Have you ever seen a teddy bear at the front of a house in Albania?
If you are not local, and you don’t ask, you might think people put it there to dry off after being washed. This is what almost happened to me, but my Albanian friends Aldi and Klea taught me better.
There is a belief in Albania that people can look at you with an „evil eye“. Imagine somebody feels envy toward you, but doesn’t tell you that. Instead, they tell you how good you did and how happy they are for you. According to the belief, this can transmit negative energy to people, and even houses. Different talismans exist as a protection from such a negative energy, and the most famous one is the „blue eye“ put on the jewellery. For a house, it is typical to put a puppet at front, so the people will think it is something ugly and so that they don’t envy and spread negative energy about it. And how can anyone feel anything negative when looking at a teddy bear? 🙂
Author: Jelena Kodic (Balkans, let’s get up! Organisation), with support from Klea Laze and Harald Cela