On Monday, February 17, was Kosovo’s Independence Day. What a better way of celebrating it, than eating Albanian food and dancing traditional folk routines with my friends at Quest University. Kosovo is a small country in South-Eastern Europe, which declared its independence only six years ago, and it currently is the second newest country in the world. Since Kosovo has had a tragic history, because of many massacres and killings that happened there, I decided to host an event in my room where I would give a speech about the history of Kosovo, my experience of living in refugee camps, and going back to Kosovo a year later to find almost everything destroyed.
A few weeks ago, I started to think what a delicious and easy traditional dish would be. I could not make my mind, until one of my roommates reminded me the “spanaka pita” we made for Christmas. “Perfect” I thought, “easy, but very delicious.” With a few of my friends, we drove down to one of the grocery stores in Squamish, and the adventure began. We had a specific amount of money to spend, since that was written in the SRC funding grand application. I was laughing and jumping from excitement the whole time, I could not believe that I was actually going to celebrate such an important day with my friends at Quest, whom have become like a family to me.
The next day Martina and I went to the North village communal kitchen (North and South village have one communal kitchen per building), and made the “spanaka pita.” It was nice to share a famous Kosovar recipe with Martina. Who knows, maybe when she goes back to Italy she will make it for her family too.
The event began at 5 pm, and my friends started showing one by one. It felt great every time the door opened and I saw more people coming in, whom looked very excited to hear about Kosovo, try Kosovar dishes, and learn traditional folk dances. What made my day was Kaltrina’s participation in this event. Kaltrina is from the Kosovo too. She graduated from Quest in 2012, and now works as an admissions counselor. Having a friend from the same city, who knows about your family, who knows about your country, and whom understandsyou very well has helped me so much the past few months.
From left to right: Kaltrina and I.
Overall, this event was amazing. I am glad that I was able to share the story of my country with such amazing friend. They continue to amaze me every day with their compassion, positive energy, and excitement to learn new things.