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Serbian Family - Who's Who?


I've found an interesting article about bunch names for relatives in Serbian family relations. ;D

Because it is some longer text, I'll paste first half here, and second half you continue reading on Serbiaincomind.com ;)

Author of an article is Mr. Petar Živić.

--- Цитат ---Serbian Family – Who’s Who?

We have mentioned the importance of family to Serbs several times now, so we have decided to entertain you with a closer look at Serbian family relations. Serbian family tree and relations are among the most complex in the world. In the most of the West European cultures only direct blood lines are recognized with specific names with a couple of closer relatives, while other relatives are commonly called „cousin“. Serbian word for cousin – „rođak“ – is commonly used to distinguish relative from friend or other social relations, or simply to determine very distant relative.
What is „distant“ in Serbian family tree?

Serbs have several words for family, by which the family levels are determined. The most general term is „RODBINA“, which could be translated as „relatives“ or „kinsfolk“. A bit more particular term is „FAMILIJA“, which usually considers relatives up and around the 2nd or 3rd generation. The most particular term is „PORODICA“ by which we consider the closest family members, such as parents, grandparents, siblings and children.

Serbs have a special name for each direct ancestor 16 generations back, and for 5 future generations. Besides this, Serbs can easily determine relation to most cousins of the second and third generation simply by having particular name for uncles and aunts. Not only this, but their children are not called „cousins“ – they are brothers and sisters on uncle’s/aunt’s side.
So, how does it work?

Here’s an example:

Let’s say my mother has 3 brothers and 1 sister – 3 uncles and 1 aunt. As a Serb, I would say I have 3 UJAK and 1 TETKA. For them I am SESTRIĆ or „Sister’s son“, which would be the closest translation. Now, let’s say my uncle has 1 daughter, and my aunt has 1 son. This means that I have 1 SESTRA OD UJAKA (sister on my uncle’s side) and 1 BRAT OD TETKE (brother on my aunt’s side).

My father has one brother, whos title in Serbian family relation to me is STRIC or ČIČA. My „nephew“ title in relation to him is SINOVAC (literally meaning „other son“), and his son is my BRAT OD STRICA – „brother on my uncle’s side“. However! I am not SINOVAC to my father’s sister (my aunt, or TETKA as we say) – but I am BRATANAC to her (meaning „brother’s son“). How about that, huh?

Thanks to these particular names for cousins, Serbs can recite relations for days. But this is not strictly attached to direct blood lines only. Serbs are notorious for the fact that they can find their relations to other families for generations back. This comes from the very interesting detail of remembering brothers and sisters of our grandfathers and great grandfathers (sometimes even further back). So, why is that so important for us?

There are several explanations for this particularity. First explanation goes all the way back to the time when Serbs were a part of vast nation of Slavs. In order to maintain good relations, Slavs used to marry between tribes. Now, in order to avoid crossbreed of similar genetics, Slavs used to take the best precaution – determing family relations to the closest details. Thanks to this peculiarity – Slavs have maintained the least of the same gene mixture thus avoiding genetical mutations. Second explanation is tightly connected to the first: Serbs are a small nation. In the old times, communities were organized almost in the same – tribal manner; so in order to avoid „bad genetics“ – Serbs used to determine family relations for generations back.

--- Крај цитата ---


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