D.S. is my father who immigrated from Albania when he was 18. I called him up to ask him about a story he used to tell me when I was younger about how Albania got its name.
Me: So who had told you this story originally?
D.S.: My grandmother who you never got to meet was actually the first person who had told me this story way back when I was young.
Me: That’s super cool, so how does it go again?
D.S.: So there is a young boy who was hunting in the mountains, when he saw a massive eagle flying above him with a dead snake in its beak land on the side of a cliff at its nest. After a while the eagle left, and the boy climbed up to the nest and saw a baby eagle with the dead snake. But the snake wasn’t dead, so the boy whipped out his bow and arrow and killed the snake, saving the baby eagle. He took the baby and started heading home, when all of a sudden he heard the loud flapping of the giant wings of the eagle. “Why did you take my baby?” the eagle said. “The baby is mine because I saved it from the snake you didn’t kill”. The eagle then said “give me back my kid and I will give you the sharpness of my eyes and the powerful strength of my wings. You will be called the strongest and by my name”. So the boy handed the baby over, but the baby eagle remained attached to the boy for saving its life. When they were both older, the eagle would follow the boy, who is now a man. The man, who was extrememely powerful from the eagles gift, killed beasts with his bow and slayed enemies of the land with his sword, all while the eagle flew over his head following him. He became the king of the land and he was called Albanian which means son of the eagle, and the land was called Albania, the land of eagles.
The people of Albania have gone through a lot of hardships in their history, so strength is very important to them. This story shows that the people of Albania are strong and powerful, and gifted the strengths of eagles. The story makes Albanians proud of their country, and D.S. told me that during the tough times of his childhood, the story would give him comfort. It reminds me that I am strong because I am Albanian, and makes me proud to be Albanian.