Serbia experienced a cultural flourishing during the heyday of the Serbian kingdom in the 13th and 14th centuries. During the long Turkish occupation thereafter, the culture was maintained mainly as songs and stories about Serbian heroes in the fight against the Turks. In Vojvodina, where many fled the Turks, the Serbian theater was founded.

In the 19th century, Vuk Karadžić became important for Serbian culture and national feeling with his linguistic, historical and folkloristic works. Great spread got Mountains Rosary, the Serbian national epic that Montenegrin prince bishop Petar II Petrović Njegoš wrote in the mid-1800s.

Nobel laureate Ivo Andrić, who portrays Ottoman Bosnia in the novel The Bridge over the Drina, lived in Belgrade during the latter part of his life. Andrić’s home became a museum after his death in 1975.

Other well-known 20th century authors are Danilo Kiš, Mirko Kovač and Dobrica Ćosić, who was President of Yugoslavia from 1992 to 1993 and active in the democratization process in the early 1980s, when the authors brought up previously forbidden topics for discussion. In the so far only one of his novels translated into Swedish, På undre däck (1995), Vladimir Arsenijević depicts life during the 1990s war. The acclaimed Roman poet Rajko Đurić became politically involved for a time and later founded a Roman Academy of Arts and Sciences in Belgrade. His texts can be read in Swedish in the anthology Utan hus, utan grav (2002).

The Eurovision Song Contest is very popular in Serbia, not least since the country won the competition in 2007 through singer Marija Serifović.

The most famous interpreter of Serbian film is Emir Kusturica (The Time of the Gypsies, Black Cat, White Cat ). With Underground, about the war in the former Yugoslavia, he won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 1995. At the Balkan Festival, which was organized in several places in Sweden in early 2013, you could see the Serbian film Professor Kosta Vujić’s hat from 2012. It is made by Zdravko Šotra, one of the most successful Serbian film and TV directors, and is based on a bestseller by Milovan Vitezović about an eccentric teacher in the 19th century.

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The ruling party wins boycott elections

21 June

According to preliminary results, the right-wing nationalist party SNS receives just over 63 percent of the votes in the parliamentary elections. But voter turnout seems to fall below 50 percent, as several opposition parties boycott the election in protest of President Aleksandar Vučić’s authoritarian rule. Only two other parties come across the 3 percent barrier. It is the Socialist Party SPS, which is the government’s partner, and the Serbian Patriotic Alliance (SPAS), a newly formed right-wing party. Voters representing ethnic minorities are exempted from the 3 percent rule and some of these are also allowed in parliament.

  • Countryaah: Overview of the capital city of Serbia, including information about its population, economy, geography, history and map.


The state of emergency and restrictions are lifted

May 7

Parliament is voting to lift the state of emergency declared by the President, President and Prime Minister on 15 March. The restrictions on freedom of movement are removed and most businesses are allowed to open again. However, schools and cultural institutions remain closed. The election campaign will resume but no mass meetings will be held during the month of May.

Elections announced in June

May 4th

According to Abbreviationfinder, President Aleksandar Vučić announces that elections to Parliament and local assemblies will be held on June 21. The election was originally held on April 26 but postponed as a result of the corona pandemic. According to Vučić, some elections will probably not take place until early June.


Kosovo cancels 100 percent duty

April 1st

The transitional government that governs Kosovo following a vote of no confidence in which it decides to abolish the duty of 100 percent on goods from Serbia that have been around for a year and a half (see November 2018). According to Kosovo’s Prime Minister Albin Kurti, “reciprocity” should now be applied instead so that the same applies to goods in both directions across the border. The Serbian government takes a skeptical stance on the message. The EU welcomes it, while the US does not think it is enough but fears that “reciprocity” will create new problems. The US has withheld $ 50 million in aid to persuade Kosovo to lift tariffs.


Support package against corona crisis

March 31st

The government presents a $ 5.7 billion support package to alleviate the effects of the economic crisis triggered by the corona pandemic. The package includes deferred taxes and fees, preferential loans, direct support to businesses and a cash contribution equal to a quarter of an average salary, to all citizens over 18 years.

Strict curfew

March 28

The rules for curfew at night are tightened so that a strict ban applies for 12 hours on weekdays and 14 hours on weekends. Exceptions are not even made for dog owners, which causes many to protest and say that it means animal cruelty not to allow the dog to slay.

The president is raging against the EU, praises China

March 17

President Aleksandar Vučić criticizes the EU, which he says has abandoned Serbia during the corona crisis by restricting the export of protective materials. Instead, Vučić praises “our Chinese brothers” who he says “are the only ones who can help us”. China has promised to send experts to Serbia for the pandemic. The President has already said in the past that European solidarity does not exist.

The election is postponed, curfew is introduced

March 17

The election, which was to be held on April 26, is postponed and strict restrictions on freedom of movement are introduced, including a curfew at night and a ban for the elderly to go out at all. The measures aim to dampen the effects of the coronapandem. The Election Commission stops all election activities until further notice. The elections that are now postponed apply at national, regional and local levels. The curfew applies to anyone who does not have a special permit or works at night. Anyone who is over 65 years old in urban areas and over 70 in rural areas is prohibited from staying outdoors at all. The military takes over the guarding of borders, migrant centers and hospitals.

Emergency mode due to the corona virus

March 15th

The government announces state of emergency due to the new corona virus that is causing havoc around the world. Schools and other public places are closed, and foreigners are prohibited from entering the country. Soldiers are sent to guard hospitals where covid-19 patients are cared for, and other “important places”. Everyone over 65 is encouraged to stay home. President Aleksandar Vučić says the measures are aimed at protecting the elderly.

Parliamentary elections announced April 26

4th of March

President Aleksandar Vučić announces that parliamentary elections will be held on April 26. Provincial elections in Vojvodina and municipal elections in most places are conducted simultaneously. Parts of the opposition plan to boycott the election with reference to the playing field being rigged in favor of Vučić’s party SNS.

Serbia Culture and Traditions
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