Blogbox | Politics

Who’s the strongest?

By - 25.07.2018

Balkan people are more similar than they think.

Our geographic space, the Balkans, is not such a big territory, but it has notable demographic, linguistic and ethnic characteristics, which perhaps make this part of Europe quite interesting. And, perhaps unfortunately, they also make it quite exotic.

In this Balkan melting pot, each ethnic group tries to be distinct from the others by highlighting the features that distinguish itself as better, nobler, and arriving to the region earlier, in order to claim more historic rights, and consequently, more political rights — despite the fact that this line of argument sucks.

Many wars have been fought to highlight these big distinctions — in the classic sense of the word as well as in the scientific, intellectual, and political sense — with the sole aim of making these big distinctions even bigger. When one ethnic group wins a victory in the realm of distinctions, the others rush to copy and surpass them by highlighting further distinctions.

We have learned to glorify defeat.Serbs (and in this instance I refer to an official narrative, or a political one, and not the population as a whole) go on about the Battle of Kosovo in 1389, straying off into mythomania. They speak about a Miloš Obilić, who gets past many guardians of the conquering sultan, managing to get to his tent to murder him.

I believe we all know the tale. People of the Balkans, under the flag of the Balkanic Tzar, lose the battle, the war and everything else, but this is one of the most glorious victories of the Serbian people. The same is repeated throughout history, despite the myths being toned down as we approach modern times, as is understandable.

Instead of taking into consideration that defeat is not a good thing, that defeat cannot be glorified, that the truth is necessary even if it is to our disadvantage, we learn from our neighbors and do the same. We start by saying that ‘Millosh Kopiliqi’ was actually Albanian, we move on through history (for about 400 years of an information dark age during the age of the Ottoman Empire) and arrive at the most recent battles in Kosovo. The epopees.

And seeing that I am a lover of languages, I go through the dictionary as children go through coloring books.

The Albanian language dictionary:


  1. lit. A type of epic literature, a great epic poem or a great narrative piece in which historical and legendary events and actions are described, ones that are related to the life of a people of nation. Homer’s epopees. Write an epopee.
  2. fig. An heroic event or series of heroic events that are historically important for the life of a people. A glorious epopee. The epopee of the national liberation war. The Epopee of Kruja.

We have so many epopees of the recent war that we can proudly say that in the next 100 years, no one can beat us in this regard. Unfortunately for us, these epopees are followed by macabre killings of civilians, which in a manly frontal war are not considered as things of which one should be proud.

Although I do not have a lot of information about the epopees of Bosnia, I know that in Kosovo we have a fictive figure of 20,000 people who were raped during the war. This figure has never been supported by any empirical data. Perhaps we took this figure from Bosnia, where terrible systematic operations of rape were committed. We are at an advantage in this regard.

Kosovo 1-0 The Region

A sore topic. Let’s move on to the entertainment program.

Each sport and artistic activity must be followed with national pride, must be characterized by the promotion of superiority in relation to others. The football match played in the World Cup between Serbia and Switzerland (to reiterate: Serbia and Switzerland) would not have had the same charm if Xhaka and Shaqiri had not made the eagle gesture after scoring goals.

A win is not a win if it is not followed by national hatred. Events before and after this match support this theory.

The football match between Albania and Serbia, played in Belgrade in 2014, was suspended after Ballisti’s (interesting nickname, with the ist suffix) drone, flew over the stadium brandishing an interesting map. The match was suspended. Who won?

Kosovo 0-0 The Region

Let’s go back to sore topics. Albanians are Pelasgians, Illyrians. Bosniaks are Illyrians. Croats are Illyrians. Serbs are a holy people (nebeski narod).

Although the Serbian quasi scientific machinery has done its utmost to highlight the origins of its people through an unprecedented myth(omania), and although until now we have not managed to come up with a response, we are slowly getting a hold of ourselves and achieving success in this field.

Although anti-fascism is a value of all humans, people of this region slowly rehabilitate inveterate war criminals.

I like arguments that highlight a logical connection between Pelasgians-Illyrians and Albanians by starting from the linguistic argument, but the problem is that there are very few tangible facts that can lead to empirical conclusions. I do not align with those that consider that you must respond to attacks with even more intense counter-attacks.

In this encounter, we must not forget Macedonia, led by Alexander the Great, and Skopje 2014 (in fact, was he Albanian? Greek? Ancient Greek?).

Here too, the result seems to be tied.

Kosovo 0-0 The Region

Although anti-fascism is a value of all humans, people of this region slowly rehabilitate inveterate war criminals. We are witnesses of the rehabilitation of ustashe in Croatia, chetniks in Serbia, and slowly we are learning from our neighbors to do the same. But we lack courage. We lack the courage to say that fascism has done us good, and that partisans have done us bad. Well, we lack courage at an official level, not at level of the oda (traditional rooms of Albanian homes which are decorated with pillows which people, mainly men, use to sit down).

However in this aspect, the developed machinery and logistics are advantageous to the region. Thus:

Kosovo 0-1 The Region

We Albanians are known for our hospitality, nobility, revenge, forgiveness of blood, and so on. Moreover, these values are codified in Lekë Dukagjini’s famous “Kanun.” But unfortunately for us, other people in the region find pride in these values too. These qualities (except forgiveness of blood) are human and thus every reasonable person must hold them. However, we have them coded. A convincing victory for us:

Kosovo 1-0 The Region

There are many aspects and social fields that speak volumes about our (unbearable) similarity. Take a Croat, a Serb, a Bosniak, a Macedonian, an Albanian, a Montenegrin, and to make it more interesting, take a Bulgarian and a Turk too, with similar ages and socio-economic characteristics, and see if you can distinguish, say, the Macedonian in the group. If you can’t, there is something wrong with you. Or with them.

We would be way better off if we took the good things from one another, if we heavily attacked the villainy within us (first and foremost) and then within the other, if we pick out and evaluate the good things about the other and work on improving the weaknesses within ourselves. We would also not be so exotic, I don’t know if this would influence tourism.

Final result: Kosovo 1-0 The Region

Finally, I recommend you watch a documentary film which, I believe, fits well with what I wrote here. The film is quite joyful and is called: “Whose song is this?”

Have a good one!

Feature image: Majlinda Hoxha / K2.0.