I have spent almost a month in Serbia during my spring break, and I have noticed many good and bad things young Serbian people do. After spending seven months in the states, I really enjoyed a month back home. I have visited all of the schools I went to while living in Serbia, and I could see that things they are learning are on a much higher level than we are here in the USA. Some say it’s a good thing, some say it’s not. I personally believe that some of the things I had to learn while I was attending school in Serbia should also be taught here. Kids over there have much higher knowledge on such a wide variety of subjects. But I don’t agree with teaching kids some stuff they will never need in their life. So you could say that one difference between Serbian and American kids is that Serbian kids have much harder education.
Now, not everything is so great back there. The law controlling the sale of alcoholic drinks and cigarettes is not that tight. Hence, there are 15-year-olds (and even younger) who buy liquor and cigarettes. There are too many tobacco addicts in Serbia. Perhaps the reason for that is the price of one pack of cigarettes – between 1.5$ and 3$. People don’t need to waste too much money to enjoy some smoke. And get cancer. And stay drunk. And lose their livers. The problem doesn’t lie in their upbringing, it’s more of mentality. Since few centuries ago, while the turks were still present on the Balkans, people are passionate smokers. And also, during the medieval times, people were drinking beer more than water. It’s kind of part of our national tradition. But I don’t think that’s a good tradition, in fact I think that the state of the nation would be much better if the law controlling the sale of cigarettes and alcohol was tighter. That’s the second difference between these two countries’ youth. I am saying that because I know that here, in the USA, sale of those items is strictly prohibited for persons under age of 21. And that’s the way it’s supposed to be.
Other minor differences are: Serbian kids don’t get cars. If you want a car YOU have to buy it, YOU have to make money for it. Serbian kids grow up faster. That is the one thing that was the most noticeable during my vacation. I could see in their eyes; they are grown-ups stuck in the bodies of teenagers. Well, most of them. Kids with rich parents are often being ridiculed by other kids because their are considered to be weak. Weak because of their dependence on their parents and their parents’ money. They remind me of american kids I have met here. But that’s OK. This is a different environment, with different values, and I am not saying it’s bad. I just don’t think that kids should be spoiled.
There are plenty of differences between these people. And nothing makes one group superior or inferior to the other one. Both of these groups have their qualities and imperfections, but have one thing in mind – we will never be teenagers again. There is too many responsibilities lying in front of us. This is the last time we are able to fool around, either Serbians or Americans. I am glad that I’m a part of both groups.
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