Friday, December 3, 2010

Albanian folk singer in Çarşija, Skopje

Here, dear blog reader, is a little taste of traditional Albanian music. This guy was found on the streets of Skopje, in the old Muslim section of the city called Carsija. (As you might know, Skopje, like much of Macedonia, has a very sizable Albanian population.  In fact, it has a rich Albanian history.  In Albanian, the city is called Shkup.)  The singer is playing a ciftelia, a traditional Albanian instrument of two strings. 

What does his song mean?  My Albanian is not good enough to tell you.  Albanian folk songs treat all the usual themes of love and traditional life, plus laments of the conquering and oppression at the hands of a number of foreign nations.  Apart from having the words to the song, this video gives the general viewer a chance to absorb a taste of the music, inflections of Albanian, and a bit of the street scene in Carsija, with its Turkish influences.  Check out his coffee cup in front of him as well.  Nothing quite like a cup of Albanian coffee.  When the camera view is turned, did you catch the guy in the white suit with the cane?  Probably Albanian mafia-just joking.  Enjoy.

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