In the Balkan region, in the European one and even more, the Albanian language today has a wide field of application, thanks to the various Albanian communities; in addition to Albania and Kosovo, in fact, we have the Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Italy, Greece, Serbia, Croatia, Turkey, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Egypt, Argentina and Australia.
This article was originally published in Albanian in the newspaper panorama author Aljula Jubani
The Arbanasi of Zadar, Croatia
In the distant August of 1726, some families fled from Albania 'ottomanizzata' to Zara (and not only), to escape the barbarous dominion and finding refuge and protection in the Republic of Venice. It was not an emigration for economic reasons, on the contrary, the documents kept in the Zara archives describe these families as wealthy and rich in material goods.
This emigration had several waves, which continued in the following years until the mid-eighteenth century. Most of them came from villages near Lake Scutari, such as Kraja, Shestani, Ljarja, under the special attention of Archbishop Zmajevic.
Despite being a small community, without or with minimal ties to their homeland, they have always maintained their characteristics that distinguish them from the local inhabitants. As Tullio Erber writes, in the 1937 in studies dedicated to the Arbanases of Zara.
"In their hearts they feel Albanian and continue to want to hear something about their fellow countrymen ... the Arbanasi boys recognize themselves for their virile appearance, for their honest and lively look, which seems to say 'I'm not afraid'!".
Proud and faithful, ready to sacrifice anything for those they love. Instead, speaking of Albanian women, he expresses himself this way:
"No one can escape from admiring the elegance of the Albanian woman. Often we cannot understand how those women, who work all day in the sun, show no sign of abating either in appearance or in health. "
They have preserved the identity of their ancestors with a thousand difficulties, along with songs, traditions, customs and language. As in any other place, even here the Arbanasi showed great sensitivity to life in their community.
The Arbanasi dynasty was declared by the Croatian Ministry of Culture as part of the cultural heritage. In recent years, Professor Maksimilijana Baraneia has undertaken the mission of revitalizing this wealth of spiritual culture. In addition to studies and documents, he is working on the opening of a race to learn the ancient Albanian language: the work materialized with the publication of the teaching method of the ancient Albanian language, accompanied by an audio CD.
Over the years, important figures of Croatian science and culture have emerged from this community. Being an Arbanasi is a source of pride.
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