THE SPEECH OF THE PRESIDENT OF KOSOVO, DR. FATMIR SEJDIU, FOR THE TRADITIONAL CEREMONY DARKA E LAMËSPrishtina, 27 October 2006 Honorable Special Representative of the Secretary General, Mr. Joachim Rücker, Honorable KFOR Commander, Lieutenant General Roland Kather, Honorable President of the Assembly of Kosova, Mr. Kolë Berisha, Honorable Prime Minister, Mr. Agim Çeku, Honorable Deputies of the Assembly, Ministers and other representatives of the central and local government, Honorable diplomats, Honorable invitees from the social, cultural and academic circles, Honorable guests:
We are slowly making official an old local tradition, which was brought back to our calendars by President Ibrahim Rugova.
This traditional celebration, with its authentic name Darka e Lamës, President Rugova also named as the Thanksgiving Day for God who has bestowed the Harvest during the year.
Darka e Lamës was a traditional celebration of our ancestries, the Illyrians, and survived through very difficult times of our existence, because this very existence has been saved by the yeast of our authentic life.
It is the fourth time that Darka e Lamës is being organized under the Patronage of the President of Kosova, but the first time without our historical President, Ibrahim Rugova, a man of national and state culture who had conceived the building of our country on the interweaving of authentic tradition and the best modern values.
President Rugovas attention towards the tradition and his ideas for preserving, cultivating, and updating the national treasure, including elements of authentic culture of food, have from time to time faced misunderstandings among a part of the people.
Our Kosova is a country with great potential for giving good and sufficient productions of different cultures. The land of Kosova was known for its production of crops since the ancient times, whereas this fertile land is suitable even for the cultures that have come from the West as well as the United States.
If in the past Darka e Lamës has been a familiar feast for the core of our society, today we have the honor to organize it in the level of a state celebration, and sit around the table together with our many friends from all around the world.
We are convinced that with these friends from all around the world we will celebrate together the day of independence of our country, which will mark the building of a state in a territory that has had an old state-building foundation since the ancient times with Dardania but also based on the best contemporary state traditions.
The productions of Kosova will renew their identity even in the international level with the recognition of the independence of Kosova. When that time comes, those productions will be tagged Made in Kosova. Then there will be motivation for greater and harder work for our farmers and the food industry to produce even more.
I am convinced that Darka e Lamës of 2007 will be celebrated in the internationally recognized state of Kosova.
Honorable friends, thank you for gathering with us around this table to celebrate this traditional feast.
I will conclude with a typical Albanian phrase when we sit around the table: Ju bëftë mirë! Ju bëftë mirë Darka e Lamës