• October 01, 2014
  • 14:12

About Kosovo

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People l Tradition l Values

For centuries, the ethnic Albanian villagers have lived in Kosovo within extensive families among members consisting of 70 to 100 which were ruled by a chosen patriarch. Up to this date, the Kosovar society is still built on family units in the majority of the rural areas, even though the family structure has progressively eroded since the end of World War II.  

Progress toward modernization started advancing in the 1970’s when the modern educated elite initiated the emerge, however, outside the major cities, in the rural areas, it has been unable to alter the loyalty towards tradition in which a large amount of the Kosovars hold among their extensive families. 

The Kosovars constitute of the Gheg sub-group in which the basis of its social system if based on the clan or “fis”. Among this sub-group is also the sub-clan which is recognized as “vellazeri” consisting of a group of blood-related families.  The clans are extremely devoted to their members and the great blood feuds that were frequent in the past century are no longer present. Although there are various religious beliefs among family units at times, they have been prevailed over by the great power of the clan and the members’ devotion towards it.

Unwritten or customary rules are very frequently practiced as law and order among Kosovars with its principles being as followed:

Personal honor

The equality of persons 

The freedom of each to act in accordance with own honor, with law limits, and without being subject to another’s commands

The word of honor known as “besa” creating a situation of inviolable trust (upon Besa, Kosovars take the person’s honor and the person’s life the remote areas of the country. 

Among the current modern times, the former customs and traditions are gradually vanishing due to the influence of the western world which has even reached remote areas of the country. The elderly generations are the ones who assist in keeping such customs and traditions alive, however. In the major cities of the country, families consist of the parents and children until the latter wish to live separately. Nowadays, females are very frequently well-educated and considered equal members in the families with the freedom to organize and live modern westernized lifestyles.

Among the current modern times, the former customs and traditions are gradually vanishing due to the influence of the western world which has even reached remote areas of the country. In the major cities of the country, families consist of the parents and children until the latter wish to live separately. As well, nowadays, females are very frequently well-educated and considered equal members in the families with the freedom to organize and live modern westernized lifestyles. It is mainly the elderly generations of Kosovo, like in most other cultures and countries, insisting and assisting in keeping such customs and traditions still alive.

Diversity

Learn more about diversity and minorities living in Kosovo.

Art l Music l Theater

Learn more about Art in Kosovo.

Clothes

Learn more about traditional clothing in Kosovo.

Architecture

Learn more about the architectural heritage and architecture in Kosovo.
October 2014
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