Albanian Kosovar Traditions

Selvije Izeti is an associate of Ashlar Center for Narrative Arts and one of our first contributors.  This page would not exist without her.  She has offered some of the calming activities used in her culture with small infants and children. How mothers, especially mothers, calmed children when hiding from the enemy in the mountains.  Mother’s carried the cradle with them to the mountains and those who couldn’t, improvised.

CradleIn our culture we use our traditional cradle to comfort the children.  Many people carried these cradles with them when they escaped to the mountains to hide from the enemy. What we use the cradle for is called hulalaja which means lull (quieting or calming). People who couldn’t take the cradles with them, put the child in a blanket and two people holding each end of the blanket would rock the child back and forth. This is hulalaja.

Another thing I do with my daughter when we have had an upset and it is finished, is to join our little fingers in reconciliation. We use the words:  always agreed, never enraged —  in Albanian it has a rime and sounds very nice.  This gives us a happy ending to an unhappy encounter.



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