Each year, people from around the world move to Canada to begin a new life. They come with many talents and skills and the hope of contributing to their new country. Your interest in reading this profile may come from being involved in an organized HOST program, in which you have the opportunity to meet newcomers from Yugoslavia and introduce them to life in Canada. You may have Yugoslavs at your school or workplace, or in your neighbourhood. Whatever your source of interest, this profile will teach you something about Yugoslavia and the people who live there.

Yugoslavia is comprised of the republics of Montenegro and Serbia, which include the provinces of Kosovo and Vojvodina. Most Serbs and Montenegrins share a common language, religion and culture, though somewhat different histories. Serbs have been living in Canada since the 1850s; recently, many Serbs and Montenegrins have moved to Canada because of unrest in their homeland.

Yugoslavs arriving in Canada will have many of the same questions and concerns that you would have if you moved to a new country or city. They will wonder how to find work and housing, where their children will go to school, how to get around the city and how to find a doctor. You can help your new friends settle by answering their questions. You'll also find that you can learn a great deal from them.

Although this profile provides insights into some customs, it does not cover all facets of life. The customs described may not apply in equal measure to all newcomers from Yugoslavia.

  Summary Fact Sheet

Official Name Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
Capital City Belgrade
Type of Government Republic
Population 10.6 million
Area 102,350 sq. km
Major Ethnic Groups Serb, Montenegrin, Albanian, Hungarian, other Europeans
Languages Serbian, Albanian
Religions Christianity, Islam
Unit of Currency Dinar (Serbia); Euro (Montenegro)
National Flag Three equal horizontal bands of blue (top), white and red
Date of Independence April 27, 2022

  Did you know?
Yugoslavs have contributed to Canadian society in many ways. Well-known Serbian-Canadians are Luigi von Kunits, a noteworthy violinist of the early 20th century, who was the founder and first conductor of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra; and Peter Zezel, a hockey player with the NHL for over a decade.