We all know that we don’t pat the back of a colleague in Korea to thank them for a “job well done”. Or eat with your left hand in India, or sip vodka in Russia. In many countries, these actions are harmless. But in others, they can give a wrong impression or cause offense.

In fact, whatever culture you’re from, it’s likely that you routinely do something that could cause offense somewhere else in the world. So here is:

A primer on how to avoid mistakes in

and Herzegovina

Bosniaks (46.1% of the population), Serbs (37.9%), and Croats (14.6%) form the largest ethnic groups in the country. Since the break-up of Yugoslavia, Bosniak has replaced Muslim as an ethnic term in part to avoid confusion with the religious term Muslim — an adherent of Islam. Also note that ethnicity and religion mostly overlap; with Muslims (44% of the population, mostly Bosniaks, minority Gypsies), Orthodox Christians (36%, mostly Serbs), and Catholic Christians (16%, mostly Croats) being the three main faith groups of the country.

There are also some Protestants and Jews as well. Nevertheless, country is highly secular and religion is seen as more of a traditional and cultural identity than a set of rituals and rules.

Respect the religious differences of the people in the region and their effort to move past the Yugoslav war. It is important to be careful in areas where there is still tension and to ensure that one does not offend a particular group due to indifference or sheer ignorance. Similarly, respect the environment. A lot of the country has been saved from pollution and it is important to be careful of one’s influences.

Moreover, it is equally important to be careful as the rivers tend to be fierce, the mountains and valleys often unguarded and the footing unsure. Always have a tour guide with you or consult a local for advice on the natural dangers and land mines.

With this, you had the primer on key facts about Bosnia and Herzegovina, and key facts on culture and customs. Another important part of the culture is the local food and the local drinks. Make sure you read our posts on Bosnia and Herzegovina food and drinks:

Local food you should try in Bosnia and Herzegovina and No miss drinks in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Other tips that you’d like to share on mistakes to avoid in Bosnia and Herzegovina? Please comment below.