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Culture & Identity of Kosovo

Introduction

Life in Kosovo is day to day for many people as the economy is struggling and the daily way of life seems to have no real consistent. This is a country in transition and one seemingly always under the microscope. Due to past violence there seems to be very little stability in terms of the economy, jobs, or even in future housing.

The past instability is the greatest reason the way of life in Kosovo is so unstable, and this past has led to very high unemployment, with nearly half the population seeking work without jobs. Due to the emigration of most ethnic Serbs, the dynamic in the country today means about 60% of the population lives in rural areas.

The only consistent occupation in the country today is agriculture as nearly a quarter of the people, or half of the working population, have jobs in this industry. Although there is a guarantee for a job in this industry, due to weather and seasonal changes, there is no guarantee the jobs will support an entire family. None-the-less, these people work hard as most days are occupied with work from sun up to sun down, just hoping the weather gives them enough wheat, corn, and other foods to support themselves.

For the rest of the working population, many have regular working hours, but stability is a far cry for most industries in Kosovo. For the unemployed life is also unpredictable as some people are still constantly searching for a job, while others have taken time off from this quest as the journey seems hopeless at times. School seems to be the only consistent for many children and families in Kosovo, but even in many rural areas the closest school can be a great distance away.

As incomes are very low in Kosovo, even for the people who have jobs, there is little in the way of recreation or entertainment. For many people with jobs the money made is used to support unemployed family members and the thought of going on a vacation, or spending money at a bar is rarely truly considered. However, these forms of entertainment do exist in Kosovo, although the percentage of people that can afford these forms of entertainment is small

What the people lack in money, they make up for with family as the way of life in Kosovo is truly centered on the family, which is the reason so many people continue to seek out jobs despite the dire economy.

Identity

The people of Kosovo identify based on their ethnicity. Most citizens are ethnically Albanian and may identify as either Albanians, or as Kosovars, who are also ethnic Albanians, but also tie in their nationality, hence the name Kosovar. In order to indicate these ties to both their Albanian ethnicity and Kosovan political entity, these people generally call themselves Kosovars, which, when stated, is somewhat of a political and ethnic statement; saying they are ethnic Albanians who live in Kosovo. The second primary group of people living in Kosovo is the Serbians. While these people almost always will refer to themselves as Serbs (in the ethnical, and sometimes political sense), they may sometimes also be referred to as a Kosovac, to indicate that he or she is an ethnic Serb, but a citizen of Kosovo.

This page was last updated: November, 2013