Cultural Identity - Family
For Kelmendi people it is clear that the family is a hearth of happiness, a place where they do their best to meet family's needs. When a friend visits their house, an almost royal generosity is shown to him. As compared to the past, Kelmendi family has generally progressed in terms of both inner structure and social composition.
There are no families with 30 or 40 members as were before; generally, they are made up of one or two couples and their children. Generally, families are made of parents and children and they are of 2 or 3 generations.
The main economic activity family members engage in is farming and stockbreeding. They have cattle, private land and common alpine-land divided on tribal basis. They try to increase the number of the heads of cattle and engage in other assisting activities to supply their families with bread, household equipments etc. No family member thinks of himself as an absolute owner. Affection, politeness and respect prevail in the family. The custom of family host predominance is quite known. He runs the family, manages economy and income, carries out jobs out of the house, cares about food, clothes, house building and feast celebrations, arranges engagements, etc. Wife feels free. She looks after the cattle, plants in the field etc. She sings and dances with men in wedding parties and celebrations. Family has meals, especially dinner on a common table, when all members of the family come together. Wife and children do not have their meals when guests do because wife's service and children's absence are considered signs of respect.
Parents care about children's education, their games and affairs. They teach them how to sing, dance and play the musical instruments. They celebrate their birthdays, their saint name days etc. Children respect their parents. Grown ups go abroad and sent the money they earn back to their families.
When families separate, parents usually live with the youngest son. Within the moral code of the family, hospitality, faith, honor and courage are included. These virtues are reflected in their loyalty to friends, family, tribe etc.