With globalization and the free access to information that the Internet gives us, Serbian culture has slowly but surely captured the attention of travelers around the globe. As such, Serbia has become one of the most popular destinations in Europe among vacationers. In addition, Serbia’s history, traditions, and economic development have made this Balkan country a key location in southeastern Europe. Since knowing a little bit about a country’s culture beforehand will help you have a better experience during your vacation, here are seven exciting aspects of Serbian culture you should know.
Facts About Serbian Culture
Fact #1: The Serbian Language Belongs To The Slavic Family
You may already know that Serbian is the official language of Serbia. But did you know that it is part of the Slavic language family? In fact, it shares many similarities with languages such as Russian, Czech, Polish, and other Slavic languages. As a matter of fact, Serbians can slightly understand other Slavic languages to a certain extent. The Serbian writing system has two alphabets, Cyrillic and Latin, and both are used parallel until this day.
Fact #2: Hospitality Is A Trademark Of Serbians
Joy and hospitality have become a trademark of the Serbian people. Being such a rich culture, with so many festivities and traditions, the warmth of Serbs impresses the tourists. They are so proud of this distinction that even today, they continue to express their hospitality by making visitors feel part of the community.
Fact #3: Bread And Salt Have A Symbolic Meaning
Another super interesting fact about Serbian culture is the special meaning of bread and salt (Hleb i modo). For a long time, the Serbs have been performing the ritual of welcoming their guests with these food items. The traditional bread, pogača, symbolizes family unity and kindness, and salt means prosperity and security for the guest.
Fact #4: The Slava Tradition Dates From The 9th Century.
Slava is a tradition among Orthodox Christian families in Serbia to celebrate a feast in honor of the family’s patron saint, who is considered the protector and provider of prosperity. This celebration is specific to each family; friends and family celebrate yearly with abundant and delicious food.
Fact #5: Christmas Is Celebrated On January 7th (Orthodox Serbians)
The Serbian Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas based on the Julian calendar. So Christmas eve is on January 6th, and Christmas is celebrated on the 7th, unlike in Western countries where it is celebrated on December 25th. It is a Serbian custom to gather and celebrate the birth of Jesus together with the family. Christmas Day is a public holiday, so most Serbians do not work that day.
Fact #6: Mediterranean Cuisine Has A Great Influence On Serbian Gastronomy.
Greek, Mediterranean, and Eastern European cuisines heavily influenced Serbian gastronomy. National dishes include sarma, gibanica, pljeskavica, and ćevapi, among other delicacies. We have a previous blog post dedicated to Serbian gastronomy. If you want to know more about Serbian cuisine, check it out after reading this article.
Fact #7: Serbians Greet Each Other With Kisses
As in many European countries, a common greeting is a handshake. Still, in more familiar environments, it is customary to greet each other with three kisses; this applies to men and women indistinctly. It is important to emphasize that eye contact should be maintained when greeting each other with a handshake because it symbolizes respect and sincerity for Serbs.
Fact #8: Serbia Is Home To Some Of The World’s Most Famous Athletes.
Serbia gave birth to some of the most famous athletes in the world. Some include Novak Djokovic Professional tennis player and number one in the world. Monica Seles, Former world number one tennis player with nine Grand Slam singles titles, was the youngest player to win the French Open. Ana Ivanović, former world number one in singles, at the age of 20, had already won the French Open and was Named one of the 30 legends of women’s tennis. These are just some of the most famous personalities in the world of sports who are of Serbian nationality.
Over To You
As you can see, one of the advantages of learning a new language is opening up to a new world and culture. It’s an opportunity to get to know people and see reality differently. Suppose you combine learning the language with becoming familiar with the culture where that language is spoken. In that case, you will learn even more than anyone who only focuses on the grammatical aspects.
Learn Serbian With Ling
Would you like to learn more about Serbian culture? Learning the language will bring you even closer to your goal. That’s why we highly recommend that you learn through Ling!
Ling is a language-learning platform made specifically to help you learn Serbian quickly and easily. The platform was created by language experts who know the best ways to teach you the language and keep it interesting simultaneously. You can learn with Ling on your smartphone or tablet, so there’s no need to worry about carrying around a bulky textbook or spending money on expensive software.
Inside, you’ll also find a wide variety of lessons on topics you’re likely to encounter in Serbia, such as greetings, numbers, and food. The best part? The lessons are short and sweet, which means that you can fit them into your busy schedule! So the next time you’re waiting in line or at the bus stop, pull out your phone and start learning!