Category Archives: Culture and History

This section contains history, culture, folktales, recipes, lectures, and music and book reviews.

Pages of History 1 – the Birth of the Republic of Korça – December 1916

THE BIRTH OF THE REPUBLIC OF KORÇA

[From American Archives]

 

American archives provide some useful information on the situation in Korça during the First World War.  Curiously, such information comes up within the files of the Bureau of Investigations, which preceded the FBI and which, at the period between 1917-1919, was investigating VATRA, Fan Noli and all Albanian activities in Boston. As we can see from the document below, Korça was under Greek occupation for most of the time between May 1913 till December 1916, when the Autonomous Republic of Korça was proclaimed under the Presidency of the revered national leader Themistokli Gërmenji.

In a report by agent Feri W. Weiss, dated November 6, 1918, this information is found:

Since the first Balkan War, the following governments have been in effect in Korytsa (Korça).

1st.     Until December 1912, the Turkish regime;

2nd.    Until May 1913, the Greek Military Regime;

3d.    Until March 1914, the Greek Civil Regime;

4th.    Until July 1914, the Albanian Regime of Prince Wied;

5th.    Until October 1914, Greek bands;

6th.    Until December 1914, Military regime by Greece;

7th.    Until the end of October 1916, Civil Administration of Greece, Royalists;

8th.    Until November 23, 1916, Civil Administration by Venizelists;

9th     Until December 10, 1916, French Military Authority with Greek Employees;

10th    Since December 10, 1916, Independent Albanian Republic under French Military Protectorate.

The reason that the Albanian Nationalists objected to France was on account of France’s friendship with Greece. When a French officer talked to Sali Butka in order to ask him why he was fighting against the French, the Chief of Guerillas answered him: “France, at the Conference of London, was opposed to my country. She tried to give to Greece most of middle Albania. Austria on the contrary, sustained our rights. That is why we were for Austria.”

Alexandra Chako – Malisory of Voskopojë, Albania and Southbridge, MA turns 105

The Worcester Telegram carried today the wonderful story of Alexandra Chako – Malisory, a native of Voskopoja in Albania and resident of Southbridge, MA, who turned 105 on Wednesday, March 6, 2014.

Frosina wishes Ms. Chako – Malisory all the very best for this remarkable anniversary.

Southbridge has been one of the most important centers of the Albanian – American community in the past 100 years. VATRA had a very active branch there and an important Orthodox Church  was founded around that time under the leadership of late Archbishop Fan S. Noli.

Nee’ Alexandra Chako, Ms. Malisory met her future husband Spiro in the mid 1930s during one of the latter’s visits to relatives in Albania. The last name Malisory means in Albanian language “a native of the mountain” or “Malësor”.

Asked by the Worcester Telegram about the secret to her longevity, “the native of Voskopoje, Albania, said she often eats cheese and yogurt. If she doesn’t have feta cheese and toast for breakfast, “I’m no good,” she concedes.”

An avid Red Sox fan, her family brought Ms. Malisory to enjoy a Red Sox game at the Fenway Park five years ago for her 100 anniversary.  She recently complained to the Worcester Telegram that “that outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury had defected to the Yankees for more money.”

Ms. Malisory has three children, five grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

It is an unwritten custom in the Great Britain that the Queen sends personal wishes to people on their 100th anniversary.

According to the Worcester Telegram, Massachusetts Governor Duval Patrick will send an official citation congratulating Ms. Malisory on her 105th “milestone birthday”. Perhaps U.S. President Barack Obama and Albanian President Bujar Nishani may wish to follow suit.

The full story from the Worcester Telegram is here:

Worcester Telegram

BESA THE PROMISE – to be shown at Wayland, MA on March 23, 2014

Frosina is proud to announce that the movie BESA THE PROMISE will be shown in Wayland, Massachusetts on March 23, 2014 at the Islamic Center of Boston.

The movie is one of the documentaries showing the courage and sacrifice of the Albanian people of all religious denominations in saving the Jews of Albania and of other European countries during the terrible and long night of the Holocaust.  Special guest at the event will be Ms. Johanna Gerechter Neumann, a Holocaust survivor and a great friend, who was recently decorated by the President of Albania for being a good will Ambassador for remembrance, reconciliation and peace.

More information on the Weston Wayland Interfaith Group is here:

http://www.wwiag.org/

More information on the event is below:

BESA Wayland poster

Holgen Gjoni’s Chamber Music Concert in Boston

Frosina is proud to introduce the concert of Holgen Gjoni, a talented cellist from Albania, who will be performing in Boston on February 21.

For more information, please click here:

Albanian Cellist Holgen Gjoni

The concert information message is below:

==

Dear Colleagues and Friends,
It is my pleasure to invite you and share news of my upcoming chamber music concert at The Boston Conservatory’s Seully Hall on February the 21-st at 8 pm.
The program includes masterworks of composers like Dohnanyi, Brahms, Gubaidulina and Shostakovich exploring a wide sonority spectrum of the trio genre…
Thank you for your support and hope to see you there!
With warms regards,
Holgen

Kadare’s famous poem

In the Valentine spirit of this year 2014, Frosina brings to the attention of our distinguished readers one of the most precious poems by Ismail Kadare.

Its true title is “Mall” – Longing – but often it is referred by its first line: Ca pika shiu ranë mbi qelq – Some Raindrops Came to my Window.

It is in four verses the story of two lovers who live in the same city but rarely see each other. It is the beginning of the Autumn, and the poem’s deep sensuality brings us back the Greek philosopher Heraclitus, with his famous call to reality and time, which flows inexorably away from us.

Everything in this rainy Autumn morning is like a dream, according to Kadare and, as the raindrops come down to the window glasses, the lonely character cannot escape the deep longing for the sweetheart living, maybe, a few blocks away.

The full version in standard Albanian is here:

Mall

Ca pika shiu ranë mbi qelq.
Për ty unë befas ndjeva mall.
Jetojmë të dy në një qytet,
Dhe rrallë shihemi sa rrallë.

Edhe m’u duk pak e çuditshme
Si erdh kjo vjeshtë, ky mëngjes.
Qiejt e ngrysur pa lejlekë
Dhe shirat pa ylber në mes.

Dhe thënia e vjetër e Heraklitit
Seç m’u kujtua sot për dreq:
“Të zgjuarit janë bashkë në botë,
Kurse të fjeturit janë veç”.

Në ç’ënderr kemi rënë kaq keq,
Që dot s’po zgjohemi vallë?…
Ca pika shiu ranë mbi qelq
Dhe unë për ty seç ndjeva mall

Two Albanian famous recipes – Çomlek me qepë

We are presenting two great Albanian recipes based on the traditional dish called çomlek, a delicious onion based serving, slowly cooked, and with plenty of fresh ingredients.

The version with meat is below:

Traditional Albanian Çomlek dish with veal

 

Whereas the vegetarian version is here:

Traditional Albanian Çomlek with onions

The passing of Taip Madani – great Chamerian dancer

Taip Madani, the famous artist dancer of the Chamerian / Epirote folk dances passed away today after a car accident in Chameria, Southern Albania.

He will be remembered most famously for performing the legendary, ancient dance of Osman Taka. This is how Albanian author, Shefki Hysa, describes Madani’s brilliant performance of this unique dance.

“Many artists have danced over the years this dance, but nobody could dance it till nowadays like the artist boy Taip Madani, from the village Shala of Konispol. It is said that with his brilliant dance in the Folk Festival of Gjirokastra in October 1978, Taip Madani made the dance of Osman Taka one of the most beautiful dances and most evaluated of the modern times.
Through his virtuous dance, the artist of our time, Taip Madani, not only reinstated in the contemporary scenes the golden glow of this inaccessible dance, to the Chamerian dances in general and to itself impressive Chamerian folklore, but he re-created even the myth of the new Osman Taka, able to restore through centuries the unquestioned values of the artist-hero, the old Osman Taka who shines like a brilliant among the brilliant of the treasures of the Albanian folk culture.”

Shefki Hysa, author

For a full description of this mythical, legendary dance, please click below:

The Chamerian / Epirote Dance of Osman Taka

Albania to honor Albanian-American WWII Veterans

Ndërsa kërkesën e veteranëve shqiptaro–amerikanë të SHBA-ve nga Bostoni për ngritjen e një përmendoreje për amerikanët e rënë gjatë Luftës së Dytë Botërore në Shqipëri, kryeministri Berisha  e vlerësoi shumë të drejtë dhe premtoi se në bashkëpunim me Bashkinë e Tiranës do të diskutojnë ngritjen  e një përmendoreje në nderim të tyre.

“Zoti ministër i mbrojtjes, veteranët shqiptaro-amerikanë, të SHBA-ve nga Bostoni kërkojnë me shumë të drejtë që Shqipëri të ngrejë një përmendore për amerikanët e rënnë gjatë Luftës së Dytë Botërore në Shqipëri. Ajo që është e veçantë, shumica  etyre kanë qenë shqiptarë amerikanë, pra duke e parë me pozitivitet këtë kërkesë, duke  e vlerësuar si një detyrim, ata kanë dërguar dhe listën e tyre. Në tërësi, ata kanë qenë oficerë të shërbimeve strategjike, të marinës, ose trupa të tjerë amerikane. Për këta ne duhet të ngremë një përmendore në nderim të kujtimit të tyre, nderim të veprës së tyre. Ata kanë rënë në Shqipëri, për tu bërë të pavdekshëm dhe për të mbetur ne memorien e kombit shqiptar dhe atij amerikan. Ndaj dhe së bashku me Bashkinë  e Tiranës, do të diskutojmë të ngremë  Albanian government discusses the raising of a monument honoring Albanian-American WWII veterans