Urban Expedition

Landmark Center’s popular Urban ExpeditionTM program, provides families with an opportunity to learn about the world right here in Saint Paul’s backyard, and in 2021 right in their own living room.  In its 17th season, five individual virtual programs will provided authentic cultural experiences that included music, dance, crafts and traditions from different destination countries.

2021 Season (all virtual events)

  • January 24 – Serbia
  • February 7 – Ghana
  • March 7 – Spain
  • March 21 – Iran
  • April 11 – Laos

The virtual events will take place here, on the Urban Expedition page, and on Landmark Center’s social media pages. Virtual Urban Expeditions will be posted and accessible by 1 pm on each date. They will remain available for one month.

Urban Expedition: Serbia

Serbian flag

ABOUT SERBIA

Serbia is a country located in the Balkans, in southeast Europe. It was one of the six republics of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. It is surrounded by Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Hungary, North Macedonia, Albania, and Romania. It is situated on one of the major land routes from Central Europe to Turkey and further on to the Near East.

Sources: wikitravel.org and serbia.com

Where is Serbia?https://www.serbia.com/about-serbia/where-is-serbia/

THE NATIONAL ANTHEM OF SERBIAClick here to hear the national anthem of the Republic of Serbia

English translation:

NATIONAL SYMBOLS

Photos: srbija.gov.rs

The coat of arms includes the crown of the Nemanjić dynasty. The shield on the eagle’s chest bears the national symbol, the Serbian Cross, which has been an official symbol since 1691. It is thought to be based upon the tetragrammatic cross of the Palaiologos dynasty from the 13th century, the last ruling dynasty of the Byzantine Empire. The Serbian Cross includes 4 stylized Cs or “firesteels”/fire starters. The Cs are the Cyrillic letter C, which is the Latin (English) letter S.

The coat of arms of the Republic of Serbia was established on 16 June 1882. Its famous two-headed eagle is shown: one head represents the direction towards heaven, while the other head is turned towards earth.

FUN FACT:  The Cyrillic Cs represent the motto “Samo Sloga Srbina Spasava” or “Only Unity Saves the Serbs.” It has been a rallying call for the Serbians to preserve their heritage, faith, and nationhood throughout their history.

CRAFT ACTIVITY:  MAKE AN EAGLE!

With a few items in your home, you can make a majestic eagle! (We have them here in America as well!). CLICK HERE  to learn how.

LANGUAGE

The official language is Serbian. Both the official Cyrillic script and the more familiar Latin script, which is very widespread in Serbia, are taught in school.

After a reform in 1868, the alphabet and spelling were radically simplified resulting in the Serbian Cyrillic script consisting of 30 letters. Even today, it is learned according to the principle: “Write as you speak and read as it is written.”

SPEAK SERBIAN:

Once you know how to say the name of each letter, you know how it is always pronounced in a word and how the whole word is pronounced!

Serbian Alphabet

The website below not only has the Serbian alphabet in both Cyrillic and Latin, but also has a short video with sound pronunciation for each letter. Listen carefully! Many sound alike! 

http://mylanguages.org/serbian_alphabet.php

Now you can speak Serbian!

To hear every day, familiar phrases such as those (and more) below, click here.

To learn how to identify family members, click here. Then, scroll down to the bottom of the page under the heading “Themes” and select, “Family.”  You can also select any other theme to learn phrases in that subject as well! 

WRITE SERBIAN

The beautiful Cyrillic alphabet. Can you try to recreate these alphabet letters? Source: serbiancitizenship.com

SERBIAN FOLKART TRADITIONS

Embroidery, crochet, and rug weaving are hallmarks of Serbian culture. These art forms are called “Ručni Rad,” which means “made from hand.”  These folkart traditions bring beauty and color to clothing, tabletops, floors, and more.

Kilim Woven Rugs

 A “kilim”/ćilim – traditional rug, woven of fine threads to a flat, napless rug of beautiful colors and which often feature designs that are “signatures” of Serbian artistry.  In the town of Pirot, centuries of weavers have produced Serbia’s most beautiful and sought-after rugs. For centuries, there were thousands of weavers. Today, 30 women weave rugs to preserve the art form.

Click Here to watch the video about these amazing weavers.

To learn more about the rugs of Pirot, CLICK HERE.

KOLO DANCE

Kolo is a traditional, collective folk dance performed by interlinked dancers who form a chain, usually moving in a circular line holding hands.  It is performed at private and public gatherings and involves all members of the local community. Kolo is a symbol of national identity and is performed during important events. Professional troupes, local communities, and artistic cultural societies preserve this traditional dance by organizing local, regional and national fairs, festivals and competitions. Direct participation is the most common way of teaching and learning the dance. Skilled dancers motivate others to learn and improve their own performance. Knowledge is also acquired through the regular education system and in ballet and music schools.

Source: ich.unesco.org

For more information about this topic, CLICK HERE

Learn the basic steps:

To see the Twin Cities’ own Serbian Dance Ensemble, (from St. Sava’s Church in So. St. Paul), CLICK HERE.

MUSIC

SERBIAN MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS

The Balkan region have many musical instruments in common. Here are examples of some used to play Serbian music: Gajde (bagpipe), Gusle and Tambura/Tamburitza (lute), Frula/Kaval (flute).” Source: Serbia.com

For more information about this topic, CLICK HERE 

THE GUSLE

Photo: sdkultura.org

The ‘Gusle’ is a single-stringed musical instrument (and musical style) that is always accompanied by singing; musical folklore, specifically epic poetry. It consists of a wooden sound box, covered with an animal skin and a neck. The most common and traditional version is single-stringed with thirty horsetail hairs making one string. A bow is pulled over the string/s, creating a dramatic and sharp sound, expressive and difficult to master. Singing to the accompaniment of the Gusle was how cultural stories and histories were passed down through generations and is an important part of Serbian heritage.  Source: Wikipedia.com

To watch and listen to the Gusle and singing, CLICK HERE

 CRAFT ACTIVITY:  TO MAKE YOUR OWN GUSLE-INSPIRED STRINGED INSTRUMENT, CLICK HERE

DRESS

 Folk costumes, once everyday clothing, are the main characteristic of ethnicity that made Serbs distinctive from people of other nationalities. Serbian folk costumes have a distinctive place in Serbian culture and tradition. The costumes from the 19th and the first decade of the 20th century, with their varied decorations and shapes both on female and male costumes, have been preserved. Every region inhabited by the Serbs has distinctive folk costumes. The way of dressing was a recognizable sign of one’s regional ethnicity. Throughout history, different folk costumes had multiple meanings in everyday life, but they were also influenced by different ethnicities, therefore folk costumes are symbols of time in which they were created and worn.

Serbian folk dress is divided into several groups: Dinaric, Morava, Pannonian, and Vardar styles, all of which can also be placed under regional groups such as: Northern Serbia (which mostly includes Vojvodina), Central Serbia, Eastern Serbia, Western Serbia, and Southern Serbia. Source: Serbia.com

 To learn more about traditional Serbian clothing, CLICK HERE.

source: Panacomp Wonderland Travel

And what about those shoes?? CLICK HERE to learn more about “Opanci”

Urban Expedition logo

Urban Expedition is a part of Sundays at Landmark, an event series is produced by Minnesota Landmarks, the nonprofit programming and management agency for Landmark Center. Urban Expedition is sponsored by Ramsey County, Ecolab, Xcel Energy Foundation, RBC Wealth Management, and with additional support from Travelers.

For more information call 651.292.3063.