November 25, 2012
O Moj Shqypni (English: “Oh Albania”) is a poem written by Pashko Vasa, a writer and activist of the Albanian National Awakening, around 1878–1880. A critique of religious and political factionalism, the poem is considered to be one of the most important and influential literary works of the Albanian National Awakening and the best known work of Pashko Vasa, while its verse The Faith of the Albanian is Albanianism (Albanian: Feja e Shqyptarit asht Shqyptaria) has become the motto of various Albanian organizations.
Written in Vasa’s native dialect of Shkodër O Moj Shqypni is a 72-verse poem, which was first published by the Czech linguist Jan Urban Jarnik in his work Zur Albanesische Sprachenkunde published in 1881.
Throughout the Ottoman Empire, it was disseminated in the form of brochures and flyers. Two other versions have been found in Thimi Mitko’s archives in Alexandria and those of Jeronim de Rada in Cosenza.
Found in 1975, the latter version, unlike the other two, has a different first verse, which is Mori Shqypni instead of Moj Shqypni. It was originally considered to have been transcribed by Vasa, but eventually it was proven that it’s a transcription of Sami Frashëri, another important Albanian writer of the era.
Pashko Vasa wrote the poem during the formation of the League of Prizren, which sought to unify all Albanian-inhabited areas into one single state entity and later adopted the verse The Faith of the Albanian is Albanianism of the poem as its motto.
O Moj Shqypni contains the widespread view among Albanian intellectuals, which considered the overcoming of religious division as a way to reinforce national consciousness that could be realized by replacing the importance of religion with that of Albanian culture and patriotism.
The poem criticizes political and cultural factionalism, which Vasa considered an obstacle to national unity, the idea which is still stocked and ethnic Albanians remain ‘chopped’ territorially yet in the edge of the 100th anniversary of the self proclaimed independence back on November of 1912, startin with Elbasan on the 25thand ending succesfuly with Vlora on the 28th of November 1012.
O Moj Shqypni is considered to be one of the most influential works of 19th-century Albanian literature and has been described as one of the most influential and most important poems written in Albanian. Its verse The Faith of the Albanian is Albanianism (Albanian: Feja e Shqyptarit asht Shqyptaria) was the motto of the League of Prizren and in modern times remains the motto of various Albanian nationalist organizations. During the assemblies of 1910, the music director of the orchestra of Vlorë melodized the poem.