Do's and Don'ts
- Be open to asking Serbians about their opinion on most subjects. They often show an interest in a stranger’s life by asking questions about their family and recreational activities. They also enjoy talking about Serbian culture.
- Serbians tend to be quite proud of their culture; thus, complaints or critiques should be presented in the form of a suggestion. However, Serbians are open to conversing about the political situation and politics of the country.
- Allow your Serbian counterpart to express their perspective about the breakup of Yugoslavia. Many Serbians feel that the media coverage, particularly in Western countries, was biased and incomplete. Thus, they may feel that your knowledge on the matter is skewed. They are eager to explain their side of the story when given the opportunity.
- Try not to make comparisons between nationalities of the former Yugoslav states. This is a sensitive topic for many Serbians, particularly from older generations.
- Don’t assume the birthplace, or language of your counterpart. Many Serbians were not born in Serbia and may speak the local language of their birthplace. Ask your counterpart not only what country they were born in and what language they speak but also what they identify with to avoid presumptions.
- It is best to avoid discussions about personal wealth or flaunt one’s social status. Serbians tend to dislike it when foreigners act superior towards them.
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