The engagement was made with a verbal agreement between the two pregnant women (without consulting the husband or anyone from the family, including the head of the house, which (head of family) at that time was considered as family cult) in case the babies were of the opposite gender. The engagement would be respected and was obligatory.It could not be broken, otherwise it would be avenged in blood. The families would wait for their children to reach the age of marriage and then the wedding ceremony would take place.

Betrothal of infants

As regards procedure it is identical to the engagement of unborn children, but now the engagement is made by mothers while their children are still in cradles. In identical circumstances and conditions of evaluation, at a moment that the mothers consider appropriate, usually during festivities and with mutual agreement, mothers agree on their infants' engagement. Afterwards, they inform the husbands, who inform the head of the house in the presence of family members.
The betrothal of unborns or infants used to be done by men as well. This would happen when two men formed a friendship based on mutual trust, honor and character, during military service, emigration or war, and they would see this is an opportunity to deepen their friendship.

Betrothal through matchmaker

This was one of the forms of engagement that survived the longest, as a form of family creation in the Albanian marriage tradition. Nowadays this form is almost extinct, even though it can be found occasionally as a tradition and a formal act, rather than a functional one. The "journey" called engagement would start at the moment the boy or the girl reached the appropriate age for engagement, which was usually the beginning of puberty. From that moment, the boy's family, but mostly his mother, grandmother or sisters - especially the married ones - would start to "pick out" girls that met the requirements for their son, grandson,or brother. The requirements were higher he was the only son in the family, or the only child in the family. When this was the case, the family would try to arrange an engagement as early as possible, in order that he married at the correct time.
According to tradition, first a family friend (mik - refers to the head of the family on the bride's side) had to befound who would correspond to the level of the boy's family. Often, families would aspire to establish friendly ties with families that were renowned for their virtues, morale, courage, patriotism and faithfulness. Even more frequently, the family of the boy would hold itself in very high esteem in order to match that of the future bride, even though in reality they were not equals. The future bride's requirements were even greater: She had to have brothers and sisters (it was preferable to have as many brothers as possible); her mother must have breastfed all her children; her family had to belong to a known clan - fis - but not to the same one as the groom, and the clans had to be separated in blood from each other for at least 7 generations; her family had to be known as trustworthy and hospitable. If such a family could be found, the beauty of the girl were completely irrelevant; the important thing was that she had no "disability". As time passed, the physical appearance of the girl became more important and the mother, sisters or aunts of the boy resorted to meeting the girl in beforehand in order to decide whether to go further with the two youngsters' acquaintance.
After this, the matchmaking process would start.
The boy's uncle (his mother's brother) would usually be appointed as the matchmaker - misit. This was done in order to preserve the family line from the mother's side. However, the matchmaking duty could be carried out by some other member of the family or a person related by blood, clan, territory or friendship. As soon as the matchmaker got the message from the head of the boy's family, he would go to the family of the girl in order to inform them of the intentions of the boy's family. The matchmaker's duty was to offer the family of the girl a sort of "identification passport" for the boy's family, regardless of whether the two families knew each other or not. He informed them about the family, its size, financial and social status, virtues, character, moral, loyalty, their ancestors and the clan to which they belong. It was also the matchmaker's duty to convey to the girl's family the approval and honor that the boy's family felt at having the chance to establish a friendship with NN - the father of the girl, as a well respected and honored family in the region. The matchmaker would not demand a decision on the first visit - an answer, but he would give enough space to the family of the girl for them to think about the proposal, ask around about the boy's family, discuss the matter with relatives, etc. In course of this, the girl's father, or some other elderly man of the house who held the duties of the head of the family, when sayinggoodbye to the matchmaker from the doors of the yard, said: "if it is meant to be".
When the family of the girl had decided to confirm the friendship with the boy's family, in the evening, after having dinner, the head of the house would inform the matchmaker of their decision by saying, "We await the new day", alluding to the morning of the next day tradition stated that the betrothal was celerated - "përhajr fjala e fejesës", even though nothing specific is promised. On the morning of the following day, the father of the girl, or someone else, would invite the elderly relatives of the family and in the presence of the matchmaker would order coffee for everyone. The matchmaker would not start to drink the coffee until the father congratulated him on the betrothal. This ritual, which was a sort of unwritten rule, would begin on the first visit of the matchmaker when he would say to the girl's father, "oh, NN, I was asked by NN to ask for your daughter's hand in marriage with the son of NN, and they have the honor of bonding the friendship with you". The head of the family would answer: "May the one who asked for my family's friendship have honor, and let it be as it may".
The next level of the ritual was reached when the girl's father addressed the matchmaker on this solemn occasion with the words: "…oh NN (the matchmaker) sends greetings to NN (the friend of family - boy's father) that I have accepted him as a friend of family and I give my daughter, NN (name of the daughter), to his son, NN (boy's name), and may it do them good. The matchmaker replied to him: "May it do well to you and may you have honor. May you have many grandsons and granddaughters and may you see them married. Congratulations to both families" .Then the betrothal was celebrated between the men present at the event as they stood up and greeted each other. Then they would sit down and drink the coffee as a sign that the betrothal had been arranged. After this, the matchmaker and the father of the girl would agree on the future stages of the betrothal ceremony, about which the matchmaker would inform the family of the boy.
The matchmaker, joyous over the fact that he had successfully completed the matchmaking, would go eagerly to the house of the boy and inform them of the betrothal. On this occasion, the family of the boy would fire guns to notify the neighborhood that NN found a "bride for his son" (his son is engaged) and had "become friends with Mr. so and so".

01-06-15, 20:59
THE WORD(promise)

The word of the bride is the first ceremony of the official marriage rite in which both families (of the future bride and groom) participate.
The matchmaker's presence at this ceremony is obligatory. The word of the bride is organized in the boy's house and all the expenses are covered by his family. The ceremony is always organized in the evening, when a ritual dinner is prepared, and continues until noon on the following day, when a suitable lunch would be arranged. The promise - fjala - would always be conveyed by the matchmaker, accompanied by two, three or four, though rarely more than four, members of the bride's family. In most cases, the matchmaker is accompanied by the uncles of the bride, her brother and, very rarely, by her father. All the family members and relatives are invited to the groom's house. They are called pritës - the ones who welcome the guests. They usually come to an oda - reception room - before the bride's family members arrive.
When a divorced or widowed woman is engaged, the word of the bride ceremony is not organized. In such cases, only seven people from the groom's side go to take the bride from her house, and this is done on a Tuesday. A widowed or divorced woman would wear only women's, not girl's, clothes, even if she lives at her parents' home, waiting to be remarried.


From the moment the girl is promised, i.e. when the word is given, she starts to prepare her dowry. In olden times, when the bride had to make clothes for the groom's family, the groom's family had to fulfill the demands of the bride's family by sending at least 100 kilograms of sheeps' wool, and at least 100 yards of cotton for clothing.
In addition to this, the bride-to-be would crochet different types of clothes and household coverings, with the exception of "market items", which referred to items that are produced by craftsmen or industry, such as various clothing accessories. The purchase of these "market items" would be the final step in completing the preparation of the dowry.
The bride would prepare all the clothing for herself, her husband and her future children, as well as the clothes she would wear in her old age and when she dies - on the "day of her death" - and the shroud that her body would be covered with when she died.


As soon as dowry preparations have been completed and, following continuous consultation between the two families (sometimes this would take several years), there would be a moment when the groom's family would go to the bride's family to "cut the deal" and "take the thread".
This meant that the wedding day was approaching and the only thing remaining was to set the date . Setting the date would be done on the same day as the "thread was taken"- which was a sort of a measurement of the girl that would be taken so the groom's family could purchase fitting clothes for the bride. The head of the groom's house would usually go to set and to take the measure .
Before the date was set, the members of the girl's family would consult with the head woman of the family, who would consult the mother and the girl in advance.
According to tradition, the wedding day would usually be set for a Monday or a Thursday. However, this tradition has recently been broken, as the majority of the population is employed or abroad, so now the wedding ceremony usually takes place on a Sunday.
If the bride's father did not limit the amount of clothes the groom's family had to buy, the head of the groom's house together with the head woman, or the mother of the bride, would go out shopping, according to the taken measurement, and purchase "market items", including wooden cases (handmade), blankets and clothing accessories such as earrings, rings, necklace, bracelet, wrist watch, henna for the bride - all the things that the girl could not make herself. The measurement, i.e. "the thread" would not be taken from the girl's body, but from that of a family member, in order to avoid possibility of black magic.
Nowadays, the purchasing of clothes is done by the girl herself together with her fiancé, often in the company of their sisters, just to have a second opinion.

01-06-15, 21:00

From the moment the wedding date is set, the groom's house begins daily preparations for this ceremony. The public/official moment of the wedding's commencement is considered to be the moment when the household members start to clean the wheat for the preparation of the traditional wedding dish, called qyshkek, which is made of boiled wheat with water and sugar.
This process is mainly of a ritual character. It is carried out in the yard, three days before the start of the wedding.
On two sofra (traditional low tables), a certain amount of wheat is poured, which is then cleaned by the old women and girls of the clan and the neighborhood, accompanied by songs and dancing with tambourine and "tepsi" (a type of large copper or aluminum baking pan). Then the wheat is beaten - pressed with "dybek" - so it is easier to boil.
Meanwhile, as far as the men are concerned, the wedding starts by cutting the wood and preparing the men's oda (reception room), as well as the cook's preparations. These things are done after they have been discussed with relatives and fellow-villagers. This is organized three days before the wedding starts, and at this point they divide all the different tasks between family and clan members. The head of the house is in charge of (food) supplies, while organizing and working with the wedding ceremony itself is delegated to relatives and neighbors.

Wedding invitations

When the wedding was organized according to traditional norms, the process of inviting the wedding guests, depending on distances, started one month before the day of the wedding. The wedding day was set 4 to 6 weeks in advance, in order to allow the family of the groom to prepare better for the wedding. Only close relatives could be invited a minimum of one week before the wedding. Inviting a friend 3 or 4 days before the wedding was considered a great insult and he would not reply to the invitation. The invitation would then be accepted only in cases where a special messenger was sent to the door in order to invite that certain person. Invitations made at the market, at the mill, or at some accidental encounter/meeting were not be taken into account. The messenger - person who delivers the invitations - had to be a man and under no circumstances a could it have been a child or juvenile.
It was a particular honor if the head of the house went to invite someone to the wedding personally. Wedding invitations were for the whole family, which meant that all members of that family were invited to the wedding; as far as the daughters were concerned, they were invited as a couple, i.e. with their husbands, as it was considered shameful to invite a woman without her husband.
There were cases when single people (one person from a family) were invited, which was usually the head of the house. However, if he was unable to attend the wedding he would send a "man" from the same house, the same family. A distant relative invited to the wedding could bring two persons to accompany him to the wedding, and this was considered a particular honor for the head of wedding, so the guests were also given great attention and respect from the groom's family. The number of wedding participants usually increased after dinner, when uninvited guests, such as acquaintances from the village and the surrounding villages, arrived and stayed all night to celebrate. With the exception of being served the dinner, the uninvited guests received the same services as the invited guests.
These traditional ways of organizing a wedding already belong to the past, as nowadays invitations are made and accepted via the telephone and other forms of communication.

Wedding gifts

At traditional weddings, the gifts were dedicated to the household that gave the wedding party, and not to the groom. Gifts ranged from modest ones, one kilo of sugar (in lumps) or 1 kilo of coffee, up to a ram or an ox. These last two gifts were usually brought by the uncles for the nephew, or from "jaran" - those who had become very close friends during war, military service or living abroad. These gifts were brought by men.
Meanwhile, women would bring pies made with fat from "buallice" (a type of cow) or sheep.
With the passing of time and lifestyle changes, modern circumstances have resulted in different types of gifts, from cutlery to clothing accessories, household items or even money.

The wedding night

On the morning before the Wedding Night, the man in charge of the wedding orders the raising of the national flag in a visible place at the "oda e krushqve" - wedding participants - which symbolizes beginning of the wedding and is an invitation to everyone to "celebrate the marriage of NN". The head of the family, usually the groom's father or a close relative, stays inside the oda to welcome all the guests who come to give their congratulates.
Visitors can also be welcomed by an elderly man from the brotherhood. The visitors are served coffee and cigarettes.

Oda" of bridegroom's men (krushq)

The reception room where the wedding guests (krushq) are welcomed and received is called an oda. Designated persons with specific tasks are placed at certain points in order to receive and welcome the guests and guide them to the oda.
When guests arrive at the entrance of the oda they are welcomed by an "odabashi" who guides them to their place in oda; certain persons are also designated to take care of the carts, horses and oxen.
"Pritesit" the people that welcome the guests, are in charge of receiving the gifts from the guests at the entrance to the yard and wishing them welcome.
According to tradition, as the guest approaches the oda they fire shots as a sign of arrival (shots would usually be fired by the uncle of the groom, or a close friend of the family).
The seating places in the oda also had their own significance, the fireplace side was always reserved for the clergy, but, in their absence, elderly persons coming from respected far away lands could also be seated there. A special place is also reserved for the "bajraktar" (the person in charge of holding the flag) for elderly men according to their age and level of friendship with the head of the family, for the village teacher, doctors, and for uninvited guests who come in company of invited ones.
When the guests are seated, the "pritës" of the oda will welcome them, greet and thank them for taking the trouble to come to the wedding - usually using these expressions:
a question directed to the eldest men of the "pritësit":
…are you wedding a man? the elderly man answers: …yes, I am
Then the guest says, "Congratulations and may they have good fortune, may they have a lot descendants, and may you see the birth and marriage of many grandsons and granddaughters", to which the elder replies: "Thank you for coming and may you have good fortune"

Cigarettes and coffee are served constantly. Soon after the guests gather, the singers arrive. These are usually two people from the region who are known to cultivate the folkloric tradition. The repertoire of songs is very diverse, ranging from historic songs, to elegies and lyric songs, so they suit the taste and requests of guests of every age.
Shots would be fired at the end of the songs or even during them, as a sign of admiration for the characters in the songs, their deeds, or because of memories of youth.

Wedding Day

On the wedding day, all the tasks must be carried out in time; the preparation of the "bride's carriage", the "seksana's carriage" (dowry carriage), feeding the wedding guests before departing for the bride's house, selecting the bridesmaids for the bride's carriage, the "old woman of the carriage" and the "carriage boy".
The celebrations on the wedding day continue in the same manner as on the night before the wedding.
The departure time to the house of the bride depends on its distance from the groom's house, however it is always after lunch. The order of procession of the wedding guests is regulated by "odabashi", who used to be called "quash".

The bride's carriage is covered with red rugs. In olden times, an elderly woman, accompanied by another bride from the house and a small boy would leave along with the bride's carriage.
As the years went by, the number of people traveling with the bride's carriage eventually rose to nine people.
The carriage boy would usually be five to ten years of age. He had to have both parents and have sisters and brothers.

After the procession of the wedding guests has been put in order, it is led by the "bajraktar" - historically, the flag was held by two elderly people who were skilled at handling weapons, because they had to protect the flag if necessary.
After the flagman came the clergy, followed by the elderly men and then the rest of the guests, according to age and how well they were respected.
The departure of wedding guests (bridegroom's men) was accompanied by highland songs and gunshots.
When approaching the house of the bride the singers would start singing highland songs again, in order to announce their arrival. Young men from the bride's family would attend to the horses and carriages whilethe bridegroom's men were visiting the bride's house.
After everyone is seated, the "pritësit" welcome the bridegroom's men.
The father of the bride addresses the father of the groom, or some other appointed person, and congratulates him on the marriage, thus leading the way to others to congratulate each other. This is followed by coffee and cigarettes. Then, the singers begin to sing. Those present in the room listen to the songs in silence. When the song is over, someone announces "we are ready, but we can stay as much as you like" as a sign that it is time for the bridegroom's men to leave.
While the bridegroom's men were in the oda, the flag was guarded by one of the members of the bride's family.When the bridegroom's men are ready to leave, the flagman leaves first, rewards the guard with money for guarding the flag and takes the flag, which has been decorated with gifts in the meantime, shirts and towels, etc.
The bride is taken out of the house by her brother, who punches her in the back. Handing her over to the father of the groom is done by her father , while they hold each other's hands and say, "Congratulations and may my blood be of your service".
The departure of the bridegroom's men is accompanied by highland songs and gunshots from both sides.

When the wedding procession arrives in the village, the participants once again start singing highland songs and shooting. Before passing the gates to the yard, one of the participants in the procession calls the groom by name three times and shoots into the air three times.
When the bridal carriage enters the yard of the house, an elderly woman throws candies mixed with corn, wheat and coins over the carriage. On the ground, where the bride will first step when leaving the carriage, a member of the groom's family will place a colander or a bushel containing a chicken egg and covered with a sack.

Before the bride is taken out of the carriage, according to tradition, a young boy has to enter the carriage, however he is blindfolded so that he cannot see the bride, only touch her. The bride is not allowed to look at the boy either, except to give him a gift, which he must not open until the end of the wedding.

The bride climbs down from the carriage with the help of her father-in-law or brother-in-law. The bride's first step out of the carriage is taken with her right foot, while with her right hand she touches the horse's buttocks.
She also steps on to the sack in front of her with her right foot, and then she is led to her place on the divan. At this time the groom is hidden somewhere in the house and he watches the bride. The bride does the same thing.
While this is happening the wedding guests sing and dance, accompanied by the music.

After staying for about half an hour on the divan, a plate with honey is brought to the bride, into which she dips her fingers. At the moment she enters the house, she will touch the top of the door frame three times with her fingers. She is then led into her room to rest for a while. However, whenever someone enters the room, be they young or old, the bride has to stand up as a sign of respect.

01-06-15, 21:01
The groom's entrance to the "gjerdek" (his wedding room)

The ritual preparation of the groom was done while the bridegroom's men were still at the bride's house. After the wedding day dinner, a senior family member would call for the groom and some of his close friends, and take him aside to one of the corners of the oda. Here, he would explain some rules to the groom.
Standing upfrom this part of the room, in the company of his friends, the groom walks to the door of his bedroom.
He pretends to be reluctant to enter, but as the groom opens the door, his friends abruptly punch him on the back. Inside the bedroom, the bride waits for the groom standing up.

Breaking the kulaç (bread bun)

The bun is ritual bread made by women on the wedding night, in the presence of a boy who has both parents.
The women would put three plisa (Albanian traditional hat) on top of the boy's head as a sign of magical homeopathic gestures to imitate the birth of male children.

This ritual bread has a marking in the middle, dividing the bun in to two unequal parts, perhaps symbolic of domination. This bread is given to the newlyweds on the first morning of their marriage, i.e. on a Tuesday or Friday morning. They then break the bun in two parts, each trying to get the biggest piece for themselves, as it is believed that the one with the biggest piece of the bun would dominate in the family.
After this act, the bride receives the gifts from the wedding guests. She is accompanied by a woman of the family, who helps the bride to identify the givers of the gifts. The bride is obliged to take the hand of each guest individually as a sign of respect.
After the wedding guests have eaten, they start to return to their homes. The only guests to stay for longer time are the daughters of the family or aunts of the groom. From this time onwards, the bride is considered to be a member of the family.

First visit of the bride

The first visit of the bride to her family was one month after her wedding day. It was considered the first visit,because for the first time since the marriage the bride's family would come and collect the bride, so she could stay at her parents' house for a week.
On this occasion, the bride's family would dine with the groom's family. When the bride went to her family, she would take some buns that were specially made for this occasion. She would also bring back buns on returning to her husband's house. On both occasions, these buns would be distributed among family and neighbors.
The groom's family members would go to pick up the bride after one week of visiting her parents', though the groom's group would be much larger than the first group of the bride's family members, as a symbol of fertility and increasing family size.

01-06-15, 21:02

In Albanian ethnologic literature, kanagjeq is also described as the wedding party at the maiden's house.
The kanagjeq is comprised of two components: the parents' feeling of joy that their daughter has reached the age of marriage, and the feeling of sadness, because she will no longer be a member of their family.
The rite of kanagjeq represents a ceremony that is different from the wedding. Even its organizational structure and contents are different. While the wedding songs are dominated by joyful verses, the kanagjeq ceremony is dominated by songs that contain verses full of melancholy and sadness, demonstrating the feeling of loss and pain for the young girl that will soon become a bride.

Henna painting

Henna painting is a ceremonial rite with initiation elements.
It is done two nights before the bachelorette party (kanagjeq). It begins in the morning, as the sun rises.
The ceremony consists of putting the henna on the bride's skin, in the form of tattoo, full of symbols representing the transformation from maidenhood to womanhood.
The henna painting is done by a married sister of the bride, or by an aunt or sister-in-law.
Initially, the girl will refuse to put the henna, but gives in due to the persistence of her kin. Henna is used for coloring her hair, fingers and fingernails. No one else takes part in this ceremony and after it the girl is isolated in a room for two days, without any contact with the outside world, until the night of kangjeq.

The night of kanagjeq

The night of kanagjeq is a ritual night that represents an initiation ceremony. On this night, the maiden will undergo a ritual preparation: the ritual bathing and wearing of the bridal costume, which is followed by her appearance in front of the kenagjeq participants.
This ceremonial begins sometime in the middle of the day, when a woman approaches the bride-to-be, and starts "crying" close to her: uttering words "huj, huj, huj". This is the sign that kanagjeq should start. It is followed by the emotional cry of the bride-to-be who is rushed into the room by the women, and she hugs each one of them, while continuing to weep "huj, huj, huj".
The girl will go and greet the kanagjeq participants once more in the evening, while her friends continue to sing.
The songs are dedicated to her life in her parents' house with her brothers and sisters, her social life, including her friends in the neighborhood, school etc. The participants also sing to the life that awaits her in her new family, new relations that will be created in this family, etc.

01-06-15, 21:04
5:34 - 44:41 Traditional wedding


01-06-15, 21:09

01-06-15, 21:10

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01-06-15, 21:15

01-06-15, 21:18
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_JCxuDeGU6I (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_JCxuDeGU6I)

01-06-15, 21:19

01-06-15, 22:08
isn't the coin head band part of Gypsy-Romani ethnicity?

11-06-15, 04:23
Thanks man :)

12-06-15, 21:26

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12-06-15, 21:28

12-06-15, 21:29

12-06-15, 21:49

12-06-15, 21:50

12-06-15, 21:52
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mCb3X3kolY (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mCb3X3kolY)

12-06-15, 21:53

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29-07-15, 20:06

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30-07-15, 20:21

30-07-15, 21:16
cover of traditional song


30-07-15, 21:25
cover of traditional song


30-07-15, 21:33
cover of traditional song


30-07-15, 21:36
cover of traditional song


30-07-15, 21:41
cover of traditional song


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03-08-15, 21:06
South Albania


03-08-15, 21:07
Central Albania


03-08-15, 21:08
North Albania


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03-08-15, 21:14
Albania is a multi religious country, in which, for many centuries, have coexisted four traditional religious communities – the Moslems Suni, the Orthodox, the Catholics and the Moslems Bektashi.
The relationships between them are very good ones, characterized by peace, harmony and collaboration.

Also, in Albania there have been, for many centuries, some Moslem tarikats(sects) – Halveti, Rrifai, Kadri, Saadi, Xhelveti, Gjylsheni, Tixhani and Hajati, which have their particularities in the practices of the Moslem faith. Geographically they are extended all over Albania. The Alevian Tarikats had a very important role in defending and promoting interfaith harmony as well as in the emancipation of the Albanian Society.

The four traditional religious communities are tolerant and collaborative with other religious groups, which have been established in Albania since the year 1990when religious life restarted and the country was opened to the World.

Amongst them are the Evangelical churches, which are organized under the umbrella of VUSH (Albanian Evangelical Brotherhood). The evangelical churches began their activity in Albania in the XIX century and are now present all over Albania.

Also, present in Albania are: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), the Baha`is, the Jehovah’s Witness, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamat in Albania and some others.

During all its very ancient history, there have never been significant religious conflicts in Albania. Even when, in certain moments of history, any delicate problem has appeared, the believers and the intellectual clergymen have been able to resolve them peacefully.

03-08-15, 21:18
Muslim (Kosovo)


03-08-15, 21:21
Muslim (Kosovo)


03-08-15, 21:26
Muslim (Albania)


03-08-15, 21:29
Bektashi (Albania)


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Chatolic (Albania)


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Chatolic (Albania)


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Chatolic (Albania)


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Orthodox (Albania)


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Orthodox (Albania)


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