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Albania

History and culture
by

Gabby Wisniewski

on 13 May 2013

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Transcript of Albania

by: Sabs and Gabs Government Government Facts Location

Official Language: Albanian

November 28, 1912: Independence (from Ottoman Empire)
April 7, 1939: Italy invades
1944-1990: Communism
1967-1990: Religion is banned
2009: Albania joins NATO

Capital: Tirana
One of the poorest countries in Europe.
Unemployment rate close to 30% President: Bujar Nishani (Since July 2012)
Prime Minister: Sali Berisha (Since 2005)
Cabinet: Council of Ministers proposed by Prime Minister, nominated by President, and approved by Parliament

Constitutional Court: consists of 9 members appointed by the president with the consent of the Assembly who serve 9-year terms

Economy: Albania was formally closed, meaning almost no one could leave or enter. The transition to an open-economy has been difficult. Albania Government type: Parliamentary Democracy

Constitution approved by Parliament on October 21, 1998.

3 main branches of government
Executive branch: Chief of State (President), Head of Government (Prime Minister), Cabinet (Council of Ministers)
Legislative branch: Unicameral Assembly ("Kuvendi")
Judicial branch: Constitutional Court Albania has free national healthcare

The official motto of Albania is "the faith of Albanians is Albanism"

Albania is a member of the U.N. but not the European Union (yet).

In Albania, nodding the head means "no", and shaking the head means "yes".

Albania has two distinct dialects: Gheg (North) and Tosk (South)

When religion was outlawed, Albania became the world's first officially atheist country. Culture, Customs, Traditions Albanian culture, custom, and tradition is similar to those of Greece, Turkey, and other Eastern European countries. Culture Albania is one of the only majority Muslim nations in Europe (Muslim 70%, Albanian Orthodox 20%, Roman Catholic 10%)

Soccer is the most popular sport in Albania.

Verbal agreements (called "besa") are taken very seriously and may be considered slights of honor if not followed.

The traditional Albanian dress consists of colorfully embroidered shirts and dresses. Traditional dances are also widely practiced in rural areas. There is a big difference between northern and southern Albanian music.

Albanians rely heavily on home, family, and friends for recreation and entertainment. Lace making is a traditional folk art from that has been passed down through the generations. Customs There are numerous customs in Albania. However, the custom of the "Sworn Virgin" is definitely the most interesting.

For centuries, in the rural parts of Northern Albania, swapping genders was considered the norm for a family with a shortage of men. By custom, some some women take a vow of lifetime virginity to live as the new patriarch of a household. About 40 "Sworn Virgins" are left in Albania.

The tradition of the sworn virgin can be traced back to about 500 years ago.

Taking an oath to become a sworn virgin does have anything to do with homosexuality and the women do not have sex-change operations. Traditions Famous Albanians Mother Teresa
James & John Belushi (Blues Brothers)
Kara DioGuardi (Singer, American Idol Judge)
Rita Ora (singer)
Eliza Dushku (actress)
Regis Philbin (TV personality)
Tony Dovolani (Dancing With the Stars)
Donald Suxho (London Olympics, United States men's volleyball team) Laws Important Events Communism Communism controlled the lives of those who lived through it. Examples include:
Forbidden foreign goods/clothing
Forbidden foreign books
Forbidden overseas travel, foreign visitors; families separated
Forbidden foreign music and arts
Barbed wire at border
Religion was outlawed completely. Women and children worked in the fields picking tobacco plants for hours each day after school. If you said, "I hate the government", you (or your father) would go to jail. The Albania Constitution is very similar to the US Constitution
Consists of 18 parts with a total of 183 articles

The Assembly is similar to the US Congress

It consists of 140 deputies; 100 are elected directly in single-member electoral zones; 40 are elected from multi-name lists of parties or party coalitions

The Assembly is elected every four years

Deputies represent the people and are not bounded by any obligatory mandate

Two annual sessions
1. begins on the third Monday of January
2. begins first Monday of September 1468: A resistance led by national hero Skanderbeg largely collapses, and Albania passes to Ottoman Empire 1928-1939: The monarch King Zog rules 1946: Communists under Enver Hoxha proclaim a Communists republic 1992: Sali Berisha won presidential election for democratic party 2005: Berisha becomes prime minister 2009: Albania joins NATO; Democratic party won again (Berisha) A young girl must not sit on a broom, otherwise she will only give birth to girls only when she marries and becomes a mother.

When a young adult dresses up for a party or is going out, the mothers in the house sneak in garlic cloves into his or her pocket/purse to keep the "evil eye" away.

A young healthy child is always marked with ashes when adult visitors are about to come. This also keeps the "evil eye" away.

Any physical pain or ailment goes away with rubbing raki on whatever body part in pain. (Raki is the alcoholic drink brewed by every household).

Albanians kiss several times on the cheek when they meet and they ask for the health of every family member, by name or by title.
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