You feel the warmth and the pure sweetness of it. You can not help but adore the way it rolls off your tongue, as if it simply belongs to you. Ti je shpirti imi. Have you ever heard of such beauty before?

     The language of Albanian is known to be beautiful, yet a difficult language to speak. Foreigners attempt to pronounce the term correctly, but often end up butchering it. Go ahead try saying it, ti je shpirti imi. Does the word shpirti resonate deep inside you?  

     This word always takes me back to when I was an innocent child. Most afternoons I would call my father a dozen of times just to hear his voice. My father was always away at work and I never had the pleasure of spending time with him. Every time we said goodbye on the phone he would whisper to me, “ti je shpirti imi” as if I was his everything.

     Whenever I hear or speak this word, I instantly feel my heart boiling and draining down to my legs. I close my eyes and see soft pastel colors of Easter. I breathe in deeply and smell a delightful scent of lavender and vanilla. I salivate, I laugh, I crumple, I smile and I cry! But why?

      There is one word in the Albanian language, it is the one word that simply belongs to me:ti je shpirti imi.


CC BY-SA 4.0 A Form of Life by Blerta is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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Youth Voices is organized by teachers at local sites of the National Writing Project and in partnership with Educator Innovator.

CC BY-SA 4.0All work on Youth Voices is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
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