Why learning about Serbian lifestyle really matters


Do you know what is “slatko”? Let me tell you an anecdote that shows why learning about Serbian lifestyle really matters when learning Serbian language.

Have you ever been in a situation where you simply didn’t know how to react or how to answer to a local in Serbia? That’s why learning about Serbian lifestyle is really important when learning Serbian language.

One of the crucial elements of the Serbian lifestyle is the hospitality ritual. There are many formulas and expected behaviors for guests and hosts in Serbia. On this page you can learn about expected gifts that you can bring as a guest to a Serbian host.

But, do you know what to do when your Serbian hosts put this in front of you?

Serbian Lifestyle: Why learning about it really matters 1

 An anecdote about an Englishman eating “slatko”

This lovely anecdote about an Englishman eating “slatko” in Belgrade is fun. But it also illustrates how important it is to learn about culture and customs alongside with the Serbian language.

The Serbian lifestyle is something that might confuse you, if you don’t understand it, or that will make you love the language even more.

Watch the video to learn more!

An Englishman and a Serbian grandma

/Transcript of the video/

Do you know what to do when your Serbian hosts put this in front of you?

Let me tell you an anecdote. There was this very polite Englishman that came to visit Serbia. He knew a little Serbian from his textbook and could manage a basic conversation, but he knew almost nothing about Serbian everyday life and customs.

Back then there were no Natural Serbian courses. Only did he know that one must eat and drink what’s offered in order not to offend the hosts.

So he rents an apartment from an old lady, and when he visits her to pay the rent, she insists that he comes in na čašicu razgovora, for a small talk, that’s so typical.

Now, being curious, he accepts the invitation and comes in. What happens next is that she puts this (a jar and a teaspoon) on the table in front of him and goes to the kitchen to make some coffee.

And he takes one mouthful.

Oh my god! This tastes sooo good!

And he takes another mouthful, and another, and he keeps eating…

When the lady’s back from the kitchen with their coffee, he had already eaten like a half of the jar.

Afterwards, he was sick and she was offended.


So do you know precisely what to do if your hosts put this (a jar and a teaspoon) in front of you?


Serbian Courses are hosting this free course called Natural Serbian.

It is the only course that teaches you real-life Serbian expressions and customs!

Do you want to find out the answer about slatko? (ovo je slatko od smokava)

Firstly, please share this with your friends and help me spread the word about the Natural Serbian course (Lajkujte i šerujte, hvala puno!), and then go to this page where I’ll show you:

  • what exactly you should do with slatko,
  • how to politely say NO and stop overeating without offending anybody, and
  • how to learn other little tricks that will help you act smart in Serbia, impress your Serbian friends, and sound naturally Serbian!
Magdalena Petrovic Jelic

by Magdalena Petrovic Jelic

Founder of Serbonika

Serbian language teacher and entrepreneur, language lover and polyglot, but also a mother and a relentless storyteller.

On a mission to create the best web space for learning Serbian: Serbonika.



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