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.
Stores, shopping malls, markets - all these places are an integral part of daily goings-on of almost every person on our planet. It would seem there is nothing special about them: they are all alike, just goods and prices vary depending on country or city. In fact, it is not quite true since some markets are only accessible via waterways. Our today’s story is about them.
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Shagai, chükö, asyk, ashyk, oshuq... This game has many names and one great love for it unities a lot of generation in Central Asia. According to old legends, Nasreddin Hodja loved to play it. Sultans and merchants, ordinary people and children played it. For the youngest, it was a popular entertainment until the end of the last century, while new technologies did not supplant yard games.
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Have you ever thought how many grains of history are stored in each item sold at little booths in Thailand? Yet, strolling along those souvenir stalls you are browsing craft records of the whole nation, briefly looking through notes survived from a thousand years ago to the present day. Some pages have thinned to transparency, but marks did preserve their former accuracy.
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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.
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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...
Nihongami is a certain way to arrange hair in Japanese tradition. Interestingly, in the Land of the Rising Sun hairdos were legally controlled and served as some sort of dress code for ladies of different social statuses and classes. Therefore, each class had strictly determined corresponding outfit and hairstyle and those laws are still obeyed by geishas and their apprentices.
Composers of antiutopias predict hundreds of sorrows to the people of the future who are from times to times forbidden to celebrate weddings, however, it seems, everything is not so terrible. In Chinese province Yun Nan near the foot of Himalayas the matriarch tribe mosuo resides that is not familiar with the concept of marriage at all.
History of Estonia isn’t preserved in scrolls of parchment but in leaden chronicles of the North Sea. Winding coastline three thousand kilometers long has seen millions of sails starting with striped cloths of drakkars to nap-of-the-earth flight of clippers over the waves in the era of steam and electricity.
The free fight has not feminine face. The good girl could smile in a pretty way and care colorful dress but not strike out wildly. But in the fierce Ands such gentle flowers do not grow. The true Bolivian cholit will be quick on the uptake, and it is able to fill in if necessary. But on Sunday, having gathered the starched skirts, she will desperately go to fight
They are referred to differently in every other place but are loved, probably, in the same way everywhere. Sure enough, we talk about money or more precisely their “second names” because alongside official ones currencies have common nicknames which is not so well known, but clearly deserves attention!
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