Monday, November 13, 2006

Views of Prishtina

It’s big and bustling, filled with carefully dressed and made-up young people on their way to classes and street vendors and construction workers, but Pristina is not pretty or clean. As another ex-pat friend put it: “Prishtina makes Sarajevo look like Paris.”

There is confusion about how to pronounce it. Some people say PRISH-ta-nah and others Prish-TEEN-nah. Of course, most people here also say Kah-SOVE-vah instead of KOZ-sa-vah.

This, like all things in the Balkans, is political. The SERBS say KOZ-sa-vah and PRISH-ta-nah and the Albanians prefer their own pronunciations.

In “Kosovo A Short History” historian Noel Malcolm –explains that kos means blackbird in Serbian and there are many places in the Balkans with this name. This includes in my limited experiences a park and a hospital in Sarajevo.

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