Kosovo is probably among the youngest countries of the world as it received freedom from Serbian rule in the twenty first century only, in the year 2008, to be precise. Since there wasn’t much development during the Serbian rule, half the country is under poverty line. The country’s major natural resources remain untapped and hence the economy of the country is primarily agrarian. Having said all that, Kosovo has been bestowed by nature with variety of gifts in the form of a picturesque setting. These landscapes are covered with unending lush greens and in these wilds, reside a number of animal species which are native and a few of rare ones too. This developing country, although does not receive much tourist attention because of its political situation, has got great potential to develop into a major tourist hotspot. More of it below…
Official Name: Republic of Kosovo
Official Language: Albanian and Serbian
National Language: Albanian
Other Languages: Bosnian, Turkish and Roma
Demonym: Kosovar, Kosovac, Kosovski, Kosovan
Religion: Islam, Serbian Orthodox, Roman Catholicism and Christianity
Legislature: Unicameral National Assembly
Independence: 17 February 2008
Constitution: 9 April 2008
Area: 10,887 sq km
Population: 1,733,872 (UN 2011)
Interesting And Fun Facts About Kosovo
- Kosovo is a small landlocked nation which has more than fifty percent of its population under poverty line. It isn’t that this country lacks natural resources; it’s just that these natural resources remain untapped. Agriculture forms the backbone of Kosovo’s economy.
- Ethnically, ninety percent of Kosovo’s population is Albanian. Also, 100,000 Serbs are still a part of this nation despite of a post war exodus of the non-Albanians. Still, the Serbian population live like refugees in separate areas which are watched over by the NATO peacekeepers.
- Slavonic and Albanian population have lived in this part of the world since the eighth century. The Serbian empire was quite influential in this area and the country used to be the centre of power, until the fourteenth century. This is the reason that Serbs regard this place as the birth place of their state. But later, with the shift in time, the ethnic balance turned to the side of Albanians.
- Serbia lost the battle of Kosovo in the year 1389 to the Muslim Ottoman Empire, which ushered centuries of tyrant Muslim rule in the country. Serbia could not regain the control of Kosovo until 1913 and this province was within a few years incorporated into Yugoslavia.
- In the year 1974, the constitution of then Yugoslavia cancelled the status of Kosovo as an independent entity. This kindled rage in the citizen of Kosovo, as a result of which, the pressure for independence gained in the 1980’s when the Yugoslav president Tito died.
- Death of Tito helped but the actual revolution began during the rein of Yugoslav-Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic. The major event under his leadership took place in 1989 when the leader proceeded to strip Kosovo of its autonomy.
- This led to a passive revolution in Kosovo during the 1990’s but could not restore the autonomy to Kosovo. Though it resulted in ethnic Albanian leaders declaring unilateral independence in the year 1991.
- A combined revolution including Albanian guerrilla movement and the Kosovo Liberation Army came into existence during the mid 1990’s. Both these institutions directed their attacks towards the Serbs. The attacks were effective and hence were able to manage a Yugoslav military crackdown.
- Slobodan Milosevic rejected an internationally brokered deal which was supposed to end the crises. This, along with continuous persecution of Kosovo Albanians, finally led to NATO air strikes during the year 1999.
- All this ended with UN administration over the province which took place in the year 1999. The Serbian forces were pushed out of the province during the summer of 1999.
- Atifete Jahjaga was elected the first woman president of Kosovo by the parliament in April 2011, succeeding the term of her predecessor, the Swiss-Kosovan tycoon, Behgjet Pacolli. Pacolli. He had to step down within two months of his term as the constitutional court ruled his election as the president, as a sham.
- Today, Kosovo stands as one of the poorest European economies in the world with more than 16% of population being unemployed.
- Historically, Kosovo has been one of the major centres of wine production, both red and white. Millions of litres of wine is produced in a year and is also exported to Germany and US.
- Kosovo’s media only reflects the Albanian ethnic tastes and most of the programs are aired in Albanian language.
- Pristina, the capital city of Kosovo, is also the largest city of the country. Along with this, it is nation’s industrial, commercial and cultural centre. The city is densely populated and is a home to 500,000 people.
- The list of popular sports of Kosovo include basketball, boxing, canoe, chess, gymnastics, soccer, swimming, table tennis, team handball, track & field, water polo, and wrestling. Efforts are being made for the betterment of sports facilities.
- Kosovo’s economy has changed from socialist economy to a free market one, in a time span of less than five years. Because of this a number of foreign corporations have started to set their feet in this country, and major investments are flowing in.
- The country has a continental climate and thus is quite warm during summers and snowy and cold during winters.
- It is believed that Kosovo has reserves of approximately, 14,000 billion tonnes of lignite.
- Kosovo acts as an important link between central and southern Europe.