The diaspora concept denotes a group of people or a section of a nation who have left its home country to be settled elsewhere in the world. Diaspora exists as long as cultural, economic and political connections with the home are maintained at least to some extent. The well-known diaspora is the Jewish one. Since they lost their own country, for centuries the Jews lived scattered all over the world, without their homeland but connected by their common faith and customs. Serbian diaspora numbers between 2.5 – 4 million Serba, which is one third of the total population.
The Greek word diaspora literally meansdispersion, spread about. The Serbian word for it is rasejanje.
Several large groups of Serbian emigrants from the Balkans can be listed:
- Mediaeval emigration and migration to east and west Europe.
- Overseas migrations comprising descendants of those who emigrated from the Dinara region and Herzegovina before the WWII.
- The post-war political emigration, forced to leave the country when the communists were victorius in the 20th century.
- Economic emigration: workers and experts in various fields, who went to numerous West European and overseas countries, seeking jobs and prosperity.
- Refugees from wars and war aftermath in the former Yugoslavia in 1990’s.