Five o’clock on a sticky Friday afternoon. Bajram Curri is still snoozing in afternoon siesta mode. And suddenly the booming of a tupan crashes through the air. BOOM BOOM boomboomboomboomboom! We were just slowly gathering things to start heading home – and let this not give you the wrong impression: We do NOT keep normal office hours. Departing at 5pm on a Friday was sheer coincidence. Or rather, I suppose sometimes you have to leave at the ‘normal’ time, just to avoid having ab-normal become the new normal? At any rate, I glanced out of the window. Just below us, in front of the museum, a sea of perhaps 50 dancing children, various ages and all in traditional costume, were whirling and spinning.
Wonderful! we told each other – but WHY?
These things happen here, with no announcement or warning . . .
But this morning, stopping for a chat with the man who exchanges currency in the market, under the blooming linden trees (which smell heavenly right now) he told me “You should talk to UNESCO to have them recognize Tropojan traditional clothes and dance!” he mentioned. (Right, I’ll get right on that . . . . ). But I whipped out my phone and showed him the kids dancing. “Oh yes – it was the Calling of the Dardanian Clans yesterday” he tells me. What? Well, going back into Ilirian times, Tropoja was the center of the region, from Prishtina to Shkoder – he tells me. “Oh – and that’s why the League of Prizren met at the Kulla of Mic Sokolli?” (in Bujan) I ask. E sakt, he answers, smiling.