Serbia has defied larger empires for centuries and as such has a very strong perception of its national self. Today it is a proud independent country that has produced a number of strong cultural voices as well as interesting young talent
Bosnian-born Nobel Prize-winner Ivo Andric lived in Belgrade during the Second World War and wrote some of his most famous novels here, including the highly acclaimed The Bridge Over The Drina. Serbia has produced a highly unconventional but very entertaining writer in Milorad Pavic, whose books encourage the reader to read in a different way. His Dictionary of the Khazars comes in both a male and a female version and the novel Inner Side of the Wind can be read from back to front and Unique Item leaves the readers in a position to choose their own ending.
Danilo Kis and Momo Kapor are two additional writers from Serbia that also deserve a good read.
Bosnian-born Emir Kusturica is based in Serbia and has made a lot of films there. He has won several prizes for these films and is recognised internationally as a great filmmaker. His films Underground and When Father Was Away on Business won the Palme D'Or at the Cannes Film Festival.
Serbia is the home of one of the best trumpet-players to emerge from the Balkans, Boban Markovic. His son Marko now features in his band that performs gypsy-styled horn-music, a treat that the Markovics serve up deliciously.