Serbia’s future unfolds

Serbia had its presidential election on February 3rd, and Boris Tadic was re-elected. Mr Tadic has his hands full because a region of Serbia, called Kosovo, is getting ready to declare its independence from Serbia. Let’s look at a bit of history first.

Serbia is itself one of the world’s youngest countries – it’s just a year and a half old! It is a result of the break up of a larger country called Yugoslavia. The majority of the people living in Serbia are Serbs, but another group called the Albanians live in a region of Serbia called Kosovo. They wish to create their own country, but Serbs don’t want that to happen.

There is another problem. Serbia wants to become part of the European Union (EU), which is a group of several countries in Europe (27 so far). This will help Serbia become economically stronger. But the EU is supporting Kosovo’s decision to separate from Serbia. So now Mr Tadic is caught between what the Serbs want and what the EU expects.

Something unique to Serbs is their three-fingered salute (called Tri Prsta). The salute is given with the thumb, index, and middle fingers open. Some people say that the origin of the salute comes from the Christian Trinity of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The salute is used by some Serb sports fans and players.

Like raspberries? You might enjoy a trip to Serbia – it grows about one-third of the world’s raspberries!