Facts about Albania- The first atheist nation

Here are few facts about Albania


Albania was proclaimed as the first atheist state in the world, in 1967. Under the leadership of Enver Hoxha, religion was banned and anyone breaking the law was to be jailed for 3 to 10 years.


Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu or better known to the rest of the world as Mother Teresa was ethnically Albanian. Mother Teresa is one of the most beloved religious figures of the 20th century. She is the only Albanian to win a Nobel prize. She said, By blood, I am Albanian. By citizenship, an Indian. By faith, I am a Catholic nun. As to my calling, I belong to the world.


Their former king of Albania, King ZOG I, survived 55 assassination attempts. Besides sounding like a supervillain from Krypton, King Zog I was the leader of Albania from 1922 to 1939. He eventually got sort of paranoid and only surrounded himself with his most loyal guards who were members of his family or inner circle. And it worked. He died peacefully in bed at old age in 1961.   


A simple yes-no isn’t that simple in Albania. Smile and nod have different connotations here. Albanians nod when they mean no and shake their head when they mean yes.


Albania had only 3000 cars for a population of 3 million till 1991. Only Communist party workers were allowed to have cars then. Once Communism collapsed, more cars came in, and Mercedes Benz is the most common vehicle, even cabbies drive Mercedes.


Albanians believe that a scarecrow placed on a home or other building while it’s under construction will ward off envy from the neighbors. Some also say that these talismans bring good luck. Teddy bears keep away the evil. It’s common to use teddy bears, smurfs, or dolls as scarecrows, known locally as dordolec. You’ll see them hanging, sometimes in a noose from balconies, trees.  


More Albanians live outside the country than within. The Albanian diaspora is vast, stretching from its neighbors such as Greece and Turkey to further afield nations. Such as the US and Canada, so much so that it is believed that the number of Albanians living outside Albania is greater than the country’s population of nearly 3 million. Hundreds of thousands emigrated following the collapse of the communist regime in 1991 and the ensuing economic crisis.


Albania has nearly 750,000 Bunkers. They were built on the orders of Communist dictator Enver Hoxha from 1967 –1986. They were in use until 1991. Hoxha was so paranoid of an invasion that he ordered the build of thousands of these bunkers. With an average of 5.7 bunkers for every square kilometer.


The country’s internet is among the fastest and cheapest in Europe. For example, ABcom is an Albanian ISP company that offers a download package of 30mbit for approximately $2.4 per month.


Albania has more than 200 varieties of traditional clothing. All regions in the country have their distinct costumes. This Albanian trend is unique in Europe.


There are a few small practices and superstitions in Albania. Like, if you get a haircut, don’t be surprised if the stylist slaps you when you’re done. The slapper might also say me shëndet, which means on your health. It’s all for good luck. Nothing personal. Albanians consider it good luck if a bird poops on any part of your body. Albanians also consider it good luck if a baby pees on you.


A few popular English singer and songwriters like Dua Lipa and Rita Ora have Albanian roots. There was one a huge spark of controversy due to  Dua Lipa’s’Greater Albania’ map tweetTop 01,Albania . Rita Ora also had tweeted in her support.