The following article is based on information provided by the Albanian Institute of Statistics as of June 2010. For more statistics please visit: http://www.instat.gov.al/
What do Parrots and People have in common?
TIRANA. I was reading about parrots lately. First of all, they say that parrots can have the intelligence of a 2-5 year old child. I found that “providing him with varying levels of physical and mental stimulation will help to combat boredom and the unwanted behaviors that are triggered by it. Biting, plucking and screeching are all behavioral symptoms of a bored parrot. If left to escalate, any one of these behaviors can become detrimental to the health and well being of your parrot.”
It seems obvious that the same must hold true for people. So if we are concerned about keeping a parrot with the intelligence of a 2 yr old stimulated, then it seems natural we should stimulate our society as well.
It has often been stressed that exercising the mind is a key life practice and an essential skill necessary for a happy, healthy and prosperous life…and isn’t this what we all want?
According to a research on “Arts and Happiness” from the Manchester Metropolitan University “Arts increase happiness and reduce anxiety and depression” (September, 2007).
A future article will discuss the removal, destruction and replacement of cultural outlets in Albania, including the destruction of the oldest fountain in Tirana, which was (until yesterday – July 21) situated in front of parliament, a museum turned into a bar in Elbasan, and countless other examples. This article, however, will focus on government statistics.
Let’s examine a few stats regarding cultural stimulation in Albania. It is important to note that while this is being written in 2010, the stats provided by the Institute of Statistics regarding culture are current only up to 2007, and in most cases 2004. We must also note that statistics do not tell the entire story, only trends. Here are a few trends based on the stats:
1. National Gallery of Arts (stats current up to 2007)
From 2004-2007, the number of exhibitions decreased from 51 to 33, and attendance decreased from 10,000 in 2004 to 7,900 in 2007. Publications from the gallery decreased from 7 in 2004 to 2 for the years 2005, 2006 and 2007 combined. The Gallery has no website either.
2. Gallery of Arts-Districts (stats current up to 2004)
In 2001 there were 26 items listed as District Gallery of Arts. By 2004, when the data stops, there are 15 listed. Likewise, attendance had dropped more than 50% between 2003 and 2004.
National Museums decreased from 10 to 8 between 2004 and 2007.
The Variety Theatre decreased in Hall Capacity from 400 to 100 in 2001 and remained so until 2004, when data stops. The number of shows decreased from 50-22 between 2003-2004 and attendance was halved. The number of actors decreased as well.
The Circus decreased in Hall Capacity from 500 to 100 between 2002-2004. The number of actors decreased as well as the audience. Data stops in 2004.
Movie Theatres decreased from 14 in 2001 to 8 in 2004 when the data stops. The number of cinemas in 1991 was 65.
While it is true that some institutions have in fact grown in size and stature, many have diminished and /or disappeared. We invite all readers to respond with your comments, experiences and information.
The information in this article is based entirely on data from the website of the Albanian Institute of Statistics. I will be the first to say that this article is incomplete. The reason being, the statistics are incomplete. What is clear however, is that our opportunities for cultural stimulation have decreased, and like the parrot, many of us have begun biting, plucking and screeching.
Q: What do parrots and people have in common?