Articles  >  Imagine  >  Woman who is a man

Woman who is a man

Author: 09.11.2015 | Albania, traditions, culture
Level up in emancipation. They did not just replace men, they became men. Known for being conservative, Albania still has a tradition under which females can be easily replaced by males. Without plastic surgery. Mainly young girls take over to live as men.

These women are responding only to male names, wear male suits, have short hair and do rather uncommon work. They are called burneshas or sworn virgins, i.e. Albanian women who took a vow of celibacy and rejected happiness usual for their female neighbours, in order to head their families. Albeit odd for a strict Muslim society, this tradition is yet observed in some towns and rural areas of the country.

The tradition to assume role of a man in Shqipëria (as the Albanians call their homeland) came up many centuries ago. There are two reasons for this phenomenon: reluctance to be forced into arranged marriage and the lack of men. Throughout all its history the Balkan country was at war with the neighbouring states. Almost all the male population participated in battles and, of course, only a few came back home. Moreover, even residents of the same country failed to find understanding among themselves. Even today their lives are governed by archaic set of codes called the Kanun which in fact dictates blood feud resulting, once again, in deaths of many men. Eventually, families with many women lost their breadwinners and remained with no one to do hard work. In addition, under the Kanun the heir had to be exclusively male.

женщина которая мужчина 1.png

There is only one way out: the strongest female representative of the clan has to become the burnesha. Such a girl refuses all the female things to restore order in her family. During a special ritual she chooses a male name, takes a vow of celibacy and of remaining chaste for life. As an alternative for such a sacrifice, burnesha is granted privileges and duties of male population. Over time she completely changes her way of life and even adopts rough temper. She looks like a regular man who does all hard work and solves family issues. And though the word of women in Albania, at least until recently, cost nothing, the sworn virgins are well respected within their patriarchal communities.

Today it is extremely difficult to count burneshas. According to some data there are about ten persons, but others claim that there are still several thousands of them in northern Albanian villages. The majority took a vow in the 60’s. Nowadays sworn virgins admit that women no longer need to continue this practice: blood feud is not common and opinion of the fair sex is considered anyway. However, most of the burneshas who spent all their lives with male face, have very few regrets for their choice.

Photo from open sources

It will be interesting:
Three years ago Austrian tour operatorslaunched an unusual touristic tourdesigned for fansof singing style called yodel. Hikers wander through the Ziller Valley, a broad trail narrows opening the way for only the most avid travellers, then track leads upwards. Tourists look into the interactive station shaped as a giantsonorous walk-in cowbell, then they go around thelargest alpine horn and head to place where Alpine herdsmen used to have unhurried musical conversations with their flocks.
Small ethnic groupshave been always interesting for scientists and artists, who sought inspiration in their lifestyle. The Bajau Sea Gypsies who formally can be correlated with Malaysia, are one of the most popular ethnic groups today.
In Kyiv Kuwait Day of Culture has started
In Kyiv on the 5-th of February Culture Days of Kuwait started. They are dedicated to the 25-th anniversary of diplomatic relations between our countries. All the events will go under the support of the Embassy of Kuwait to Ukraine and personally Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Mr Rashid Hammad Al Advani.
When you first hear about them, you do not believe your ears; when you first see them, you do not believe your eyes. Their passports have no photos, they do not pay taxes, do not do military service, they wear plain clothing, drive horse-drawn buggies, insulate themselves from modern conveniences, and, of course, have the most delicious food in the USA. Would you like to learn more?
Christmas Eve and What’s to Follow
Christmas arrives with a warm overjacket on its shoulders. At night it brings warm light of the first evening star and in the morning it wakes you up with shine of white but warm sun. If my great-grandmonther’s grandmother had been asked about her Christmas feelings, I believe, her words would have been identical to mine. Because together with a bowl of kutia, generations of Ukrainians transfer their traditions from hand to hand.
A little son came to his father and suggested to run away from mom and granny to the North Pole? Now, do not indulge into tragic speeches of severe frosts, pitch darkness of the polar night and hungry polar bears! Give a conspiracy wink to a little brave one, and give him a real man's job for his school winter holidays that is to learn how to build an igloo, night shelter in ever-frost lands.
Hebron is well known for being the city of 3 [three] religions and 3 [three] civilizations, a real place of power. Perhaps that is why by twist of fate there emerged glass which looks fragile, but is centuries old, the same as Hebron.
MUST-WATCH VIDEO: And some tea to Room 13, please!
This beverage became so deeply ingrained in the life of humans that we sometimes even fail to notice putting a kettle on a stove. There are thousands ways of best-loved beverage brewing in the world. OUTLOOK offers the best of them to your attention.
What they eat: Albania
Flavorous Çömlek, refreshing Tarator and warming Skanderbeg – what is it that we’re talking about? If Balkan countries are far from you and you didn’t spend your latest vacation by Adriatic Sea, today we’ll fill in the gaps and invite you to Albania but not for a simple tour but to the kitchen so if you manage to come back without extra kilograms, you can be safely awarded a self-mastery medal.
Weeks of Germany in Kyiv under the support of the Embassy
The Embassy of Federative Republic Germany to Ukraine on the 10-th of November will be arranging the current Germany Weeks in Ukraine. They intend to carry out nearly 70 events in 14 cities of Ukraine.
Combs of Beauty
When Bahriddin’s mother was getting ready for work, she was assiduously arranging her hair around her tubeteika. It resulted in some sort of a crown. On holidays she plaited special adornments into her black hair with a tinge of blue. When she walked, they were tinkling slightly to create an aura of a dance. And in evenings little Bahriddin couldn’t fall asleep without holding her tight braid in his hands. Even now he recalls her long hair adoringly and believes them to be essential element of female beauty.
Mandala Therapy
Yesterday I created a Universe. I took some peas, rice, buckwheat, millet, black and white pepper seeds and cardamom. Grabbed a handful of coffee and aniseeds. Then it all acquired a centre. It kept growing and calming my thoughts. When the last seed landed in the circle, I felt forgotten harmony again, heard birds singing through the noise of cars on the avenue, sensed fragrance of violets that a neighbor of mine was growing on her balcony and a recollection of Funtik from floor 5 and his tail evoked a flush of tenderness towards the shaggy monster.
We are infinitely grateful to all of you - our guests - for sharing this holiday with us! We express special gratitude to all embassies-participants, diasporas, artists, craftsmen, volunteers. Without you, this holiday would not be so bright and memorable. Today we offer you a colorful video that will take you back to the atmosphere of our unforgettable holiday.
Multifaceted palette of peace in Kiev. OUTLOOK WORLD CULTURE FESTIVAL gathered guests and friends for the fourth time. Part 2
Looking through thousands of photos capturing the bright emotions of our guests, again and again we recall that day, filled with vivid colours, pleasant meetings and merry laughter. Today, together with you, we would like once again recall the OUTLOOK WORLD CULTURE FESTIVAL 2017.
In Kyiv it was the festival that started year of Ukrainian and German languages
In Kyiv at Contract Square at the last weekends there was a street festival dedicated to the start of Ukrainian and German languages year. The event that began from the bike ride and was accompanied by the interactive lessons of German and broadcasting from different Ukrainian cities, came under the auspices of German Embassy in Ukraine and Goethe-Institut.
VIDEO: Majestic heritage of Uzbekistan
Thanks to the Embassy of Uzbekistan in Ukraine and personally Ambassador extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Alisher Abdualiev OUTLOOK was lucky enough to visit this hospitable country. And today we will tell about a unique place - the Mausoleum of the prominent military leader and political figure of Amir Temur.
A mini toast, a slice of cheese and a sip of strong coffee. "That is not a buffet!" a waiter will pronounce indignantly, looking at the disgruntled tourist’s face. The generous Ukrainian soul cannot understand how locals manage to eat their full with that. Therefore, before going to a new country, you need to know exactly whether in the evening you should prepare a couple of sandwiches to indulge them in the morning, whether you need some vegetables, or even some extra litres of water!
Traditional Japanese kabuki theatre has always been a mystery to the European mentality: only an expert on the culture of the Land of the Rising Sun can understand a play without guide’s tips.
Video: Craft of Uzbekistan. Golden-stitched embroidery
OUTLOOK was lucky to visit hospitable Uzbekistan and get better acquainted with crafts of this amazing country. Today we'll tell you about art of golden-stitched embroidery: about mediums artisans use, secrets and unique distinctives of this craft. Feel the world with us!
Inti Raymi: let’s meet sun along with Peruvians
Today in our Peruvian series is a narration about the colorful and coloristic celebration of a winter conjunction which history has been lasting from the times of the Incas Empire.
Outlook facebook page