Searching for the true face of Balkan men

Growing up in Serbia, surrounded by Balkan men, I never gave much thought to their image. They were simply there, an unremarkable part of everyday life. It wasn’t until I left the country eight years ago that I discovered the unattractive stereotype that loomed over Balkan men in the eyes of foreigners.

My father and his childhood tattoo

The Balkans have a tumultuous history marked by wars, conflicts, and deep-seated nationalism. Men have often been at the forefront of these events, shaping the region’s patriarchal societies and leaving a complex legacy in their wake.

Immigration to the West has brought with it the perpetuation of traditional behaviors and attitudes, giving rise to the stereotype of the “Balkan man” – a figure characterized as temperamental, aggressive, and involved in illicit activities. This image, often portrayed in movies like those of Emir Kusturica, further fueled misconceptions about Balkan masculinity.

Curiosity led me back to the region to reassess its men and unravel the myths and stereotypes that surround them. Despite years of living abroad, I found that while some aspects of Balkan masculinity have evolved, others remain unchanged. Are Balkan men truly as the Western media portrays them, or is there a deeper, more nuanced story waiting to be told? Join me on this journey as we uncover the truth behind the men of the Balkans.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *