Celebrities, politicians and ordinary people from Kosovo have gone online to post videos of themselves folk dancing to support a local high school teacher who was criticised for posting a video on TikTok while dancing to Albanian folk songs.
Fjolla Ujkani, an MP from Kosovo’s ruling Vetevendosje, called for biology teacher Lulzim Paci to be sacked over the video, which she described as “improper and degenerate acts”.
This prompted Valon Canhasi, the founder of social media agency Hallakate, to video himself dancing to Albanian folk music at his office in solidarity with Paci on January 31, and he urged others to follow suit.
"I invite all of you to make a video dancing in your office or in your home," Canhasi wrote in Facebook post, announcing the launch of a folk-dance challenge.
As reported by Prishtina Insight, this has started a craze, with many people from both Kosovo and neighbouring Albania posting their own folk dance videos on social media with the hashtag #profachallenge.
Among the videos shared by Canhasi is one of the staff in the American School of Kosova dancing.
"As derogatory comments circulate in the news and on social media, our community of teachers feels it is their responsibility to stand up to their colleague, who has been wrongly bullied in public for doing something that many of us want to do – dance," teachers said in the post.
Others include Kosovo singer Dafina Zeqiri and actress Adriana Matoshi, who is now a Vetevendosje MP.
Paci was invited to the studio of broadcaster Klan Kosova where he danced with staff members.
In Albania, the leader of the opposition Socialist Movement for Integration (LSI), Monika Kryemadhi, who is the wife of President Ilir Meta, also posted a video of herself dancing.
Ujkani has since issued a public apology on Facebook, saying her "reaction was aimed at the protection and well-being of the students, and in any case the preservation and protection of the credibility of the school".