Serbian culture refers to the culture of
Serbia and of ethnic Serbs.
Byzantine Empire had a great influence on the culture;
initially governing the Byzantine and Frankish frontiers in the name
of the emperors and were later through their sworn alliance given
independence, baptized by Greek missionaries and adopted the Cyrillic
Catholic influences in the southern regions.
Serbian Orthodox Church
Serbian Orthodox Church gained autocephaly from
1219, whereas Stephen the First Crowned was declared king by the Pope.
Republic of Venice
Republic of Venice influenced the maritime regions in the Middle
Ottoman Empire conquered
Serbia in 1459 and ruled the
territory for several centuries, the consequences of which suppressed
Serbian culture but also greatly influenced Serbian Art, especially in
the southern regions. Meanwhile, in northern regions Habsburg Monarchy
expanded into modern Serbian territory starting from the end of the
17th century, culturally bounding this part of the nation to Central
Europe rather than Balkans. Central
Serbia was the first to emancipate
as the Principality of
Serbia in 1815, and started to gradually expand
into Ottoman and Habsburg-held regions.
Following Serbia's autonomy after the
Serbian revolution and eventual
independence, the culture of
Serbia was restrengthened within its
1.2.1 Given names
2.2 Homemade meals
5 Traditions and customs
8 Serbian visual arts
9 Serbian performing arts
9.2 Theatre and cinema
10 Serbian handcrafts
11 Serbian media
13 Cultural institutions
14 National symbols
15 See also
18 External links
18.1 Online references
18.2 Other references
Main article: Religion in Serbia
See also: Serbian Orthodox Church
Church of St. Mark in
Belgrade is built in the Moravian (Moravska)
Cathedral of Saint Sava
Conversion of the
South Slavs from Paganism to
Christianity began in
the early 7th century, long before the Great Schism, the split between
the Greek Orthodox East and the
Roman Catholic West, the
first Christinaized during the reign of Heraclius (610-641) but were
fully Christianized by
Eastern Orthodox Missionaries (Saints) Cyril
and Methodius in 869 during Basil I, who sent them after Knez Mutimir,
had acknowledged the suzerainty of the Byzantine Empire. After the
Schism, those who lived under the Byzantine sphere of influence became
Orthodox and those who lived under the Roman sphere of influence
became Catholic. Later, with the arrival of the Ottoman Empire, many
Serbs converted to Islam. Their modern descendants are considered to
be members of the Gorani and
Bosniak ethnic groups.
The White Angel
Serbian Orthodox Church
Serbian Orthodox Church was the westernmost bastion of the Eastern
Christianity in Europe, which shaped its historical fate
through contacts with
Catholicism and Islam.
During World War II, the Serbs, living in a wide area, were persecuted
by various peoples and organizations. The
Catholic Croats within the
Independent State of
Croatia recognized the
Serbs only as "Croats of
the Eastern faith" and had the ideological vision that 1/3 of the
Serbs were to be murdered, 1/3 were to be converted and the last third
expelled. The outcome of these visions was the death of at least
700,000 people, the religious conversion of 250,000 and the expulsion
Main article: Serbian name
As with most Western cultures, a child is given a
first name chosen by their parents but approved by the godparents of
the child (the godparents usually approve the parent's choice). The
given name comes first, the surname last, e.g. "Željko Popović",
where "Željko" is a first name and "Popović" is a family name.
Female names end with -a, e.g.
Dragan -> Dragana.
Popular names are mostly of Serbian (Slavic), Christian (Biblical),
Serbian: Bogdan, Dragan, Goran, Radovan, Slobodan, and Zoran.
Greek: Nikola, Đorđe, Aleksandar, Jelena, and Katarina.
Biblical: Ana, Jovan, Marko, Petar, Pavle, Mihajlo and Gavrilo.
Latin: Srđan, Antonije, and Roman.
Most Serbian surnames (like Bosnian, Croatian and Montenegrin) have
the surname suffix
-ić (pronounced [t͡ɕ], Cyrillic: -ић). This is
often transliterated as -ic or -ici. In history, Serbian names have
often been transcribed with a phonetic ending, -ich or -itch. This
form is often associated with
Serbs from before the early 20th
century: hence Milutin Milanković is usually referred to, for
historical reasons, as Milutin Milankovitch.
-ić suffix, with variants "-ović"/"-ević", is originally a
Slavic diminutive and its meaning has been extended to creating
patronymics. Thus the surname Petr(ov)ić signifies little Petar, as
does, for example, "-sen"/"-son" in Scandinavian and to a lesser
extent German and English names or a common prefix Mac ("son of") in
Scottish & Irish, and O' (grandson of) in Irish names. It is
estimated that some two thirds of all Serbian surnames end in
that some 80% of
Serbs carry such a surname with many common names
being spread out among tens and even hundreds of non-related extended
Other common surname suffixes are -ov or -in which is the Slavic
possessive case suffix, thus Nikola's son becomes Nikolin, Petar's son
Petrov, and Jovan's son Jovanov. Those are more typical for
Vojvodina. The two suffixes are often combined.
The most common surnames are Marković, Nikolić, Petrović, and
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (October
Main article: Serbian cuisine
Most people in
Serbia will have three meals daily, breakfast, lunch
and dinner, with lunch being the largest and most important meal.
However, traditionally, only lunch and dinner existed, with breakfast
being introduced in the second half of the 19th century.
Ćevapčići (the national dish)
Serbian cuisine is varied and can be said to be a mix of
central European, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine.[citation
Ćevapčići consisting of grilled heavily seasoned mixed
ground meat patties is considered to be the national dish. Other
notable dishes include
Koljivo used in religious rituals, Serbian
salad, Sarma (stuffed cabbage), podvarak (roast meat with sauerkraut)
Česnica is a traditional bread for
A number of foods which are simply bought into Supermarkets from the
West, are often made at home in Serbia. These include rakija (fruit
brandy), slatko, jam, jelly, and pickled foods (notably sauerkraut,
ajvar and sausage). The reasons for this range from economical to
cultural. Food preparation is a strong part of the Serbian family
Sljivovica, the national drink of Serbia
Serbian desserts are a mixture of other Balkan desserts and desserts
native to central Serbia. Desserts served are usually Uštipci,
Tulumbe, Krofne and
Slatko is a traditional
Serbian dessert popular throughout
Serbia and it can be found in most
Serbian restaurants in the
Balkans and in the diaspora.
Beer is widely consumed in Serbia. The most popular brands are Jelen
Pivo and Lav Pivo. Rakija, a plum brandy commonly known by popular
Slivovitz (original spelling šljivovica, from šljiva =
plum) is a distilled fermented plum juice. This is the national drink
Serbia with 70% of domestic plum production being used to make it.
Domestic wine is also popular.
Turkish coffee is widely consumed as
Main article: Serbian language
Cyrillic and Serbian Latin, from Comparative orthography of
European languages. Source:
Vuk Stefanović Karadžić
Vuk Stefanović Karadžić "Srpske narodne
pjesme" (Serbian folk poems), Vienna, 1841
Serbs speak the Serbian language, a member of the South Slavic group
of languages, specifically in the Southwestern Slavic group with the
Slavic languages including Macedonian and Bulgarian. It
is mutually intelligible with the standard Croatian and Bosnian
language (see Differences in standard Serbian, Croatian and Bosnian)
and some linguists still consider it part of the pre-war
Serbian language comprises several dialects, the standard language
is based on the Stokavian dialect.
It is an official language in Serbia,
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina and
Montenegro. In Hungary, Slovakia, Croatia, the Macedonia and Romania,
it is a regionally recognized minority language.
There are several variants of the Serbian language. The older forms of
Serbian are Old Serbian and Russo-Serbian, a version of the Church
Vuk Karadžić, reformer of the Modern Serbian language
Serbian is the only European language with active digraphia, using
Latin alphabets. Serbian
Cyrillic alphabet was
devised in 1814 by Vuk Karadžić, who created the alphabet on
phonemic principles, the
Cyrillic itself has its origins in Cyril and
Methodius transformation from the Greek script.
Loanwords in the
Serbian language are mostly from Turkish, German and
Italian, words of Hungarian origin is present mostly in the north and
Greek words mostly in the liturgy.
Two Serbian words that are used in many of the world's languages are
vampire and paprika.
Slivovitz and ćevapčići are Serbian words
which have spread together with the Serbian food/drink they refer to.
Slivovitz are borrowed via German; paprika itself entered
German via Hungarian.
Vampire entered most West European languages
through German-language texts in the early 18th century and has since
spread widely in the world.
Main article: Serbian literature
Miroslav's Gospel is one of the earliest works of Serbian literature
dating from between 1180 and 1191 and one of the most important works
of the medieval period. This work was entered into UNESCO's Memory of
the World program in 2005.
Serbian epic poetry
Serbian epic poetry was a central part of
Serbian literature based on historic events such as the
Battle of Kosovo.
In the 20th century,
Serbian literature flourished and a myriad of
young and talented writers appeared.
The most well known authors are Ivo Andrić, Miloš Crnjanski, Meša
Selimović, Borislav Pekić, Danilo Kiš, Milorad Pavić, David
Albahari, Miodrag Bulatović, Dobrica Ćosić,
Zoran Živković and
Jelena Dimitrijević and
Isidora Sekulić are two early
20th century women writers.
Svetlana Velmar-Janković is the best
known female novelist in
The Bridge on the Drina
The Bridge on the Drina won the Nobel Prize for
Literature in 1961.
Milorad Pavić is perhaps the most widely acclaimed Serbian author
today, most notably for his Dictionary of the Khazars
(Хазарски речник/Hazarski Rečnik), which has been
translated into 24 languages.
Traditions and customs
Main article: Serbian traditions
Serbs have many traditions. The
Slava is exclusive custom of the
Serbs, each family has one patron saint that they venerate on their
feast day. The
Serbian Orthodox Church
Serbian Orthodox Church uses the traditional Julian
Calendar, as per which
Christmas Day (December 25) falls currently on
January 7 of the Gregorian Calendar, thus the
Christmas on January 7, shared with the Orthodox churches of
Jerusalem, Russia, Georgia, Ukraine and the Greek Old Calendarists.
Slava, Serbian Orthodox Patron saint veneration
Kumstvo, God-parenthood in the Serbian Orthodox Church
Kolo, Serbian folk dance in circle.
Serbian epic poetry, Epic poetry
Serbs are a highly family-oriented society. A glance into a
Serbian dictionary and the richness of their terminology related to
kinship speaks volumes.
Slava prepared for a Serbian family feast in honour of their Patron
Saint, John the Baptist
Of all Slavs and Orthodox Christians, only
Serbs have the custom of
Slava is the celebration of a family's patron saint; unlike
most customs that are common for the whole people, each family
separately celebrates its own saint (of course, there is a lot of
overlap) who is considered its protector. A slava is inherited,
mostly, though not exclusively from father to son (if a family has no
son and a daughter stays in parental house and her husband moves in,
her Slava, not his, is celebrated). Each household has only one saint
it celebrates, which means that the occasion brings all of the family
together. However, since many saints (e.g. St. Nicholas, St. John the
Baptist, St. George, St. Archangels of Gabriel and Michael, and the
Apostles St. Peter and Paul) have two feast days, both are marked.
The traditional dance is a circle dance called kolo, which is common
among Serbs, Montenegrins and Macedonians. It is a collective dance,
where a group of people (usually several dozen, at the very least
three) hold each other by the hands or around the waist dancing,
forming a circle (hence the name), semicircle or spiral. It is called
Oro in Montenegro. Similar circle dances also exist in other cultures
of the region.
Badnjaks on sale at Kalenić Market, Belgrade.
Serbs have their own customs regarding Christmas. The Serbian Orthodox
Church uses the Julian calendar, so
Christmas currently falls on
January 7 of the Gregorian calendar. Early in the morning of Christmas
Eve, the head of the family would go to a forest in order to cut
badnjak, a young oak, the oak tree would then be brought into the
church to be blessed by the priest. Then the oak tree would be
stripped of its branches with combined with wheat and other grain
products would be burned in the fireplace. The burning of the badnjak
is a ritual which is most certainly of pagan origin and it is
considered a sacrifice to God (or the old pagan gods) so that the
coming year may bring plenty of food, happiness, love, luck and
riches. Nowadays, with most
Serbs living in towns, most simply go to
their church service to be given a small parcel of oak, wheat and
other branches tied together to be taken home and set afire. The house
floor and church is covered with hay, reminding worshippers of the
stable in which
Jesus was born.
Christmas Day itself is celebrated with a feast, necessarily featuring
roasted piglet as the main meal. The most important
Christmas meal is
česnica, a special kind of bread. The bread contains a coin; during
the lunch, the family breaks up the bread and the one who finds the
coin is said to be assured of an especially happy year.
Christmas is not associated with presents like in the West, although
it is the day of Saint Nicholas, the protector saint of children, to
whom presents are given. However, most Serbian families give presents
on New Year's Day. Santa Claus (Deda Mraz (literally meaning Grandpa
Frost)) and the
Christmas tree (but rather associated with New Year's
Day) are also used in
Serbia as a result of globalisation.
Old New Year (currently on January 14 of the Gregorian
On Orthodox Easter,
Serbs have the tradition of Slavic Egg decorating.
Another related feature, often lamented by
Serbs themselves, is
disunity and discord; as
Slobodan Naumović puts it, "Disunity and
discord have acquired in the Serbian popular imaginary a notorious,
quasi-demiurgic status. They are often perceived as being the chief
malefactors in Serbian history, causing political or military defeats,
and threatening to tear Serbian society completely apart." That
disunity is often quoted as the source of Serbian historic tragedies,
Battle of Kosovo
Battle of Kosovo in 1389 to
Yugoslav wars in the 1990s.
Even the contemporary notion of "two Serbia's"—one supposedly
national, liberal and Eurocentric, and the other conservative,
nationalist and Euroskeptic—seems to be the extension of the said
discord. Popular proverbs "two Serbs, three political parties" and
"God save us from
Serbs that may unite!", and even the unofficial
Serbian motto "Only Unity Saves the Serbs" (Samo sloga Srbina spasava)
illustrate the national frustration with the inability to unite over
Serbian humour is centuries old. The most common type of humour is
Black Humour and Serbian jokes are often imitated by other peoples
from the Balkans, often with a twist. As with many other peoples,
there are popular stereotypes on the local level: in popular jokes and
Vojvodina (Lale) are perceived as
phlegmatic, undisturbed and slow; Montenegrins are lazy and pushy;
Serbs are misers; Bosnians are raw and simple;
Serbia (Šumadija) are often portrayed as capricious and
malicious, etc. Also, policemen and blondes are mocked as being
stupid. But all that is pure conjecture, of course.
Main article: Serbian folklore
Slavic mythology, pagan folklore
Serbian epic poetry
Serbian visual arts
Main article: Serbian art
Battle of Kosovo
Battle of Kosovo (1870), painting by Adam Stefanović, depicting the
Battle of Kosovo
Battle of Kosovo that took place in 1389.
The Ottoman conquest of
Serbia during the 15th century is
traditionally said to have had a negative impact of the visual arts.
The church was not subdued to the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate at
Constantinople and the nobility was suppressed. As the nobility and
church were the main sources of patronage for architects and artists,
the early modern period is considered an artistically less productive
period in the art of Serbia. Despite the general trend, remarkable
monuments were built.
Serbian Migrations (1896) by
Paja Jovanović depicts the Great Serb
Migrations, on display in the National Museum of Serbia
There was some resumption of artistic endeavour after the restoration
of the Serbian patriarch in 1557.
Djordje Mitrofanović was the
leading painter of the early 17th century with his work on the church
Morača Monastery considered as amongst his best. The
Husein-Pasha Mosque in
Pljevlja (Montenegro) is the most notable
Muslim structure in the
Balkans and dates from the middle of the 16th
Kosovo Maiden (1919) by Uroš Predić, based on the Serbian epic poem.
A "Baroque" church 'Our Lady of the Rocks' on an island in the Boka
Montenegro is one of the most notable pieces of
architecture in the Serbian lands from the early modern period. There
are many fine specimens of silverware dating from the 17th century
Serbian art was beginning to show some Baroque
influences at the end of the 18th century as shown in the works of
Teodor Kračun and Jakov Orfelin.
There was somewhat of a resurgence in
Serbian art in the 19th century
Serbia gradually regained its autonomy. Prince Aleksandar
commissioned the building of a
Monument to the Insurgents
Monument to the Insurgents in
Karađorđev Park in 1848 in Vračar. Serbian paintings showed the
Romanticism during the 19th century.
Anastas Jovanović was a pioneering photographer in
Serbia taking the
photos of many leading citizens.
Kirilo Kutlik set up the first school of art in
Serbia in 1895. Many
of his students went to study in Western Europe, especially France and
Germany and brought back avant-garde styles.
Nadežda Petrović was
Sava Šumanović worked in Cubism.
After World War I, the
Belgrade School of Painting developed in the
capital with some members such as
Milan Konjović working in a Fauvist
manner, while others such as
Marko Čelebonović working in a style
called Intimisme based on the use of colours.
The most famous Serbian painters were
Paja Jovanović and Uroš
Predić, painting in the Realist style. Their monumental paintings of
historical events have inspired generations of Serbian artists.
Serbian performing arts
Main article: Music of Serbia
Marija Šerifović won the Eurovision Contest for
Serbia in 2007.
Serbian music dates from the medieval period with strong church and
folk traditions. Church music in
Serbia of the time was based on the
Osmoglasnik a cycle of religious songs based on the resurrection and
lasting for eight weeks. During the
Nemanjić dynasty and under other
rulers such as Stefan Dušan, musicians enjoyed royal patronage. There
was a strong folk tradition in
Serbia dating from this time.
During Ottoman rule,
Serbs were forbidden to own property, to learn to
read and write and denied the use of musical instruments. Church music
had to be performed in private. Gusle, a one-stringed instrument, was
used by Serbian peasants during this time in an effort to find a
loophole through the stringent Ottoman laws.
Filip Višnjić was a
particularly notable guslar (gusle player). In the 18th century,
Russian and Greek chant schools were established and the Serbian
Orthodox Church accepted
Church Slavonic into their liturgy.
Stevan Stojanović Mokranjac
Folk music enjoyed a resurgence in the nineteenth century. Jozip
Slezenger founded the Prince's Band playing music based on traditional
tunes. Stevan Mokranjac, a composer and musicologist collected folk
songs as well as performing his own work.
Kornelije Stankovic wrote
Serbian language works for choirs.
Traditional Serbian folk music remains popular today especially in
rural areas. Western rock and pop music has become increasingly
popular especially in cities with rock acts such as
Riblja Čorba and
Đorđe Balašević incorporating political statements in their music.
Turbo-folk combined Western rock and pop styles with traditional folk
music vocals. Serbian immigrants have taken their musical traditions
to nations such as the US and Canada.
Marija Šerifović won first place at the 2007 Eurovision Song
Serbia was the host of the 2008 contest.
Theatre and cinema
Main article: Cinema of Serbia
Serbia has a well-established theatrical tradition with many theatres.
Serbian National Theatre
Serbian National Theatre was established in 1861 with its building
dating from 1868. The company started performing opera from the end of
the 19th century and the permanent opera was established in 1947. It
established a ballet company.
Belgrade International Theatre Festival, is one of the oldest
theatre festivals in the world. New Theatre Tendencies is the constant
subtitle of the Festival. Founded in 1967,
Bitef has continually
followed and supported the latest theater trends. It has become one of
five most important and biggest European festivals. It has become one
of the most significant culture institutions of Serbia.
Cinema was established reasonably early in
Serbia with 12 films being
produced before the start of World War II. The most notable of the
prewar films was Mihailo Popovic's The
Battle of Kosovo
Battle of Kosovo in 1939.
The National Theatre in Belgrade
Cinema prospered after World War II. The most notable postwar director
Dušan Makavejev who was internationally recognised for Love
Affair: Or the Case of the Missing Switchboard Operator in 1969
focusing on Yugoslav politics. Makavejev's
Montenegro was made in
Sweden in 1981.
Zoran Radmilović was one of the most notable actors
of the postwar period.
Serbian cinema continued to make progress in the 1990s and today
despite the turmoil of the 1990s.
Emir Kusturica won two Golden Palms
for Best Feature Film at the Cannes Film Festival, for When Father Was
Away on Business in 1985 and then again for Underground in 1995. In
1998, Kusturica won a Silver Lion for directing Black Cat, White Cat.
As at 2001, there were 167 cinemas in
Serbia (excluding Kosovo) and
over 4 million
Serbs went to the cinema in that year. In 2005, San
zimske noći (A Midwinter Night's Dream ) directed by Goran
Paskaljević caused controversy over its criticism of Serbia's role in
Yugoslav wars in the 1990s.
Serbia has a long tradition of handicrafts.
known for its black pottery.
Pirot in eastern
Serbia became known for
its ceramics under the Ottomans with the potters following Byzantine
designs. It also became a centre for the production of Kilims or rugs.
The Slavs introduced jewellery making to
Serbia in the sixth century
AD. Metalworking started to develop on a significant scale following
the development of a Serbian state. Workshops were set up in towns,
large estates and in monasteries. The Studenica Monastery was known
for the quality of its goldsmithing. Coins were minted not only by the
kings but some of the wealthier nobility. The nobility also was
influenced by the wealth of the Byzantine court. Metalworking like
many other arts and crafts went into decline following the Ottoman
conquest. However, there was a partial revival in later centuries with
Baroque influence notably the 17th century silverware at "Our
Lady on the Rocks" on Boka Kotorska.
Main article: Media of Serbia
As of 2001, there were 27 daily newspapers and 580 other newspapers
published in Serbia. Some of these newspapers have
Politika founded in 1904 is the oldest daily
newspaper in the Balkans. There were also 491 periodical magazines
Serbia with the Nedeljne informativne novine (NIN) and
Vreme amongst the most notable.
Television broadcasting started in 1958 with every country in the
former Yugoslavia having its own station. In Serbia, the state
television station was known as RTB and became known as RTS (Radio
Television of Serbia) after the breakup of Yugoslavia. From the time
of Yugoslavia until the
Bulldozer Revolution in 2000, state
broadcasting was controlled by the ruling party. The RTS station was
bombed during NATO's 1999 air-strikes against Yugoslavia, as they
claimed this was being used for propaganda.
There was some private broadcasting with the
B92 radio and television
station starting in 1989 although it was shut down in 1999 during the
hostilities. After the fall of Milošević, RTS became known as "new"
RTS as an assertion of independence while
B92 commenced broadcasting.
During 2001, there were 70 television centres in
Serbia of which 24
were privately owned. In 2003, there was a return to censorship as the
Zoran Živković temporarily imposed a state of
emergency following the assassination of
Zoran Djindjic and the
European Federation of Journalists
European Federation of Journalists continues to hold concerns over
media freedom in the country.
Main article: Sport in Serbia
Serbia is very successful in many sports. Among the most popular
sports are football, basketball, water polo, sport shooting, handball,
volleyball and tennis.
The two most popular football clubs in
Serbia are Red Star Belgrade
and FK Partizan. Their supporters are the
Delije and the Grobari,
Serbian national football team
Serbian national football team participated in the
2010 FIFA World Cup.
In basketball, Serbian clubs are successful and participate regularly
in European competitions, where they often make quarter-final and
semi-final appearances. The
Serbian national basketball team
Serbian national basketball team is
successful in international competitions, having won several FIBA
EuroBasket and Olympic gold medals.
Serbian men's and women's teams are also World Champions in sports
such as water polo and volleyball.
Serbian tennis players have been successful.
Novak Djoković is the
current World No. 1 and he has won ten Grand Slam Singles titles to
date. Janko Tipsarević, Viktor Troicki,
Jelena Janković and Ana
Ivanović are also successful. The
Serbia Davis Cup team won the 2010
Davis Cup Final held in the
At the beginning of the 21st century, there were 32 art galleries and
142 museums in Serbia.
Belgrade has many of the most
significant with the National Museum of
Serbia in Belgrade, the
Gallery of Frescoes featuring Orthodox Church art, the Ethnographic
Museum and the Princess Ljubica's Residence.
Novi Sad contains the
Vojvodina Museum as well as the
Matica Srpska is the oldest and most notable cultural and scientific
organisation in today's Serbia. Its name is translated in Serbian as
the Serbian matrix or parent body of the Serbs. It was founded in 1826
Budapest and moved to
Novi Sad in 1864. Amongst other achievements,
it compiled a six-volume study of the
Serbian language between 1967
and 1976. Its journal Letopis Matice Srpske is one of the oldest
periodicals examining scientific and cultural issues anywhere in the
Vojvodina province of Austro-
Hungary became attractive for
Serbs ever since the fall of
Serbia in the 15th century, and was the
site of the Great Serbian Migrations, when
Serbs colonized the area
escaping Turkish vengeance.
Sremski Karlovci became the spiritual,
political and cultural centre of the
Serbs in the Habsburg Empire,
with Metropolitan of the
Serbian Orthodox Church
Serbian Orthodox Church residing in the town.
To this day,
Serbian Patriarch retains the title of Metropolitan of
(Sremski) Karlovci. The town featured the earliest
Serb and Slavic
grammar school (Serbian: gimnazija/гимназија, French: Lycée)
founded on August 3, 1791. In 1794, an Orthodox seminary was also
founded in the town, ranking second oldest in the world (after the
Spiritual Academy in Kiev).
Novi Sad is home to Serbia's oldest
professional theatre, founded in 1861 as Serbian National Theatre
(serbian: Srpsko Narodno Pozorište), followed by
Belgrade in 1868;
however two other cities claim this title: City of Kragujevac
Knjazesko Srbski Teatar since 1835 and
Subotica since 1851 (*there
were theatres throughout
Serbia long before that time but cannot be
classified as "professional".
There is a network of libraries with three national libraries, 689
public libraries, 143 higher education libraries and 11
non-specialised libraries as at 1998. The National Library of Serbia
is the most significant of these.
Project Rastko founded in 1997 is an
Internet library of
Roots to the Serbian education system date back to 11th and 12th
centuries when first
Catholic colleges were founded in Vojvodina
(Titel, Bac). Medieval Serbian education however was mostly conducted
through the Serbian Orthodox monasteries (
UNESCO protected Sopoćani,
Studenica, Patriarchate of Peć) starting from the rise of Raška in
the 12th century, when
Serbs overwhelmingly embraced
than Catholicism. The first European-style higher education facilities
however were founded in
Teacher's College in
Subotica in 1689, although several facilities have functioned even
before (e.g. Jesuit School in Belgrade, since 1609). Following
short-lived Serbian independence between 1804 and 1813, Belgrade
officially became an educational centre of the country (excluding
Vojvodina). The University of
Belgrade is the biggest and most
prestigious institution of higher education in
Serbia, founded as the
Belgrade Higher School in 1808. The Gymnasium
Jovan Jovanović Zmaj was founded in 1810 and many important Serb
cultural figures studied there.
Within the Government of Serbia, the Serbian Ministry for Culture is
responsible for administering its cultural facilities.
Serbian tetragrammatic cross.
The Serbian Flag
The Serbian flag is a red-blue-white horizontal tricolour.
The Serbian eagle, a white two-headed eagle, which represents dual
power and sovereignty (monarch and church), was the coat of arms of
the Nemanjić dynasty.
Serbian cross is based on the Byzantine cross, but where the
Byzantine Cross held 4 Greek letter 'V' (or 'B') meaning King of
Kings, ruling over Kings, the
Serbian cross turned the Byzantine
"B" into 4
Cyrillic letters of 'S' (C) with little stylistic
modification, for a whole new message (traditionally rendered as Samo
sloga Srbina spasava - Only Unity Saves the Serbs). If displayed on a
field, traditionally it is on red field, but could be used with no
field at all.
Both the eagle and the cross, besides being the basis for various
Serbian coats of arms through history, are bases for the symbols of
various Serbian organizations, political parties, institutions and
Serbian folk attire varies, mostly because of the very diverse
geography and climate of the territory inhabited by the Serbs. Some
parts of it are, however, common:
A traditional shoe that is called the opanak. It is recognizable by
its distinctive tips that spiral backward. Each region of
Serbia has a
different kind of tips.
A traditional hat that is called the Šajkača. It is easily
recognizable by its top part that looks like the letter V or like the
bottom of a boat (viewed from above), after which it got its name. It
gained wide popularity in the early 20th century as it was the hat of
the Serbian army in the First World War. It is still worn everyday by
some villagers today, and it was a common item of headgear among
Serb military commanders during the
Bosnian War in the 1990s.
However, the "Šajkača" is common mostly for the Serbian population
living in the region of Central
Serbia (Šumadija), while
in Vojvodina, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and
different types of traditional hats, which are not similar to
"šajkača". Different types of traditional hats could be also found
in eastern and southern parts of Central Serbia.
Cultural Heritage of Serbia
Tourism in Serbia
^ Antonić, Dragomir (2006-07-23). Царство за
Politika 33300 (in Serbian). Politika.
Slobodan Naumović. "The social origins and political uses of
popular narratives on Serbian disunity" (PDF). Filozofija i društvo
2005 Issue 26, Pages: 65-104. Retrieved 2009-06-22.
^ Branko Radun (2007-03-10). "Dve zadušnice za "dve Srbije"". Nova
srpska politička misao. Retrieved 2010-12-05.
^ Krojac. "Suveniri Srbije - Suvenir Lala".
^ "Byzantine Empire". www.crwflags.com.
Trgovčević, Ljubinka (2006). "The enlightenment and the beginnings
of modern Serbian culture". Balcanica. 37: 103–110.
Peić, Sava. Medieval Serbian culture. Alpine Fine Arts Collection
Mihailovich, Vasa D. "Landmarks in Serbian Culture and History."
Pittsburgh, Pa (1983).
Janićijević, Jovan, ed.
Serbian culture through centuries: selected
list of recommended reading. Yugoslav Authors' Agency, 1990.
THE HISTORY OF SERBIAN CULTURE (Internet ed.). Porthill Publishers.
1995. ISBN 1-870732-31-6.
Purković, Miodrag (1985). Srpska kultura srednjega veka. Izd. Srpske
pravoslavne eparhije za zapadnu Evropu. (in Serbian)
Serbia Ministry of Culture
Serbia (in Serbian)
European Federation of Journalists
European Federation of Journalists
Serbian info culture page
Serbian info Art History page
Encarta Yugoslavia article
Encarta Yugoslav literature page
Serbian medieval literature history
Columbia University Yugoslav Literature article
Treasures National Library Serbia
Serbia and Montenegro", Encyclopædia Britannica, 2005
"Serbia", Grove Art Online, 2005
"Serbia", Grove Music Online, 2005
The Statesman's Yearbook 2005: The Politics, Cultures and Economies of
the World, London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004, ISBN 1-4039-1481-8
Culture of Europe
Bosnia and Herzegovina
States with limited
Isle of Man
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