Updated: Sep 29, 2022
Kosovo, or officially the Republic of Kosovo.
Kosovo is landlocked in the center of the Balkans. It is bordered by the uncontested territory of Serbia to the north and east, North Macedonia to the southeast, Albania to the southwest, and Montenegro to the west.
Reason for Naming
The name Kosovo is derived from a Serbian place name meaning “field of blackbirds.” After serving as the center of a medieval Serbian empire, Kosovo was ruled by the Ottoman Empire from the mid-15th to the early 20th century, a period when Islam grew in importance and the population of Albanian speakers in the region increased.
The flag of Kosovo was adopted on 17 February 2008, the day of the declaration of independence.
The flag of Kosovo consists of a blue background charged with a yellow map of the country in the middle of the flag and six white stars above the yellow map. The stars are officially meant to symbolize Kosovo's six major ethnic groups: Albanians, Serbs, Bosniaks, Turks, Romani (often grouped with the Ashkali and Egyptians), and Gorani.
- The use of a map as a central motif is truly unique, only Cyprus had a similar.
The Four Most Commonly Spoken Languages in Kosovo are; Albanian, Bosnian, Serbian, and Turkish. Albanian is spoken as a first language by 94.5% of Kosovo's population. Albanian is also one of Kosovo's official languages, along with Serbian Bosnian is currently the second most common language in Kosovo, and is spoken as a first language by 1.7% of the population, The language uses both Latin and Cyrillic alphabets, but uses Latin for everyday use, and also has several loanwords from other languages including Persian, Ottoman Turkish, and Arabic. Serbian is the third most common language in Kosovo and is spoken as a first language by approximately 1.6% of the population. Serbian is also an official language of Kosovo. Other minority languages spoken in Kosovo include Romani, which is spoken by about 0.3% of the population, Gorani, and several other unspecified languages. English and German are popular languages among youths and expatriates.
Islam is the most widely practiced religion in Kosovo and was first introduced in the Middle Ages by the Ottomans. Today, Kosovo has the highest percentage of Muslims in Europe after Turkey. The majority of the Muslim population of Kosovo are ethnic Albanians, Turks, and Slavs, including Gorani and Bosniaks. Christianity has a long and continuous history in Kosovo which can be traced back to the Roman invasion of the region followers of the Roman Catholic Church are predominantly Albanians with ethnic Serbs following the Eastern Orthodox Church. The relations between the Albanian Muslim and Albanian Roman Catholic communities in Kosovo are considered good, however, both communities have few or no relations with the Serbian Orthodox community. In general, the Albanians define their ethnicity by language and not by religion, while religion reflects a distinguishing identity feature among the Slavs of Kosovo and elsewhere. Kosovo is a secular state with no state religion; freedom of belief, conscience, and religion is explicitly guaranteed in the Constitution of Kosovo. The society of Kosovo is strongly secularised and is ranked first in Southern Europe and ninth in the world as free and equal for tolerance towards religion and atheism.