Travel

8 Things to Know About Serbian People

Serb people
gustavofrazao /Depositphotos.com

Serbian people are one of the most resilient people in the world. They survived many wars over the past centuries and yet, managed to stay positive and joyful.

From the time when Serbia was ruled by the Ottoman Empire (for more than three centuries) to modern Serbia today, Serbian people managed to withstand many difficulties. 

There are many Serbs who will tell you that the most important thing in life is hospitality. 

If you want to learn more about this Balkan nation or the capital Belgrade, check out these articles: What to do in Serbia or What to do in the Serbian capital Belgrade.

In this article, I (the author) will show you what I’ve found to be the right characterization of the nation that was tormented between the influence of the western culture and eastern spirit. So sit back, relax and keep reading about Serbian people. 

Serbian People Facts

1. Hospitality

Many people think that Serbs are the most welcoming people in the world. If by any chance, you’ve been to Serbia, you’ll know what I mean. They pride themselves on being great hosts.

Warm welcome and hospitality is the common trait of almost everybody in Serbia. 

Even Robert De Niro talked about the hospitality of Serbian people (he also talks about being a Serb himself, which is quite possible).

Each time I visit this wonderful county, there is a new place I just have to see. 

There is Kalemegdan, the old fortress in Belgrade (it’s built in the third century!), that protected the Serbian people for centuries.  It’s an important monument of culture. 

What I found most interesting (about Serbian people) is that I always make a new Serbian friend. 

If you need some help to learn more about the Ottoman influence on this state or Slavic history in general, most Serbians will gladly tell you all about it.

2. Religion is Important

One of the most common things that you will hear about Serbs is that they cherish their religion and traditions. 

Religion is very important to Serbian people and has been a large part of their lives for many years.

Religious elements are evident in the whole state. For example, there is the Temple of Saint Sava in Belgrade. It is one of the largest Orthodox Christian churches in Europe [1].

This is not the case with just Serbs. Many Croats are very religious as well. To be more specific, religiosity is the cornerstone of the whole Balcan region and Slavic people in general.

Each time a new patriarch (the supreme priest in a specific national orthodox church) is elected, a lot of people gather to see the results (it’s similar to the pope election in the catholic states).

3. Stubbornness

Another famous trait of an average Serb is stubbornness (inat in Serbian). There is a common idea that Serbians are always fighting against the world.

This is not without good reasons, since this state was in wars and had to defend itself from a couple of very large empires (Austro-Hungary and Ottoman empire).

There is a certain national pride that grew larger after the bombing in 1999 by NATO [2].  

A lot of countries have condemned this act and the bombing of Yugoslavia (Yugoslavia was the name for the country of Serbs, Croats, Slovenians, Macedonians, Bosnians and Montenegrins). 

Serbian stubbornness is even more prominent when it comes to sports. They are champions in different sports and have made great success in disciplines such as water polo (even though they have no access to the sea).

4. They Like Rakia

The most popular Serbian drink is Rakia. Serbs are used to drinking this wonderful drink when they work in the field or when they gather in kafana (a traditional bar).

Although Serbian people like to drink this beverage in restaurants, probably half the state knows how to make it by themselves.

It’s not easy to create rakia because you need to follow a strict recipe and include the right ingredients. If you don’t use the right measurements, you will create bad rakia (which is the last thing you want to do in this state).

5. Patriotism Is in Their Blood

Serbian people are very much passionate about their nation. The most common thing you can hear from Serbs is that they are proud of their history, language and culture.

They care about all of the parts of the country. In that sense, they are very much interested in the destiny of Kosovo, the south region of the country.

Kosovo was for years at the center of Serbian identity. Since the start of the war in 1998, a lot of Serbs had to flee from their homes.

Today, some countries recognize Kosovo as an independent country, while others still regard it as a part of the Serbian nation.

6. Great Sense of Humor

Serbian people are among the most entertaining folks in the world. 

Just start a conversation with a Serb about some random topic and you will immediately see what I’m talking about.

Serbian jokes are a mixture of dark comedy with a bit of cynicism and self-criticism. This becomes even more evident when you watch a Serbian comedy. 

If you are interested in Serbian films, this list of the best Serbian movies is a good way to start.

Serbs really like to joke around and tell funny stories. You may not understand some of the jokes because of their local character, but after a while, you will become familiar with their wonderful humor.

7. Proud of Their National History

Serbian National history is something that a lot of people find interesting and worth studying. Serbs are well educated, which is why they often indulge in historical debates.

For example, The Battle of Kolubara is probably the most significant military event in Serbian National history. Austria-Hungary, a much bigger empire, attacked Serbia with a huge army.

The attack was fierce and the Serbian army had to retreat. However, Serbs were and still are a nation with great military leadership and experience (the experience part is not the thing to get used to, but is sadly true).

It was Živojin Mišić, a general at first (called to participate out of retirement) and later a field marshal that devised a strategic move that will be taught in the military academies all over the world.

Serbian people are very proud of this and other historical moments because, in the end, this is what helped them to preserve their language, religion, culture and nation.

Battle for Kosovo was another historical moment, crucial for the Serbian nation and is also a topic of modern debates.

8.  Like to Party

Serbs really like to party, that is a fact. If you want to get the best out of this state, find a club to visit (you will not be disappointed).

For years, its capital has been known as the center of culture and a place with quite a few nightclubs, bars and festivals. The author of this article himself has experienced countless sleepless nights in Belgrade..

If you find yourself in this wonderful state, please make sure to rest because you will need it! 

References

  1. https://orthodoxtimes.com/the-largest-temples-in-the-world-saint-sava-in-serbia/  
  2. https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/nato-bombs-yugoslavia 

About the author

Meet the Slavs

Posts by the Meet the Slavs Team.

Meet the Slavs is your most comprehensive online resource about Slavic people, their cuisine, culture, history, mythology, and more.

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment