Kosovo Religion and Languages

By | March 5, 2021

Population

In 2011, the first census was carried out since 1993. According to Countryaah, the population was about 20 percent less than previously used estimates and amounted to about 1.8 million. Of this, approximately 72,500 lived in the municipalities in northern Kosovo where Serbs are in the majority. These have a high degree of self-determination and are administered from Serbia in terms of, for example, healthcare and teaching.

The proportion of young people is larger than in other countries in Europe and so is the family size. On average, a household comprises close to six people.

The ethnic composition of the population has changed over several periods over the past twenty-five years. In the 1990s, conditions deteriorated radically for Kosovo Albanians and many moved abroad, while Serbs moved into Kosovo. After the end of the war in 1999, some Albanians returned, while many Kosovo Serbs moved out. The 2011 census showed that 88 percent of the population were Kosovo Albanians while 7 percent were Kosovo Serbs. Bosnians and Gorans, who are Muslims who speak Slavic languages, made up 2 percent. In addition, Turks and Romans, Ashkali and Balkan Egyptians, the latter together often referred to as RAE.

In 2015, 62 percent of the population lived in rural areas, the second highest proportion of all European states. In 2012, the capital Pristina had 205 100 residents, Prizren 181 800 and Gjilan 91 400.

With the outbreak of the Second World War (September 1939) and the entry into the war of Italy alongside Germany, Albania was also dragged into the conflict, becoming the basis of the attack launched by the Italian army on Greece on 28 October 1940. After the partition of Yugoslavia in 1941, Italy took care to annex the Albanian territories of Kosovo and Epirus, giving life to ‘Greater Albania’. As the war turned in favor of the Allied forces, it was the Albanian resistance movements – the Communist National Liberation Front (FNC, Fronti Nazional Clirimtar ), led by E. Hoxha, and the liberal-nationalist National Front (BK,) – to ask the question of the future of Kosovo. Under Yugoslav pressure, Hoxha agreed not to sign any region agreement with the BK. In reality, it is assumed (but concrete evidence is lacking) that Tito thought of resolving the issue within the Balkan federation with a union between Albania and Yugoslavia. In 1944, however, when the Yugoslav and Hoxha partisans entered Kosovo, a popular uprising was organized by the BK which engaged the troops of Belgrade in a bloody guerrilla war and was barely suffocated in February-March 1945. In the same year, within Serbia, an autonomous province was established, Kosovo-Metohija, whose powers were more formal than substantial. After a few decades of apparent calm, in 1968 there were demonstrations and protests in various centers of Kosovo and western Macedonia (where there is a large Albanian minority) in which it was asked to transform Kosovo into a republic and to use all the symbols of the state, including the flag. Despite the condemnation of nationalisms, Albanian demands were largely accepted and the region was granted wide autonomy. In 1970, a bilingual university was founded in Priština. While not becoming a republic, the Kosovo was released from Serbian protection, although he remained within the Republic and enjoyed a greater degree of autonomy guaranteed by the 1974 Constitution., which remained in force until the dissolution of Yugoslavia. On the basis of it, Kosovo was attributed the character of ‘constituent element of the federation’ with the right to its own representation in the federal parliament, the recognition of broad powers in local government and the use of typical symbols of the state. These elements made Kosovo a de facto republic, with its own local Constitutional Court and with a Kosovar police independent from the Serbian one. The use of the Albanian language and the protection of cultural freedoms were also guaranteed and Priština was allowed to have direct relations with Tirana. The relevant autonomy did not prevent the mobilization of the Albanians of the Kosovo who requested the granting of the status of republic, always rejected by Belgrade.1968, also in 1981 there were student mobilizations characterized by nationalistic demands aimed at the transformation of Kosovo into a republic.

Language

In Kosovo, Albanian and Serbian are official languages. Serbs, however, are mainly used in the Serbian enclaves. At the local level Turkish, Bosnian and Romani can also be used.

Prishtina

Prishtina, (Prishtinë, Pristina, serb. Priština), capital of Kosovo; approximately 500,000 inbound (2008); preferably Kosovo Albanians. In 1991, the population was 155,500 and consisted of an Albanian majority and a Serbian, Montenegrin and Turkish minority as well as some Roma. In 1970, Prishtina gained a university which became one of Yugoslavia’s largest and had more Albanian students than the University of Tirana in Albania. After Kosovo’s autonomy was revoked and it was decided that all education should be in Serbo-Croatian, in 1991 the Albanians formed an unofficial alternative university. This was one of the causes of the crisis that triggered NATO bombings in spring-summer 1999. During the conflict, a large part of the Albanian population fled. It returned after the bombings, which forced many Kosovo Serbs to be displaced or emigrated.

Priština has a modern center surrounded by oriental neighborhoods with small stalls, slums and industry. Before the bombing, the city had the textile, food and fertilizer industry, ceramic industry and handicraft. Outside the city lies the Serbian Orthodox monastery Gračanica, founded by Milutin in 1321.

In the Serbian medieval state, Prishtina was an important city on the trade route between Ragusa (Dubrovnik) and the East. The city was during the Ottoman Empire 1389-1912, then under Serbia and in 1918 under Yugoslavia; at the 2008 Kosovo Declaration of Independence, Prishtina became the capital of the new state.