Are you thinking about moving to Serbia? Perhaps there is a tempting job opportunity, or you might simply be wondering about life and work culture in Serbia. Well, we don’t blame you. Serbia’s economy has grown significantly in recent years. The high level of foreign investment in this southeastern European country is a significant factor in its development. Moreover, Serbia is ideal for establishing a business because of its convenient location. So it is only natural that many foreigners consider learning Serbian and starting a new life in Serbia.
Whether you are considering going to work or studying in this culturally rich country, you must be aware of its traditions, customs, and general aspects related to the country. Today’s article will share valuable information about Serbia and eight interesting facts to help you succeed among Serbian colleagues. Sounds interesting? Let’s dive in!
General Info: Getting To Know Serbia
Serbia is a country located in the Balkan Peninsula in southeastern Europe. It shares borders with more than five other countries, placing it in an ideal position for trade negotiations.
The current population of Serbia is around 8+ million people, and the official language is Serbian. Its currency is the dinar, and the capital is Belgrade, which has some of the most iconic historical monuments in the world.
Currently, Serbia is not a member of the European Union but is expected to be incorporated in 2025 along with other Western Balkan countries.
A Brief Overview Of Serbian Culture
Serbia is home to many cultural and architectural monuments. Additionally, it has a variety of customs and traditions that vary from region to region. It is no secret that Serbia excels in the cuisine and artistic field and hosts many internationally renowned festivals.
Serbian culture is very welcoming and puts the family as one of the top priorities. Serbians are usually very cheerful and enjoy the celebration of their traditions to the fullest. Their friendly nature makes tourists feel part of the community, even for a short time.
The joyfulness of Serbian people extends to their business activities. But it is essential to consider cultural differences when negotiating to avoid misunderstandings that can damage business relationships. Now let’s look at eight facts about Serbian work culture that will help you behave politely and gracefully among your colleagues.
9 Facts You Need To Know About The Business Culture In Serbia
1. Hierarchy Matters
Serbian companies still maintain a reasonably vertical corporate structure. Therefore, concluding a negotiation implies a series of bureaucratic procedures that can lengthen the process.
2. Eye Contact Is A Sign Of Respect And Sincerity
At the beginning of a business meeting, it is of utmost importance to greet those present with a handshake while maintaining direct eye contact. Also, individuals should be addressed by their title and last name.
3. Business Meetings Can Extend To A Meal
It is a common practice among Serbian business partners to continue their meetings over lunch, dinner, or a coffee break. This is for bonding purposes and getting to know each other better.
4. Serbians Are spontaneous In Business
As mentioned above, Serbians have a dynamic and generous character, so it is not surprising that they keep that style in their businesses. They tend to be very spontaneous, so don’t be surprised if they try to negotiate prices and get discounts.
5. Commercial Friendship Is Valued
Serbians value trust in business relationships, so it is not unusual for them to prefer to establish agreements with people they know through third parties rather than total strangers. After establishing the business relationship, it is also important to maintain an interaction that shows a desire for mutual benefit.
6. Punctuality Is Important
Serbians tend to be punctual for formal occasions and events. However, they are not as strict with punctuality as other cultures, so don’t be surprised if the meeting starts a few minutes later than expected.
7. Business Meetings During July And August Are Not Recommended
Most Serbians take long vacations during July and August, so scheduling meetings earlier or later is preferred to avoid inconveniencing them.
8. Elders And Women Are Greeted First
When entering a meeting room, it is a Serbian custom to greet women and elders first. Therefore, you should stand up and say Zdravo (hello) or Bolje te našao (nice to meet you/glad to be here) if you are seated, and they enter the room.
9. Gift Giving When Invited To A Colleague Or Business Partner’s Home
When you receive an invitation to a colleague’s or business partner’s home, it is customary to bring a gift as a gesture of courtesy and appreciation for the invite. It can be a wine, a dessert, or even some flowers.
Learn Serbian With Ling
Are you ready to succeed among your Serbian colleagues? Language is a crucial element!
Learning Serbian will allow you to learn about the culture and establish better relationships with your colleagues and friends. Ling is the perfect tool for learning the language while enjoying the learning process. Built with lessons for over 60 languages, you can be sure that you can improve holistically! From pronunciation and writing to vocabulary and listening, our in-depth lessons got your back!
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