Kosovar People

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Kosovoinfo-icon is a country that declared its independence in 2008, but there are still countries that don’t recognize it as a state. In these conditions, it isn’t very simple to be part of the Kosovar people.

The war is still very recent. UN blue helmets are still present in Pristina, the capital of Kosovo. You would imagine people are sad and suspicious, preoccupied only with their life. 

Who could blame them? They see the destructions of the war every day (the cities are not entirely rebuilt). But the Kosovar people are young and stylish. They are ready for a new life, one that tastes like freedom and openness. One that gives them a chance to be happy.

Almost 95% of the Kosovar people are Muslim Albanians. Many of them fled to Europeinfo-icon during the war, especially to Switzerlandinfo-icon where they formed a strong community. They are coming home with new ideas, with hope, and with Swiss names for their hotels and restaurants. Go to see the Newborn Monument. You will understand the fresh start of this new nation.

Culture in Kosovo

Modern Kosovar artists have a lot to express.

The separation between ethnic groups is still visible in Kosovo. Music, architecture and religion in Kosovo are divided (Muslim mosques and Christian churches). Even the language is Kosovo is divided. The two national languages are Albanian and Serbian. 

That doesn’t mean that the Kosovar people are divided. They have to learn to respect each other and live in harmony. Turkish influences are still present, coming from the Ottoman times. But you can also find the Serbian Orthodox legacy, in monasteries from the 13th and 14th centuries.

Kosovar art starts to be noticed. Artists can display their works in Kosovo and worldwide. They are young, but have a lot to say, to express. The horrors of the war left a deep mark. Hope and freedom are also among their subjects.

Something else starts to be noticed in Kosovo. Sweets. Pastries and cookies based on sherbet are a delightful way of getting to know the locals. Try the Baklava and the Kajmaçin. The Kosovar people will seem the best in the world.

Nature and Geography of Kosovo

Magnificent Shar Mountains overlooking the beautiful town of Prizren.

Kosovo is the 10th smallest country in Europe. It has mostly a mountainous terrain, Shar Mountains being the most famous mountain range. A wild and fresh landscape is waiting for tourists and photographers.

Almost 40% of Kosovo's territory is occupied by forests. And plants love woods. In Kosovo, you can find 25% of Balkan's flora and 18% of Europe's flora. For such a small country, these are very big results. Kosovo is green and unsettled.

It also has the perfect weather, continental with four seasons. Some Mediterranean and Alpine influences make the best of it all year long. And being so close to the mountains there will be snow in the winter and cool summers.

Travel Ideas for Kosovo

The capital of Kosovo, Pristina, boasts with style.

Start your journey in Pristina, the capital of Kosovo. It is like sunshine after rain. Buildings destroyed by the recent war still need reconstruction. But people are young and modern. The people have built a town full of style, cafes, and history. They have both old and new history.

The Kosovar people have two special gifts: Turkish coffee and working with silver. Do not miss any of them, because they are true masters.

What is nice about small countries is that they are concentrated. There is no need to travel too far to see a castle, or to go to the mountains, or to see a festival. Also, small countries build strong communities, a family feeling that will warm your soul. 

Visit a local market, crowded, under construction and reconstruction every day, full of local products, condiments, and herbs. See how they call the customers, find out the stories of their vegetables. That is an authentic market, not the malls and supermarkets you are used to. When you sell a potato that grew in your garden, you feel as close to nature as possible.

Read more: Learn about the places to visit in Kosovo

Another touristic place, still in development, is the Gadime Cave, discovered only in 1996, in a garden. You can also visit Prizren, a beautiful city, obviously not far away from Pristina. Don't miss Prizren Fortress, a medieval fortification that was the capital of the Serbian Empire in its glory days.

This small mixed nation of Albanians and Serbians is full of life and hope. They are at the beginning of a new and peaceful life. They have so much to figure it out. But they are young souls, inspired, modern, ready to build a new country. Maybe it's the Swiss influence, perhaps it's the sugar from the sherbet, but the Kosovars became creative. Pop culture blossoms. New architecture surrounds the old churches and mosques. But not even the most expensive espresso machine can replace the Turkish, coffee made in the sand. Some things never change.

Monica Radulescu a freelance writer for aSabbatical.com
Travelling is a joy. It's a way to become a better and wiser person. Mountain paths and road trips are my favourites.