. The term itself can be misleading — "swearing" virginity can be a public or private act, and it does not even have to be a conscious decision (See Unconscious mind ). Dukes, Kristopher (2017), "The Sworn Virgin," a historical fiction novel about the tradition. The Kanun is not a religious document – many groups follow it, including Albanian Orthodox, Catholics and Muslims. Christ is a descendent of King David. Bottom line: the definition of virginity is complicated, and it’s really up to you to decide what you believe. Other terms for a sworn virgin include, in English, Albanian virgin or avowed virgin; in Serbo-Croatian: Virdžina, in Albanian: burrnesha, vajzë e betuar (most common today, and used in situations in which the parents make the decision when the person is a baby or child), and various words cognate with "virgin" – virgjineshë, virgjereshë, verginesa, virgjin, vergjinesha; in Turkish, sadik, meaning "honest, just", in Serbian, ostajnica (she who stays), in Bosnian, tobelija (bound by a vow). Definitions.net. The sworn virgin was born of social necessity in an agrarian region plagued by war and death. Some people don't even care what “virginity” means or think it matters. Under the Kanun, women are stripped of many rights. Sworn Virgin Synopsis. Sworn Virgin (first edition) ‘Elvira Dones is among the best of Albania’s writers and her publication in English is excellent news.’ Ismail Kadare. A sworn virgin is a person who decides to live in the manner of the opposite sex while adamantly refusing ever to have sexual relations with another. Web. She turns into a man, takes up a rifle and becomes Mark, Mark Doda. [11], The practice has died out in Dalmatia and Bosnia, but is still carried out in northern Albania and to a lesser extent in Macedonia. They cannot buy land, and there are many jobs they are not permitted to hold. Tradition also has it that the Apostle Matthew consecrated virgins. This page was last edited on 7 January 2021, at 22:15. According to the “Kanun”, “a set of traditional, orally transmitted laws which have persisted for centuries in the remote mountain valleys of northern Albania, a woman who feels the need to assume an independent male role in society must live as a “sworn virgin”, adopting the dress and behaviour of a man. When Hana’s dying uncle calls her back from the city to the family home in the Albanian mountains, he tries to marry her to a local man who could run the household. Storyline Hana Doda, still a girl, escapes from her destiny of being wife and servant which is imposed on the women in the inhospitable mountains in Albania. [8] Many sworn virgins today still refuse to go back on their oath because their community would reject them for breaking the vows. Her debut feature stars Alba Rohrwacher in a complex portrayal of life as Hana and Mark with Flonja Kodheli as her sister Lila. A sworn virgin is a person who decides to live in the manner of the opposite sex while adamantly refusing ever to have sexual relations with another. Murray quotes testimony recorded by René Gremaux: "Because if you get married I'll be left alone, but if you stay with me, I'll have a son." A sworn virgin was a socially-recognized man for the rest of “his” life (so long as the oath was kept). ), Bibliography of works on wartime cross-dressing, Sexuality and gender identity-based cultures, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Albanian_sworn_virgins&oldid=998973256, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles containing Albanian-language text, Articles containing explicitly cited English-language text, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. “Beautiful” and “Uplifting,” SWORN VIRGIN follows Hana who, to escape the prospect of wifely servitude in her Albanian village, takes an oath of eternal virginity to live in the mountains as a man. For some women the choice was also a way to escape an arranged marriage or to avoid a life of subservience. 4 min. [11], Women who take a vow of chastity and wear male clothing in Balkan society, This article is about a Balkan gender role. National Geographic's Taboo estimated that there are fewer than 102 sworn virgins in the world. In the present day, this sort of eunuch may result from testicular cancer. In the Catholic Church, a consecrated virgin, is a woman who has been consecrated by the church to a life of perpetual virginity in the service of God. For people who take oaths of celibacy for religious reasons, see. H ana Doda is a student in … [1] National Geographic's Taboo (2002) estimated that there were fewer than 102 Albanian sworn virgins left. Na­tional Ge­o­graphic 's Taboo es­ti­mated that there are fewer than 102 sworn vir­gins in the world. I believe that Kristopher Dukes is an excellent story teller. There are only about forty sworn virgins left; as women were granted more and more rights, fewer and fewer girls felt the need to adopt a male identity for themselves or their families. [6], The Kanun dictates that families must be patrilineal (meaning wealth is inherited through a family's men) and patrilocal (upon marriage, a woman moves into the household of her husband's family). "The Sworn Virgin" is the story of Eleanora, a woman who chooses to live as a "sworn virgin," a tradition that will allow her to basically be the master of her own destiny and be in control of her own life as long as she keeps to her promise. How to say sworn virgin in sign language? To a lesser extent, the practice exists, or has existed, in other parts of the western Balkans, including Bosnia, Dalmatia (Croatia), Serbia and Macedonia. American writer Kristopher Dukes's first novel. [10] One becomes a sworn virgin by swearing an irrevocable oath, in front of twelve village or tribal elders, to adopt the role and practice celibacy. translation: See: construction , definition , explanation , paraphrase , rendition , restatement On hearing those words Djurdja [the daughter] "threw down her embroidery" and became a man. [16] Currently there are between forty and several hundred sworn virgins left in Albania, and a few in neighboring countries. Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary. In northern Albania, the only way a woman can have the rights of a man is to take an oath of celibacy and become a sworn virgin. 1) a male whose balls have been removed, either for government service (such as in ancient Africa and Rome) or, if the castration takes place before puburty, to prevent the voice from breaking (Italian opera's male sopranos of the 17th thru 19th centuries). A sworn virgin is a person who decides to live in the manner of the opposite sex while adamantly refusing ever to have sexual relations with another. [14], It is also likely that many women chose to become sworn virgins simply because it afforded them much more freedom than would otherwise have been available in a patrilineal culture in which women were secluded, sex-segregated, required to be virgins before marriage and faithful afterwards, betrothed as children and married by sale without their consent, continually bearing and raising children, constantly physically labouring, and always required to defer to men, particularly their husbands and fathers, and submit to being beaten. plural of sworn virgin It was the only way a woman could inherit her family's wealth, which was particularly important in a society in which blood feuds (gjakmarrja) resulted in the deaths of many male Albanians, leaving many families without male heirs. Richly detailed with gripping drama, unique historical backdrops, vivid imagery", "Fondacija CURE - VIRDŽINA - ŽENA KOJE NEMA", "A tangle of multiple transgressions: The western gaze and the Tobelija (Balkan sworn-virgin-cross-dressers) in the 19th and 20th centuries", Women Who Become Men: Albanian Sworn Virgins, Albanian Custom Fades: Woman as Family Man, Sworn Virgins – National Geographic Film (approx. The term itself can be misleading — "swearing" virginity can be a public or private act, and it does not even have to be a conscious decision. We're doing our best to make sure our content is useful, accurate and safe.If by any chance you spot an inappropriate image within your search results please use this form to let us know, and we'll take care of it shortly. Grémaux, René. The writing is quite good as are all of the descriptions. Women started gaining legal rights and came closer to having equal social status, especially in the central and southern regions. So a man cannot be a virgin a virgin is a young woman usually when she begins her flowering stage/Cycle. 16 Jan. 2021. They're living life as men, but they are neither transsexual nor gay. "[13] Similar practices occurred in some societies of indigenous peoples of the Americas.[9]. The Al­ban­ian sworn virgins (Al­ban­ian: burrnesha) are Al­ban­ian women who take a vow of chastity and wear male cloth­ing in order to live as men in the pa­tri­ar­chal north­ern Al­ban­ian so­ci­ety. (However, anthropologist Mildred Dickemann suggests this motive may be "over-pat", pointing out that a non-child-bearing woman would have no heirs to inherit after her, and also that in some families not one but several daughters became sworn virgins, and in others the later birth of a brother did not end the sworn virgin's masculine role. After this, sworn virgins live as men and others relate to them as such, usually though not always[11] using masculine pronouns to address them or speak about them to other people;[12] they may dress in male clothing, use a male name, carry a gun, smoke, drink alcohol, take on male work, act as the head of a household (for example, living with a sister or mother), play music and sing, and sit and talk socially with men. What does sworm mean? If the patriarch of the family dies and there is no male heir, an unmarried woman in the family could take on the role of a man and head the family. [11]), Moreover, a child may have been desired to "carry on" an existing feud, according to Marina Warner. [6] It used to be believed that the sworn virgins had all but died out after 50 years of communism in Albania, but recent research suggests that may not be the case;[9] instead, the increase in feuding following the collapse of the communist regime could encourage a resurgence of the practice. Years later, feeling imprisoned by her choice, she visits her sister and … "Woman Becomes Man in the Balkans". [2], Other terms for a sworn virgin include, in English, Albanian virgin or avowed virgin; in Serbo-Croatian: Virdžina, in Albanian: burrnesha, vajzë e betuar (most common today, and used in situations in which the parents make the decision when the person is a baby or child), and various words cognate with "virgin" – virgjineshë, virgjereshë, verginesa, virgjin, vergjinesha; in Turkish, sadik, meaning "honest, just",[3] in Serbian, ostajnica (she who stays), in Bosnian, tobelija (bound by a vow). Many girls would take the oath after their father died. SWORN VIRGIN follows a young woman named Hana who lives in an Albanian village ruled by men, and she takes an oath of eternal virginity to live as a Home Top Box Office The Sworn Virgin is a compelling book that does make a person (me) really appreciate the life style we have now. One person spoke of becoming a sworn virgin in order to not be separated from her father, and another in order to live and work with a sister. Photograph: Ben Speck/Getty Images. 2.Virgin-A young woman of marriageable age, whether married or not. [4], The tradition of sworn virgins in Albania developed out of the Kanuni i Lekë Dukagjinit (English: The Code of Lekë Dukagjini, or simply the Kanun),[5] a set of codes and laws developed by Lekë Dukagjini and used mostly in northern Albania and Kosovo from the 15th century until the 20th century. With a son or surrogate son, she could live out her life in the home of her adulthood, in the company of her child. But promises are hard to keep and love may find her whether she wants it to or not. 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sworn virgin definition

Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. Balkan sworn virgins (in Albanian: burrnesha) are women who take a vow of chastity and wear male clothing in order to live as men in patriarchal northern Albanian society, Kosovo and Montenegro. The term itself is used by sworn virgins as a symbol of pride, but can also be used by others in a derogatory … The most common reasons for this practice are the need (in a society in which … Meaning of sworm. Start studying ANT 101 Final (Fa'afafine, Sworn Virgins, Culture/Language Acquisition, Economic Organization). Information and translations of sworm in the most comprehensive dictionary definitions resource on the web. There are also establishments that they cannot enter.[6][8]. We truly appreciate your support. Breaking the vow was once punishable by death, but it is doubtful that this punishment is still carried out. English [] Noun []. It is only in the northern region that many families are still traditionally patriarchal. 2) a male whose entire genitalia is removed. [7] Women are treated like property of the family. An Albanian woman (Alba Rohrwacher) who -- according to her region's custom -- has lived as a man for most of her life wants to reclaim her sexual identity. Most are over fifty years old. sworn virgin (plural sworn virgins) A person, assigned female at birth, who adopts a traditional masculine third-gender or transmasculine role in the Balkans, wearing masculine clothing and performing masculine tasks, and traditionally swearing a vow of chastity. Stressing about whether you’re a virgin is way less important than how you feel about your sexual experiences. A sworn virgin is a person who decides to live in the manner of the opposite sex while adamantly refusing ever to have sexual relations with another. A sworn virgin would then become the patriarch, taking on all the duties and responsibilities of a man. Sat 31 May 2014 05.00 EDT. Vestal virgin definition: (in ancient Rome ) one of the four, later six , virgin priestesses whose lives were... | Meaning, pronunciation, translations and examples [8] However, it is sometimes possible to take back the vows if the reasons or motivations or obligations to family which lead to taking the vow no longer exist. The numerical value of sworn virgin in Chaldean Numerology is: 5, The numerical value of sworn virgin in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6. Definition of sworm in the Definitions.net dictionary. Sworn Virgin (Vergine giurata) director Laura Bispuri with star Alba Rohrwacher Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze Laura Bispuri's Sworn Virgin (Vergine Giurata) won this year's Tribeca Film Festival Nora Ephron Prize. In the western Balkans (chiefly in northern Albania and adjoining parts of Montenegro, Kosovo, and Macedonia): a female virgin who has publicly sworn an oath to remain celibate (or whose parents have so sworn on her behalf), and is thereby committed to adopt the role, responsibilities, and (usually) the clothing of a man. The customs and ideas written about are extremely unusual. "[13] If a sworn virgin was killed in a blood feud, the death counted as a full life for the purposes of calculating blood money, rather than the half-life a woman was counted as. According to most Christian thought, the first sacred virgin was Mary, the mother of Jesus, who was consecrated by the Holy Spirit during the Annunciation. Question: "Is 'virgin' or 'young woman' the correct translation of Isaiah 7:14?" more In northern Albania, the only way a woman can have the rights of a man is to take an oath of celibacy and become a sworn virgin. Some hoped to avoid a specific unwanted marriage, and others hoped to avoid marriage in general; becoming a sworn virgin was also the only way for families who had committed children to an arranged marriage to refuse to fulfil it, without dishonouring the groom's family and risking a blood feud. There are many reasons why someone might take this vow, and observers recorded a variety of motivations. A widow without sons traditionally had few options in Albania: she could return to her birth family, stay on as a servant in the family of her deceased husband, or remarry. [6][9][11][15], Dickemann suggests mothers may have played an important role in persuading children to become sworn virgins. "sworn virgin." The term itself can be misleading — "swearing" virginity can be a public or private act, and it does not even have to be a conscious decision (See Unconscious mind ). They cannot smoke, wear a watch, or vote in local elections. She takes an irrevocable oath, in front of twelve village or tribal elders, to practice celibacy, and from that day on she becomes a man. Sworn virgin Sokol Zmajli in Kosovo. Used other than figuratively or idiomatically: see sworn,‎ virgin. The term itself is used by sworn virgins as a symbol of pride, but can also be used by others in a derogatory fashion. Thanks for your vote! STANDS4 LLC, 2021. The practice of sworn virginhood was first reported by missionaries, travelers, geographers and anthropologists, who visited the mountains of northern Albania in the 19th and early 20th centuries. We're doing our best to make sure our content is useful, accurate and safe.If by any chance you spot an inappropriate comment while navigating through our website please use this form to let us know, and we'll take care of it shortly. The sworn virgin became "a warrior in disguise to defend her family like a man. A sworn virgin is a person who decides to live in the manner of the opposite sex while adamantly refusing ever to have sexual relations with another. sworn virgins. [8][9][11], According to Marina Warner, the sworn virgin's "true sex will never again, on pain of death, be alluded to either in her presence or out of it. Jump to navigation Jump to search. A person can become a sworn virgin at any age, out of personal desire or to satisfy parents. The first sworn virgin was born out of social necessity. https://www.definitions.net/definition/sworn+virgin. The term itself can be misleading — "swearing" virginity can be a public or private act, and it does not even have to be a conscious decision. Andreas Hemming, Gentiana Kera, Enriketa Pandelejmoni, "Stana Cerović, poslednja crnogorska virdžina", "MONTENEGRINA - digitalna biblioteka crnogorske kulture i nasljedja", "Tradition of sworn virgins' dying out in Albania", "Crossing Boundaries:Albania's sworn virgins", "The Sacrifices of Albania's 'Sworn Virgins, "At home with Albania's last sworn virgins", "Reviews/Film Festival; A Girl Who Becomes a Boy, and Then a Woman", "Powerful film debut shows awakening of an Albanian 'Sworn Virgin'", "A compelling, feminist novel of a woman’s struggle to maintain her freedom and independence. The term itself can be misleading — "swearing" virginity can be a public or private act, and it does not even have to be a conscious decision. Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web! noun. [9] One of them was Edith Durham, who took the photograph at right. THE VIRGIN BIRTH The definition of virgin in the Zondervan compact bible dictionary 1.Virgin-A young unmarried woman. She appeals to the old law of the Kanun and swears her eternal virginity thus becoming a "sworn virgin". [9], The Socialist People's Republic of Albania did not encourage women to become sworn virgins. Kapka Kassabova. . The term itself can be misleading — "swearing" virginity can be a public or private act, and it does not even have to be a conscious decision (See Unconscious mind ). Dukes, Kristopher (2017), "The Sworn Virgin," a historical fiction novel about the tradition. The Kanun is not a religious document – many groups follow it, including Albanian Orthodox, Catholics and Muslims. Christ is a descendent of King David. Bottom line: the definition of virginity is complicated, and it’s really up to you to decide what you believe. Other terms for a sworn virgin include, in English, Albanian virgin or avowed virgin; in Serbo-Croatian: Virdžina, in Albanian: burrnesha, vajzë e betuar (most common today, and used in situations in which the parents make the decision when the person is a baby or child), and various words cognate with "virgin" – virgjineshë, virgjereshë, verginesa, virgjin, vergjinesha; in Turkish, sadik, meaning "honest, just", in Serbian, ostajnica (she who stays), in Bosnian, tobelija (bound by a vow). Definitions.net. The sworn virgin was born of social necessity in an agrarian region plagued by war and death. Some people don't even care what “virginity” means or think it matters. Under the Kanun, women are stripped of many rights. Sworn Virgin Synopsis. Sworn Virgin (first edition) ‘Elvira Dones is among the best of Albania’s writers and her publication in English is excellent news.’ Ismail Kadare. A sworn virgin is a person who decides to live in the manner of the opposite sex while adamantly refusing ever to have sexual relations with another. Web. She turns into a man, takes up a rifle and becomes Mark, Mark Doda. [11], The practice has died out in Dalmatia and Bosnia, but is still carried out in northern Albania and to a lesser extent in Macedonia. They cannot buy land, and there are many jobs they are not permitted to hold. Tradition also has it that the Apostle Matthew consecrated virgins. This page was last edited on 7 January 2021, at 22:15. According to the “Kanun”, “a set of traditional, orally transmitted laws which have persisted for centuries in the remote mountain valleys of northern Albania, a woman who feels the need to assume an independent male role in society must live as a “sworn virgin”, adopting the dress and behaviour of a man. When Hana’s dying uncle calls her back from the city to the family home in the Albanian mountains, he tries to marry her to a local man who could run the household. Storyline Hana Doda, still a girl, escapes from her destiny of being wife and servant which is imposed on the women in the inhospitable mountains in Albania. [8] Many sworn virgins today still refuse to go back on their oath because their community would reject them for breaking the vows. Her debut feature stars Alba Rohrwacher in a complex portrayal of life as Hana and Mark with Flonja Kodheli as her sister Lila. A sworn virgin is a person who decides to live in the manner of the opposite sex while adamantly refusing ever to have sexual relations with another. Murray quotes testimony recorded by René Gremaux: "Because if you get married I'll be left alone, but if you stay with me, I'll have a son." A sworn virgin was a socially-recognized man for the rest of “his” life (so long as the oath was kept). ), Bibliography of works on wartime cross-dressing, Sexuality and gender identity-based cultures, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Albanian_sworn_virgins&oldid=998973256, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles containing Albanian-language text, Articles containing explicitly cited English-language text, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. “Beautiful” and “Uplifting,” SWORN VIRGIN follows Hana who, to escape the prospect of wifely servitude in her Albanian village, takes an oath of eternal virginity to live in the mountains as a man. For some women the choice was also a way to escape an arranged marriage or to avoid a life of subservience. 4 min. [11], Women who take a vow of chastity and wear male clothing in Balkan society, This article is about a Balkan gender role. National Geographic's Taboo estimated that there are fewer than 102 sworn virgins in the world. In the present day, this sort of eunuch may result from testicular cancer. In the Catholic Church, a consecrated virgin, is a woman who has been consecrated by the church to a life of perpetual virginity in the service of God. For people who take oaths of celibacy for religious reasons, see. H ana Doda is a student in … [1] National Geographic's Taboo (2002) estimated that there were fewer than 102 Albanian sworn virgins left. Na­tional Ge­o­graphic 's Taboo es­ti­mated that there are fewer than 102 sworn vir­gins in the world. I believe that Kristopher Dukes is an excellent story teller. There are only about forty sworn virgins left; as women were granted more and more rights, fewer and fewer girls felt the need to adopt a male identity for themselves or their families. [6], The Kanun dictates that families must be patrilineal (meaning wealth is inherited through a family's men) and patrilocal (upon marriage, a woman moves into the household of her husband's family). "The Sworn Virgin" is the story of Eleanora, a woman who chooses to live as a "sworn virgin," a tradition that will allow her to basically be the master of her own destiny and be in control of her own life as long as she keeps to her promise. How to say sworn virgin in sign language? To a lesser extent, the practice exists, or has existed, in other parts of the western Balkans, including Bosnia, Dalmatia (Croatia), Serbia and Macedonia. American writer Kristopher Dukes's first novel. [10] One becomes a sworn virgin by swearing an irrevocable oath, in front of twelve village or tribal elders, to adopt the role and practice celibacy. translation: See: construction , definition , explanation , paraphrase , rendition , restatement On hearing those words Djurdja [the daughter] "threw down her embroidery" and became a man. [16] Currently there are between forty and several hundred sworn virgins left in Albania, and a few in neighboring countries. Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary. In northern Albania, the only way a woman can have the rights of a man is to take an oath of celibacy and become a sworn virgin. 1) a male whose balls have been removed, either for government service (such as in ancient Africa and Rome) or, if the castration takes place before puburty, to prevent the voice from breaking (Italian opera's male sopranos of the 17th thru 19th centuries). A sworn virgin is a person who decides to live in the manner of the opposite sex while adamantly refusing ever to have sexual relations with another. [14], It is also likely that many women chose to become sworn virgins simply because it afforded them much more freedom than would otherwise have been available in a patrilineal culture in which women were secluded, sex-segregated, required to be virgins before marriage and faithful afterwards, betrothed as children and married by sale without their consent, continually bearing and raising children, constantly physically labouring, and always required to defer to men, particularly their husbands and fathers, and submit to being beaten. plural of sworn virgin It was the only way a woman could inherit her family's wealth, which was particularly important in a society in which blood feuds (gjakmarrja) resulted in the deaths of many male Albanians, leaving many families without male heirs. Richly detailed with gripping drama, unique historical backdrops, vivid imagery", "Fondacija CURE - VIRDŽINA - ŽENA KOJE NEMA", "A tangle of multiple transgressions: The western gaze and the Tobelija (Balkan sworn-virgin-cross-dressers) in the 19th and 20th centuries", Women Who Become Men: Albanian Sworn Virgins, Albanian Custom Fades: Woman as Family Man, Sworn Virgins – National Geographic Film (approx. The term itself can be misleading — "swearing" virginity can be a public or private act, and it does not even have to be a conscious decision. We're doing our best to make sure our content is useful, accurate and safe.If by any chance you spot an inappropriate image within your search results please use this form to let us know, and we'll take care of it shortly. Grémaux, René. The writing is quite good as are all of the descriptions. Women started gaining legal rights and came closer to having equal social status, especially in the central and southern regions. So a man cannot be a virgin a virgin is a young woman usually when she begins her flowering stage/Cycle. 16 Jan. 2021. They're living life as men, but they are neither transsexual nor gay. "[13] Similar practices occurred in some societies of indigenous peoples of the Americas.[9]. The Al­ban­ian sworn virgins (Al­ban­ian: burrnesha) are Al­ban­ian women who take a vow of chastity and wear male cloth­ing in order to live as men in the pa­tri­ar­chal north­ern Al­ban­ian so­ci­ety. (However, anthropologist Mildred Dickemann suggests this motive may be "over-pat", pointing out that a non-child-bearing woman would have no heirs to inherit after her, and also that in some families not one but several daughters became sworn virgins, and in others the later birth of a brother did not end the sworn virgin's masculine role. After this, sworn virgins live as men and others relate to them as such, usually though not always[11] using masculine pronouns to address them or speak about them to other people;[12] they may dress in male clothing, use a male name, carry a gun, smoke, drink alcohol, take on male work, act as the head of a household (for example, living with a sister or mother), play music and sing, and sit and talk socially with men. What does sworm mean? If the patriarch of the family dies and there is no male heir, an unmarried woman in the family could take on the role of a man and head the family. [11]), Moreover, a child may have been desired to "carry on" an existing feud, according to Marina Warner. [6] It used to be believed that the sworn virgins had all but died out after 50 years of communism in Albania, but recent research suggests that may not be the case;[9] instead, the increase in feuding following the collapse of the communist regime could encourage a resurgence of the practice. Years later, feeling imprisoned by her choice, she visits her sister and … "Woman Becomes Man in the Balkans". [2], Other terms for a sworn virgin include, in English, Albanian virgin or avowed virgin; in Serbo-Croatian: Virdžina, in Albanian: burrnesha, vajzë e betuar (most common today, and used in situations in which the parents make the decision when the person is a baby or child), and various words cognate with "virgin" – virgjineshë, virgjereshë, verginesa, virgjin, vergjinesha; in Turkish, sadik, meaning "honest, just",[3] in Serbian, ostajnica (she who stays), in Bosnian, tobelija (bound by a vow). Many girls would take the oath after their father died. SWORN VIRGIN follows a young woman named Hana who lives in an Albanian village ruled by men, and she takes an oath of eternal virginity to live as a Home Top Box Office The Sworn Virgin is a compelling book that does make a person (me) really appreciate the life style we have now. One person spoke of becoming a sworn virgin in order to not be separated from her father, and another in order to live and work with a sister. Photograph: Ben Speck/Getty Images. 2.Virgin-A young woman of marriageable age, whether married or not. [4], The tradition of sworn virgins in Albania developed out of the Kanuni i Lekë Dukagjinit (English: The Code of Lekë Dukagjini, or simply the Kanun),[5] a set of codes and laws developed by Lekë Dukagjini and used mostly in northern Albania and Kosovo from the 15th century until the 20th century. With a son or surrogate son, she could live out her life in the home of her adulthood, in the company of her child. But promises are hard to keep and love may find her whether she wants it to or not. 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