Wednesday, May 27, 2009

New York Times -- ALBANIAN JOAN OF ARC.; Handsome Heroine Takes Father's Place and Vanquishes Turks



This article was published by The New York Times on May 21, 1911. The original print can be found at this link:

http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?_r=1&res=9400E1DA1431E233A25752C2A9639C946096D6CF

The author is unknown

CETTINJE, May 9. -- A young girl, whose first name corresponds to that of the given name of the Maid of Orleans, is now being sung in the songs of the Montenegrin bards in the inns and coffee houses of Podgogritsa. When at the battle of Vranye last week her father, the hereditary commander of his clan, fell, she immediately stepped to his place and led the Martinais to victory against the Turks. Aside from the romantic phase of the affair, for Yanitza Martinay is very beautiful, the battle is important as showing that the Montenegrins on the frontier had joined with the Albanians.

According to a person who is well acquainted with her, this new Joan of Arc is not yet 22 years of age, and is "a tall, handsome, well-developed young woman. All the Albanian women are brave, and are trained from their girlhood to the use of firearms, and in times of war, as there are no mules, they carry the provisions and ammunition for their soldiers and go into the firing line to distribute them."

"And are sometimes killed?"

"Yes, often that happens."

"Yanitza would probably have carried a Martini rifle; or, as many of the Martinis were collected last year by the Turks, her weapon may perhaps have been one of the old-fashioned Albanian rifles, which are handsomely decorated with silver and have very long, narrow barrels."

Shooting is almost the only amusement of the young men and women in Albania. Both boys and girls learn to shoot when they are 12 years old. At weddings and parties amuse themselves by dancing and shooting; at christenings shooting again is the principal amusement -- firing at targets for some little prize -- and at festivals there is shooting all day long. It is one of the great difficulties that Turks have to contend with, for it is part of the national life; the people use their rifles by day and sleep with them at their side by night. The custom has grown up with the prevailing insecurity from vandettas at home and border troubles abroad.

Physically, the Albanians are the finest race in Europe. Their women are handsome, with dark hair, though their eyes are sometimes gray. To see them walk is a delight. We like to see the ballet is Servia. The first time I saw the Albanians walk it gave me just the same pleasure. Their movements are so graceful, elegance and strength together.

Yes, they are a very fine and a very gifted race. They are like the Scots in the seventeenth century, and they will be by and by the finest race, intellectually as well as physically, in the Balkans. If you go to Constantinople you will find that many of the finest men, not only soldiers but also statesmen, are Albanians.

Their fault, due to their present degree of civilization, is that they cannot grasp the idea of State. The clan is their highest organization; they are unable to see the importance of combining the clan with the higher organization of making a state. But that will come.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

It seems as though this anonymous NY Times author had a love affair with Albanian women during the turn of the 20th Century.

May that have clouded his judgement and persuaded him to write so jolly about Albanians in general?

If so, then Bravo! Tringa, you were truly a wonder to behold!

Anonymous said...

The love afair you comment on here was more of a love for Albanian heroism and bravery than anything else. If there was anything "else," the Albanian men would have decapitated a foreigner for even looking at an Albanian women (or in this case, Tringa would have severed his balls).

Anyway, its the patriotism, nationalism, and love of country and ethnie that fascinated this American reporter; the wester world never seen anything like it (since Joan of Arc) and never has since. In fact, Tringa would put Albanian men of MAlesia today to shame!

Her heroism is something we can all draw upon...

...that when someone falls in the course of preserving/protecting national identity, then we have a national duty to step-in and continue that campaign...

...whether it be losing an election, wrongly jailed for your beliefs, beaten and tortured for expressing your ideas, fired from your job, losing your land, denied admission to higher learning, blasted for speaking your language, ridiculed for practicing your tradition, shunned away for exercising your religion ... and on and on.

What is to be done?

If one becomes vicitim to any such crimes of humanity, then another shall step-in and fight/continue these campaigns...

...because if these campaigns are not seriously allowed to continue, then another campaign surfaces, one that no one wants to fight...

...WAR!

Anonymous said...

God bless you "anonymous second commentator"!

alboss13 said...

I believe Nationalism is a characteristic of all Eastern European countries.. and it reflects ignorance not love for the country..
Look at the political/economical developments of these countries.. This proves us that Nationalism is more like a disease associated with ignorance then a virtue that comes from patriotism
Patriotism and nationalism are two different things
And by the way i am Albanian not Serbian or Greek..

balkan war said...

ashtu bravo burra! Alboss13 ke shruar bukur me pelqeve.

Anonymous said...

There is this saying....."The true history of mankind will be written only when Albanians participate in it's writing." So, all Albanian people and their language must be protected from the world and considered in dangerous of extinction because they are an important part of the European civilization.Time will come when they will demand, and Europe will have to give them what they ask !