A poll was created to find out your opinion on whether Albanian girls and boys would date within their culture or not. I interviewed two Albanian girls, one whom is in a relationship with an Albanian and the other who is dating someone outside their culture and got some personal details on their relationship.

First interview is with Lejla (real name not supplied) on her relationship with her Albanian partner.

Q: Is your partner Albanian? 

A: Yes

Q: How long have you been with your partner?

A: A year and 6 months

Q: Do people know about your relationship? 

A: Yes, everyone knows

Q: Have you always imagined yourself with an Albanian guy? 

A: Yes I have, even from a young age getting married to an Albanian has always been imbedded into my head mostly by family, it was always expected of me.

Q: What would your friends and family say if you were to date someone out of your culture? 

A: It would be mixed reactions and it would depend on who it was I was dating and where they were from. My close family members that have been raised here with me in England probably wouldn’t have a problem with it; however I do believe the older generations of my family would be against it. To be fair, in all honesty if it was someone from Italy or Macedonia (somewhere near and similar to Albania) I doubt my family would object too much, maybe initially but eventually they will accept it.

There are many factors that come into play when considering my families opinion on me dating someone outside my culture. For example, my father is an atheist and against religion, he believes religion brainwashes people so he would not accept me dating or being with someone that is very religious whether it be a Muslim or a Christian.

Many Albanians are strongly against dating someone outside your culture and that’s simply because of the fact that they were raised that way, Albania has always been secluded and not really into mixing with other countries (thanks for that enver hoxha). I know my family wouldn’t be happy for me to marry someone English despite living and being raised here in England and that’s simply because they believe English people have different morals. I’ve had this discussion with my parents before and my dad has flat out said most English people don’t value the concept of marriage, divorce isn’t a big deal for them but for Albanians it is.

Q: Do people support your relationship? 

A: My whole family does support my relationship, they’ve all met my partner and really like him.

Q: Do you agree that Albanians should marry within their culture? 

A: No not at all, I believe everyone should be free to marry and love whoever they want. Personally, marrying someone in my culture is what my preference is, it is what works for me. I do think though that Albanians who choose to marry and have kids with someone outside their culture should understand the issues that come with that.

Q: What are your opinions on those that date outside their culture? 

A: It doesn’t affect me in any way so I can’t really say anything. If it works for you then by all means go for it. As long as you understand that it won’t be easy and I know of people that have lost contact completely with their family because of this reason so the decision is down to the individual. Also Albanians are really proud and patriotic people so if you are with someone outside your culture you need to be thick skinned because you will definitely have people that will express their disagreements or opinions on the matter even though they don’t really have a right to.

Q: Is there anything else you want to add? 

A: Nope there isn’t.

Interview with Flori (real name not supplied) on her relationship on her and her non-Albanian partner.

Q: Is your partner Albanian? 

A: No he isn’t.

Q: How long have you been with your partner? 

A: Officially we’ve been together for six months but we spoke three months prior to dating.

Q: Do people know about your relationship? 

A: My close friends and some family members do, not a lot I guess.

Q: If no, then, why don’t they? 

A: Its not that i’m afraid to tell people i’m with someone that isn’t Albanian but I just prefer to keep myself to myself, I don’t like the idea of everyone knowing my business. Also the relationship is quite new right now so I don’t want to put it out there yet. Once we’re both ready, everyone I know would eventually find out, whether they like it or agree with it however is up to them. Not too fussed on it to be honest.

Q: Do you see a future with your partner? 

A: Yes otherwise I wouldn’t be with him right now. Even if some family members and other people may not see a future there, its me that’s living with that decision for the rest of my life.

Q: Would you ever consider dating an Albanian? 

A: I’m not against dating an Albanian per say, I genuinely thought I would end up with an Albanian boy but there are certain traits and qualities I don’t necessarily like. Also, I couldn’t help but gain feelings for him

Q: Do you have people that don’t support your relationship? 

A: There are some people that don’t necessarily like my relationship, not only mine but other Albanian girls that are with people outside their culture, I tend to avoid their comments. People are naturally going to form their own opinions whether they are positive or negative so I try not let it effect me.

Q: Do you agree that Albanians should marry within their culture? 

A: I think that people shouldn’t have a limitation to whom they are allowed to fall in love with, whether that’s someone who does’t share the same culture, background, religion etc. I understand why some people will only want to see Albanians with Albanians, especially the generation before us, but as someone who’s quite modern, I don’t see it as a big issue and I certainly won’t be enforcing these ideas onto my children.

Q: Is there anything else you want to add?

A: Yes. I’d like to think I’m a very open minded person, I strongly believe in self happiness. If you find someone that ticks all the right boxes, makes you happy, shows you the love and respect you deserve, why shouldn’t you give that person an opportunity? I know it will be difficult for some people to fathom but I am genuinely happy right now and I’m not going to stop that happiness just because people don’t like it.

So there we have it guys. Personally, I would only date someone within my culture because it’s something thats been enforced on me since I can remember. I love my country, my culture, my language and everything that comes along with being Albanian and I would love to share that with someone who feels the same. however, I don’t necessarily have any opinions on those that do not wish to marry someone that shares the same culture, especially any negative opinions. I may be naive for thinking that people should be with whomever makes them happy, you can’t help who you fall in love with but its what I believe.