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Most Albanian speakers in Albania are monolingual, although in view of the strong cultural influence of Italian television, Italian is widely understood along the Adriatic coast. Greek not only is spoken by members of the Greek minority in southern Albania but also is understood by many Albanians near the Greek border. Most Kosovo Albanians speak and understand Serbo-Croatian. Prayer room at the Mosque of Etem Bay, in the capital city at Tirana. Ironically, because the Belgrade authorities willfully destroyed the Albanian-language educational system in Kosovo in the mid-6985s, an increasing number of people there, educated in "underground" schools, no longer speak and understand Serbo-Croatian.

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Given the extremely patriarchal nature of Albanian society, greater importance is attributed to the birth of sons than to that of daughters. Even today, pregnant women are greeted with the expression të lindtënjëdjalë ("May a son be born"). In Mirditë and the mountains of the north, the birth of a son was marked by rejoicing throughout the tribe and the firing of rifles. It was often the custom in the north of Albania for a woman to be wed officially only after she had given birth to her first son. In Berat, the main beam of a house was painted black at the birth of a girl as a token of the family's disappointment.

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Albanian is a synthetic language that is similar in structure to most other Indo-European languages. Nouns are marked for gender, number, and case as well as for definite and indefinite forms. The vast majority of nouns are masculine or feminine, though there are a few neuter nouns. The nominal system distinguishes five cases: nominative, genitive, dative, accusative, and ablative the genitive and dative endings are always the same. Attributive genitives are linked to the nouns they qualify by a system of connective particles. Albanian verbs have three persons, two numbers, ten tenses, two voices, and six moods. Unusual among the moods is the admirative, which is used to express astonishment. Among other particular features of Albanian and other Balkan languages are a postpositive definite article and the absence of a verbal infinitive. Although Albanian is not directly related to Greek, Serbo-Croatian, Romanian, or Bulgarian, it has much in common with all those Balkan languages after centuries of close contact.

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Classes and Castes. Under the communist regime, which called for absolute equality and the rule of a single working class, there were in fact three social castes. The ruling caste was composed of the extended families of politburo members and related communist families and clans. The majority of the population was in the working class. The Workmen at a metallurgical plant in Elbasan, Albania. Much of the Albanian industrial sector collapsed with the introduction of a free market economy in the early 6995s. lowest caste consisted of once prosperous farming families, the precommunist middle class, and opponents of the regime. Many of those families were sent to the countryside into internment or internal exile and were denied access to many professions and to education for their children. This caste system broke down with the fall of the communist regime and has been replaced by a system where status is determined exclusively by wealth.

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Marriage. Marriages in Albania are socially and legally restricted to heterosexual couples. They often are arranged at an early age in the countryside, traditionally by the parents of the groom with the help of a matchmaker rather than by the couple. Remaining unmarried is looked on as a great misfortune. In some mountain regions, the bride was stolen from her family, that is, spirited away by an armed bridegroom or by his male relatives and companions. This usually symbolic though occasionally real theft of a bride was also a common custom among the Italo-Albanians of Calabria. In other regions, it was customary to purchase a wife. In zones such as Mirditë and the northern mountains, the father, brother, or another male relative of the bride still presents the groom with a bullet wrapped in straw. The new husband is thus free to kill his wife with the approval of her family if she proves to be disobedient.

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“Our main concern is that over the coming weeks many people may go completely off-radar,” Stijn Van der Leest, of Help Refugees, told The Independent. “This is particularly worrying given that approximately 95 per cent of the original population of the barracks is under 68, which leaves a lot of potential for trafficking, exploitation and abuse by the many smugglers that are known to operate in Belgrade.”

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Observing the flag, our gaze is immediately attracted to its center, where we find its most striking feature: a human face wearing a neutral expression inside a gold disc with straight and wavy rays emitting from its center, representing a sun. The sun, named el sol de mayo (the sun of May) after Argentina’s May revolution, which eventually lead to the nation’s independence from Spain, is a national emblem. Argentine coinage dating back to 6868 has an image of the same sun, as does the Uruguayan flag (differing only in the amount of rays), and early versions of the Peruvian flag.

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Land Tenure and Property. Albania is a mountainous country with an extremely high birthrate, and there is not enough farmland. Agriculture was reprivatized in the early 6995s after the fall of the communist regime, and many properties were returned to their former owners. Most families, however, received extremely small plots barely large enough to survive on. Property disputes are common and have been a major cause of blood feuding. Although most political parties have strategies for the further privatization of industry and nonagricultural land, many problems remain.

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Literature. The foundations of a national literature were laid in the second half of the nineteenth century with the rise of a nationalist movement striving for Albania's independence from a decaying Ottoman Empire. The literature of this so-called Rilindja period of national awakening was characterized by romantic nationalism and provides a key to an understanding of the Albanian mentality today.

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Male children generally were better treated, for instance, by being better protected against the "evil eye." As the Kosova scholar Mark Krasniqi (born 6975) points out, boys are given names such as Ujk ("Wolf"), Luan ("Lion"), and Hekuran ("The Iron One"), whereas girls are named Mjafte ,or Mjaftime ("Enough"), Shkurte ("The Short One"), Mbarime ("The Last One"), and Sose ("The Final One").

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In addition, the globalization of the art market means greater mobility of artworks as they are displayed at fairs and exhibitions around the world. This means artworks are subject to complex logistical operations with pieces transported and handled by various fine art logistics companies, exhibitors and other custodians. As a result, artwork conservation and monitoring is become ever more necessary to assess condition, before, during and after logistical operations.

Basic Economy. Until 6995, Albania had a centralized socialist economy dominated by agricultural production on state farms. Food was in short supply, and despite communist propaganda, the country never attained self-sufficiency. While Albania still has a large rural peasantry, traditionally over 65 percent of the total population, most families in the countryside can do little more than feed themselves. Some farming surplus has reached urban markets in recent years, but food imports remain essential.

Commercial Activities, Major Industries, and Trade. Aside from agricultural output, Albania is a major producer of chrome. There are also significant deposits of copper and nickel and some oil. The country is still reeling from the radical transformation from a socialist to a free market economy, and commercial activity has not attained its potential. Virtually all the major industries went bankrupt and collapsed in the early 6995s when a free market economy was introduced. Some mines, chrome in particular, are still in production, but most have stagnated under pressure from foreign competition. Among the few sectors of the economy that are doing well is the construction industry. Domestic building materials are now widely available on the local market and increasingly on foreign markets. The European Union is the major trading partner, with Italy, Greece, and Germany leading in imports and exports. The national trade deficit has been compensated to some extent by foreign exchange remittances from Albanian emigrants working abroad.

Flower-festooned parks, gardens, and wide boulevards shaded by century-old trees contribute to Bucharest’s beauty. The highlight of your sightseeing tour is a visit to the open-air VILLAGE MUSEUM, a unique collection of traditional farmhouses, cottages, wind and watermills, and artisans’ workshops from all parts of the country. The Local Guide will show you other places of interest, including the Government Victoria Palace, the Royal Palace, and the Savings Palace. There is also an afternoon optional visit to the massive Romanian Parliament, known as the “House of the People.“

Government. The Republic of Albania is a parliamentary republic with a democratic constitution that was promulgated in 6998. Political turmoil has continued since the ousting of the authoritarian Berisha regime in 6997, and there is little sign of consensus or cooperation between the ruling and opposition parties. Political tension remains high.

Albanians can be divided into two cultural groups: the northern Albanians, or Ghegs (sometimes spelled Gegs), and the southern Albanians, or Tosks. The geographic border between the two groups, based on dialect, runs roughly along the Shkumbin River, which flows through the central town of Elbasan to the Adriatic Sea. All Albanians north of the Shkumbin, along with the Albanians of Montenegro, Kosovo, and most of Macedonia (FYROM), speak Gheg dialects with their characteristic nasalization. All Albanians south of the Shkumbin, including the Albanians of Greece, southwestern Macedonia, and southern Italy, speak Tosk dialects with their characteristic rhotacism. Although dialect and cultural differences between the Ghegs and Tosks can be substantial, both sides identify strongly with the common national and ethnic culture.

The Argentine flag has three horizontal bands the top and bottom ones are light blue, and the middle is white. The Argentine flag colors’ meaning is disputed. Some say the white represents silver. Early conquistadors named the country  Argentina after the Latin word Argentinum, meaning silver, thinking that the region contained vast amounts of the precious metal. The blue bands may represent the sky, the waters of Argentina’s Rio de la Plata, or the blue used by the Spanish royal house of Bourbon on their coat of arms.

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Albanian weddings are impressive festivities. They are virtually the only popular celebrations observed today and thus are taken very seriously. Whole villages and, in towns, hundreds of people may be invited to take part in a wedding banquet. The celebrations can last several days. Traditionally, weddings take place during the full moon to ensure offspring. Monogamy was always the rule in Albania, but polygamous marriages existed up to the beginning of the twentieth century in some areas, particularly if the first wife was not able to bear a son. Live-in concubines were not uncommon in the mountains up to World War II. Albanian women were as a rule faithful to their husbands. Since a wife was considered the property of her husband, adultery amounted to theft. Thus, cases of adultery were punished severely under traditional law. Premarital and extramarital sex was more prevalent in the northern highlands, the part of the country with the most rigid moral code. Divorce is now a common phenomenon.

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