November 28, 2016 7:39 pm / by Marigona

“How you look at it is pretty much how you’ll see it”


Anonymous says:
Gona can you make a post about different culture marriage. It would be interesting to know what you and your readers think about that. I one on hand dont think it is good to mix up cultures, on the other hand i think love is love and screw those thoughts. Then again I ask myself what would people family my parents say? And then again I ask myself if I where like 26,27,30 or something and not married yet if I would take a guy who is not my type or who is not completely ok just because ‘mos mbes pa martu’ or if I would start searching my husband in other cultures too. I am not in the situation yet, but i have always thought about this thing. Glad to hear more opinions on that xoxo

I just need to start this post by telling something that an old man told me about cultures a few years ago. He said this: Imagine that every country and culture makes the citizens wear a pair of colored glasses and these people only see the world in that particular color. So, for example: In Sweden they all wear white-colored glasses and therefor see everything in white, in Germany they see purple, in Albania blue, and in Switzerland yellow. So when you go to these countries, you get these colored glasses handed to you – these represent the culture, yeah? Now, when an Albanian who’s born and raised in Albania – wearing blue-colored glasses – moves to Switzerland and is handed a pair of yellow glasses, his new color will be green, which means that he now doesn’t only see in blue anymore, but also yellow. The more colors, the more knowledge and experience of different cultures, yeah? As a result of this you also start seeing things in other ways than only in the way you used to know before.

Just like all other Albanians who live abroad, Ymyr was raised with two cultures – the Swiss one and the Albanian one. I was raised with two cultures – the Swedish one and the Albanian one, so I can’t just see white nor can I just see blue, but I’ll see in light blue.        
Another thing I believe, and that every parent with roots elsewhere should keep in mind is that, you can’t blame your child for taking on another culture and lifestyle when you live in another country. You can’t be angry of how a plant with a seed from one country, reacts when it grows in another country’s soil.. You know what I mean?

There are so many different types of cultures, and all cultures value so different things and the people live so differently in it. Three things that I highly value from the Albanian culture is, how family orientated it is, the loyalty, and generosity. Have you ever met an Albanian who doesn’t want to give or help out? I have rarely seen that, if ever really. I can still remember how my father and his friends – most of our fathers, really – would go from door to door, or organize something in our schools, for people to leave clothes and toys that they no longer used so we could ship them to people in need when the wars in Kosovo took place. People offered their homes to refugees and “strangers”, and I just love the beauty of how united our folks really are, and how much we value or families.

The reason I highlight what I value from our culture is because I hope that our daughter and future children will be taking these values with them no matter how much times will have changed in 20 years. We are nowhere near the lifestyle our parents had 30 years ago, and neither will our children be to ours. I would be very happy if AD and our future children would find someone Albanian as it would make things easier as the values – and maybe also traditions – they value the same things, but on the other hand I have to be very realistic and know that time changes and so does the way people live, and that one lifestyle wouldn’t be more wrong or right than the other. I have to understand that the way our children will view our culture will have changed tremendously in two decades and that the color I see things in won’t be the only one for them. I hope our daughter will settle with someone who values what she values in life, the same way – and that they learn from each other, find understanding, and want to live happily ever after no matter what they face. I want our daughter and her future partner to value their relationship and their family the way I have learnt to value them from my culture. I want her to be family orientated, know of loyalty, and to be humble and generous, but most of all I want her to know her self-worth, too; to not stick with a moron who thinks that he’d have more rights than her, or who thinks that “this is how things should be done because this is how we do it”, or who simply does not know how to treat another human being with love. There is no guarantee – and this is a fact – that an Albanian guy would treat my daughter any better than a non-Albanian guy, or that an Albanian girl would treat my future son (if I’ll have one) any better than a non-Albanian girl. Or is there?

I love our Albanian culture and I am very proud of being Albanian. I love bumping in to people who share the same kind of culture like me, and I want our culture to live on, yet you have to be realistic and accept that things change and there’s nothing you can do about it but to pass over your knowledge, wisdom, and values to the younger ones and then trust that they’ll use that to be happy.

I just hope our children find a partner that they share lots and lots in common with like Ymyr and I did, and where they have differences, I hope they learn and cherish that. I also hope that my children never hold back from who they are, or what they want because of “what others would say”. That short sentence is not in our vocabulary and there should be nothing or no one that can hold us back from our happiness.

So, I guess that’s the first things I could say regarding this topic. Do you guys have any opinions or want to share something? Do you agree or disagree? I would love to hear your thoughts on it (would also allow for me to kill time in this hospital room, hehe). So shoot :-)).


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8 thoughts on “A CULTURE QUESTION

  1. Anonymous says:

    I agree in every point with you. But I have a question to the anonymous: what would change age to you? Do you think you would feel different when you are 20 and when you get 30? Only thing that maybe will change is that you get scared and get more open minded and start telling yourself maybe I should give it a try … but if you like someone with 20 already who hasn’t your culture, give it a try because nowadays it is really hard to meet someone you really can go along with. But it is for sure easier to live your life with someone who is albanian too (as long as you both value each other). But arranging yourself just to live your life after some “rules” won’t make anyone happy..not you, not your parents and not your partner. As for parents – I think every mom and dad wants to see their kid happy, thats all they want.

  2. Anonymous says:

    loved this one. thanks for sharing the example with the glasses, this will make it easier to explain to people why we cant expect others to stick to their nationality .. <3

  3. Mirjeta says:

    Hej Gona, jag undrar, om inte du kan dela med dig någon bok som du verkligen kan rekommendera. Kanske göra en lista på böcker du läst som fastnat, nu när vintern är här vill jag gärna sitta med en bok på kvällarna, men vet inte riktigt någon bra bok. :-)

  4. L says:

    I really agree with you Marigona! I have often wondered about this question… When I was in my early 20s I only focused on meeting Albanian guys, I had a set of criterias that I wanted in a guy but the most important thing was him being Albanian. It always ended up with us breaking up because there were things we never could agree upon. I didnt have any answer on why Albanians were more important, this was something I was told from the society, without any further explanation… Yes, you mention the set of values that we share and so on, but apart from that and the fact that its practically much easier to date an Albanian, there is no logical reason what so ever to not mix cultures. So now when I’m 26, I feel comfortable to say that the most important thing is that the person I choose to date has equal values as I have, no matter his background. I am really close to my family but in the end I am the one that is going to share my life with that person and I know parents just want their kids to be happy and live a good life. Therefore I hope they will accept my choice in the future. I have as much in common with an Albanian as I have with a Swede, just like you say, we are colored by the places we are raised in. I respect everyones choice in life, with the condition that the person has made a choice themselves, based on what they want and not what someone else tells them to do. Thank you for the best blog :*

  5. Bjondina says:

    I agree totaly with you girls.
    BUT, for us albanians it’s just a harder way to go through that way. Yes i was raised here in switzerland and my parents lived for many years here but i was raised with the thought that my husband have to be an Albanian. And i never questioned that & even dont know the answer yet. Thats just the way we was told from parents and society. I think that the generation of our parents wont accept this. If i had said to my parents my big love is a swiss man ore smth they really, really were disappointed and maybe even wouldnt talk to me for a time. Then they would see hey our daughter is happy with this man they would try to deal with this. But i dont think they would accept it. In the bottom of their hearts they would think about what they’ve done wrong and what they should have done better maybe..
    Also I have so many examples from Boys (from Struga) that have a girlfriend whos swiss or anything else and go to MK marry an Albanian girl from there. They will never be happy because she maby starts love him after a time but he never loves her that way because he have that one girl. He leaves his wife home alone with his parents to go out with the girl he loves. And why that? Just to make the parents happy. and that is the point the generation of our parents will not understand. They make everything worse with that!!
    Yes i would like that my future children will follow our culture & marry an albanian because i love the traditions and the way we are. But they DONT HAVE to because time changes and we even dont know what will be in 20years. They should be happy and love each other.

    Hope you understand what i liked to say it’s not that easy to explane…

  6. Anonymous says:

    Hey girls,first i have to say, it is very enriching for me to hear what you think and to read your posts, thank you! I have to write as a swiss woman who’s in love with an albanian man grown up in switzerland, since more than 13 years.

    I fall in love with him when i was 14 years old, so i internalized his culture even as my own. I became a mix of it. I really appreciate the generosity, the pride and the cohesity of the albanian culture (yes i know theres much more i could enumerate :-))!

    But on the other hand i have to tell you about all the problems and obstacles we had to go threw just because i’m swiss. I can promise you there is nothing i wouldn’t do for him or for his family what an albanian girl would. Neverthelessi had to proof that manymany times. He and his family knows that in their hearts. They’re gorgeous and they do anything for me to feel included. But i know that in the end, if i will do anything wrong one day (nobody is perfect) no matter what, the reason for them would be that i’ m swiss.

    I read your opinions and i can really understand what you all mean. It’s probably easier when a couple has the “same culture”. I just can tell you, it is soo hard to be assessed because of something you can’t change and for something you can’t help. But the easiest way isn’t always the best way.

    So if you’re kids will fell in love with somebody with another culture one day, it won’t mean that your culture gets “lost”. Just please show them the beauty of your culture and try to change your glasses to see the different colors.

    • Marigona says:

      Hi there! So happy you shared this as it gives another perspective, too. You are very right in what you’re saying, and I think it’s easy for people to sometimes forget that the way one may find another culture strange, that same culture probably finds your culture just as new. It’s simply important to have an open mind, simply learn, and take on the best of both worlds. HUGS

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