Albania

A small mountainous country on southeastern Europe’s Peninsula with Adriatic and Ionian coastlines has a 2,851,000 population. Albanian vocabulary has adopted many words from Latin, Greek, Turkish, Italian, and Slavic tongues. Albania has one of the most homogenous populations in Europe, and they mostly speak Shqip/Shqipe, a descendant of the extinct Illyrian tongue. 

The ancient city of Butrint was the first to be added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The other 4  include The Museum City of Gjirokaster, The Gashi River, The Rrajce regions, and the Berat Ohrid region. The capital city, Tirana, centers on sprawling Skanderbeg Square, the National History Museum site, with exhibits spanning antiquity to post-communism and frescoed Et’hemBey Mosque.

 The country is a predominantly Muslim country and pagan holidays and folklore play a role in Albanian life. Agricultural fairs and religious festivals occur throughout the year; Dita e Veres (Spring day) is celebrated in Mid-March in Elbasan; the National folklore festival is held in Gjirokaster. 

Much of Albania’s cuisine consists of citrus fruits, olive oil, wheat, meat, and seafood, and the popular dishes include biftek (beef), qebabs, qofte, Fergese Tirana, kukurec, Koran, and Oshaf. Albanian drink is raki. Others include Tarator, Byrek, Petulla, Flija, and Qofte.

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