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    Crumbling buildings in Rome (pictured) only add to the atmosphere in a country where old is redefined and western civilization begins. Explore Italy!

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    The Emerald Isle is world famous for its landscapes, foods, beers, and culture. Explore Ireland!

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Social Life in Kosovo

Behavior

Most of the behavioral rules and restrictions in Kosovo are based on Islam, but more recent cultural history has altered many of these cultural aspects so today how the people of Kosovo behave is a combination of European and Islamic in origin.

As a visitor to Kosovo just try to follow the lead of the locals by dressing in alike manner (see below for details), dining in the local etiquette (see our Kosovo Dining & Food Page), and avoid sensitive conversation topics, such as politics, finances, and business unless initiated by your local counterpart. Also try to avoid being loud, rude, or showing off wealth.

Dress

The traditional dress of Kosovo was fairly distinct from its neighbors (other than Albania) as it was likely rooted in their Illyrian past. For women, this traditional clothing included long-sleeved shirts, jackets called guna, hats with gold embroidery, a skirt or dress of some sort, and sometimes vests. Girls tended to wear a similar outfit, but the decoration was very floral to symbolize youthfulness. For the men shirts called telinat, blazers called mitani, vests called xhamadani, a scarf, and a long red belt was the dress of choice. Men also traditionally wore a fair amount of rings and other decorations, including armor such as a pistol or sword.

Today this traditional dress is less frequently seen, although in some mountainous areas they can be found and they are also worn by some people on holidays or for special events, like a wedding or funeral. Today most people wear modern western-styled clothing, but most of the people are Muslim so do tend to cover up their arms and legs; only some women cover their hair.

As a visitor to Kosovo try to cover your shoulders and knees at a minimum. Also try to dress for the occasion as entering mosques or conducting business in the country requires more formal and conservative dress, while wandering around the country has few rules since the people are quite liberal Muslims. If in doubt, dress on the more conservative side.

This page was last updated: November, 2013