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Travel Tips for Americans Visiting Serbia


Traveling to a new part of the planet is always a very exciting thing for me. I always start getting this little BUZZ feeling way down in my gut a few weeks before I leave. I try to be as prepared as possible, but there are always things I neglect to think of.

Electrical ……

One thing in Serbia that is very different for American tourists is the electrical connection. The United States uses 110 volts while Serbia uses 220 volts. Electrical wall outlets in the USA are made for three posts to enter. You have a positive, negative and a ground. Check the pictures below….

American outlet

American outlet

While Serbian outlets are round and made for two circular plugs to enter. See the picture below..

Serbian outlet

Serbian outlet

..It is very easy to find the electrical converter here in Serbia. The majority of electrical stores offer them. I bought this one

110v to 220v adapter

110v to 220v adapter

for 200 Dinars or about $2.50 in Kragujevac.

Another big difference I noticed was that the light switch was on the OUTSIDE of the bathroom!!!!

typical Serbian bathroom outlet that is on the OUTSIDE of the bathroom

typical Serbian bathroom outlet that is on the OUTSIDE of the bathroom

I still find myself walking into the bathroom and looking for the switch! I can imagine the fun I would have had if this was a normal thing in the USA. You could shut the light off on your brother while he is in the shower. I think they do it for safety reasons. It is still annoying for me after all this time in Serbia.

Water Heaters…..

small waterheater that is in a bathroom and kitchen.

small waterheater that is in a bathroom and kitchen.

You might also notice that many of the older homes still have a little water heater in the corner of the bathroom and in the kitchen. You might have to turn on the water heater 20 or 30 minutes prior to getting into the shower, BUT be careful. The water gets so hot it will burn you! Most US homes have a large water heater that heats the water for the whole house and is always running on either gas or electric. It is usually hidden in a separate room. The Serbian way is much more cost-effective and I don’t know why it isn’t used as much in the USA.

Laundry……

The worst thing for me is the lack of dryers in Serbian homes. It is very rare to walk into an American home and not see a washer and a dryer. Serbian homes almost NEVER have a dryer. The vast majority of homes have a clothes line hanging outside and dry their clothes on it to preserve energy. This is a pain for a guy like me. I am the guy that likes to decide what to wear at the last-minute and if it is dirty…. wash it and throw in the dryer to dry and take the wrinkles out. That won’t be happening here. It is also difficult to find a laundromat. They do have a few in the larger towns but the smaller towns don’t.

Passport and Visa…..

Americans DO NOT need to do anything prior to flying to Serbia. Once you arrive at the Belgrade Tesla Airport you will receive a stamp on your passport that is good for 90 days. It is free of charge  and most of the time the custom officials will ask you nothing. A few times I have been pulled to the side and asked where I was going, who I was staying with, etc. I just said that I was a tourist and didn’t have all that info. They are friendlier than American custom police. 🙂 It is always advisable to head to the American Embassy to register your stay. You don’t need to do it, but they will take your email, phone, etc and keep you up to date on any activities that might jeopardise you safety. Their address , phone number, etc can be found on their website http://serbia.usembassy.gov/hours-of-operation.html

Serbia also requires that you go to the local police station within 24 hours of your stay. If you are staying at a hotel, they do it for you. If you are staying with a friend or get an apartment, you must take the owner of the home with you. They will issue you a white registration card. You must keep it with you at all times. Serbian police can stop anyone on the street and ask for your identification. If you don’t have it you can be in trouble. They will ask for the white card if you leave the Serbian borders. Many times they haven’t even looked at mine, but better safe than sorry.

Junk Food….

Serbia doesn’t have the large selection of chips, candy bars, soda and snack food that we have. They have lots of different chocolate products, but they lack in the other fields. Maybe  that is why you don’t see lots of fat people lumbering down the streets. LOL! I really miss Doritos!!!!

Doritos... American chips

Doritos… American chips

They have their own brand that rules the market in Serbia. It is called Chipsy..

Serbian chips

Serbian chips

You will also have a hard time finding Dr Pepper, Cherry Coke, Cherry 7-UP, and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. I am an addict so I have looked everywhere for them. 🙂
If you must have them, bring them from home! 🙂

Serbian Women…..

Gorgeous Serbian gals

Gorgeous Serbian gals

Before visiting Serbia it would be wise to exercise your neck. You will find yourself turning in awe at the gorgeous ladies that line the streets of Serbia. The majority are tall, very well dressed, beautiful jaw lines, long legs, very confident and sweet personalities. You will very rarely find a Serbian women that will walk out of the house without first going through an hour-long make up and primping session. hahaahah…

Think ahead!!! 🙂 You will enjoy Serbia all the same. Just a few tips to help you cope !! Serbia is the jewel of the Balkans. Long live Serbia!!!!! 

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Posted by on June 8, 2013 in When in Serbia

 

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Words to Describe Serbia…..


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We all know the impact that media outlets can have on your internal mental image you have of a place and people. The media does what their corporate sponsors want them to do. They cannot be trusted! The days of fair and balanced news are HISTORY!! We, the people of the world, need to unite and bring back sanity to this insane world!

I talk to a lot of foreigners that come to Serbia. Everyone of them has the same preconceived view of Serbia and Serbian people. I decided to ask many of them what words they would have used to describe this country and its people before their visit and after their visit. Here are some of the top answers:

BEFORE VISITING SERBIA

  • war zone
  • genocide
  • criminals
  • Serbia? Where is that?
  • dirty
  • evil
  • bearded men
  • rude people
  • dangerous
  • lawless country
  • communist buildings
  • lack of electricity and internet
  • corruption

AFTER VISITING SERBIA

  • hospitality
  • generosity
  • sexy girls
  • friendly people
  • tall people
  • proud nation
  • delicious and healthy food
  • no fat people
  • small cars
  • unique culture
  • “I felt safer in Serbia that in my own country!”
  • laid back way of life
  • “Exit Fest is the best! I will be back”
  • too much smoking in public
  • very intelligent population
  • “They all speak English!”
  • “We will be back for another visit!”

🙂 Isn’t amazing how much you learn when you step outside of your comfort zone and explore with your own eyes??? Serbia is worth a visit!! The most expensive part is your ticket…… after that you can live like a king for around $600 a month! BOOK NOW!!!! 🙂

say-serbia-logo

A few friends and I have started a new website that is dedicated to EVERYTHING SERBIAN!!!! I would love to invite each and every one of you to join us! It is called SAY SERBIA http://sayserbia.com/ . There is a security question on the entrance page. The answer is “baba”.

We decided to do this to show the world what all Serbia has to offer. It will be a place where Serbs and the MASSIVE diaspora can get together and chat, provide information on your history, music, culture, art, food, and people. We also have an excellent section with foreigner reviews of your great nation! Please help us make this site a success!! It was made from the hearts of a few guys that are very passionate about your country and your people. Please feel free to create your own discussions, add photos and info on your city, add videos, etc… BUT please avoid the negative things. This is a positive site for those that are interested in visiting. We have BIG plans for the future. It is currently in the beta testing mode. Check us out and if you have any suggestions, comments, complaints, just message me!!

Prva Exploziv was here in Sremska Mitrovica for 8 hours with me on Tuesday.They are doing an episode on me that will air next week. The site will be mentioned in there and will also be in 24 SATA in a week or so!!! HELP US SHOW THE TRUE SERBIA!!!! Hvala puno!!!!

VOLIM VAS!!!

 

 
6 Comments

Posted by on May 17, 2013 in Through my eyes

 

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Serbian War Crimes in 1885???


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I knew this title would attract some attention from my Serbian buddies!!! It will also get its fair share of haters too. 🙂

War is a terrible thing. It is usually very difficult to find something positive or a humane act that is worth noting.

My country has been involved in many military conflicts over the years. I remember sitting in my Mexican classroom talking with my students about war. They asked me to name all of the wars that the USA has been involved in since The Civil War. 😮 😮 OMG! Could I do it?? I started to sweat and gave up! I asked them the last time they were involved in a war.They quickly replied ” The Mexican American War  and our independence” DAMN!!! My country has been through countless wars and conflicts since that war.

The Balkans have had their fair share of war too! The Serbs tend to get blamed for all the bad things that happened during these conflicts. I am not a Balkan scholar….. I don’t even pretend to be very bright , but when there is a military conflict there are usually horrible things committed on both sides!! Thank God for our international media that is always looking out for us. They would never mislead us, would they??? They always show both sides of every conflict and never have a hidden agenda!! ahahahahahaha… The media is one thing that gets me fired up. If you turn on a newscast in the USA you would think we had two totally different countries. MSNBC is my choice for news. They are known for leaning LIBERAL and then on the other side of the aisle you have FOX… They are the CONSERVATIVE news source! I am not going to sit here and talk about how insane Fox News is, but they have a totally different view. I thought it was NEWS!!!!! The days of a balanced and unbiased newscast are over! If a station is owned by large corporations… WHAT DO YOU EXPECT!!!!???? (shaking my head in disgust)

In 1885 the Serbs and Bulgarians were in a bloody conflict. They had many wounded soldiers on each side. Serbia had founded the Red Cross a few years earlier in 1876.  Bulgaria formed their Red Cross in September of 1885!!! They were both being offered additional assistance from the Red Cross organizations throughout Europe, but Bulgaria had a big problem!!! Serbia stood between them and Europe and the Danube River was frozen solid!! They had many wounded and sick soldiers that were in dire need of medical treatment. What did the Serbs do??? Let them freeze, starve and die??? NO! They did something that only was unheard of!!!! They halted the war for one day to allow medical supplies into Bulgaria!!!! The Austrian Red Cross had contacted the Serbs about the need of supplying the Bulgarians with needed supplies, and it was  supported  by  the group of  Serbian surgeons, the Serbian Army Headquarters proclaimed the one-day armistice and opened the state border, allowing the Red Cross entry. The two delegations met near the small town of Pirot, Serbia.  That wasn’t the end of it! The Bulgarians were still short of medical supplies and the Serbian opened their medical supplies and shared with their enemy!!!!

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This act didn’t go unnoticed! The headquarters of the International Red Cross in Geneva hung up a plaque in their hallway that states “Be Humane Like Serbia in 1885”

 

 
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Posted by on January 18, 2013 in Through my eyes

 

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Helping Serbian Youth Travel to the USA (OPTIONS)


 


Serbia is filled with many highly intelligent young people. They are introduced to English at a very young age and have two alphabets of their own. Many are also learning German, French, or Spanish. I wish the education administrators in the USA would require American students to learn a  2nd or 3rd language. The key is starting early!  My school in the USA did not offer a foreign language until you were in high school. Many of Serbian friends started studying English in primary school! WOW!

The majority of my Serbian friends are in their 20’s. My American buddies always joke with me about that. I am a BIG kid inside, but the main reason is the lack of English from the 30 and up crowd. Prior to the breakup of Communism in 1990, English was not commonly taught in Serbian schools. Many of the adults were taught German or Russian.

I am writing this post to offer some assistance for Serbian youth and young adults. I am asked over and over for advice on different programs. This post was going to be posted a few months ago, but I wanted to get some feedback on the programs before posting them for you! The last thing I wanted to do was promote some SCAM or rip off program.  I will be adding to this post as I get more feedback from other programs! If  you have any FIRST HAND experience on any of these programs….. PLEASE CONTACT ME!!! I would love to hear about it and pass it on to everyone. I am always here to help my Serbian friends. You guys have been WONDERFUL to me. If you need any further info, have comments, or just want to say “ZDRAVO” … shoot me a message at charlesserbia@gmail.com

HERE WE GO…..

 

A-SMYLE (American Serbia Montenegro Youth Leadership Exchange)

Their website: http://www.ac-see.org/programs/eng-sched.htm

A-SMYLE is one of the best programs available. It is a FREE opportunity for high school students in Serbia and Montenegro to spend one school year in the U.S. The program is fully funded by the U.S. State Department. Students live with American host families and attend American high schools for one school year (10 months). Students with disabilities are encouraged to participate in the competition.

Requirements:
– Be registered in the first or second year of secondary school in fall 2012
– Be citizens of Serbia or Montenegro (students who also have US citizenship are ineligible)
– Attend school in Serbia or Montenegro
– Speak English well
– Have been born between 1 January 1996 and 15 July 1998
– Be eligible to receive a J-1 visa (for example, not have been in the US for more than 3 months in the past 5 years)
– Have good grades in school
– Demonstrate leadership qualities
– Students with disabilities who were born between March 15, 1995 and July 15, 1998 and who are not in the last year of secondary school are eligible for the competition

 

I have one wonderful young Serbian gal that was selected to participate in this program. She is from Cacak, Serbia. She is currently residing in Washington, Iowa with her host family. Here is a short message from her. She is a doll. She said she is willing to answer any and all questions any of you Serbian students might have about the program. Just send me an email and I will send it on to her. Here is her story:

The first time I heard about the A-SMYLE (American Serbia and Montenegro Youth Leadership Exchange) program was from my High School teacher who mentioned it one day.  It is an exchange program for High School students from Serbia and Montenegro that are interested in spending one school year in the U.S., it is financed by the United States State Department. You will have different rounds of testing, and if you become a finalist you will be assigned to one of the placement organizations, mine is World Link. Placement organizations are the ones that look for host families, so if there is a host family reading this, I strongly encourage you to contact someone at World Link.

When I was selected as a finalist I was so happy and excited!
When I first arrived here it all felt so unreal, I couldn’t really wrap my mind around the fact that I was actually in the U.S.! I think it’s still unreal for me. We flew from Belgrade to Frankfurt and then to Washington DC. That was my first time flying, so if any of you are as scared as I was, let me reassure you, flying is the best thing ever! I’m extremely afraid of heights, but you won’t even feel like you’re in the air.
My host family is wonderful. They have been so helpful and nice about everything! Everyone here loves foreigners and they are very understanding and will always offer to help you. You probably think that school is very different, and …… yes it is. It’s not better or worse, just very different! I was very scared on my first day of school, but there was no need for that because everyone wanted to meet me and to help me find my classes and everything! Every school is different, and you’d probably have 5-7 classes each term, I per example have 4 classes. I got to pick most of them and it was very interesting to pick a class like Journalism, since you probably know that we don’t have that. I joined school clubs like Drama and Art club, and this, along with sports is the best way to meet people, and it’s soo fun! My favorite part of the day is when we rehears lines for the play. You might be worried about missing your family and friends, and I’m not going to lie to you, it is hard. But, luckily we live in the era of technology and you’ll be able to Skype them and talk on Facebook or email! The important thing is to keep yourself busy.
Volunteering is also another great thing, there is something wonderful about helping others and not expecting anything in return, it is one of the best feelings ever, believe me. You will also go to your first football game (not to be mistaken with soccer) and it will be fun even if you don’t know the first thing about it (like me!).

These are just some of the great things you would experience if you came here! There are many, many more and I think that everyone who is considering applying for this program should definitely do it because it will be an amazing experience!

I would like to use this opportunity to thank my friends and family back home, for supporting me every step of the way (I love and miss you all), my amazing host family, the Schindlers, and my wonderful World Link coordinator here, Sherrie Nisly.

Danijela Živković, Washington Iowa (Čačak, Serbia  )

 

 

PAX ABROAD PROGRAM:

Website : http://pax.org/abroad_program_costs.php

The PAX exchange program is good for many countries. It can be pricey, but you can also qualify for a scholarship. Great opportunity to see the world and experience life in another part of the world.

Eligibility

You are eligible for a PAX Abroad program if:

  • You are between the ages of 15 and 18
  • You are currently enrolled in a U.S. high school
  • You are mature and responsible

PAX School Year and Semester Abroad programs require a GPA of C+ or better and three years study of the language of your chosen country.

Application Deadlines:

  • For full year and fall semester programs: April 1
  • For second semester programs: September 15
  • For summer programs: April 15

My friend, Luka, is from Pancevo, Serbia. He took part in program last year. He had a great experience and has also made a short video for you students that are thinking about studying abroad. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9ksic-Gggo Here is his review:

“I went to America as an exchange student via PAX Organization. I contacted a representative from Belgrade, filled out all the applications and a few months later I was accepted. 10 of us from Serbia and Montenegro went to New York. There we’ve spent a week for the orientation and then each and every one of us flew to their host families. I went to Shreveport, Louisiana. It is mid-sized city located between Dallas and New Orleans. That was my first time in America so I had no clue whether or not the people are gonna like me or not especially because I’m coming from Serbia. I was happy when I found out how friendly the Americans are and I couldn’t believe that probably 99% of people never heard of Serbia. Most of them confused it with Siberia. Lol. At first it was hard to ajust to being so dependent on cars since there’s no public transportation in the US nor you can walk anywhere cause everything is so spread out. The schools in America are much easier compared to Serbia because you can pick 4 classes a semester and that’s it while in Serbia you gotta take up to 15 classes. In my American school I was able to teach to teachers and the entire classes about many different topics including the history of the Balkans which they found to be cool. I enjoyed my stay in America and made many new friends who will come for a visit one day. I traveled to Missouri, Arkansas, Houston, New Orleans, New York etc. I love America and I’ll definitely come back soon. I believe that if our two countries would collaborate more no one would be able to stop us grin

 

 

WORK AND TRAVEL

Website: http://www.posloviamerika.com/Prijava%20na%20program.html

Eligibility Requirements:

  • All participants must be at one of the regular year of three-year, four-year, five-year, masters or PhD students
  • Must have conversational knowledge of English (checks will be done by talking or writing) • It is recommended that studies continuously • Be between 18 and 30 years • Resourceful, flexible, ready for teamwork, cooperation and compromise • The candidate must be capable of working • Do possession of a valid passport that lasts at least until 01.06. 2013th The

This is one of the most widely used programs for Serbs in the USA. They are a great way for college and university students to experience life outside of Serbia and make money doing it! There are many programs out there. This is one that my friend from Ecka, Serbia used. I didn’t get a written review of the program from him, but I know he had an absolute BLAST in Minot, North Dakota. He was one of 10-20 other Serbs that were sent to the middle of the USA. He worked at Domino’s Pizza and Wendy’s for $9 an hour. He was able to travel to Las Vegas and New Jersey! Check out the site!!!! GREAT PROGRAM!!!!

 

 

ITTT (International TEFL and TESOL Training)

Website : http://www.teflonline.net/

This is one of the recommendations I have had for a few of my Serbian adult friends and for friends from every corner of the globe. This is a teaching certificate course that will allow you to find teaching jobs all over the planet. I use mine to teach English in Mexico, and Serbia. I have been offered jobs in Mongolia, Taiwan, China, Myanmar, Turkey, Georgia, etc… Many of my Serbian friends have very nice American accents and a GREAT grasp for English grammar. I have two Serbian friends that are currently using theirs to teach in Thailand. The pay varies in every country… the same with the teaching requirements. Many countries require you to be from an English speaking country, but many Asian countries do not. This course can be taken online and at your convenience. You will pay from $150-$700 depending on which course you desire. It is best to take it at one of the many locations world wide. They range from $1000-$3000 dollars for course that last from 3 weeks to one month. It is a great way to see the world, make a difference, and make some money!

I have a few other options, but I am waiting for additional follow up from participants. Thank you for your time. I hope it helped. Please message if you have any other travel programs that you would recommend or avoid. Pozdrav!!!!!

 
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Posted by on October 19, 2012 in Through my eyes

 

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Two More Foreigners With Serbian Stories


I get all kinds of messages! I need to post more of them on here! Here are a few great travel stories from foreigners that traveled to Serbia and hated to leave!!!!

 

This is a fellow North American that contacted me after reading my blog. THANKS RYAN!!! GREAT STORY!!!!!

As I glided up the elevator at the Tesla airport, a few hundred dinars flew out of my pocket and I did not notice. As I continued out towards the taxi platform, a airport worker stopped me and returned my money he had picked up. I knew this was a sign that my stay in Serbia would be great and this was my first introduction to the amazing generosity of the Serbian people.
I took a bus out to Novi Sad where I was greeted by my friend Milan (who I grew up with in North America) and his family. His family welcomed me like I was one of their own. They took my bags, his grandmother gave me a kiss,the rakia was poured and I started to eat one of the most amazing meals of my life full of Ćevapi and other Serbian dishes.
The love and warmth I felt from these people was amazing. Coming from North America, it is safe to say the amount of consumption and excess is overwhelming. Also, the concept of family is often times pushed aside for personal aspirations. In Serbia, you are reminded of what is truly important: spending time with family and close friends. This is what made the biggest impact on me while I was in Serbia. To see how close families are and how generous they are towards each other was humbling and helped me realize that spending time with people who are close to you is truly the richest experience of all.
The generosity of the Serbian people was felt throughout my whole trip. I attended Exit Festival at the Petrovaradin Fortress and met many Serbs from all over the country. They wanted to make sure I was having a great time and experiencing the “real” Serbia as it is often mis-repersented in the media and popular culture. Every Serbian I met wanted to feed me, show me around the city and offered me to stay with them, something that you do not experience everyday in North America. As Charles always points out, this generosity is what makes Serbia one of the most amazing places on the planet.
 
I was also impressed with Serbians understanding of their history. Every Serbian will give you an in-depth history lesson on their country. There is no need to pay for a guided tour since every citizen is well educated on their roots. It was amazing to have a Pivo and sit back and listen to young and old tell stories of Serbia’s past and present. 
I felt compelled to reach out to Charles because what he is doing is important. He is encouraging people from all over the world to visit Serbia and see how amazing the people are. It is the people  that make this country what it is, I cant stop telling all my friends about it. 
 
Similar to my experience, Charles realizes how amazing this generosity is. I was happy to share my experience on his site because I feel it is important to explain to the rest of the world the warmth and a sense of home that is created for visitors in Serbia. I plan on returning because I feel Serbia is like my home away from home now. I encourage all travelers to make a stop here or to reach out to Charles for some advice before you go. “

The next one is from a wonderful Polish gal!!!! Great story!!! She hated to leave Serbia!!! Thanks girl!!!!

” Hi Charles,

I am from Poland. My parents and friends had the same reaction as yours. My friends thought it was dangerous and my parents even thought it was the 3rd world.
Man you’re amazing with this Serbia stuff! I’d like to live in Serbia like you, but I’m not so brave like you and I’m too close with my family to go abroad. And you know, how my parents, they doesn’t want to let their only doughter to go 😉 and no future for me there, I study weird stuff on my university 😉 But I miss Serbia so so so so much, this Burek and Pljeskavica, my serbian friends (especially one) and streets of Loznica and Novi Sad!!! And lovely time with Drina and a lot of sun !!!  You won’t believe but we have only one bus from Poland to Serbia! One bus once a week. They’re crazy. I want Serbia closer, I felt in love. :)”
 
8 Comments

Posted by on August 30, 2012 in What others think

 

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USA vs Serbia….. Comparing holidays….


I have been to many places and experienced very unique and unforgettable moments. Holidays and traditions are two things that I always find interesting.  I thought it would be worthwhile  to list the majority of holidays that are celebrated in the USA and Serbia.

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The United States of America is a country that is broken into 50 states and each has their own laws and implementation of holidays. We don’t have national holidays in which every employee receives mandatory days off. It is only mandatory for federal employees. Each state sets their own holiday schedule based on local customs. They have their own state holidays.

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Federal holidays…….

  1. New Year’s Day– Jan 1st…..celebrates start  Gregorian calendar new year
  2. Martin Luther King Jr Day…..3rd Sunday in Jan- Birth of civil rights leader
  3. President’s Day– 3rd Monday in Feb….. combination of Washington and Lincolns birthdays
  4. Memorial Day– Last Monday in May…..honors those killed in our many wars
  5. Independence Day– July 4th….. celebrates the signing of the Declaration of Independence
  6. Labor Day– First Monday in September…..celebrates the workers and labor movement
  7. Columbus Day– 2nd Monday in Oct….. discoverer of USA… some states celebrate Indians instead
  8. Veterans Day– Nov 11….. honors all veterans and the end of WW1
  9. Thanksgiving– 4th Thur in Nov…..traditionally celebrates thanks for autumn harvest .. turkey dinner
  10. Christmas – December 25th…..celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ
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Other informal, traditional or religious holidays celebrated in the USA…..

  1. Epiphany– Jan 6th…..celebrates baptism of Jesus , manifestation of Jesus to the Gentiles..etc
  2. Mardi Gras– Feb or March varies……. french for FAT TUESDAY or last chance to eat fat before Lent
  3. Groundhog’s Day– Feb 2nd…..groundhog is released to predict more winter or start of spring
  4. Valentine’s Day– Feb 14th…..celebration of love and romance.
  5. St Patrick’s Day– Mar 17th…..celebration of Irish culture… wearing green and drinking green beer
  6. April Fools’ Day– Apr 1…..day of playing tricks and pranks
  7. Palm Sunday– Sunday before Easter….. celebrates Jesus entry into Jerusalem.
  8. Good Friday– Fri before Easter…… commemorate crucifixion and death of Jesus
  9. Easter– Sunday after Good Friday…..commemorates the resurrection of Jesus
  10. Earth Day– Apr 22nd…..celebration and recognition of our environment … pick up litter etc
  11. Arbor Day– Last Sun in April….. celebration of our trees.. most people plant trees on this day
  12. May Day– May 1st…..in US , celebration of Spring and organized labor
  13. Cinco de Mayo– May 5th….. in USA celebration of Mexican culture..  don’t confuse it with Mexican Independence Day, that is on Sept 16th
  14. Mother’s Day– 2nd Sunday in May….. Celebration and appreciation of your mother
  15. Flag Day– June 14th…..commemorates the adoption of the USA flag, in 1777
  16. Father’s Day– 3rd Sun in June…… celebration and appreciation of our father
  17. Women’s Equality Day– Aug 26th….. celebrates adoption of 19th amendment and marks the day of protest in 1970, when women protested nationwide for equality
  18. Patriot Day– Sept 11th…..commemorates the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon in 01
  19. Constitution Day– Sept 17th….. celebrates the adoption of our constitution
  20. Rosh Hashanah– Sept or Oct varies…… Jewish celebration for beginning of High Holidays and Hebrew calendar new year.
  21. Yom Kippur– Sept or Oct varies…..Jewish celebration … known as “Sabbath of rest”
  22. Halloween– Oct 31….. originally celebrated the end of Celtic year but also eve of All Saint’s Day.. kids dress in costumes and go door to door for candy and snacks .. if they do not receive any.. they do tricks on the homeowner… like take a bar of soap and smear on windows and throw toilet paper in the trees
  23. Election Day– 1st Tuesday in Nov….. observed by federal and state in applicable years… voting
  24. Black Friday– Friday after Thanksgiving…… start of shopping season… the busiest shopping day of the year
  25. Hanukkah– Dec varies….. Jewish holiday commemorates rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt in the 2nd century BC
  26. Pearl Harbor Day– Dec 7th……day to remember the attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese  Dec 7th, 1941
  27. Immaculate Conception Day– Dec 8th….. commemorates Virgin Mary being kept free from sin…
  28. Christmas Eve– Dec 24th….. night before Christmas… almost every business is closed
  29. Kwanzaa– Dec 26th- Jan 1st…..African American holiday celebration
  30. New Year’s Eve– Dec 31st….. Last day of Gregorian calendar year….

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Misc info……

Many states have their own holidays. Here are some interesting observances……

  • California and Ohio celebrate Rosa Parks day… she is the African-American who refused to sit in the back of the bus and led to major civil rights activity and reform
  • Three states celebrate Susan B Anthony Day… she was a prominent figure in the women’s rights movement in the USA.
  • California celebrates Cesar Chavez Day and two others mark it optional… he was a Latino farm hand that was essential in the creation of the National Farm Workers Association and Latino rights activist
  • Only 12 states recognize Good Friday as a state holiday…..
  • Nine states celebrate Confederate Memorial Day…..celebrates the lives of those killed fighting for the confederacy in the Civil War
  • A few southern states celebrate Jefferson Davis Day…. it celebrates the birth of the Confederate States of Americas leader Jefferson Davis
  • In my state of Illinois … we celebrate Casimir Pulaski Day…. he was a heroic, US military, cavalry officer that was born in Poland and helped defeat the British in the Revolutionary War. We celebrate it because of our large Polish community in Chicago
  • Malcom X Day…. celebrated in California

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Serbian holidays…….

I have only been in Serbia for 9 months but I have noticed one thing…. SERBS LOVE HOLIDAYS AND CELEBRATIONS!!!! During the winter months, there’s non stop celebrations… I work at many different schools and most of the time I would only have one or two kids show up for class because they would all be attending some kind of holiday celebration……Serbs don’t make a lot of money but you would never guess by looking at the menu!!! They throw everything at you but the kitchen sink!!! My favorite thing about attending many of the feasts was being able to take home some leftovers!!!! 😉 My buddies mom always sends me home with lots of goodies because I growl around and complain because I can’t cook!!! 🙂 hahaha…

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Serbian public holidays……

  1. Božić– Jan 7th…..  pronounced (bozhich) this is Serbian Orthodox Christmas… it is celebrated on the 7th of Jan because of the use of the Julian calendar.
  2. Nova GodinaJan 14th….. this is Orthodox New Year
  3. Dan državnosti SrbijeFeb 15th or 16th…… anniversary of the first Serbian uprising in 1804 and the first Serbian constitution in 1835
  4. Veliki petakvaries….. Orthodox Good Friday… commemorates crucifixion of Jesus
  5. VaskrsSunday after Good Friday….. Orthodox Easter celebration of resurrection of Jesus
  6. Vaskrsni ponedeljak– Monday after Easter…… Continuation of Easter celebration
  7. Praznik radaMay 1st….. International Workers Day… celebration of labor
  8. Dan primirja– Nov 11th… Armistice Day…celebrates the end of WW1
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Additional holidays.……
Serbia is predominately Orthodox Christian but they have a large minority of Catholic and other Western Christian sects, a smaller Jewish and Muslim minority also…. Here are a list of holidays and observances given to them…..
  1. New Years Day– Jan 1st…. celebration of the beginning of the Julian new year
  2. Good Friday-varies…. commemorates crucifixion of Jesus
  3. Easter– varies…… resurrection of Jesus
  4. Easter Monday-day after Easter- continuation of Easter celebration
  5. Eid ul-Fitr…. Muslim celebration of end of Ramadan
  6. Eid al-Adha… Muslim celebration of “festival of sacrifice”
  7. Yom Kipper…..Jewish holiday.. “sabbath of rest”

Additional working holidays in Serbia……

  1. Sveti Sava– Jan 27th…..St Sava Day… he is known as the Patron Saint of Serbian schools.. all schools are closed on this day.
  2. Don Secanje Na Zrtve Holokausta– Apr 22…..remembrance of those who died in the holocaust, WWII, and through genocide
  3. Dan Pobede/ Dan Evropa– May 9th…. Victory Day or Europe Day..celebrates the defeat of the Germans in 1945 or the signing of the Schuman Declaration  of 1950… which called for an organization of European states.. similar to the E.U
  4. Vidovdan– June 28th…… Saint Vitus Day…..remembrance of the Battle of Kosovo….
  5. Dan Secanje Na Srpske Zrtve– Oct 21…. National WW2 Victims Remembrance Day… day to remember all the thousands of Serbs killed during German occupation

Last but not least…….

That didn’t seem like a lot of holidays did it??? I saved the best for last…. Serbia also celebrates hundreds of Slavas. That is the celebration of the families patron saint. It is called Krsna Slava in Serbian.ImageI have tried to find the total number of saints but have never gotten a concrete answer. Slava is a very important celebration for Serbian Orthodox families. It has many wonderful, unique and traditional foods, songs, methods and decor… Here is a link to a Slava forum that can provide many answers and the ability to converse with those that have the knowledge on the subject!!! http://www.slavorum.com/index.php?topic=1001.0My experience was written about in a previous blog entry!!! My memories were of lots and lots of awesome food, traditional music, and the  bringing together of family and friends!! It is a must for all of you traveling to Serbia!! There are Slavas all year round but the best are in the Winter time!!!!

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Both countries have great holidays and traditions!!!!! We all have more in common than our governments want us to think!!!! I wish I could bring all the Serbian kids to the USA and all the American kids to Serbia!! We would develop a life long love and respect for each others rich and beautiful traditions!!!!

I am not a religious fanatic and have very little knowledge in the details of many of these holidays. Please understand that before you leave me a bad comment because I didn’t fully discuss something! This is a blog not a book and I don’t want to bore people with the tiny details.

 
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Posted by on April 13, 2012 in USA vs Serbia

 

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