Ever met an Albanian and had a chit chat with him/her? If you did, I know you are confirming my words now. If not, let me share with you some secret ways onhow to recognize a true Albanian. But hey, don`t let the cat out of the bag, the secret is only for you!
An Albanian can leave his country behind, but never the habits firmly engraved in everyday behavior and that`s okay. Foreigners who visit Albania and live long enough to notice our habits, often express surprise at some of our behaviors, right or wrong, but that says lot about the mentality and hassle that runs in our blood.
1. Speaking many languages
If you ever meet a person with Caucasian features who speaks more than 4 foreign languages, I promise you that in 99% of cases they will be Albanian. English, Italian, French, German, Turkish and Spanish, and even Portuguese with a frightening ease, without ever traveling abroad. Does the alphabet or origin have merits? I will let you to decide.
2. Very much associated with traditional music
Try this test: Play some Balkan music and wait for the reaction. A true Albanian can`t help but start dancing no matter where he/she is. Many tourists who visit our country fall in love with the rhythms of our folk music and even try to learn traditional dances. It is very impressive the fact that we have easily maintained the presence of folk art in our daily lives. Of course, how can serenades be forgotten? Impossible!
3. Throwing money at weddings
At this point, all have the right to wonder why. It`s crazy how much we like to throw money while dancing at the wedding of our loved ones. Some say it shows blessings, others say it is respectful for the couple who deserves some gifts and some use it as away to show their prosperity. Whatever, bujrum!
4. Drinking coffee anytime
Did you know that a true Albanian doesn`t live by water but by coffee? We drink it all the time. But how do we manage the coffee agenda? Morning newspaper coffee, at work coffee, afternoon in the neighborhood coffee, late with friends coffee. I mean, what is so good about it? The curiosity of foreigners lies in the fact where do we find time for so much coffee. Normally, we do not intend to divulge this secret.
5. 3rd World War for paying at the bar/restaurant
Tradition will survive for centuries. I will personally continue to contribute to keeping this hassle rate alive because it is the most fun moment of meeting a friend. If you are with an Albanian, and he/her allows you to treat him/her without problem, trust me, look for his true roots!
6. Marriage “me mbleseri”
It is a set up marriage, with the approval of the families of the bride and grrom, when they hardly know each other. It seems absurd in 2021, but it still happens in many rural areas, where young people are introduced by their families and can continue to get to know each other only with the approval of family members. Well, earlier in time, there used to be no social networks to get to know the other half, so one of the aunts had to accomplish this mission.
7. “Please stay a bit more!”
If you go for a visit to a true Albanian, they will ask you at least 3 times to stay a bit more before they give up and let you go as per your agenda. When visiting, you will be honored with the great title “Mik” so it is never a random visit. Welcoming and hosting a visitor in our home is one of our favorite things to do, so don`t mind it. Just please, stay a bit more!
8. Some problem with the waiting lines
Here you go! Another secret revealed! Recognize an Albanian just by testing his patience in a long waiting line. It is absolutely not our fault, but the dynamics of life push us into falling in sin and occasionally breaking the norms of public behavior. Waiting in line is not really our thing. So, let’s just move on with life.
9. How much do you earn?
Truly, deeply, madly, an Albanian wants to know everyone`s incomes. “Where do you work? How did you find thisjob? Do you get paid well? ”These are just the basic questions to make a new friend in Albania. I suggest you to nicely walk away with a genuine smile.
10. Dance and feast as much as possible
There is always something to celebrate! That is our slogan! Birthdays, name days, babyshowers, engagement, child-birth, circumcision, bachelor party, weddings, anniversaries and so many others. If you have Albanian friends, get ready for the party mode!
11. Weddings until 6 a.m.
You are probably used with a normal afternoon kind of wedding. But no, that`s not our way. The typical expression used in these cases is ‘1 gets married, 100 get crazy’, in the most benevolent sense of the word. We like to pre-party for the whole week, to true party for the whole official celebration all night until 6 am and to after party with the closest one, just to makes sure there is no more baklava left. Aren`t we the luckiest?
12. Strange forms of compliments
Albanians will say they would like to eat your eye, your heart, your lips and so on to ‘Vdeksha per ty’, meaning ‘I wish I would die for you’ and I think tha’s beautiful. That means they like you so don’t get offended or call the cops. It is for these phrases that we have invented the desired way of verb, so we will continue to use them.
13. The symbol of the eagle with hands
This symbol often made in photos or song videoclips is the unofficial passport of being an Albanian. If you do it too, you are one of us!
14. Eagle tattoo or necklace
National symbols are sacred to us and we are ready to engrave them on the body, or at least in gold. This sounds a bit dramatic to non-albanians who do not necessarily have that identifying connection to origin as we Albanians do. I think it is a gesture of love and Eliza Dushku understands me well.
15. Drinking Raki for breakfast
The bars are the first hosts of the early birds. Albanian men who love drinking first thing in the morning, to warm the cords, in order to debate fluently on issues of political importance. If you start your day with just a pancake, you will hardly understand us.
16. When you get hiccups, someone is thinking ofyou
Once you learn this secret, it does not matter what country of the big world you are from, but you will always remember that somewhere, someone is thinking about you and that is very romantic. A true Albanian will always try to precisely find who is thinking about him, every time he/shes gets hiccups.
17. Eating a lot of bread
First, you must understand that bread and coffee are the essentials of life for Albanians, especially home-made bread, which our mothers are the bravest to make. Every other food is accompanied by bread because that’s how we like it. Would you like some bread with that bread? Anyone?
18. Speaking loudlyin the airplane
The ethics of public behavior have some flaws that will surely be reduced in the future. In the meantime, let us inform all passengers that there are Albanians onboard.
19. Getting up before the plane lands
Yes, we are people in a hurry and we lack patience. And yes, there is someone waiting for us at the arrivals, so we will not let them wait. I think I explained it clearly.
20. Mothers treat boys as babies up to 30 years old
I repeat, these behaviors have been noticed by non-Albanians but it does not mean that I do not agree with them. Treating boys as kings of the house, who need to have everything ready at the right time and place is one of the biggest and unintentional mistakes of Albanian mothers, who often do not want to understand that boys are capable of cooking and cleaning as much as the girls.
21. The father calls the child “Dad”and the mother calls the child “Mom”
It is quite normal for an Albanian mother to say to her child ‘Come on mom, lunch is ready’. It makes no sense at all when we translate this to a stranger, who simply surrenders to understand how our communication with each other works.