Croatian Culture

Greetings

  • When meeting someone for the first time, greetings tend be formal and reserved.
  • A handshake with direct eye contact is the most common form of greeting.
  • Greetings will often be accompanied by the phrase ‘dobro jutro’ (‘good morning’), ‘dobar dan’ (‘good day’) or ‘dobra večer’ (‘good evening’).
  • Bok’ is also used as an informal greeting, often as a way to say ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye’.
  • Zdravo’ is a more formal greeting.
  • Generally, the younger person will greet first.
  • Croatians tend to address acquaintances using honorific titles plus the person’s family name (for example, ‘Gospodin’ for ‘Mr’, ‘Gospođa’ for ‘Mrs’, ‘Gospođice’ for ‘Miss’, or their professional title such as ‘Doctor’). Using first names is only appropriate when with close friends and family or when invited to do so.
  • At social events, the host will introduce guests, typically beginning with the women followed by the men (in descending age order). However, depending on the context, the men may be introduced first.
  • When friends and relatives greet each other, it is common for Croatians to hug each other and sometimes kiss both cheeks of their counterpart. However, the latter is more common when a woman greets her female friends.


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