Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic
Serbia and Republic of
Kosovo . The 2011 census in
largely boycotted by the Serb community. c The number of people of
Serb descent in
North America and
Australia is higher, as people who
identify as having Yugoslav ancestry (310,682 in the U.S., 48,320 in
Canada and 26,883 people in
Australia ) are mostly of Serb origin.
Part of a series of articles on
* KOSOVO AND METOHIJA
* BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
* South Africa
* Cultural Heritage sites
* Epic poetry
* History of
* History of
* Serbian rulers
* South Slavic
The SERBS (Serbian : Срби/Srbi, pronounced ) are a South Slavic
ethnic group that formed in the
Balkans . The majority of Serbs
inhabit the nation state of
Serbia (with a minority in disputed Kosovo
), as well as
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina ,
Croatia . They
form significant minorities in Macedonia and
Slovenia . There is a
Serb diaspora in
Western Europe , and outside
Europe there are
significant communities in
North America and
Serbs share many cultural traits with the rest of the peoples of
Europe . They are predominantly Eastern Orthodox Christians
by religion. The
Serbian language is official in Serbia, co-official
Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and is spoken by the plurality
* 1 Ethnology
* 2 History
* 2.1 Middle Ages
* 2.2 Early modern period
* 2.3 Modern period
* 3 Demographics
* 4 Language
* 5 Culture
* 5.1 Literature
* 5.2 Art, music, theatre and cinema
* 5.3 Education and science
* 5.4 Names
* 5.5 Religion
* 5.6 Symbols
* 5.7 Traditions and customs
* 5.8 Cuisine
* 5.9 Sport
* 6 See also
* 7 Annotations
* 8 References
* 9 Sources
* 9.1 Books
* 9.2 Web
* 10 External links
The modern identity of
Serbs is rooted in
Eastern Orthodoxy and
traditions. In the 19th century, the Serbian national identity was
manifested, with awareness of history and tradition, medieval
heritage, cultural unity, despite living under different empires.
Three elements, together with the legacy of the
Nemanjić dynasty ,
were crucial in forging identity and preservation during foreign
Serbian Orthodox Church
Serbian Orthodox Church , the
Serbian language , and
Kosovo Myth . When the Principality of
Serbia gained independence
from the Ottoman Empire, Orthodoxy became crucial in defining the
national identity , instead of language which was shared by other
South Slavs (
Bosniaks ). The tradition of slava , the
family saint feast day, is an important ethnic marker of Serb
identity, and is usually regarded their most significant and most
solemn feast day .
The origin of the ethnonym is unclear (see
Names of the Serbs and
Genetic studies on Serbs show that they have close affinity
with the rest of the Balkan peoples and especially those within former
Yugoslavia; Y-DNA results show that haplogroups I2a and R1a together
stand for roughly two thirds of the makeup (as of 2014).
among the tallest people in the world, after
Netherlands, with an average male height of 1.82 metres (6 ft 0 in).
History of the Serbs and History of
Nemanjić dynasty members, most important dynasty of
the Middle Ages
Slavs invaded and settled the
Balkans in the 6th and 7th centuries.
Up until the late 560s their activity was raiding, crossing from the
Danube, though with limited Slavic settlement mainly through Byzantine
foederati colonies. The
Sava frontier was overwhelmed by
large-scale Slavic settlement in the late 6th and early 7th century.
What is today central
Serbia was an important geo-strategical
province, through which the
Via Militaris crossed. This area was
frequently intruded by barbarians in the 5th and 6th centuries. The
Slavs mixed with and assimilated the descendants of the
indigenous population. The history of the early medieval Serbian
Principality is recorded in the 10th-century work De Administrando
Imperio , which describes the
Serbs as a people living in Roman
Dalmatia , subordinate the Byzantine Empire.
Numerous small Serbian states were created, located in modern Bosnia
Montenegro , and
Serbia . With the decline of the
Serbian state of
Duklja in the late 11th century, "Raška " separated
from it and replaced it as the most powerful Serbian state. Prince
Stefan Nemanja (r. 1169–96) conquered the neighbouring territories
Zachlumia . The
Nemanjić dynasty ruled over
Serbia until the 14th century. Nemanja's older son, Stefan Nemanjić ,
became Serbia's first recognized king, while his younger son, Rastko,
Serbian Orthodox Church
Serbian Orthodox Church in the year 1219, and became known
Sava after his death.
Over the next 140 years,
Serbia expanded its borders. Its cultural
model remained Byzantine, despite political ambitions directed against
the empire. The medieval power and influence of
Serbia culminated in
the reign of Stefan
Dušan , who ruled the state from 1331 until his
death in 1355. Ruling as Emperor from 1346, his territory included
Macedonia , northern Greece, Montenegro, and almost all of modern
Albania . When
Dušan died, his son Stephen Uroš V became Emperor.
With Turkish invaders beginning their conquest of the
Balkans in the
1350s, a major conflict ensued between them and the Serbs, the first
major battle was the
Battle of Maritsa (1371), in which the Serbs
were defeated. With the death of two important Serb leaders in the
battle, and with the death of Stephen Uroš that same year, the
Serbian Empire broke up into several small Serbian domains. These
states were ruled by feudal lords, with Zeta controlled by the
Balšić family, Raška,
Kosovo and northern Macedonia held by the
Branković family and
Lazar Hrebeljanović holding today's Central
Serbia and a portion of Kosovo. Hrebeljanović was subsequently
accepted as the titular leader of the
Serbs because he was married to
a member of the Nemanjić dynasty. In 1389, the
Serbs faced the
Ottomans at the Battle of
Kosovo on the plain of
Kosovo Polje , near
the town of
Pristina . Both Lazar and
Murad I were killed in
the fighting. The battle most likely ended in a stalemate, and Serbia
did not fall to the Turks until 1459.
EARLY MODERN PERIOD
Serbs had taken an active part in the wars fought in the Balkans
against the Ottoman Empire, and also organized uprisings; because of
this, they suffered persecution and their territories were devastated
– major migrations from
Serbia into Habsburg territory ensued.
After allied Christian forces had captured Buda from the Ottoman
Empire in 1686 during the
Great Turkish War
Great Turkish War ,
Serbs from Pannonian
Slavonia region in present-day
Banat regions in present-day
Serbia ) joined the troops of
the Habsburg Monarchy as separate units known as
Serbian Militia .
Serbs, as volunteers, massively joined the Austrian side. The
Great Serb Migrations , led by Patriarch
Arsenije III Carnojevic ,
In 1688, the Habsburg army took
Belgrade and entered the territory of
Serbia . Louis William, Margrave of Baden-Baden
called Serbian Patriarch
Arsenije III Čarnojević to raise arms
against the Turks; the Patriarch accepted and returned to the
liberated Peć. As
Serbia fell under Habsburg control, Leopold I
granted Arsenije nobility and the title of duke. In early November,
Arsenije III met with Habsburg commander-in-chief, General Enea Silvio
Prizren ; after this talk he sent a note to all Serb
bishops to come to him and collaborate only with Habsburg forces.
A large migration of
Serbs to Habsburg lands was undertaken by
Patriarch Arsenije III. The large community of
Serbs concentrated in
Hungary and the Military Frontier included merchants
and craftsmen in the cities, but mainly refugees that were peasants.
Serbian Revolution for independence from the Ottoman Empire
lasted eleven years, from 1804 until 1815. The revolution comprised
two separate uprisings which gained autonomy from the Ottoman Empire
that eventually evolved towards full independence (1835–1867).
First Serbian Uprising , led by Duke Karađorđe Petrović
Serbia was independent for almost a decade before the Ottoman army
was able to reoccupy the country. Shortly after this, the Second
Serbian Uprising began. Led by
Miloš Obrenović , it ended in 1815
with a compromise between Serbian revolutionaries and Ottoman
Serbia was one of the first nations in the
Balkans to abolish feudalism .
In the early 1830s
Serbia gained autonomy and its borders were
Miloš Obrenović being recognized as its ruler. The
last Ottoman troops withdrew from
Serbia in 1867, although Serbia's
independence was not recognized internationally until the Congress of
Berlin in 1878.
Gavrilo Princip , who assassinated Franz
Ferdinand , which triggered the start of
World War I
World War I .
Serbia fought in the
Balkan Wars of 1912–13, which forced the
Ottomans out of the
Balkans and doubled the territory and population
of the Kingdom of
Serbia . In 1914, a young
Bosnian Serb student named
Gavrilo Princip assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand of
which directly contributed to the outbreak of
World War I
World War I . In the
fighting that ensued,
Serbia was invaded by Austria-
Hungary . Despite
being outnumbered, the
Serbs subsequently defeated the
Austro-Hungarians at the
Battle of Cer , which marked the first Allied
victory over the
Central Powers in the war. Further victories at the
battles of Kolubara and the Drina meant that
unconquered as the war entered its second year. However, an invasion
by the forces of
Germany , Austria-
Hungary and Bulgaria overwhelmed
Serbs in the winter of 1915, and a subsequent withdrawal by the
Serbian Army through
Albania took the lives of more than 240,000
Serbs. Serb forces spent the remaining years of the war fighting on
Salonika Front in Greece, before liberating
Austro-Hungarian occupation in November 1918. Stone Flower , a
monument to the victims of
Jasenovac concentration camp
Jasenovac concentration camp as part of
Croatian genocide of
Serbs subsequently formed the Kingdom of Serbs,
Croats and Slovenes
South Slavic peoples
South Slavic peoples . The country was later renamed the
Kingdom of Yugoslavia
Kingdom of Yugoslavia , and was led from 1921 to 1934 by King
Alexander I of the Serbian
Karađorđević dynasty . During World War
II , Yugoslavia was invaded by the
Axis powers in April 1941. The
country was subsequently divided into many pieces, with
directly occupied by the Germans.
Serbs in the Independent State of
Croatia (NDH) experienced persecution at the hands of the Croatian
Ustaše , who attempted to exterminate the
Serb population in death camps. More than half a million
killed in the territory of Yugoslavia during World War II.
occupied Yugoslavia subsequently formed a resistance movement known as
the Yugoslav Army in the Homeland , or the Chetniks. The
the official support of the Allies until 1943, when Allied support
shifted to the Communist
Yugoslav Partisans , a multi-ethnic force,
formed in 1941, which also had a large majority of
Serbs in its ranks
in the first two years of war. Later, after the fall of Italy
(September 1943), other ethnic groups joined Partisans in larger
At the end of the war, the Partisans, led by
Josip Broz Tito ,
emerged victorious. Yugoslavia subsequently became a Communist state.
Tito died in 1980, and his death saw Yugoslavia plunge into economic
turmoil. Yugoslavia disintegrated in the early 1990s, and a series of
wars resulted in the creation of five new states. The heaviest
fighting occurred in
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina , whose Serb
populations rebelled and sought unification with
Serbia , which was
then still part of the
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia . The war in
Croatia ended in August 1995, with a Croatian military offensive known
Operation Storm crushing the
Croatian Serb rebellion and causing as
many as 200,000
Serbs to flee the country. The
Bosnian War ended that
same year, with the
Dayton Agreement dividing the country along ethnic
lines. In 1998–99, a conflict in
Kosovo between the Yugoslav Army
Albanians seeking independence erupted into full-out war,
resulting in a 78-day-long NATO bombing campaign which effectively
drove Yugoslav security forces from Kosovo. Subsequently, more than
Serbs and other non-
Albanians fled the province. On 5 October
2000, Yugoslav President
Slobodan Milosević was overthrown in a
bloodless revolt after he refused to admit defeat in the 2000 Yugoslav
general election .
There are nearly 8 million
Serbs living in their autochthonous region
Balkans . In
Serbia (the nation state ), around 6 million
people identify themselves as Serbs, and constitute about 83% of the
population. More than a million live in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Republika Srpska ), where they are one of the three
constituent ethnic groups . The ethnic communities in
Montenegro number some 186,000 and 178,000 people, respectively, while
another estimated 146,000 still inhabit the disputed area of
Smaller minorities exist in
Slovenia and Macedonia , some 36,000 and
39,000 people, respectively.
Outside of Western Balkans,
Serbs are an officially recognized
Albania , the Czech
Republic and Slovakia . There is a large diaspora in Western Europe,
France , and Sweden
. Outside Europe, there are significant Serb communities in the United
Serb diaspora Geographical distribution of the
There are over 2 million
Serbs in diaspora throughout the world,
although some sources put that figure as high as 4 million. The
existence of a large diaspora is mainly a consequence of either
economic or political (coercion or expulsions) reasons. There were
several waves of Serb emigration:
* The first wave took place since the end of 19th century and lasted
World War II
World War II and was caused by economic reasons; particularly
large numbers of
Serbs (mainly from peripheral ethnic areas such as
Dalmatia , and
Lika ) emigrated to the
* The second wave took place after the end of the
World War II
World War II . At
this time, members of royalist
Chetniks and other political opponents
of communist regime fled the country mainly going overseas (United
Australia ) and, to a lesser degree,
United Kingdom .
* The third wave, and by far the largest wave, was economic
emigration started in the 1960s when several Western European
countries signed bilateral agreements with Yugoslavia allowing the
recruitment of industrial workers to those countries, and lasted until
the end of the 1980s. Main destinations were West
Switzerland , and to a lesser extent
Sweden . That
generation of diaspora is collectively known as gastarbajteri, after
German gastarbeiter ("guest-worker"), since most of the emigrants
headed for German-speaking countries.
* The most recent emigration took place during the 1990s, and was
caused by both political and economic reasons. The Yugoslav wars
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina to leave
their countries in the first half of the 1990s. The economic sanctions
Serbia caused an economic collapse with an estimated
300,000 people leaving
Serbia during that period, 20% of which had a
Serbian language Linguistic map of Serbia, Bosnia
and Herzegovina, Montenegro, and Croatia;
Serbian language in yellow
Vuk Karadžić , reformer of modern
Serbs speak Serbian, a member of the South Slavic group of languages,
specifically the Southwestern group. Standard Serbian is a
standardized variety of
Serbo-Croatian , and therefore mutually
intelligible with Standard Croatian and Standard Bosnian (see
Differences in standard Serbian, Croatian and Bosnian ), which are all
based on the
Shtokavian dialect .
Serbian is an official language in
Serbia and Bosnia-
is a recognized minority language in
Montenegro (although spoken by a
plurality of population), Croatia, Macedonia, Romania, Hungary, Czech
Republic and Slovakia. Older forms of literary Serbian are Church
Slavonic of the Serbian recension, which is still used for
ecclesiastical purposes, and
Slavonic-Serbian —a mixture of Serbian,
Church Slavonic and Russian used from mid-18th century to the first
decades of the 19th century.
Serbian has active digraphia , using both Cyrillic and Latin
Serbian Cyrillic was devised in 1814 by Serbian linguist
Vuk Karadžić , who created the alphabet on phonemic principles.
Loanwords in the
Serbian language besides common internationalisms
are mostly from Turkish , German and Italian, while words of Hungarian
origin are present mostly in the north and Greek words are predominant
in the liturgy. Two Serbian words that are used in many of the world's
languages are "vampire " (vampir, spread through
Arnold Paole ) and
Literature , icon painting, music and dance and Mediaeval
architecture are the artistic forms for which
Serbia is best known.
Traditional Serbian visual art (specifically frescoes , and to some
extent icons ), as well as ecclesiastical architecture is highly
reflective of Byzantine traditions, with some Mediterranean and
In the modern times (since the 19th century)
Serbs also have a
noteworthy classical music and works of philosophy.
Serbian literature LEFT:
Miroslav Gospel ,
one of the oldest surviving documents written in Serbian recension of
RIGHT: Nobel Prize -winning writer
Ivo Andrić , born to a Bosnian
Croat family, declared himself a Serb and is considered one of the
greatest Serbian writers
Most literature written by early
Serbs was about religious themes.
Various gospels , psalters , menologies , hagiographies , and essays
and sermons of the founders of the
Serbian Orthodox Church
Serbian Orthodox Church were
written. At the end of the 12th century, two of the most important
pieces of Serbian medieval literature were created– the Miroslav
Gospels and the
Vukan Gospels , which combined handwritten Biblical
texts with painted initials and small pictures. Notable Baroque
-influenced authors were
Andrija Zmajević , Gavril Stefanović
Jovan Rajić ,
Zaharije Orfelin and others. Dositej
Obradović was the most prominent figure of the
Age of Enlightenment
Age of Enlightenment ,
while the most notable Classicist writer was
Jovan Sterija Popović ,
although his works also contained elements of Romanticism. Modern
Serbian literature began with
Vuk Karadžić 's collections of folk
songs in the 19th century, and the writings of Njegoš . The first
prominent representative of
Serbian literature in the 20th century was
Jovan Skerlić , who wrote in pre-
World War I
World War I
Belgrade and helped
introduce Serbian writers to literary modernism. The most important
Serbian writer in the inter-war period was
Miloš Crnjanski .
The first Serb authors who appeared after
World War II
World War II were Mihailo
Dobrica Ćosić . Other famous post-war Yugoslav authors
Ivo Andrić and
Meša Selimović , both of whom identified as
Serbs. Andrić went on to win the
Nobel Prize in Literature
Nobel Prize in Literature in 1961.
Danilo Kiš , another popular Serbian writer, was known for writing A
Tomb for Boris Davidovich , as well as several acclaimed novels.
Amongst contemporary Serbian writers, Milorad Pavić stands out as
being the most critically acclaimed, with his novels Dictionary of the
Khazars , Landscape Painted with Tea and The Inner Side of the Wind
bringing him international recognition. Highly revered in
South America , Pavić is considered one of the most intriguing
writers from the beginning of the 21st century.
ART, MUSIC, THEATRE AND CINEMA
Serbian art , Music of
Serbia , and Cinema of
Kosovo Maiden (1919) by Serbian artist
Uroš Predić .
During the 12th and 13th centuries, many icons, wall paintings and
manuscript miniatures came into existence, as many Serbian Orthodox
monasteries and churches such as those at Studenica ,
Visoki Dečani were built. The architecture of some of
these monasteries is world-famous.
Since the mid-1800s,
Serbia has produced many famous painters who are
representative of general European artistic trends. One of the most
prominent of these was
Paja Jovanović , who painted massive canvases
on historical themes such as the
Great Serb Migrations . Painter Uroš
Predić was also very prominent in the field of Serbian art, painting
Kosovo Maiden , which was completed in 1919. While
Predić were both realist painters, artist
Đura Jakšić was an
Romanticist . Painter
Vladimir Veličković was famous
for his surrealism .
Emir Kusturica , film director who twice
won the Palme d\'Or
Traditional Serbian music includes various kinds of bagpipes , flutes
, horns , trumpets , lutes , psalteries , drums and cymbals . The kolo
is the traditional collective folk dance, which has a number of
varieties throughout the regions. Composer and musicologist Stevan
Stojanović Mokranjac is considered one of the most important founders
of modern Serbian music.
Serbia has produced many talented filmmakers, the most famous of whom
Dušan Makavejev ,
Živojin Pavlović ,
Goran Paskaljević and
Emir Kusturica . Kusturica became world-renowned after winning the
Palme d\'Or twice at the
Cannes Film Festival
Cannes Film Festival ; he has won numerous
other prizes, and is a
UNICEF National Ambassador for Serbia. Several
Serbs have featured prominently in
Hollywood . The most notable of
these are Academy-award winners
Karl Malden ,
Steve Tesich , Peter
Milla Jovovich .
EDUCATION AND SCIENCE
Serbs have contributed to the field of science and technology.
Serbian American scientist, inventor, physicist, mechanical engineer
and electrical engineer
Nikola Tesla is regarded as one of the most
important inventors in history. He is renowned for his contributions
to the discipline of electricity and magnetism in the late 19th and
early 20th century. LEFT:
Mihajlo Pupin , physicist and
Milutin Milanković , mathematician, astronomer and
Physicist and physical chemist
Mihajlo Pupin is best known for his
landmark theory of modern electrical filters as well as for his
numerous patents, while
Milutin Milanković is best known for his
theory of long-term climate change caused by changes in the position
of the Earth in comparison to the Sun, now known as Milankovitch
Mihailo Petrović is known for having contributed
significantly to differential equations and phenomenology, as well as
inventing one of the first prototypes of an analog computer.
Serbian naming customs
There are several different layers of Serbian names. Serbian given
names largely originate from Slavic roots : e.g., Vuk ,
Bojan , Goran
Dragan , Milan , Miroslav , Vladimir ,
Nevena , Vesna ,
Radmila . Other names are of Christian
origin, originating from the bible (Hebrew , through Greek), such as
Mihailo , Ivan ,
Jovan , Ilija , Marija , Ana ,
Ivana . Along
similar lines of non-Slavic Christian names are Greek ones such as:
Aleksandar , Filip ,
Andrija , Jelena ,
Todor , while those of
Latin origin include:
Marko , Antonije ,
Srđan , Marina ,
Petar , Pavle , Natalija , Igor
Most Serbian surnames are paternal, maternal, occupational or derived
from personal traits. It is estimated that over two thirds of all
Serbian surnames have the suffix
-ić (-ић) ( ), a Slavic
diminutive, originally functioning to create patronymics. Thus the
Petrović means the "son of Petar" (from a male progenitor,
the root is extended with possessive -ov or -ev). Due to limited use
of international typewriters and unicode computer encoding, the suffix
may be simplified to -ic, historically transcribed with a phonetic
ending, -ich or -itch in foreign languages. Other common surname
suffixes found among Serbian surnames are -ov, -ev, -in and -ski
(without -ić) which is the Slavic possessive case suffix, thus
Nikola's son becomes Nikolin, Petar's son Petrov, and Jovan's son
Jovanov. Other, less common suffices are -alj/olj/elj, -ija, -ica,
-ar/ac/an. The ten most common surnames in Serbia, in order, are
Serbian Orthodox Church
Serbian Orthodox Church LEFT: Patriarchate
of Peć in
Kosovo , the seat of the
Serbian Orthodox Church
Serbian Orthodox Church from the
RIGHT: Church of Saint
Sava , one of the largest Orthodox churches in
Serbs are predominantly Orthodox Christians . The autocephalous
Serbian Orthodox Church
Serbian Orthodox Church , established in 1219, is led by a Patriarch ,
and consists of three archbishoprics, six metropolitanates and
thirty-one eparchies, having around 10 million adherents. Followers of
the church form the largest religious group in
Serbia and Montenegro,
and the second-largest in
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina and
Croatia . The
church has an archbishopric in Macedonia and dioceses in Western
North America and Australia.
The identity of ethnic
Serbs was historically largely based on
Orthodox Christianity and on the Serbian Church in particular, to the
extent of the claims that those who are not its faithful are not
Serbs. The conversion of the
South Slavs from paganism to Christianity
took place before the Great Schism , the split between the Greek East
and the Catholic West. After the Schism, those who lived under the
Orthodox sphere of influence became Orthodox and those who lived under
the Catholic sphere of influence became Catholic. Some ethnologists
consider that the distinct Serb and Croat identities relate to
religion rather than ethnicity. With the arrival of the Ottoman Empire
Serbs converted to
Islam . This was particularly, but not
wholly, the case in Bosnia . Since the second half of the 19th
Serbs converted to Protestantism, while historically
Serbs were Catholics (especially in
Dalmatia ; e.g. Serb-Catholic
movement in Dubrovnik ). The remainder of
Serbs remain predominantly
Serbian Orthodox Christians.
See also: National symbols of
Among the most notable national and ethnic symbols are the flag of
Serbia and the coat of arms of
Serbia . The flag consists of a
red-blue-white tricolour , rooted in
Pan-Slavism , and has been used
since the 19th century. Apart from being the national flag, it is also
used officially in
Republika Srpska (by Bosnian Serbs) and as the
official ethnic flag of Croatian
Serbs . The coat of arms, which
includes both the
Serbian eagle and
Serbian cross , has also been
officially used since the 19th century, its elements dating back to
the Middle Ages, showing Byzantine and Christian heritage. These
symbols are used by various Serb organisations, political parties and
institutions. The Three-finger salute , also called the "Serb salute",
is a popular expression for ethnic
Serbs and Serbia, originally
expressing Serbian Orthodoxy and today simply being a symbol for
Serbs and the Serbian nation, made by extending the thumb,
index, and middle fingers of one or both hands.
Serbian national colours
TRADITIONS AND CUSTOMS
Serb traditions Folklore
* Traditional clothing varies due to diverse geography and climate
of the territory inhabited by the Serbs. The traditional footwear,
opanci , is worn throughout the Balkans. The most common folk costume
Serbia is that of
Šumadija , a region in central Serbia, which
includes the national hat, the
Šajkača . Older villagers still
wear their traditional costumes.
* The traditional dance is the circle dance , called kolo .
* slava is the family's annual ceremony and veneration of their
patron saint, a social event in which the family is together at the
house of the patriarch. The tradition is an important ethnic marker of
Serbs usually regard the
Slava as their most
significant and most solemn feast day .
Serbs have their own customs regarding
Christmas , which includes
the sacral tree, the badnjak , a young oak.
* On Orthodox
Serbs have the tradition of Slavic Egg
Serbian folk attire from
Old Silent dance from
slava , a family feast in honour of its patron saint.
An Orthodox priest places the badnjak on a fire during
Ćevapi , or Ćevapčići, are
the national dish of
Serbian cuisine is largely heterogeneous, with heavy Oriental,
Central European and Mediterranean influences. Despite this, it has
evolved and achieved its own culinary identity. Food is very important
in Serbian social life, particularly during religious holidays such as
Easter and feast days, i.e., slava . Staples of the
Serbian diet include bread, meat, fruits, vegetables, and dairy
products. Traditionally, three meals are consumed per day. Breakfast
generally consists of eggs, meat and bread. Lunch is considered the
main meal, and is normally eaten in the afternoon. Traditionally,
Turkish coffee is prepared after a meal, and is served in small cups.
Bread is the basis of all Serbian meals, and it plays an important
Serbian cuisine and can be found in religious rituals. A
traditional Serbian welcome is to offer bread and salt to guests, and
also slatko (fruit preserve). Meat is widely consumed, as is fish.
Serbian specialties include kajmak (a dairy product similar to clotted
cream ), proja (cornbread), kačamak (corn-flour porridge), and
gibanica (cheese and kajmak pie).
Ćevapčići , caseless grilled and
seasoned sausages made of minced meat, is the national dish of Serbia.
Šljivovica (Slivovitz) is the national drink of
Serbia in domestic
production for centuries, and plum is the national fruit. The
international name Slivovitz is derived from Serbian. Plum and its
products are of great importance to
Serbs and part of numerous
customs. A Serbian meal usually starts or ends with plum products and
Šljivovica is served as an aperitif. A saying goes that the best
place to build a house is where a plum tree grows best.
Traditionally, Šljivovica (commonly referred to as "rakija ") is
Serbian culture as a drink used at all important rites of
passage (birth, baptism, military service, marriage, death, etc.), and
Serbian Orthodox patron saint celebration (slava ). It is used
in numerous folk remedies, and is given certain degree of respect
above all other alcoholic drinks. The fertile region of
Serbia is particularly known for its plums and Šljivovica.
Serbia is the largest exporter of Slivovitz in the world, and second
largest plum producer in the world.
Main article: Sport in
Serbs are famous for their sporting achievements, and have produced
many talented athletes.
Novak Djokovic , one of the greatest
tennis players of all time.
Over the years
Serbia has been home to many internationally renowned
football players such as
Dragan Džajić (officially recognized as
"the best Serbian footballer of all times" by Football Association of
Serbia; 1968 European Footballer of the Year third place) and more
recent likes of Dejan
Stanković (Serbia's most capped player),
Nemanja Vidić (
Premier League Player of the Season
Premier League Player of the Season and member of
FIFPro World XI , both awards for 2008–09 and 2010–11 seasons
Branislav Ivanović and
Nemanja Matić .
developed a reputation as one of the world's biggest exporters of
A total of 22 Serbian players have played in the NBA in the last two
decades, including three-time NBA All-Star Predrag "Peja" Stojaković
and NBA All-Star and
FIBA Hall of Fame inductee
Vlade Divac . Serbian
players that made a great impact in
Europe include four members of the
FIBA Hall of Fame from the 1960s and 1970s –
Dragan Kićanović ,
Dražen Dalipagić ,
Radivoj Korać , and
Zoran Slavnić – as well
as recent stars such as
Dejan Bodiroga (2002 All-
Europe Player of the
Đorđević (1994 and 1995
Mr. Europa ) and
Miloš Teodosić (2009–2010
Euroleague MVP ). The
renowned "Serbian coaching school" produced many of the most
successful European coaches of all times, such as Željko Obradović
(a record eight Euroleague titles),
Božidar Maljković (four
Dušan Ivković (two Euroleague titles), and
Svetislav Pešić .
Novak Đoković , twelve-time Grand Slam champion and 2011, 2014 and
2015 Laureus Sportsman of the Year , finished 2011, 2012, 2014, and
2015 as the No. 1 ranked player in the world and is currently No. 2 in
the ATP Rankings.
Ana Ivanovic (champion of
2008 French Open ) and
Jelena Janković were both ranked No. 1 in the WTA Rankings.
Other noted Serbian athletes, including Olympic and world champions
and medalists, are: swimmer
Milorad Čavić , long-jumper Ivana
Španović , shooter
Jasna Šekarić and taekwondoist
Milica Mandić .
List of Serb countries and regions
List of Serbs
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* The former president of the
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* The Serbian Ministry for
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* The NIN Magazine estimated 12.1 million in 2011.
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* Project Rastko – Serbian cultural and historical research
society (in Serbian)
Cultural sphere of Christian traditions that developed since Early
Christianity in the
Middle East , Eastern
Eastern Africa ,
Asia Minor ,
Southern India , and parts of the
Far East .
Eastern Orthodox Church
Eastern Orthodox Church
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