My friend, A :-) wrote about "Ten Places You Hang Out", but if I did that, it would be home, work, and my husband listed 8 times. So instead of boring you with how much my hubby and I hang out together, I thought I would choose Ten Traditions From Kosovo, or at least, from my hubby's family.
1. Bread is a gift from God. Bread is not stored on the table, it should be put away. If it is moldy it should not be tossed into the garbage like a basketball (yeah...I've done that). Instead it should simply be thrown away. Bread crumbs should be cleaned up from the table and the floor and they should not be walked on.
2. Blessings. One should (quietly, to themselves, if they wish) thank God for their food before eating, and invoke God's blessing when leaving the house, driving, working, or any other time you feel like it. It's a personal thing, not a public display.
3. Shoes. Off at the door. Slippers or socks are for inside. Leave the outdoor dirt outside. We break this rule when we bring in groceries, but we never wear shoes upstairs.
4. Animals. Animals are supposed to live outside. They should have food, water and shelter and be cared for, but they don't belong in the house or in our beds. However, hubby broke this one when he found our bunny, Tuki. He loves Tuki and our bunny lives in the laundry room downstairs. He happily hops out to greet us and begs for treats. He also chews on the legs of the kitchen table, but we don't care because it's old and chewing wood is good for bunny's teeth.
5. Household duties. My hubby is the man of the house. He does the man stuff (heavy things, taking out the garbage, washing the car, and working very hard at Rumiano. He takes care of me and wants to do things to make me happy. In turn, I do the cleaning and cooking, but he also leaves all the money responsibilities to me. Thankfully I will be leaving my job the end of this year, so I can have more time at home and hubby can take the car to work. With the shorter days, the street he takes to come home is as dark as a black hole, and sometimes it's pouring rain and cold. I've been picking him up on my lunch break on the days I work.
6. Respect. It's not good to gossip about your spouse.
7. Food. I talked about bread, but there are other foods that have a deep meaning to Albanians. Pita, or spinach pie, is nothing like what the Greeks cook. It's much better. Albanian Baklava is also much better. It's made with a light sugar syrup. The Greeks use honey, and although we love honey, their version is too sweet. Pickled peppers, flavorful paprika, yogurt, olives, soft cheese, smoked beef sausage, all very traditional foods from Kosovo.
8. Coffee. Turkish style or cappuccino. Kosovo is such a joy to visit with all the coffee shops and bakeries with pita and other goodies. I make Turkish style coffee for my hubby. When we drive to Brookings we sit and enjoy cappuccino together and talk.
9. Things not to do. Pork should be avoided. It carries diseases and parasites, and traditionally, Albanians don't eat pork. However, if a person is starving and pork is the only thing there is to eat, one should eat, and not starve. Hair should be tied back when one cooks. Don't scratch your head while you are cooking. Never place scissors for cutting hair or hair brushes on the table. Don't cut hair in the kitchen. That is a big no-no. Sneezing...I have seen his sister-in-law open the window and sneeze outside so as not to spread sneeze droplets in the house. Don't touch a lot of things in public places, and wash your hands right away.
10. Beauty. Albanians love beauty. They install beautiful tiles around their doors and hang gorgeous sheer curtains over their windows. Homes are simple and uncluttered, but what is there is beautiful.