Traditional celebrations and meetings take place there both during the day and at night.
People meet close to the main roads.
The buzz of talks and the sounds of instruments mix with the car horns.
Krusevo is an example of such a place. People have fun on the streets. There is a bonfire down the alley.
The flame must last until morning.
People have fun. When the flame is dying out, wood is thrown into it. When it is getting boring – people are throwing tires into the fire.
– Why are you sitting here?
– That’s what we always do. – says Elvin.
– Few people remember that custom.
“Slavic Muslims” – that’s how Gorani people are sometimes described.
Although they are Muslims, a part of their customs and culture is derived from pagan tradition.
It is an ethnic minority that also has its dialect – Goran.
Gorani live in villages in the territory of today’s Kosovo, Albania and Macedonia. Most people live in the Šar Mountains in Kosovo – just over 10,000. Before World War II, there were over 50,000 of them.
They live in 18 villages in Kosovo, 10 in Albania and 4 in Macedonia. There are two roads from the town of Dragac in Kosovo – one to Brod, the other to Restelice. They are the two largest towns in the region.
However, some parts of the villages are abandoned. Hardly anyone thinks about spending life here. People emigrate. Elders guard the empty houses.
In the beginning, the men are standing around and just looking at the women.
Traditional Gorani clothes are not just a memory that can be found in the museum, but an essential part of identity.
Older women wear traditional clothes very often. Girls and young women also wear them, but occasionally.
Ladies’ outfit can sometimes communicate where a woman comes from or whether she is married. If so, the decorations will be red and yellow. If not – white.
The groom’s family
The next day, the bride wears a traditional outfit. It is the most splendid part of the celebration. The groom rides on a white horse. The bride follows him and sometimes covers herself with a white umbrella.
The whole procession follows the streets, accompanied by music. When they reach the new home, the bride sits in a corner, and the women come to see her.
On the third day, the bride gets presents from her mother-in-law, and the husband’s family washes her face.
It also takes place at the beginning of May. On the clearing located between Dragac and Krushevo, several hundred people play, dance and sing.
One does not feel that the Gorani have been involved in various political conflicts for years, though not because of their fault or initiative.
The Serbs want to upset the Albanians, so they support Gorani. The Kosovo Albanians, in turn, want to retaliate and limit the education in the Gorani language.
– Nobody wants us, but everyone needs us. I’m talking about politics – says Nuhirja, a local activist.
Politics, however, comes in the second place these days. Men are playing louder and louder, and the crowd is dancing more and more intense. After a whole day, people continue to have fun in their homes.
Eventually, part of the village empties out and waits for the next year.
Authors: Jakub Górnicki, Agnieszka Wanat
Design: Arkadiusz Sołdon
Coding: Piotr Kliks