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ALBANIA

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JumpingJack
100206.  Fri Oct 06, 2006 3:42 pm Reply with quote

A notable Albanian was Basil the Wolf, Prince of Moldavia, the man who introduced the printing press to Romania in 1646.


s: EBR

 
Jenny
100283.  Fri Oct 06, 2006 10:07 pm Reply with quote

In parts of northern Albania, families follow a code of ethics called the Kanun. This is not a religious document, but a sacred code of ethics. According to the Kanun, wealth is inherited through men, and women move to their husband's family's household when they marry. Marriages are normally arranged very early in life and women become the property of their husband's family.

Dress is an important gender marker. Men wear trousers, wristwatches and close-fitting caps; women wear skirts, aprons, headscarves, and in sometimes veils. However, if a woman dresses like a man, she is considered to be a man. Women who become men in this way are called virgjinesha, or 'sworn virgins'.

These sworn virgin take a vow under the law of the Kanun to become a man. As soon as she takes this vow, she becomes a man: she dresses like one, acts like one, walks like one, works like one, talks like one, and her family and community treat her as one. She is referred to as he. He will never marry and will remain celibate all of his life.

According to the Kanun, women may do this if they choose not to marry their pre-arranged husbands. They may not, however, marry anybody else and must dress and act as a man. The other condition is if her parents decree it because they have no sons. This is because only men may be heads of household, and only men may inherit family wealth.

(Abridged from a longer article you can read here.

 
samivel
100315.  Sat Oct 07, 2006 4:28 am Reply with quote

Jenny wrote:
He will never marry and will remain celibate all of his life.



Considering that celibate means 'unmarried' that is hardly surprising. What you probably mean is chaste.

(God, I'm such a measly pedant!)
;)

 
swot
100621.  Sun Oct 08, 2006 9:02 am Reply with quote

That's really interesting! Weird, but interesting.

 
Cummerbund for Geography
112031.  Sat Nov 04, 2006 2:00 am Reply with quote

samivel wrote:
Jenny wrote:
He will never marry and will remain celibate all of his life.



Considering that celibate means 'unmarried' that is hardly surprising. What you probably mean is chaste.

(God, I'm such a measly pedant!)
;)


Er, does it? I thought celibate meant 'abstaining from sexual relations', either through choice, necessity or ill luck.

Ask any married man...

 
djgordy
112054.  Sat Nov 04, 2006 5:31 am Reply with quote

It is true that, historically, "celibate" meant unmarried. However, words do change their meaning over time and if enough people say that "celibate" now means "abstaining from sex". then that is what it means.

 
BondiTram
112241.  Sat Nov 04, 2006 1:31 pm Reply with quote

However the French, lovers of the unchanging language, have it that 'cÚlibataire' means 'unmarried', and now has a legal significance. If an unmarried couple wish to remain that way they can register a PACS (Pacte Civil de SolidaritÚ) agreement which gives some, but not all, the rights of married couples. One of the most important benefits is the right to make joint income tax declarations and pay less tax.
It apparently supercedes the previous 'concubinage' system which was similar but less advantageous. Friends of ours one day announced with great pride that they were now concubines!
The law was passed in 1999 after great parliamentary debate and opposition which included the waving of a Christian Bible, a grave act in a country which specifically prohibits any link between politics and religion.

 

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