Relationship: Child of im/migrant

My mother, when I come home from school, plays music that includes an instrument called a çifteli. This reminds of her home country from which she escaped -the country of Yugoslav during 1998.  She doesn't know how to play this instrument, but in my country the men and boys know how to play it and the girls and women know how to dance to it. The place my mom escaped from was once a former socialist state created after German occupation in World War II and the Cold War. It brought together a group of people (Serbs, Croats, Bosnians, Muslims, Albanians, and more).  Now, let me tell you a little bit about çifteli.  A çifteli (you can see it in the picture) is an instrument that is made of wood and has two strings. Most of the designs are in black and the light color is the wood which is a light brown. You can tune this by making the second string (drone) tuned 3 notes lower than the first string because it was made that way. For example, if you tune the first string to F4, the second string should be tuned to C4. Hold down the second string on the third fret from the top and adjust the tension while strumming both strings and when you feel that it is tuned enough then you can play with it. I learned about this object when my grandmother came to my house from Montenegro a few years ago. That’s the time I got a replica of this instrument.

Place(s): Yugoslavia, Montenegro

– Elizah Kukaj

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant