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Serbia, officially known as the Republic of Serbia (Serbian: Република Србија, Republika Srbija), is a Southern European republic in the Balkan Peninsula. The official language is Serbian, and the capital is Belgrade.

The Serbs were one of the Slavic tribes who migrated from somewhere in the Proto-slavic homeland-first briefly stopping in an area at the border of today's Germany and Poland, and then finally settling in the Balkans.

There were several early Serbian medieval states, which had to defend themselves from both Eastern Roman and Bulgarian attempts at subjugating them. The most long-lasting and powerful incarnation of a Serbian medieval state rose in 1217 under king Stefan Nemanjić "Prvovenčani" (Firstly-crowned), and was led into a golden age of prosperity and slow territorial increase by the Nemanjić dynasty. At one point, Dušan Nemanjić, an extremely successful and capable ruler, managed to conquer a huge part of the Balkans and to proclaim a Serbian Empire, aiming to create a strong state that would replace the Byzantines as the dominant power in the region and as the main obstacle to the impending Turkish invasion. This plan never came to fruit, as Dušan died relatively young and was succeeded by an incompetent son.

Soon after the son's death, Serbia was no longer an Empire even on paper, but rather an extremely loose conglomeration of noble realms and fiefdoms. Prince Lazar, along with several other nobles, successfully fought back against the Ottoman invasion, but after he was killed at the Battle of Kosovo, the Serbian state lost all hope of ever returning to its original power and stability. It remained independent, in some capacity, for the first half of the fifteenth century, before the Ottomans conquered it for good. Serbia was a part of the Ottoman Empire until the early 19th century, when it became a functionaly independent state. During this period, Russia and Austria competed to include Serbia in their respective spheres of influence, which led to one of the main causes of World War I.

After the war, Serbia was merged with Montenegro and a collection of former Austrian possessions to create Yugoslavia. During World War II, Yugoslavia, surrounded by hostile neighbours and boiling with internal tensions, started aligning itself with the Axis; however, in 1941, immediately after the government has signed a pact officially joining Yugoslavia with the Axis powers which would include allowing Nazi Germany to freely pass through Serbia and attack Greece, the military officials organized a coup, supported by the Serbian people, dethroning the pro-axis regency council and installing a new government which was technically headed by the underage King himself. Angered, the Axis attacked Yugoslavia and occupied it after a brief struggle; parts were annexed to Hungary, Bulgaria, Germany, Italy, and the (Independent State of) Croatia, while the rest of Serbia became a German puppet state. During the war, Croatian fascists called Ustaše along with Albanian collaborators killed between 320,000 and 340,000 ethnic Serbians (not counting Serbian Roma and Jews). This led to the formation of two resistance movements, capitalist Chetniks and communist Partisans. The Croats and Bosnians who were against the Ustaše's regime mostly joined the Partisans, while Chetniks mostly consisted of conservative Serbians. However, the Partisans got the upper hand during the war (with Allied forces shifting their support from the Chetniks to them) and killed the remaining Chetniks. In 1945, after the Partisans and the Red Army had liberated its territory, the Partisans reorganized Yugoslavia into a federation of six republics and two autonomous regions in Serbia (Kosovo and Vojvodina) under a communist government led by Josip Broz Tito. Despite being Communist, however, Yugoslavia was not a Soviet satellite, remaining neutral throughout the Cold War and helping to found the Non-Aligned Movement.

While Tito was not a benevolent leader by any stretch of the imagination, he was at least able to keep ethnic tensions from bubbling to the surface. The combination of Tito's death and economic collapse stoked nationalist fervor in the Yugoslav republics, leading Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, and Macedonia to secede. The remainder of Yugoslavia retaliated by attacking Slovenia and Croatia and supporting Serb nationalists in Bosnia's civil war.

The two remaining republics (Serbia and Montenegro) formed a new state, which was also called Yugoslavia. When violence between local Yugoslav law enforcement and Albanian separatist militias and terrorists in Serbia's troubled province of Kosovo escalated in 1998 into an all-out war, NATO intervened on March 1999 for the second time (the first being NATO's assistance to Bosnia and Croatia in the Bosnian War) on behalf of the Albanians. The war ended after a 78-day-long bombing campaign of both Serbia and Montenegro. Yugoslavia subsequently lost control of Kosovo, which was still considered to be a Serbian province, but was under the administration of the United Nations.

The state was reorganized again in 2003, creating an extremely loose union between Serbia and Montenegro. This state was creatively named Serbia and Montenegro. In 2006, Montenegro held a referendum supported by the West. It narrowly voted to leave (passing the required 55% margin by just 2,300 votes), rendering Serbia an independent nation again, after nearly 90 years. Kosovo declared independence a second time in 2008 (the first time being 1990 which was recognized only by Albania), which was not resisted like before, but has not been recognized by a majority of the world's nations (only over 85 so far).

Serbian pop-culture is vast and expansive for a small nation, with Serbia having a very-well developed scene for film, television, and music production. The most popular form of music is currently rap-folk and trap-folk in the younger population (a unique mixture of rap/trap and turbo-folk music that gives it a distinctive Oriental sound), with the older 80s Yugoslav scene of New Wave Music and Synth-Pop scene maintaining a sizeable following, but chiefly in the middle-aged population. The older partisan-film focused film scene shifted towards a variety of chiefly comedic (and occasionaly dramatic) productions mostly capped by a relatively paltry budget that's mostly granted by the state itself to moviemakers. The TV shows are no different, opting for brevity (12-13 episodes per season at most, with seasons sometimes spaced out a few years inbetween) to conserve as much money as possible and still produce watchable content. Still, the producers give it their all to make them as memorable as possible, and so it's hard to find a Serb who hasn't watched a complete serija (shortening of serijski film which in itself is a holdover from the pre-WWII movie serial days since those were called the same) at least once in their lifetime.

Sports are another cornerstone of Serbian culture. Easily the most popular sport is Association Football, but the national team has had little success since The '90s, which caused many fans to become sour. Still, the fan scene is thriving, and Serbian Football Hooligans are infamous around the world for their sheer brutality. However, where the country lacks in football, it more than makes up in basketball, volleyball and waterpolo, the "holy trinity" of Serbian team sports. Especially in the cities basketball goes neck-to-neck with football for being the most popular sport, as the country has had a fair share of great players and the trophies to back it up, both in the 5v5 and the 3v3 variants of the sport. The girls aren't half-bad either, with them being Europe's #1 several times. Volleyball is the most popular female sport, even though the men's section is no slouch either - the Serbs are among the tallest people on the world and that practically translates to world-championship winner qualities in the sport. Waterpolo is absolutely dominated by the Serbian male team, with only neighbours Croatia, Montenegro and Hungary being able to give them a run for their money. Indeed the FINA World Waterpolo Cup might be considered one of the most predictable in any sport - there are astronomically small chances of one of the four countries mentioned not winning. Individual sports are nowhere as popular thanks to the heavily collectivist nature of Serbs as a whole, though tennis has made a huge rise in popularity during the 2010s, thanks to one Novak Đoković, who has become the all-time GOAT of the whole sport.

Famous Serbs

  • Rastko Nemanjić, Saint Sava - Monk and the first archbishop of the Serbian Orthodox Church.
  • Lazar Hrebeljanović - Prince known for his Last Stand against the Ottomans in the Battle of Kosovo.
  • Miloš Obilić - Knight who assassinated the Turkish Sultan Murat I and one of the key characters in Serbian epic poetry.
  • Marko Mrnjavčević aka Marko Kraljević - A Serbian king who has been a Chuck Norris level Memetic Badass in Serb mythology since medieval times.
  • Constantine I - The first Christian Roman Emperor. Born on the city of Niš, something which Christian Serbs take enormous pride and have celebrated the Edict of Milan's anniversary.
  • Constantine XI Palaiologos - Last emperor of the Byzantine Empire. Born to a Greek father and a Serbian mother.
  • Đorđe Petrović AKA Karađorđe - Leader of the First Serbian Uprising against the Ottoman Turks.
  • Vuk Karadzic - Linguist and creator of the modern Serbian language.
  • Emir Kusturica - filmmaker, actor and producer (though born in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina).
  • Mihajlo Pupin - Physicist and physical chemist.
  • Mileva Marić; - Mathematician and Albert Einstein's first wife.
  • Gavrilo Princip - Teenage activist who assassinated Franz Ferdinand, helping to trigger World War I.
  • Mladen Sekulović AKA Karl Malden - actor.
  • Rade Šerbedžija - actor.
  • Miroslav Ilić - Folk singer.
  • Catherine Oxenberg - Serbian-American actress. Best known for her role as Amanda Carrington.
  • Vlade Divac - Former NBA basketball player; later an NBA general manager.
  • Peđa Stojaković (Peja Stojakovic) - Another former NBA player.
  • Nikola Jokić - a current NBA player, twice MVP and once Champion.
  • Milla Jovovich - Actress. Born to a Serbian father and a Russian-Ukrainian mother.
  • Novak Đoković (Novak Djokovic) - Current tennis superstar and one of the four players who have battled for #1 on the ATP ranking list during the 2010s.
  • Monica Seles – Retired tennis player, former world No. 1 in the WTA rankings. Although born in what is now Serbia, she's ethnically Hungarian, and became a U.S. citizen in 1994.
  • Stana Katic Actress - Both parents are Serbs but she was born in Canada.
  • Marija Serifovic - Winner of the Eurovision Song Contest 2007.
  • Bojana Novakovic - Serbian-Australian actress.

Serbia in fiction

The Serbian flag
The flag uses the Pan-Slavic colors and has been the dominant colors since the days of Yugoslavia. Off-center towards the hoist is the national coat of arms.

Coat of arms Serbia
The national coat of arms contains a crowned shield depicting a double-headed Serbian eagle flanked by two small fleurs-de-lys bearing a smaller shield containing the "Serbian cross", which is surrounded on all sides by four Cyrillic Cs, said to represent the initials of the words "Само Слога Србина Спасава" ("Samo Sloga Srbina Spasava" — "Only Unity Saves the Serbs"), the motto of St. Sava, first leader of the Serbian Orthodox Church.

The Serbian national anthem
Боже правде, ти што спасе
од пропасти досад нас,
чуј и од сад наше гласе
и од сад нам буди спас.

Моћном руком води, брани
будућности српске брод,
Боже спаси, Боже xрани,
српске земље, српски род!
Боже спаси, Боже xрани,
српске земље, српски род!

Сложи српску браћу драгу
на свак дичан славан рад,
слога биће пораз врагу
а најјачи српству град.

Нек на српској блиста грани
братске слоге златан плод,
Боже спаси, Боже xрани,
српске земље, српски род!
Боже спаси, Боже xрани,
српске земље, српски род!

Нек на српско ведро чело
твог не падне гнева гром
Благослови Србу село
поље, њиву, град и дом!

Кад наступе борбе дани
к победи му води ход
Боже спаси, Боже xрани,
српске земље, српски род!
Боже спаси, Боже xрани,
српске земље, српски род!

Из мрачнога сину гроба
српске славе нови сјај
настало је ново доба
Нову срећу, Боже дај!

Отаџбину српску брани
пет вековне борбе плод
Боже спаси, Боже xрани,
српске земље, српски род!
Боже спаси, Боже xрани,
српске земље, српски род!

Bože pravde, ti što spase
od propasti dosad nas,
čuj i odsad naše glase
i od sad nam budi spas.

Moćnom rukom vodi, brani
budućnosti srpske brod,
Bože spasi, Bože hrani,
srpske zemlje, srpski rod!
Bože spasi, Bože hrani,
srpske zemlje, srpski rod!

Složi srpsku braću dragu
na svak dičan slavan rad,
sloga biće poraz vragu
a najjači srpstvu grad.

Nek na srpskoj blista grani
bratske sloge zlatan plod,
Bože spasi, Bože hrani,
srpske zemlje, srpski rod!
Bože spasi, Bože hrani,
srpske zemlje, srpski rod!

Nek na srpsko vedro čelo
tvog ne padne gneva grom
Blagoslovi Srbu selo
polje, njivu, grad i dom!

Kad nastupe borbe dani
k pobedi mu vodi hod
Bože spasi, Bože hrani,
srpske zemlje, srpski rod!
Bože spasi, Bože hrani,
srpske zemlje, srpski rod!

Iz mračnoga sinu groba
srpske slave novi sjaj
nastalo je novo doba
Novu sreću, Bože daj!

Otadžbinu srpsku brani
pet vekovne borbe plod
Bože spasi, Bože hrani,
srpske zemlje, srpski rod!
Bože spasi, Bože hrani,
srpske zemlje, srpski rod!

God of Justice; Thou who saved us
when in deepest bondage cast,
Hear Thy children's voices,
Be our help as in the past.

With Thy mighty hand sustain us,
Still our rugged pathway trace;
God, our hope; protect and cherish,
Serbian lands and the Serbian race!
God, our hope; protect and cherish,
Serbian lands and the Serbian race!

Bind in closest links our kindred
Teach the love that will not fail,
May the loathed fiend of discord
Never in our ranks prevail.

Let the golden fruits of union
Our young tree of freedom grace;
God, our hope; protect and cherish,
Serbian lands and the Serbian race!
God, our hope; protect and cherish,
Serbian lands and the Serbian race!

Lord! Avert from us Thy vengeance,
Thunder of Thy dreaded ire;
Bless each Serbian town and hamlet,
Mountain, meadow, hearth and spire!

When our host goes forth to battle
Death or victory to embrace-
God, our hope; protect and cherish,
Serbian lands and the Serbian race!
God, our hope; protect and cherish,
Serbian lands and the Serbian race!

On our sepulcher of ages
Breaks the resurrection morn,
From the slough of direst slavery
Serbia anew is born.

Through five hundred years of durance
We have knelt before Thy face,
God, our hope; protect and cherish,
Serbian lands and the Serbian race!
God, our hope; protect and cherish,
Serbian lands and the Serbian race!

  • Unitary parliamentary constitutional republic
    • President: Aleksandar Vučić
    • Prime Minister: Ana Brnabić
    • President of the National Assembly: Vladimir Orlić

  • Capital and largest city: Belgrade
  • Population: 6,926,705 (excluding Kosovo)
  • Area: 88,361 km² (34,116 sq mi) (111th) (including Kosovo) or 77,474 km² (29,913 sq mi) (excluding Kosovo)
  • Currency: Serbian dinar (din) (RSD)
  • ISO-3166-1 Code: RS
  • Country calling code: 381
  • Highest point: Midžor (2169 m/7,116 ft) (119th)
  • Lowest point: Confluence of the Timok River and the Danube River (28 m/92 ft) (43rd)