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Pictures | Thu Jan 17, 2013 | 9:40am IST

Sworn virgin

<p>Diana Rakipi, a Burrnesha or sworn virgin, is pictured at her apartment in Durres January 10, 2013. Burrnesha are Albanian women who took a vow of chastity in return for the right to live as men in traditional, strongly patriarchal communities where women were typically treated as property. Rakipi, 59, one of the few remaining Burrnesha, said she became a sworn virgin at seventeen because she always felt like a boy.   REUTERS/Arben Celi</p>

Diana Rakipi, a Burrnesha or sworn virgin, is pictured at her apartment in Durres January 10, 2013. Burrnesha are Albanian women who took a vow of chastity in return for the right to live as men in traditional, strongly patriarchal communities where...more

Diana Rakipi, a Burrnesha or sworn virgin, is pictured at her apartment in Durres January 10, 2013. Burrnesha are Albanian women who took a vow of chastity in return for the right to live as men in traditional, strongly patriarchal communities where women were typically treated as property. Rakipi, 59, one of the few remaining Burrnesha, said she became a sworn virgin at seventeen because she always felt like a boy. REUTERS/Arben Celi

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<p>Diana Rakipi, a Burrnesha or sworn virgin, shows a picture of herself when she was sixteen, inside her apartment in Durres January 16, 2013.  REUTERS/Arben Celi</p>

Diana Rakipi, a Burrnesha or sworn virgin, shows a picture of herself when she was sixteen, inside her apartment in Durres January 16, 2013. REUTERS/Arben Celi

Diana Rakipi, a Burrnesha or sworn virgin, shows a picture of herself when she was sixteen, inside her apartment in Durres January 16, 2013. REUTERS/Arben Celi

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<p>Diana Rakipi, a Burrnesha or sworn virgin, plays a pipe at her apartment in Durres January 16, 2013.   REUTERS/Arben Celi</p>

Diana Rakipi, a Burrnesha or sworn virgin, plays a pipe at her apartment in Durres January 16, 2013. REUTERS/Arben Celi

Diana Rakipi, a Burrnesha or sworn virgin, plays a pipe at her apartment in Durres January 16, 2013. REUTERS/Arben Celi

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<p>Diana Rakipi, a Burrnesha or sworn virgin, cleans the dust from a souvenir inside her apartment in Durres January 16, 2013.   REUTERS/Arben Celi</p>

Diana Rakipi, a Burrnesha or sworn virgin, cleans the dust from a souvenir inside her apartment in Durres January 16, 2013. REUTERS/Arben Celi

Diana Rakipi, a Burrnesha or sworn virgin, cleans the dust from a souvenir inside her apartment in Durres January 16, 2013. REUTERS/Arben Celi

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<p>Diana Rakipi, a Burrnesha or sworn virgin, poses for a picture at her apartment in Durres January 10, 2013.   REUTERS/Arben Celi</p>

Diana Rakipi, a Burrnesha or sworn virgin, poses for a picture at her apartment in Durres January 10, 2013. REUTERS/Arben Celi

Diana Rakipi, a Burrnesha or sworn virgin, poses for a picture at her apartment in Durres January 10, 2013. REUTERS/Arben Celi

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<p>Diana Rakipi, a Burrnesha or sworn virgin, paints at the balcony of her apartment in Durres January 16, 2013.   REUTERS/Arben Celi</p>

Diana Rakipi, a Burrnesha or sworn virgin, paints at the balcony of her apartment in Durres January 16, 2013. REUTERS/Arben Celi

Diana Rakipi, a Burrnesha or sworn virgin, paints at the balcony of her apartment in Durres January 16, 2013. REUTERS/Arben Celi

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<p>Diana Rakipi, a Burrnesha or sworn virgin, smokes on the balcony of her apartment in Durres January 10, 2013.   REUTERS/Arben Celi</p>

Diana Rakipi, a Burrnesha or sworn virgin, smokes on the balcony of her apartment in Durres January 10, 2013. REUTERS/Arben Celi

Diana Rakipi, a Burrnesha or sworn virgin, smokes on the balcony of her apartment in Durres January 10, 2013. REUTERS/Arben Celi

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<p>Diana Rakipi, a Burrnesha or sworn virgin, cleans the grave of her father Meto, and grandmother Vruska, at a cemetery in Durres January 10, 2013.   REUTERS/Arben Celi</p>

Diana Rakipi, a Burrnesha or sworn virgin, cleans the grave of her father Meto, and grandmother Vruska, at a cemetery in Durres January 10, 2013. REUTERS/Arben Celi

Diana Rakipi, a Burrnesha or sworn virgin, cleans the grave of her father Meto, and grandmother Vruska, at a cemetery in Durres January 10, 2013. REUTERS/Arben Celi

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<p>Diana Rakipi, a Burrnesha or sworn virgin, walks on a street in Durres January 16, 2013.  REUTERS/Arben Celi</p>

Diana Rakipi, a Burrnesha or sworn virgin, walks on a street in Durres January 16, 2013. REUTERS/Arben Celi

Diana Rakipi, a Burrnesha or sworn virgin, walks on a street in Durres January 16, 2013. REUTERS/Arben Celi

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<p>Diana Rakipi, a Burrnesha or sworn virgin, talks with a woman on a street in Durres January 16, 2013.   REUTERS/Arben Celi</p>

Diana Rakipi, a Burrnesha or sworn virgin, talks with a woman on a street in Durres January 16, 2013. REUTERS/Arben Celi

Diana Rakipi, a Burrnesha or sworn virgin, talks with a woman on a street in Durres January 16, 2013. REUTERS/Arben Celi

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<p>Diana Rakipi (R), a Burrnesha or sworn virgin, talks with a friend at a coffee shop in Durres January 16, 2013.  REUTERS/Arben Celi</p>

Diana Rakipi (R), a Burrnesha or sworn virgin, talks with a friend at a coffee shop in Durres January 16, 2013. REUTERS/Arben Celi

Diana Rakipi (R), a Burrnesha or sworn virgin, talks with a friend at a coffee shop in Durres January 16, 2013. REUTERS/Arben Celi

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<p>Diana Rakipi (R), a Burrnesha or sworn virgin, shares a toast with friends at a pub in Durres January 16, 2013.   REUTERS/Arben Celi</p>

Diana Rakipi (R), a Burrnesha or sworn virgin, shares a toast with friends at a pub in Durres January 16, 2013. REUTERS/Arben Celi

Diana Rakipi (R), a Burrnesha or sworn virgin, shares a toast with friends at a pub in Durres January 16, 2013. REUTERS/Arben Celi

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