The Serbians do love a good toast when drinking with friends and family. If you plan on traveling to the country, it’s important you know a few of their more popular sayings so you can fit in as one with them. If you can communicate with the locals by speaking to them in their native tongue they will open up their homes and share great stories of their beautiful country.
Popular Words in Serbian
1. Živeli – As you enter bars you will often here people saying Živeli meaning “Cheers”. It’s not uncommon for drinking to be more of a ceremony with live music, entertainment, and social interaction. By the end of your trip you will most likely of said cheers a thousand times.
2. Rakija – This is the national drink of Serbia so while you are saying your cheers and toasting, be ready to have a glass of Rakija.
3. Prijatelj / Brat – Serbians are very friendly and it won’t take long for you to fit right in. Brate means “brother” and is a formal greeting when talking to friends.
4. Ćevapi – This is a stable of Serbian cuisine and served at almost any restaurant you go to. Other popular food dishes are Kajmak, Gibanica, Sarma, and Burek.
5. Kafana – When listening to Serbian music, you will often hear the word Kafana. It’s meaning is pretty general with “tavern”, but it’s more of a place for Serbians to celebrate. Here you will find the heart beat of the country with good food, live music, and people enjoying the company of one another.
6. Kola – As drinks are flowing and you are enjoying a good cheers, you may get pulled into a Kolo which means “folk dance”. The dance involves many people holding hands and dancing in a circle.
There are many other terms you will pick up along your journey, but these few important phrases will make sure you have a great time while visiting Serbia. Remember that everyone just wants to have a great time and celebrate life so embrace it and you will have stories for a lifetime.