Since I am not a native speaker, I couldn’t instantly grasp the meaning of awe. I don’ t recall any word in Albanian having the same exact meaning. Close to it, you find “admirim” which means literally admiration. We also use “adhuroj” which is “to adore”. In this case, meanings between Albanian and English are similar but not exactly the same, actually thinking it through it feels more like worship.
“Adhuroj” is not very common in our everyday language, we rarely make any use of it, because worship is kind of exclusively meant for Gods and Holy entities.
Although Albanians have three macro religious groups: Muslims which is the majority, Catholics and Orthodox it is widely advertised the so-called “religious tolerance”. How do these three different religious groups live together, avoiding potential clashing?
The conflict free part is true, the “religious tolerance” however not quite. No intention in belittling the efforts of respective communities to build a friendly relationship, a solid society where everyone is free to believe (or not), not sharing exactly the same views but nevertheless the same values, respect for each other’ s opinions and space.
Despite our attempts, that is not entirely true though. This tolerance of ours comes from what I call “religious indifference”. Simply put, most of us just don’ t care.
The holy and unique religion to us is “Shqiptaria” (Albanian written in our language), being proud to be Albanians, proud of our ancient history, of our land, of our eagle.
Since the beginning we had to fight for our territories, our independence, our flag, our language, our identity. Through the centuries, our lands have been invaded, destroyed and definitively taken away from us, but we still kept fighting back. Through the centuries, we were constantly forced to give up on our culture and traditions. But we stood our ground! We were not assimilated. Our language did not die.
I am in AWE of those brave patriots who made it happen, sacrificing their lives. Because this is how today I get the chance to tell my story. Thanks to them, I can freely sit in front of my desktop and benefit of my right to express and share my thoughts.
Thanks to their thirst for knowledge and hunger for freedom.