The Serbs are proud, passionate, and generous people with an independent streak. Since they first entered the region as warrior tribes allied with the Byzantine Empire, they have always had to fight for survival against powerful enemies, including the Ottoman Turks and the Habsburg Empire.
Within one generation the Serbian people have undertaken an epic journey from an authoritarian, monocratic society to an open-minded, democratic one. There are still many demons to overcome, yet Serbia has everything to play for. Even if they sometimes appear abrupt and intrusive, the Serbs are enduring and uncompromising, with a strong sense of warmth and loyalty.
Against the turbulent backdrop of Serbia's more recent history, the visitor to Serbia needs to be well informed and sensitive to people’s feelings. Culture Smart! Serbia introduces you to a diverse, complex, and dynamic society, and provides an insight into Serbian values and the Serbian way of life. It will tell you who the Serbs are, what are they like, what they love, and what they respect.
It guides you through their customs, quirks, and etiquette, and offers tips on communicating and doing business with them. It will tell you how people behave in particular situations and how they experience their culture and customs, so that you know how to respond appropriately. As a visitor to Serbia, if you show interest and respect, you will receive warm hospitality and lasting loyalty in return!
When talking, Serbs often stand very close to one another and use a great deal of physical contact—they might touch each other’s hands, or slap each other on the shoulders. Prepare to relinquish your personal space!