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