Friday, February 15, 2008

One of the things that I love about Albanian culture is the blessings that they use for specific occasions.  The Albanian language actually has a distinct verb mood that is used only for blesses and curses. (The closest English equivalent would be to the use of the word, "May" as you'll see in the examples below.)  Here are some of the more common ones.

- “May it be good for you!” - If you see someone eating, or if you serve someone food (especially if the guest thanks you or blesses you for the meal.)

- "May the Lord give you a harvest." - If someone gives you something to eat or drink.  (This is one of my favorites.)

- “May your hands rejoice!” – If someone makes something nice with his/her hands. This would include food but could include anything else made with the hands.
- “May your mouth rejoice!” – If someone says something wise or sings beautifully.
- “May your feet rejoice that they brought you to visit me!” –

- “May the Lord give you a harvest!” – If someone shares food with you.

- “May the Lord leave you healthy!” – to someone who has lost a loved one
- “May you be healthy!” – the reply

- “I worship to your honor!” – This is the literal meaning of the Albanian version of “Thank you.”
- “May you be with honor!” – You’re welcome. (In response to “Thank you.”)

- “May your honor increase!” – Another way of saying thank you, most commonly used when someone offers you a cigarette. (One shopkeeper used to thank me for my business with a slight variation: “May your salary increase!”)

- “May you wear it with health!” or simply “With health.” – When someone has a new item of clothing or a new haircut.
- “May you have health!” - the response

- “May you be inherited!” – When someone engages or marries a son or daughter.

- “May your work go well.” – Used most often to get the attention of a busy shopkeeper.”

- “Marshallah!” – Used when admiring someone or something – a baby, a pretty girl, or even a nice fat cow.  Many Balkan people believe strongly in the evil eye i.e., that they can unwittingly curse someone by admiring them. This blessing is used as an antitode.

- "May you live to be 100!" - To wish someone happy birthday.


Rachel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lorna S. Q said...

I love this blog entry...

Jennie said...

I love all the blessings. Some of them remind me of some of the things Carl uses as he preaches. I'm sure he didn't ever study the way the Kosavar bless each other. Blessings can be universal, I suppose. Thanks for sharing these.