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The Serbs (Serbian: Срби, Srbi, pronounced [sr̩̂bi]) are a nation[25][26][27][28] and South Slavic ethnic group native to Southeastern Europe.

The majority of Serbs live in their nation state of Serbia, as well as in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro and Kosovo.[a] They also form significant minorities in North Macedonia and Slovenia. There is a large Serb diaspora in Western Europe, and outside Europe and there are significant communities in North America and Australia.

The Serbs share many cultural traits with the rest of the peoples of Southeast Europe. They are predominantly Eastern Orthodox Christians by religion. The Serbian language is official in Serbia, co-official in Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and is spoken by the plurality in Montenegro.

Ethnology

The 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.[citation needed] Three elements, together with the legacy of the Nemanjić dynasty, were crucial in forging identity and preservation during foreign domination: the Serbian Orthodox Church, the Serbian language, and the Kosovo Myth.[29] 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 (Croats and Bosniaks).[30] The tradition of slava, the family saint feast day, is an important ethnic marker of Serb identity,[31] and is usually regarded their most significant and most solemn feast day.[32]

The origin of the ethnonym is unclear (See: Names of the Serbs and Serbia).

Genetic origins

According to a triple analysis – autosomal, mitochondrial and paternal — of available data from large-scale studies on Balto-Slavs and their proximal populations, the whole genome SNP data situates Serbs with Montenegrins in between two Balkan clusters. The first of them is formed by Bulgarians, Romanians, and Macedonians and the second: by Croats, Slovenes, Bosniaks and Hungarians.[33] Y-DNA results show that haplogroups I2a and R1a together stand for the majority of the makeup, with more than 53 percent.[34][35] According to several recent studies Serbia's people are among the tallest in the world, after Montenegro and the Netherlands, with an average male height of 1.82 metres (6 ft 0 in).[36][37]

History

Arrival of the Slavs

Early Slavs, especially Sclaveni and Antae, including the White Serbs, invaded and settled the Southeastern Europe in the 7th century.[38] Up until the late 560s their activity was raiding, crossing from the Danube, though with limited Slavic settlement mainly through Byzantine foederati colonies.[39] The Danube and Sava frontier was overwhelmed by large-scale Slavic settlement in the late 6th and early 7th century.[40] What is today central Serbia was an important geo-strategical province, through which the Via Militaris crossed.[41] This area was frequently intruded by barbarians in the 5th and 6th centuries.[41] The numerous Slavs mixed with and assimilated the descendants of the indigenous population (Illyrians, Thracians, Dacians, Romans, Celts).[42] White Serbs from White Serbia coming to an area near Thessaloniki and then they settled area between Dinaric Alps and Adriatic coast.[43]

Middle Ages

Nemanjić dynasty members, the most important dynasty of Serbia in the Middle Ages

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 to the Byzantine Empire.[44] Numerous small Serbian states were created, chiefly under Vlastimorović and Vojislavjević dynasties, located in modern Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, and Serbia, but the population's Serbian ethnic identity remains unclear and a matter of dispute.[45][46] 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.[47] Prince Stefan Nemanja (r. 1169–96) conquered the neighbouring territories of Kosovo, Duklja and 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, founded the Serbian Orthodox Church in the year 1219, and became known as Saint Sava after his death.[48]

Over the next 140 years, Serbia expanded its borders, from numerous smaller principalities, reaching to a unified Serbian Empire. Its cultural model remained Byzantine, despite political ambitions directed against the empire. The medieval power and influence of Serbia culminated in the reign of Serbian: Срби, Srbi, pronounced [sr̩̂bi]) are a nation[25][26][27][28] and South Slavic ethnic group native to Southeastern Europe.

The majority of Serbs live in their nation state of Serbia, as well as in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro and Kosovo.[a] They also form significant minorities in North Macedonia and Slovenia. There is a large Serb diaspora in Western Europe, and outside Europe and there are significant communities in North America and Australia.

The Serbs share many cultural traits with the rest of the peoples of Southeast Europe. They are predominantly Eastern Orthodox Christians by religion. The Serbian language is official in Serbia, co-official in Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and is spoken by the plurality in Montenegro.

The majority of Serbs live in their nation state of Serbia, as well as in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro and Kosovo.[a] They also form significant minorities in North Macedonia and Slovenia. There is a large Serb diaspora in Western Europe, and outside Europe and there are significant communities in North America and Australia.

The Serbs share many cultural traits with the rest of the peoples of Southeast Europe. They are predominantly Eastern Orthodox Christians by religion. The Serbian language is official in Serbia, co-official in Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and is spoken by the plurality in Montenegro.

The 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.[citation needed] Three elements, together with the legacy of the Nemanjić dynasty, were crucial in forging identity and preservation during foreign domination: the Serbian Orthodox Church, the Serbian language, and the Kosovo Myth.[29] 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 (Croats and Bosniaks).[30] The tradition of slava, the family saint feast day, is an important ethnic marker of Serb identity,[31] and is usually regarded their most significant and most solemn feast day.[32]

The origin of the ethnonym is unclear (See: Names of the Serbs and Serbia).

Genetic origins

According to a triple analysis – autosomal, mitochondrial and paternal — of available data from large-scale studies on Balto-Slavs and their proximal populations, the whole genome SNP data situates Serbs with Montenegrins in between two Balkan clusters. The first of them is formed by Bulgarians, Romanians, and Macedonians and the second: by Croats, Slovenes, Bosniaks and Hungarians.[33] Y-DNA results show that haplogroups I2a and R1a together stand for the majority of the makeup, with more than 53 percent.[34][35] According to several recent studies Serbia's people are among the tallest in the world, after Montenegro and the Netherlands, with an average male height of 1.82 metres (6 ft 0 in).[36][37]

History

Arrival of the Slavs

Early Slavs, especially Sclaveni and Antae, including the White Serbs, invaded and settled the Southeastern Europe in the 7th century.[38] Up until the late 560s their activity was raiding, crossing from the Danube, though with limited Slavic settlement mainly through Byzantine foederati colonies.[39] The Danube and Sava frontier was overwhelmed by large-scale Slavic settlement in the late 6th and early 7th century.[40] What is today central Serbia was an important geo-strategical province, through which the ethnonym is unclear (See: Names of the Serbs and Serbia).

According to a triple analysis – autosomal, mitochondrial and paternal — of available data from large-scale studies on Balto-Slavs and their proximal populations, the whole genome SNP data situates Serbs with Montenegrins in between two Balkan clusters. The first of them is formed by Bulgarians, Romanians, and Macedonians and the second: by Croats, Slovenes, Bosniaks and Hungarians.[33] Y-DNA results show that haplogroups I2a and R1a together stand for the majority of the makeup, with more than 53 percent.[34][35] According to several recent studies Serbia's people are among the tallest in the world, after Montenegro and the Netherlands, with an average male height of 1.82 metres (6 ft 0 in).[36][37]

History

  • M

    Mihajlo Pupin, physicist and physical chemist and a founding member of NACA which later became NASA.[145]

  • Mihailo Petrović, mathematician, contributor to the study of differential equations and inventor of early version of analog computer.

  • Mihailo Petrović, mathematician, contributor to the study of differential equations and inventor of early version of analog computer.

  • Names

    There are several different layers of Serbian names. Serbian given names largely originate from Slavic roots: e.g., Vuk, Bojan, Goran, Zoran, Dragan, Slavic roots: e.g., Vuk, Bojan, Goran, Zoran, Dragan, Milan, Miroslav, Vladimir, Slobodan, Dušan, Milica, Nevena, Vesna, Radmila. Other names are of Christian origin, originating from the bible (Hebrew, through Greek), such as Lazar, Mihailo, Ivan, Jovan, Ilija, Marija, Ana, Ivana. Along similar lines of non-Slavic Christian names are Greek ones such as: Stefan, Nikola, Aleksandar, Filip, Đorđe, Andrej, Jelena, Katarina, Vasilije, Todor, while those of Latin origin include: Marko, Antonije, Srđan, Marina, Petar, Pavle, Natalija, Igor (through Russian).

    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) (-ić (-ић) ([itɕ]), a Slavic diminutive, originally functioning to create patronymics. Thus the surname 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 Jovanović, Petrović, Nikolić, Marković, Đorđević, Stojanović, Ilić, Stanković, Pavlović and Milošević.[146]

    Serbs are predominantly Orthodox Christians. The autocephaly of the Serbian Orthodox Church, was established in 1219, as an Archbishopric, and raised to the Patriarchate in 1346.[147] It is led by the Serbian 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 and Croatia. The church has an archbishopric in North Macedonia and dioceses in Western Europe, North America, South America[148] and Australia.[149]

    The identity of ethnic Serbs was historically largely based on Orthodox Christianity and on the Serbian Church in particular. The conversion of the South Slavs from paganism to Christianity took place before the Great Schism. 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.

    With the arrival of the Ottoman Empire, some Serbs converted to Islam. This was particularly, but not wholly, the case in Bosnia.[150] Since the second half of the 19th century, a small number of Serbs converted to Protestantism,[151] while historically some Serbs were Catholics (especially in Bay of Kotor[152] and Dalmatia; e.g. Serb-Catholic movement in Dubrovnik).[153] In a personal correspondence with author and critic dr. Milan Šević in 1932, Marko Murat complained that Orthodox Serbs are not acknowledging the Catholic Serb community on the basis of their faith.[154] The remainder of Serbs remain predominantly Serbian Orthodox Christians.

    Symbols

    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 Serbs of Croatia. 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

    The identity of ethnic Serbs was historically largely based on Orthodox Christianity and on the Serbian Church in particular. The conversion of the South Slavs from paganism to Christianity took place before the Great Schism. 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.

    With the arrival of the Ottoman Empire, some Serbs converted to Islam. This was particularly, but not wholly, the case in Bosnia.[150] Since the second half of the 19th century, a small number of Serbs converted to Protestantism,[151] while historically some Serbs were Catholics (especially in Bay of Kotor[152] and Dalmatia; e.g. Serb-Catholic movement in Dubrovnik).[153] In a personal correspondence with author and critic dr. Milan Šević in 1932, Marko Murat complained that Orthodox Serbs are not acknowledging the Catholic Serb community on the basis of their faith.[154] The remainder of Serbs remain predominantly Serbian Orthodox Christians.

    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 Serbs of Croatia. 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 ethnic Serbs and the Serbian nation, made by extending the thumb, index, and middle fingers of one or both hands.

    Traditions and customs

    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.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.[155] The most common folk costume of Serbia is that of Šumadija, a region in central Serbia,[156] which includes the national hat, the Šajkača.[157][158] Older villagers still wear their traditional costumes.[156] The traditional dance is the circle dance, called kolo. Zmijanje embroidery is a specific technique of embroidery practised by the women of villages in area Zmijanje on mountain Manjača and as such is a part of the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Pirot carpet is a variety of flat tapestry woven rug traditionally produced in Pirot, a town in southeastern Serbia.

    Traditions

    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 Serb identity.[31] Serbs usually regard the Slava a

    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 Serb identity.[31] Serbs usually regard the Slava as their most significant and most solemn feast day.[32] Serbs have their own customs regarding Christmas, which includes the sacral tree, the badnjak, a young oak. On Orthodox Easter, Serbs have the tradition of Slavic Egg decorating. Čuvari Hristovog groba is a religious/cultural practice of guarding a representation of Christ's grave on Good Friday in the Church of St. Nicholas by the Serbian Orthodox inhabitants in the town of Vrlika.

    Cuisine

    [159] 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 Christmas, Easter and feast days, i.e., slava.[159] 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.[159] Bread is the basis of all Serbian meals, and it plays an important role in 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.[159]

    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.[160] Plum and its products are of great importance to Serbs and part of numerous customs.[161] A Serbian meal usually starts or ends with plum products and Šljivovica is served as an aperitif.[161] A saying goes that the best place to build a house is where a plum tree grows best.[161] Traditionally, Šljivovica (commonly referred to as "rakija") is connected to Serbian culture as a drink used at all important rites of passage (birth, baptism, military service, marriage, death, etc.), and in the Serbian Orthodox patron saint celebration (slava).[161] It is used in numerous folk remedies, and is given certain degree of respect above all other alcoholic drinks. The fertile region of Šumadija in central Serbia is particularly known for its plums and Šljivovica.[162] Serbia is the largest exporter of Slivovitz in the world, and second largest plum producer in the world.[163][164]

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