People in Serbia are warm, full of kindness, hospitality, especially towards foreigners. Serbia is a land known for warmhearted people, where hospitality is the dearest obligation of every host.
As Serbian’s are good hosts they will call you to visit them at home. Every host will do everything to make the guest feel like at home. Every guest upon arrival will be offered with delicious sweet preserves “slatko” accompanied by a glass of water. The whole chunks of fruit are stewed with sugar so as to get differentiated chunks of fruit in a thick, clear, sweet jelly. It is usually made of wild strawberries, plums, bilberries, blackberries, and quince. The rose petal jam is quite famous.
In Serbia, slatko helps anyone starting the successful day!
Sometimes you will be served with bread and salt, it is custom for welcoming the guest, especially in rural areas. Or rakia – fruit brandy, a traditional drink of Serbs. Rakia can be made out of almost any fruit and each fruit has its own specific rakia name.
Upon your first entry in a household, it is customary to bring a symbolic present, a bottle of an alcoholic drink, an assortment of chocolates, flowers or similar.
Typically Serbian is paying the bill in restaurants. The host will almost never allow a guest to pay for lunch, dinner or drinks because it is customary for the host to take care of all expenses while a guest is staying with him or her.
Do not be surprised while greeting people the Serbian’s will kiss you three times! Shaking hands, done using the right hand, is customary when being introduced or meeting somebody of either gender. When people meet for the first time they say their first name, shake hands and say: „Drago mi je“ which means Nice to meet you. Kissing is not a necessity when meeting somebody for the first time, but every time you meet from then on, if you have developed affection for the person in question, kissing three times on the cheeks is the order of the day in Serbia. When meeting after a long time or upon some celebration such as a birthday, it is Serbian custom to kiss three times on alternating cheeks while shaking hands.