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    Serbia

About Serbia

Brief description of the country.

History

The history of Serbia covers the historical development of Serbia and of its predecessor states, from the Early Stone Age to the present state, as well as that of the Serbian people and of the areas they ruled historically. Serbian habitation and rule have varied much through the ages, and as a result the history of Serbia is similarly elastic in what it includes.

Serbs settled the Balkans in the 6th and 7th centuries, with the most prominent settlement being the First Serbian Principality of the Vlastimirovići dynasty ruling over modern-day Montenegro, Bosnia, Dalmatia, Serbia. It evolved into a Grand Principality by the 11th century, and in 1217 the Kingdom and national church (Serbian Orthodox Church) were established, under the Nemanjić dynasty. In 1345 the Serbian Empire was established, spanning most of the Balkan peninsula. In 1540 Serbia became a part of the Ottoman Empire.

A significant number of Serbs migrated north, to the Kingdom of Hungary forming what will later become Serbian Vojvodina. Serbian revolution against Ottoman rule in 1817 marked the birth of the Principality of Serbia, which achieved de facto independence in 1867 and gained full recognition by the Great Powers in the Berlin Congress of 1878. As a victor in the Balkan Warsof 1912–1913, Serbia regained Vardar Macedonia, Kosovo and Metohija, and Raška (Old Serbia). In late 1918, with the defeat of Austro-Hungarian empire, Serbia was expanded to include regions of the former Serbian Vojvodina. Serbia was united with other Austro-Hungarian provinces into a pan-Slavic State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs; the Kingdom of Serbia joined the union on 1 December 1918, and the country was named the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes.

Serbia achieved its current borders at the end of World War II, when it became a federal unit within the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia (proclaimed in November 1945). After the dissolution of Yugoslavia in a series of wars in the 1990s, Serbia once again became an independent state on 5 June 2006, following the breakup of a short-lived union with Montenegro.

Languages

Serbia has only one nationwide official language, which is Serbian. Other languages spoken in Serbia include Hungarian, Bosnian, Romani, Slovak, Albanian, Romanian, Croatian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Rusyn, etc. The Serbian language predominates in most of Serbia. The Bosnian and Croatianlanguage, which are, according to census, spoken in some parts of Serbia are virtually identical to Serbian, while many speakers of the Bulgarian language from south-eastern Serbia speak in the Torlakian dialect, which is considered to be one of the transitional dialects between Bulgarian and Serbian languages.

The Serbian language spoken in Serbia has several dialects: Šumadija-Vojvodina, Smederevo-Vršac, Kosovo-Resava, Prizren South Morava, Svrljig-Zaplanje, Timok-Lužnica (Torlakian), Eastern Herzegovina, and Zeta-South Sandžak. The Šumadija-Vojvodina and Eastern Herzegovina dialects are the basis for modern standard Serbian.

Throughout part of southern Serbia, a dialect by the name of Torlakian is spoken. Although it has no standard form and continues to be spoken without any form of official status, Torlakian may be seen by some as constituting a separate language. It forms a part of the South Slavic dialect continuum, and is transitional between the eastern south Slavic languages (mainly Bulgarian and Macedonian) and the western south Slavic languages (of which Serbian is a part)

Religion

Serbia has been traditionally a Christian country since the Christianization of Serbs by Clement of Ohridand Saint Naum in the 9th century. The dominant confession is Eastern Orthodoxy of the Serbian Orthodox Church.

During the Ottoman rule of the Balkans, Sunni Islam established itself in the territories of Serbia, mainly in southern regions of Raška (the dominant religion in Raška is Orthodoxy, in Novi Pazar it is Islam) and Preševo Valley, as well as in the disputed territory of Kosovo and Metohija. The Catholic Church has roots in the country since the presence of Hungarians in Vojvodina (mainly in the northern part of the province), while Protestantism arrived in the 18th and 19th century with the settlement of Slovaks in Vojvodina.

Economy

The economy of Serbia is a service-based upper-middle income economy in Central Europe, with the tertiary sector accounting for two-thirds of total gross domestic product(GDP). The economy functions on the principles of the free market. Nominal GDP in 2023 is projected to reach $72.587 billion, which is $10,850 per capita, while GDP based on purchasing power parity (PPP) stood at $175.318 billion, which is $26,205 per capita. The strongest sectors of Serbia's economy are energy, the automotive industry, machinery, mining, and agriculture. The country's primary industrial exports are automobiles, base metals, furniture, food processing, machinery, chemicals, sugar, tires, clothes, and pharmaceuticals. Trade plays a major role in Serbian economic output. The main trading partners are Germany, Italy, Russia, China, and neighbouring Balkan countries.

Belgrade is the capital and economic heart of Serbia and home to most major Serbian and international companies operating in the country, as well as the National Bank of Serbia and the Belgrade Stock Exchange. Novi Sad and Niš are the second and third largest cities respectively and the most important economic hubs after Belgrade.

Tourism

Tourism in Serbia is officially recognized as a primary area for economic and social growth. The hotel and catering sector accounted for approximately 2.2% of GDP in 2015. Tourism in Serbia employs some 75,000 people, about 3% of the country's workforce. In recent years the number of tourists is increasing, especially foreign ones for about hundred thousand arrivals more each year. In 2019, tourism generated an income of nearly $1.698 billion, hosting 3.7 million tourists, half of whom were foreigners. Chinese tourists were the most numerous foreign visitors, followed by tourists from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Turkey, and Germany. Major destinations for foreign tourists are Belgrade, Novi Sad and Niš, while domestic tourists prefer spas and mountain resorts. Eco-friendly and sustainable tourism has also become very popular among domestic tourists, with many young people visiting various nature reserves and parks in the western and southern part of the country. Serbia is also known for gastronomic tourism, in both urban and rural areas of the country, with Belgrade being the central meeting point with over 1800 restaurants, coffee shops, bars and nightlife venues.

Currency

The dinar (Serbian Cyrillic: динар, pronounced [dînaːr]; paucal: dinara / динара; abbreviation: DIN (Latin) and дин (Cyrillic); code: RSD) is the currency of Serbia. One dinar is subdivided into 100 para. The dinar was first used in Serbia in medieval times, its earliest use dating back to 1214. Serbian dinar was reintroduced as the official Serbian currency by prince Mihailo Obrenović in the 19th century.

In 2003, banknotes of the (re-established) National Bank of Serbia were introduced in denominations of DIN 100, DIN 1,000, and DIN 5,000. DIN 500 followed these in 2004, DIN 50 in 2005, DIN 10 and DIN 20 in 2006, and DIN 2,000 in 2011.

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