Croatian Culture

Other Considerations

  • Due to the long history of Croats and Serbs, Croatia’s relationship with its neighbouring country Serbia is significantly tense. It is not like the rivalry between Australia and New Zealand, but is rather deep and sensitive, often evoking strong emotions for many Croatians and Serbians.
  • There are also some tensions between Croatia and Slovenia. If the topic of Slovenia arises in conversation, be tactful in the way you discuss the matter.
  • Avoid speaking in a derogatory way about God or religion when conversing with a Croatian. Since many Croatians identify as Catholic, blasphemy may be greatly offensive to your Croatian counterpart.
  • Note that raising the thumb, index and middle finger at once is a Serbian gesture and is connected to Serbian nationalism. Avoid doing this gesture in front of a Croatian as it is highly offensive. An instance in which this gesture may accidentally arise is when counting up to the number three with your fingers.
  • To put the first finger and middle finger up (the same as the ‘peace’ sign in Australia) is the national symbol of Croatia.

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