For the last two decades the studies of the Balkan Peninsula have been largely dominated by the events of 1990s and so-called ethnic paradigm. The main objective of this article is to present completely different approach to the issues of cultural identity and its changes, by using various dimensions of local cuisine and coffee in particular. Materials for this article have been collected in the course of author's M.A. studies. They consist mainly of ethnographic interviews with Albanian emigrants in Poland as well as observations of social behaviors in Albania. Drinking Turkish coffee by Albanians is being perceived by the author as a specific ritual present in everyday's life, as well as on special occasions and extraordinary events. The author tries to uncover relations between this ritual and various factors such as the informants' age, sex, place of living (rural or urban area), events being accompanied by coffee (business meetings, funerals, smoking, etc.) and the role of coffee in the social life. The author discusses contemporary changes of Albanian cultural identity by presenting the influence of modernity on the tradition of coffee-drinking. She also considers the emigrational situation of Albanians in Poland.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.