The scientific and educational program of the Russian Geographical Society in Serbia has been completed. Participants, winners of the competitive selection of the Russian Geographical Society, traveled around the country for two weeks to learn about its geographical, ecological, historical and cultural specificities.
Young scientists and public figures from different regions of Russia visited the cities of Belgrade, Bela Crkva and Vršac, saw the world-famous Medieval Golubac Fortress, visited the ancient royal palace of Romuliana, climbed to the peaks of the Kopaonik mountain range, which can reach 2000 meters in height - and all this is for the sake of science.
We talked to the participants of the program, and they told us what research they managed to do during the scientific journey, how people live in Serbia and what makes it so attractive for tourists.
Where is Serbia?
But before telling about the research, the participant of the scientific and educational program Anastasia Spiryakhina decided to conduct a small excursion.
"Serbia is located on the Balkan Peninsula, surrounded by warm seas - the Adriatic, Aegean and Black, which determine the country's climate. Also an important factor determining the Serbian climate is terrain. The continental climate prevails in Serbia. The average temperature in July is 23-25°C, and the maximum can reach 50°C. The winters are cold and snowy, the average temperature in January is –1–2 ° С, and the minimum is –25 ° С.
The average annual rainfall is 896 mm. And there are about 1000 mm on the Kopaonik mountain range. The rainfall in Serbia over the past 20 years has increased by 50 mm. Rains in the country most often fall in June and May, so it is worth to consider, if you want to visit this country during this period”, Anastasia says.
Program participant Darina Afanasyeva says that the state language in the country is Serbian, but it has five types of pronunciation. Three of them are major in the Serbo-Croatian language continuum: Ekavian (Екавски изговор), Jekavian (jекавски изговор) and Ikavian (икавски изговор) types of pronunciation.
“Our group visited the territories of Serbia, where the Ekavian and Jekavian types are common. The difference between the three main types of pronunciation can be traced back to the example of the word "ветер" (“ wind ”):
⁃ Ekavian: "вэтэр"
⁃ Jekavian: "ветер"
⁃ Ikavian: "витер".
What does attract tourists?
According to studies by Tatyana Volkova, the main types of tourism in Serbia are excursional and educational types with elements of religious, caving, agritourism. Medical and recreational rest remains popular, mountain types is winter kinds of rest and also there are nature-oriented walking rest, water and hunting tourism.
"The tourist flow in Serbia over the past 20 years is generally characterized by positive dynamics. There are periods from 2003 to 2005 and from 2008 to 2010, when there was a decrease in the total number of registered tourists due to the economic crisis in the country. The number of registered tourists was 3 430 522 people for 2018, which is more than in previous years: 2 169 225 in 2000, 2 306 558 in 2007, 2 753 591 in 2016", - explained Tatyana.
As the participant of our program notes, the tourist and recreation complex of the Krasnodar Territory is the most similar in a number of characteristics. At the same time, the Krasnodar Territory receives a much larger number of tourists than Serbia. Thus, the definition of similarities, differences and peculiarities of the development of tourism in Serbia and the Krasnodar Territory is of great interest and can be useful in the management of the development of the tourist and recreation complexes of both territories.
That is what the future analytical report of Tatiana Volkova will be devoted to.
What lifestyle do the Serbians have?
During a research and educational program to study the urban features, demographics, and culture of the country, the internship participants visited the capital of Serbia, the city of Belgrade, the only city in the country with a population of over 1 million people. Also they visited Pančevo, a town that has an important transportation and geographical position; Bela Crkva, where a lot of Russian emigrants arrived in the 1920s; Maydanpek that is a single-industry town with extractive industries; Novi Pazar, where, unlike other Serbian cities, Turkish influence is most pronounced; and other locations. Young participants interviewed local residents in each of the places.
So, Dmitry Egorov found out whether the lack of natural growth of Serbian people is really connected with the moving of young people to Western Europe and North America or, according to the second version, it is connected with the entry of Serbian society in the final stages of a demographic transition. Dmitry interviewed young people aged 15 to 29 years.
“For example, I talked to students at the University of Belgrade. I asked how many of their friends, acquaintances, relatives immigrated to Europe and at what period. Also I have asked about factors that limit the birth of children in young families and etc. Most of the students remembered their acquaintances who went abroad 10 or 15 years ago - this was a post-war wave of emigration. They also said that, although in a smaller number, young people still leave Serbia and, as a rule, leave it for Germany, Austria and Switzerland. They noted the reason for it - for more than 20 years, the country has not had economic growth, stability and a clear understanding of the future. But the main motive for emigration is the problem of employment, the lack of a diversified labor market in Serbia. Particularly, this is a problem for people with higher education", - said Dmitry.
Is nature different?
Familiarity with the nature of Serbia included geological, geomorphological, geobotanical observations. On one of the days of the program, the delegation studied the results of water erosion of the Raikov River and vertical tectonic movements in 2.5 km from the city of Mayndak. The result of the centuries-old impact of these processes was the Raikova Cave.
"It is of interest because of the geological structure - it is composed of white crystalline calcite, as well as due to bizarre formations - draperies, baths, stalactites, stalagmites and stalagnates. Inside the cave is a constant temperature of 8 ° C, and the humidity is 100% ", the participants of the program tell.
For two days, studies were also conducted on the territory of the Kopaonik mountain range and the national park. The route ran at altitudes from 800 to 2000 m. The participants took samples of rocks, were engaged in their determination and produced photofixation of the occurrence features. Among the selected samples: serpentinites, crystalline schists, granites.
Young researchers had the opportunity to explore a unique hydrological object - the Elovarnik waterfall, the third highest in Serbia.
"If we talk about flora, then Kopaonik contains all vegetative belts characteristic of the mountains of the Balkans. Forest vegetation is represented by oak, beech, pine, spruce. Among the grass cover there are species typical of the middle zone of the European part of Russia, for example, tributary, yarrow, willowgrass, clover and others. But we also recorded species uncharacteristic for the Russian regions. We will define and study them already in cameral conditions and will present the results in our full report of research ", the participants of the scientific and educational program of the Russian Geographical Society concluded.