Do you know that once in Albania, but not only, the ability to steal was highly valued? It was not seen as a dishonest job. Only the theft of "small stuff" was despised.

In the continuation of this story, we will tell you about an entertaining event from hundreds of years ago and a tradition of today in the areas of Laberia. Both are related to this action that today we strongly condemn.

In some provinces of the Laberia area, such as Tepelena, Vlora, and their villages, there is a tradition that is implemented at the time of the wedding even today.

When the family of the groom comes, as it is otherwise known "to exchange the moles" - they must definitely steal one of the cutlery pieces, for example, a fork or spoon, without being spotted. Once this tradition was even stronger and the groom had to steal the ram from the head of the flock of the tribe of the bride he was going to marry.

The theft had to be done without being detected. Even if someone from the bride's family spotted the thief, they had the right to fire their weapons for the protection of their property. On the other hand, the thief definitely had to complete the task to the end. On the contrary, the bride was not given to him as he was seen as unable to protect her from various dangers and to create a prosperous financial life for his new spouse.

 Meanwhile, from the archive of the Vlora family, there was a very interesting correspondence about a man named Zenel Pashe Vlora. We will tell you as follows:

"Once the Persian Shah wanted to challenge the Sultan by proposing a race:

He sent two of his best thieves to Constantinople and asked the Turks to bring out their two master thieves in front of them.

Among many others, the Sultan turned to Zenel Pasha "because his Vlonjats are famous throughout the empire for their nimble fingers", begging him to send two of his best thieves to emerge victorious over the Persians.

Zenel Pasha sent two of his "labs": "They are the best I have," he wrote to the Sultan with all the appropriate care, "and I hope I have served well my ruler. If happens- God forbid - that they don't succeed, then I'm ready to face the Persians myself". Zenel Pasha, however, did not have to try himself, because his labs beat the Persians.

One of the Persians climbed a tower and stole an egg from a stork without being noticed by the bird, even though it is known that storks can't be compared to any other animal for their level of attention. But, before the Persian went down to the ground, one of Zeneli's guys had untied and taken his pants with the whole egg in his pocket.

This story, which the sultan told when he was in a good mood and to cheer up his officials, shows that theft in those days was seen as a job that required great skill and was associated with the extraordinary danger that the Albanians were not afraid of undertaken at any time.

January 16, 2023