Crossed hands (gesture)

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The crossed hands gesture is a hand signal that denotes Albania in International Sign language.[1] Known as duart e kryqëzuara (crossed hands) in Albanian, it's sometimes referred to as the "eagle gesture" and is a symbol used by ethnic Albanians in Albania, Kosovo, Republic of Macedonia and other regions of the world where Albanians live. It is meant to visually illustrate the double-headed eagle, the main image drawing found in the Albanian flag.[2] The symbolism of the double headed eagle among Albanians encapsulates their identity and flag, viewing it as a symbol that unites a multifaith population and represents Albanian people.[1]

This gesture is often performed by players of the Albania national football team to celebrate a goal or at the end of a victorious game.[3] It has also been used by some ethnic Albanians playing for other teams.[4] The gesture has found worldwide appeal and has even been performed by sports celebrities like Mike Tyson or the Portuguese football star Pepe. It has also appeared in the form of a sculpture at the Montreal Botanical Garden.[5]

Controversy[edit]

This gesture resembling the double headed eagle on the Albanian flag is sometimes viewed as alluding to the Greater Albania irredentist concept.[6][7][8]

FIFA World Cup (2018)[edit]

In the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Yugoslavia-born Swiss players Xherdan Shaqiri and Granit Xhaka, both ethnic Albanians, performed the gesture in a match against Serbia, and were subsequently fined by FIFA "for unsporting behaviour contrary to the principles of fair-play".[9][10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Ani Kokobobo (July 2, 2018). "For Albanians, it's not just an eagle. Here's the deeper story on those World Cup fines". Washington Post.
  2. ^ Shqiponja, simboli i flamurit tonë, me famë botërore, interpretohet dhe në duart e afrikanëve, shoqëruar me "grimca" lumturie në fytyrë
  3. ^ "Festimi me gjestin e "Shqiponjës" kthehet në modë".
  4. ^ "World Cup 2018: Fifa investigates Switzerland duo over goal celebrations". BBC News. 23 June 2018.
  5. ^ "Duart e kryqëzuara shqiponjë edhe në kopshtin botanik të Kanadasë (Foto) - Telegrafi".
  6. ^ "Izmir Smajlaj claims Albania's first ever European indoor gold medal".
  7. ^ "Switzerlands two main force is afraid of being banned by FIFA for 2 games, celebrating political provocation for disputes".
  8. ^ "World Cup 2018: 15 Goals That Defined The Group Stage".
  9. ^ "Switzerland trio escape bans for Albanian eagle salutes". Telegraph. 28 June 2018.
  10. ^ "World Cup 2018: Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri avoid bans after political goal celebrations". BBC Sport. 25 June 2018. Retrieved 25 June 2018.