The Giro (pronounced [dziro]) means spin which is most definitely an Italian word. However in Albania more than anything else it means to walk up and down usually on the main boulevard.
Forget about Religion, Traditions, Festivals, Rituals etc. the Giro is by far the most important social institution in Albania. It is the social stage on which most of social discourse is played and constructed.
Like religion, fests and other rituals The Giro has its own dress code, acceptable and non acceptable language and non verbal behaviour and so on. People are defined socially by others and they define themselves on this popular stage.
Even though most Albanians take it for granted, going for a Giro requires rigorous preparations such as polishing your shoes, dressing appropriately, doing your hear, checking the time, anticipating your Giro friend and your audience etc.
Having sorted their presentation out, people walk down to the main boulevard and start “giroing” then friends join in, the rest is walk and talk and more walk talk. They walk and talk in groups of 2,3,4,5 and sometimes even more. Politics and sport are popular topics but everything is talked here. When they get tired then sit on a bench or a cafe or just go back home.
Everyone does the Giro, young and old, men and women but it is older men who usually spend more time on this popular stage. And the stage can get really busy sometimes so busy that you need to be ready to change course.
These men are in the town of Polican and this is a quick morning Giro, usually it gets a lot busier especially in warm summer evenings. I have posted two more photos from Berat Giro which is much bigger, renown and probably the best giro in the country.
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tyro (21106) 2012-03-04 16:02
What a fantastically interesting note! It's really lovely to hear about different traditions and ways of life in other countries.
It sounds to me as though "giroing" might be rather an interesting pastime, probably more satisfactory than talking in a bar or pub because you would also get some fine exercise as well as being able to have discussions with your friends and "put the World to rights".
These three fellows certainly appear to be happy in their Giro, smartly dressed and obviously in contemplative mood. You have caught them well in this low-level shot - were you squatting on the pavement in front of them when you took this shot or sitting on a low seat?
Vasa (16778) 2012-03-04 16:38
Habituellement je ne lis pas les longues notes, pourtant celle-ci je l'ai lue a la lettre (meme en anglais). J'aime ce post completement. Tu as fait des efforts pour trouver une position optimale et on a inmpression que trois hommes sont bien importants dan la ville. En plus ils sont bien habilles et ils s'engagent a une discussion sage. Cette coutume me semble bien sympathique, elle est seine et , mon dieu, gratuite. Plus appropriee que de s'assoir dans le caffe.
Merci Aleks de ce poste. Je n'oublie pas.
Haymotion (2729) 2012-03-05 1:07
Good daily life moment..
I like the position and the attitud of this 3 mens.. Old life friends..
holmertz (43283) 2012-03-06 10:47
I may be prejudiced by my knowledge but I really believe I would have recognized these men as Albanians anywhere. They seem so very typical. It's a fine and slightly amusing photo accompanied by a very entertaining and informative note. I have seen the practice, of course, but I had no idea of the careful preparations needed for participating in the Giro d'Albania.
I really enjoyed this contribution.
- Copyright: Aleks Gjika (agjika) (3616)
- Genre: People
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2011-10-27
- Categories: Daily Life
- Camera: Cannon EOS 5D, Canon EF24-70mm f2.8L
- Exposure: f/11, 1/250 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
- Date Submitted: 2012-03-04 15:38