Every Friday, the open market in the eastern Kosovo town of Kamenica brings together Albanians and Serbs, selling produce and sharing daily concerns.
By Safet Kabashaj for Southeast European Times in Pristina -- 26/04/12
The Kamenica open market is known for its multi-ethnic flavour. [Safet Kabashaj/ SETimes]
People at the Kamenica market show a tolerance that might easily serve as an example of inter-ethnic relations in Kosovo.
Sabit Mavriqi, a Kosovo Albanian, and Grade Nikolic, Kosovo Serb, both in their 50s, both try to speak one another's language, show mutual friendship.
"We are talking together, Albanians and Serbs. Speak out, you speak out. That's right. He speaks in Serbian, I speak in Albanian. We are also neighbours and everything, thank God. In Kamenica, there is no problem at all."
The market, at the town centre, works on Fridays only with residents, mainly from nearby villages. They bring all sorts of domestic produce to sell: beans, poultry, eggs, milk, flour, cheese and even brandy. Most lack permanent and sustainable employment. Clearly, making money is on their minds, rather than their ethnic or language differences.
Vesel Abdullahu has come to trade at the Kamenica market every Friday for the last six years, selling onions, flour, beans and spinach. Abdullahu sees no tension in the ethnic differences at the market.
"No, there are no problems with that. Everything's OK, peaceful, you can see Serbs buying from Albanians, Albanians buying from Serbs. There are no problems regarding that."
Sylejman Morina, a spokesperson at the Kamenica municipality, said Kamenica has less ethnic tension because there were few losses in the armed conflict there, compared to other regions.
"What can be seen in the market is a fact, an established reality. We could not improvise it and make it appear in the way someone would like in a particular moment. Everything there is natural. That's why it represents the best picture of a consolidated reality, preserved in Kamenica municipality."