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 Croatia

Croatia Culture photo

Photo by JasonParis

Croatia’s centuries long struggle for political independence defines political discourse in Croatia. Most Croats are fiercely patriotic and immensely proud of their cultural heritage, their language and their history. Keep in mind that 1990s, marked with Serbian aggression and the following war between Croatia and Serbia, are still a painful subject, but generally there should be no problem if you approach that topic with respect. Visitors will find that domestic politics and European affairs are everyday conversation subjects in Croatia.

Socially, displays of affection among the younger generation are the same as Western European standards, but the older generation (over 65) still are quite conservative. When driving on rural roads, particularly where a driver has to pull in to allow you to pass, it is customary to wave a thanks to the other driver, by raising your hand from the steering wheel. Most Croats will respond to “thank you” with something along the lines of “It was nothing” or “not at all” which is equivalent to English “Don’t mention it”.

With this, you had the primer on key facts about Croatia, 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 Croatia food and drinks:

Local food you should try in Croatia and No miss drinks in Croatia.

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