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KosovoThe name Kosovo comes from the Serbo-Coratian word kos, which means "blackbird." Originally, this name was just given to the sight of a battlefield, the Battle of Kosovo Field in 1389, but in the mid-1800s when the Ottoman Turks ruled the region they expanded the name and applied the name Kosovo to the entire region.

Kosovë / Косово

Introduction:

Kosovo is a country in transition and the culture and lifestyle of the people is ever-changing. Just a few years ago the region was governed by Serbia and a significant number of people were ethnic Serbs, but today this independent country is almost entirely made up of Kosovars, or ethnic Albanians. These people have vastly different cultures and as people move the culture of Kosovo is regularly changing.

The ethnic Albanians are among the oldest surviving ethnic groups in Europe and these people boast a unique language, ethnicity, and culture. However, today these historic traits have changed and most people first see the difference in religion. The Albanians are generally Muslims, while the Serbs and many other people in the region are usually Christian.

The flag of Kosovo contains a prominent silhouette of the country along with six stars, which represent the six major ethnic groups in the country: Albanians, Serbs, Turks, Gorani, Roma, and Bosniaks.

Name: Republic of Kosovo
Independence: February 17, 2008
Capital: Pristina
Currency: Euro
Population: 1,847,708 (2013 estimate)
Ethnicity: Albanian
Language: Albanian & Serbian
Religion: Muslim

For much of history the ethnic Albanians and ethnic Serbs lived on the lands that today make up Kosovo, so they both have a significant past rooted in the region. They also shared a history of living off the lands as political power over the region changed. With differing rulers, different people gained or lost influence and power. However, the consistent part of life in the region was that both ethnic groups maintained their own individual cultures and lifestyles.

The region continued to change in the 1900s when Yugoslavia incorporated the lands. This helped urbanize the people and changed the culture and lifestyle greatly for both groups. Technological changes were introduced, occupations shifted, and political control tightened on the people and their cultures.

With the arrival of Slobodan Milosevic in power, ethnic tensions were quickly magnified and Albanian culture was fought. Differences were stressed and anything Albanian was to be destroyed. Instead of ending Albanian culture though, these actions led to a stronger attachment to the Albanian, or Kosovar, identity. With independence finally arriving in 2008, most ethnic Serbs left the country and the Kosovars dominated the country culturally and politically.

Today Kosovar identity and culture is continuing to develop. Although based on Albanian culture, the Kosovar culture and identity is still developing and many citizens refer to themselves as Albanian. No matter how these people identify, this political entity is changing as are the people as most people today remain Muslim, speak Albanian, and live various lifestyles, from the urban life to the rural life based on the lands.

Learn More About Kosovo:

The Land:
Geography WeatherWildlife

The Past:
History Architecture

The Food:
FoodSpecialtiesDining Etiquette Drinks

The Culture:
Way of Life EthnicityLanguage ReligionDress BehaviorIdentity

Map of Kosovo:

Map of Kosovo

Information for Kosovo was last updated: March, 2014 ● View our: Sources & Special Thanks