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 womenare 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
There is only one way out: the strongest female representative of theclan 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.
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.
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,...
“To drag a goat with one’s hands” is a national entertainment of Tajik men however it enjoys huge popularity around Central Asia in the whole. As a rule a couple dozens, sometimes as many as a hundred, skilled and nimble horse riders gather to drag the goat. There is such a throng during the event that people fall off their horses, lose consciousness and even get maimed.
Stealing the bride's shoe in the midst of the celebration, and to require unimaginable redemption from the groom, is an interesting action for which it is worth to go to the wedding party. This is not the only wedding tradition of country, by which the legal wedlock of two hearts acquires a special flavour. What are interesting rituals of different parts of our planet?
Ice cream with a taste of horse meat, pickled insects, fish with deadly venom, etc – Japanese cuisine has things to surprise, amaze and shock you with. And truth be told, enumeration of these dishes doesn’t help my appetite at all. But we are not after exotic stuff. True culinary tourism is an attempt to comprehend mindset and feel national distinctive color through traditional cuisine – not try most exotic dishes.
Trip to Latvia breaks the chain of mundanity, awakes secret fantasies which usually remain dormant in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Wandering between the centuries-old pine trees, fresh Baltic breeze languidly runs over strings in wait for off-beat adventure. Dreams do come true – you just need to know a right place to make a wish.
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 that has long been considered the art of the nobility. We will tell you about mediums artisans use, secrets and unique distinctives of this craft. Feel the world with us!
OUTLOOK often tells about the kitchens of the peoples around the world, but when it comes to Italy, writing about the country should be a crime. Each of its twenty regions has its own culinary world with the subtleties and specialties. Let the title of gastronomic capital of Italy be Bologna, its official capital - Rome, too, has something to boast about. We are telling you what is remarkable about Roman cuisine...
For many years in a row, Ukrainians around the world, by wearing national costumes for work, for a walk around the city or just for photography, celebrate the Vyshyvanka Day. This year, the celebration took place on May 21 and was joined by representatives of foreign embassies accredited in Ukraine.
The state of contrasts where beaches look like gardens of heaven while cities and villages resemble dumps; where over 80% of population are faithful Catholics who practice bloody cult of vodou at the same time; where absolute poverty on one hand and unthinkable luxury on the other feather in.
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.
Everyone knows that being in Scotland you should try whiskey, in France you should taste wine, and in Japan t is all about sake. But few people think about national soft drinks. They were created by peoples with far more practical intentions - refreshing and burning, repelling from the climate features, possessing nourishing properties.
In this day and age, it is difficult to surprise anyone, especially an urban resident, with some large department store or market, since nowadays one can buy everything from a humble convenience store next door. However, the iconic bazaars and flea markets are still operating across the globe, they are famous in legends and described with delight.
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.
Our "Peruvian cycle" is replenished with the story of the most revered animals in Peru. Being the link between the present and the past, they play an important role in the life of this nation. Wise ancestors of the modern Peruvians, the ancient Incas, were living in harmony with all life that surrounded them.
Magic dance of a snake in time with flute’s melody often described in Eastern fairy tales and depicted in movies is no fiction but a true symbol of those countries. In Egypt, India, African countries and some other states slithering tribe are tamed to make a spectacular entertainment out of it. Profession of reptile charmers exists there; it is believed to be as nearly as the most amazing on Earth.
OUTLOOK studied the brightest Pakistani holidays, because the saying goes for a reason: people live same way they hang out. An amazing game of history. Pakistan appeared on political map relatively short time ago yet one doesn’t have the heart to call it ‘young’ for it is inhabited with heirs of one of the most ancient civilization.
What is it that characterizes any nation without much words and long explanations? Dances, of course, because it is these movements, refined over centuries, that can tell a foreigner about other peoples much more than thick history books. If you carefully watch and feel the way people dance in different countries, their mind set will become much more comprehensible. And these aren’t mere words.
Only dancing and wearing mask, Korean peasants were able to express their disgust towards rudeness or greed of the hosts or apply to some deity with extraordinary request. Keeping anonymity, the people played out the scenes from life, cried, and laughed. At the end of the performance the destiny awarded the good characters and punished villains.
OUTLOOK was lucky to visit hospitable Uzbekistan and get better acquainted with crafts of this amazing country. Today we tell you about art of straw work, about materials that craftsmen use and what secrets and unique features of this craft are. Feel the world with us!