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Info4Migrants
CROATIA
Country profile
Project number: UK/13/LLP-LdV/TOI-615
56,594km2
4,284mln
POPULATION
GDPper capita
CURRENCY
$18,314
Language CROATIAN
Croatian kuna (HRK)
Geographical position: Croatia extends from the foothills of
the Julian Alps in the north-west and the Pannonian Plain in
...
CROATIA FACTS
Religion
Most Croatians are Roman Catholic, and religion is a unifying
factor of Croatian culture. Though re...
CROATIA FACTS
Famous inventions
Croatian Slavoljub Penkala invented a mechanical pencil
in 1906. The patent was registered...
CROATIA FACTS
Nikola Tesla
Arguably the greatest genius of the 20th century, Nikola
Tesla was born in modern-day Croatia. ...
1 January: New Year’s Day
New Year’s Day is a pub-
lic holiday in many places
around the world and Croa-
tia is no excepti...
Dubrovnik is one of the most prominent tourist attractions in Croatia and the Mediterra-
nean. In the Middle Ages, it beca...
CROATIAN FOOD
Croatian cuisine is as diverse as the country’s past. The turbulent history of differ-
ent nations’ influenc...
CROATIAN FOOD
5. Crni rižot is a black seafood risotto with cuttlefish and squid as main ingredients. Its
name and black c...
AMAZING FACTS
• Croatoa was founded in the first half of the 7th century on the ruins of the Roman Em-
pire.
• Dubrovnik, ...
Communication Style
• Generally Croatians’ communicate in a
direct and straightforward manner, but
there is, however, an e...
DOS AND DON’TS
DOS
Do show respect towards everyone you
meet, including people that you do not
know, as Croatians will oft...
Croats are a South Slavic ethnic group at the crossroads of Central Europe, Southeast
Europe, and the Mediterranean. Croat...
Meeting and Greeting
• Greetings at first meetings will tend to
be formal and reserved.
• A handshake, direct eye contact ...
Values
• With more than 90% of Croatian-born
people belonging to the Roman Catho-
lic church, many of the Croatian cultura...
FAMILY IN CROATIA
Family Structure
• As many Croatians are Catholic, monogamy is strictly
followed and marriage is encoura...
CORPORATE CULTURE
Business dress code
The dress code is formal in Croatia. Croatian
business people wear suits to the offi...
BUSINESS ETIQUETTE
Helpful hints
• 	 Greetings should include a firm handshake and direct eye contact, a weak hand 		
	 sh...
Veronica Gelfgren
Yulia Bazyukina
Marja-Liisa Helenius
Research
Research, layout
Proofreading
www.thelanguagemenu.com
Lear...
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I4M Country profile croatia (in english)

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The document was created for the Project Info4migrants. Project number: UK/13/LLP-LdV/TOI-615

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I4M Country profile croatia (in english)

  1. 1. Info4Migrants CROATIA Country profile Project number: UK/13/LLP-LdV/TOI-615
  2. 2. 56,594km2 4,284mln POPULATION GDPper capita CURRENCY $18,314 Language CROATIAN Croatian kuna (HRK)
  3. 3. Geographical position: Croatia extends from the foothills of the Julian Alps in the north-west and the Pannonian Plain in the east, over the Dinara mountain range in its central region, to the Adriatic coast in the south. There are 1,185 islands, the largest ones are Krk and Cres. 67 islands are inhabited. Capital: Zagreb with 779,145 inhabitants Climate in Croatia: Northern Croatia has a continental cli- mate; Central Croatia has a semi-highland and highland cli- mate, while the Croatian coast has a Mediterranean climate. Population of Croatia: 89% Croats. National minorities in- clude Serbs, Muslims, Slovenes, Italians, Hungarians, Czechs, Slovaks, and others. Official language: Croatian 96%, other 4% (Serbian, Italian, Hungarian, Czech, Slovak, and German) Roman Catholic 87.8%, Orthodox 4.4%, other Christian 0.4%, Muslim 1.3%, other and unspecified 0.9%, none 5.2% (2001 census) National Flag Coat of arms COUNTRY BACKGROUND Zagreb CROATIA SLOVENIA HUNGARY BOSNIA - HERZEGOVINA 3 Country profile CROATIALearnmera Oy www.thelanguagemenu.com3 Country profile CROATIALearnmera Oy www.thelanguagemenu.com
  4. 4. CROATIA FACTS Religion Most Croatians are Roman Catholic, and religion is a unifying factor of Croatian culture. Though religion is not discussed in the workplace, Catholicism has a great impact on everyday life and many businesses close for Roman Catholic holidays. Each town and city has a patron saint and celebrates the saint’s feast day with ceremonies and festivals. Catholic reli- gion has also played a large part in the historical and cultural development of Croatia, and continues to be seen in every- day Croatian life. National Pride Croatians are very proud of their country and heritage and can take criticism personally. Because of this, Croatians may come off as being haughty and pretentious and can seem slightly arrogant to foreigners. Croatians feel a strong sense of nationalism after years of foreign control, and often refer to their country as ‘Our Beautiful Homeland’. Tie During the Thirty Years’ War in the 17th century, the traditional small, knotted neckerchiefs worn by Croa- tian mercenaries aroused the interest of Parisians who for some reason immediately took to the new fashion accessory. The term for this new trend, cravat, derives from the Croatian word. Currency Croatia’s currency, Kuna, was named after Kuna, a small rodent, whose fur was used for payment in the region many centuries ago. The animal is called ‘Marten’ in English. Kuna is subdivided into 100 lipa. The word lipa means “linden (lime) tree”. 4 Country profile CROATIALearnmera Oy www.thelanguagemenu.com4 Country profile CROATIALearnmera Oy www.thelanguagemenu.com
  5. 5. CROATIA FACTS Famous inventions Croatian Slavoljub Penkala invented a mechanical pencil in 1906. The patent was registered in 35 countries and his company TOZ–Penkala is still in operation today in Zagreb. The world’s first torpedo was built Constructed by Ivan Lu- pis Vukic in Rijeka Istria in the 19th century. was the worlds first torpedo. Ivan Vucetic, criminologist and anthropologist, was born on the island of Hvar (later emigrated in to Argentina, and was known as Juan). He became was the pioneer of scientific dactiloscopy (identification by fingerprints), and his meth- ods of identification are used worldwide. Economic situation Croatia has successfully established macroeconomic stabilisation. Though the state still has a large presence in the economy, GDP is rising and the Croatian market is experiencing moderate expansion. Croatia spent the first five years of its independence fighting the presence of the Serbian military, and has only recently begun to improve living standards and to make critical economic changes. Tourism and an increase in consumer spending have also refined Croatia’s economic climate. A member of NATO and the UN, Croatia also joined the EU in July 2013. Learnmera Oy www.thelanguagemenu.com5 Humour Croatians enjoy irony and dark humour and will often laugh at difficult situations and personal flaws. Croatians find humour in sarcasm and do not typically change their tone of voice or facial expression when telling a joke. For these reasons, it can be difficult for foreigners to understand Croatian humour. Croatians tend to tease others, especially foreigners, but mean no ill intent and expect you to behave the same towards them. 5 Country profile CROATIALearnmera Oy www.thelanguagemenu.com5 Country profile CROATIALearnmera Oy www.thelanguagemenu.com
  6. 6. CROATIA FACTS Nikola Tesla Arguably the greatest genius of the 20th century, Nikola Tesla was born in modern-day Croatia. While he was born of Serbian parents, Tesla is celebrated around the country, from statues to events in his honour. He developed the alternating current method of delivering electricity (AC) as well asand power generation systems by which almost all electrical power is still delivered today. Tesla developed the processes that led to the radio as well as other forms of wireless deliv- ery. Neon and fluorescent lighting, the radar, faxes and other Tesla’s other ideas were yearsfar ahead of his time. Language Before 18th century, Croats used an alphabet which was called “glagoljica” or Glagolitic. Modern Croatian uses the Latin alphabet and is a standardized variety of the Ser- bo-Croatian language used principally in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Serbian province of Vojvodina and other neighbouring countries. The Serbian, Bosnian and Croatian languages are all very similar in the spoken form. In fact, they differ even less than American, British, and Australian English do from one another. All three languages share three primary dialects, and differ primarily in terms of vocabulary. As far as the written language, differences exist in that Serbian uses a Cyrillic alphabet while Croatian uses a Latin alphabet. The Serbian, Bosnian and Croatian languages are all very similar in the spoken form. In fact, they differ even less than American, British, and Australian English do from one another. All three languages share three primary dialects, and differ primarily in terms of vocabulary. As far as the written language, differences exist in that Serbian uses a Cyrillic alphabet while Croatian uses a Latin alphabet. Learnmera Oy www.thelanguagemenu.com66 Country profile CROATIALearnmera Oy www.thelanguagemenu.com6 Country profile CROATIALearnmera Oy www.thelanguagemenu.com
  7. 7. 1 January: New Year’s Day New Year’s Day is a pub- lic holiday in many places around the world and Croa- tia is no exception. 6 January: Epiphany Epiphany is celebrated to commemorate the visit of the Biblical Magi to the Baby Jesus. Moveable Sunday in spring: Easter Sunday The resurrection of Jesus Christ is celebrated on Easter Day. Moveable Monday in spring: Easter Monday Easter Monday is the day following Easter Day. 1 May: May Day Many public events are or- ganized all over the country, and military style bean soup is given out to all people as a symbol of a real workers’ dish as well as red carna- tions as a symbol of blood of fallen workers. Moveable date – 60 days post Easter, Corpus Christi Corpus Christi is a Christian observance that honors the Holy Eucharist. 22 June: Anti-Fascist Struggle Day It marks the beginning of the uprising of Croatian anti-fas- cist Partisans against Ger- man and Italian occupying forces. 25 June: Statehood Day It is a day to celebrate the country’s 1991 declaration of independence from Yugo- slavia. 5 August: Victory and Homeland Thanksgiving Day and the Day of Croatian defenders It is held as a memorial to the War of Independence (1991-1995). 15 August: Assumption of Mary The feast day of the Assump- tion of Mary celebrates the day that God assumed the Virgin Mary into Heaven following her death. 8 October: Independence Day It and marks the day in 1991 when the Croatian parlia- ment decided to terminate the constitutional links between Croatia and Yugo- slavia. 1 November: All Saints’ Day On this day people light can- dles and visit the graves of deceased relatives. 25 December: Christmas Christmas is a family holiday spent together with family and loved ones. 26 December: St. Stephen’s Day This day commemorates the life of St. Stephen, a Christian deacon in Jerusa- lem who was known for his service to the poor and his status as the first Christian martyr. PUBLIC HOLIDAYS 7 Country profile CROATIALearnmera Oy www.thelanguagemenu.com7 Country profile CROATIALearnmera Oy www.thelanguagemenu.com
  8. 8. Dubrovnik is one of the most prominent tourist attractions in Croatia and the Mediterra- nean. In the Middle Ages, it became the only city-state in the Adriatic to rival Venice and achieved a remarkable level during the 15th and 16th centuries. Dubrovnik boasts spec- tacular churches, monasteries, fountains and the famous walls that surround the old city. The Plitvice Lakes are considered to be one of the most beautiful natural destinations in Europe. This system of 16 interlinked lakes and a large forest complex around it are fa- mous for their unique colors and a wide variety of rare animal and bird species. Hvar town, set in a picturesque natural bay, with the Pakleni island chain protecting it to the south, is a popular port for yachts sailing around the Adriatic, especially in the sum- mer months. The area around Rovinj city has been described as an “outstanding scenic wonder” be- cause of the pristine beauty of the indented coastline and its forests. The sixth largest Croatian island, Korcula is separated from the mainland by a narrow strait. The ancient Korcula city is among the most beautiful towns on the Croatian coast and is known for the alleged house of birth of Marco Polo. The amphitheater in Pula is the sixth largest surviving Roman arena and one of the best preserved Roman monuments in Croatia. The Pula Arena was built around the 1st century AD and could seat over 26,000 spectators. The island of Mljet is one of the larger islands off the coast of Southern Croatia. With 72% of the island covered by forests and the rest dotted by fields, vineyards and small villages, Mljet is a perfect place to relax. The 6th century Euphrasian Basilica is the top attraction of Poreč, a 2,000 year old town in Istria. It is one of the best examples of early Byzantine architecture in the Mediterranean region and has retained its original shape, though accidents have altered a few details. TOURIST ATTRACTIONS Croatia has become an increasingly popular tourist hotspot over the last few years. In 2012, Croatia had 11.8 million tourist visitors, and in 2013 over 14 million tourists and 73.25 million nights. With its rocky, indented shore and more than a thousand islands, Croatia boasts one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline that Europe has to offer. In addition, many of Croatia’s coastal towns and cities have a fascinating history and are filled with the historical remains of Roman and Venetian times. 8 Country profile CROATIALearnmera Oy www.thelanguagemenu.com8 Country profile CROATIALearnmera Oy www.thelanguagemenu.com
  9. 9. CROATIAN FOOD Croatian cuisine is as diverse as the country’s past. The turbulent history of differ- ent nations’ influences (ancient Greeks and Romans, Italians, Turks, French) left its mark on both culture and food. Croatian cuisine can be divided into coastal and interior, the first being more Mediterranean, and the latter more continental. 1. Pršut is a dry-cured ham, an essential part of every type of celebration in Croatia and every restaurant menu. Traditionally it is cut in thin, long slices and served with cheese and olives as an entree or a healthy snack in between meals. 2. Paški sir is cheese from Pag Island made entirely from milk produced by sheep grazing freely local sparse grass, various herbs and aromatic plants. The result of all this is its special flavor which has been rec- ognized globally and awarded year after year. During its preservation it is coated with olive oil and wrapped in cloth. The most popular varieties of Paški sir are the mature ones due to their strong, distinctive taste. Tradi- tionally it is cut in thick triangle slices and served with pršut, or grated over seafood pasta. 3. Ispod peke is a term describing a meth- od of food preparation. The cook puts ingredients (in most cases it’s lamb, octo- pus or veal, paired with seasoned potatoes) into a stone oven under a heavy metal cover, placing the hot coals on its top. The ingredi- ents are left to cook slowly in their own juices. 4. Pašticada is a traditional meat dish from Dalmatia. Beef is the main ingredient which is marinated for 24 hours in red wine, garlic and various herbs such as rosemary and sage, before cooking it for a few hours. Its taste is enriched with dry plums, carrots, onions, cloves and nutmeg, and therefore the re- sulting sauce is thick, dark and rich in flavors. Traditionally pašticada is served with home- made potato gnocchi. Learnmera Oy www.thelanguagemenu.com99 Country profile CROATIALearnmera Oy www.thelanguagemenu.com9 Country profile CROATIALearnmera Oy www.thelanguagemenu.com
  10. 10. CROATIAN FOOD 5. Crni rižot is a black seafood risotto with cuttlefish and squid as main ingredients. Its name and black color are a result of squids’ ink which gives this delicacy its distinctive Mediterranean flavor and personality. Traditionally it is sprinkled with grated cheese. 6. Riba na gradele i blitva is traditionally the most common combination in Dalmatia: mixed grilled fish paired with chard boiled with potatoes. Fresh fish prepared on gradele (i.e. grilled on woodfire), seasoned with garlic, parsley and olive oil, is something you’ll see locals preparing all along the coast. It is not the rule, but in most cases people round it with sweet tasting chard, an ideal vegetable for hot summer days. This is one of those Croatian dishes which perfectly embody Dalmatian tradition of simple yet delicious quali- ty food. 7. Brudet is a fish stew traditionally made in Istria and Dalmatia. It ismade of several types of fish, put in layers in a single pot and cooked in tomato sauce. You’re not allowed to stir the ingredients but only shake the pot from time to time. The dish is prepared at low tem-peratures, allowing the fish to cook slowly in its own juices. Traditionally brudet is served with thick, gold polenta. 8. Tartufi are truffles, rare and highly valued mushrooms. They grow underground and only specially trained dogs can locate them. Though small and unsightly, they are of su- perb, distinctive flavor and fragrance. Traditionally in Istria, slivers of white or black truffle garnish the taste and look of omelettes, pastas and venison sauces. 9. Fuži i pljukanci are yet another dish traditional for Istria. It is actually a homemade pasta which comes in various sorts, of which fuži and pljukanci are the most famous ones. They are completely handmade and hand-rolled. In most cases, they are served either with tartufi or some sort of thick game sauce. The most popular traditional combination is with boškarin sauce – a sort of ox native to Istria. 10. Janjetina s ražnja, or lamb on the spit, is the most popular method of preparing lamb in Croatia. The whole lamb is rotated slowly above hot coals, resulting in succulent roast meat no one can resist. Traditionally it is served very simply – with green salad and scal- lions. 10 Country profile CROATIALearnmera Oy www.thelanguagemenu.com10 Country profile CROATIALearnmera Oy www.thelanguagemenu.com
  11. 11. AMAZING FACTS • Croatoa was founded in the first half of the 7th century on the ruins of the Roman Em- pire. • Dubrovnik, being an independent state at that time, was the first nation to formally rec- ognize the United States as a nation when it declared independence from Great Britain. • Hum in Istria, with a varying population of 18 – 23 people, holds the Guinness World Re- cord for being the smallest town in the world. • Almost 10% of Croatia is made up of 11 nature parks, eight national parks and two na- ture reserves. • The White House in the USA was built using stones from the Island of Brač (as well as the Parliament building and New Palace in Vienna, Austria, the parliament building in Bu- dapest, Hungary and the Diocletian palace in Split). • The oldest university of Croatia is the University of Zagreb, established in 1669. • The Dalmatian dogs got their names from the south coastal region called Dalmatia. • Croatia is the homeland of the world re- nowned traveler Marco Polo, who was born in the island of Korčula in 1254. • The first hydro power plant was “Iskrice”, made in Šibenik and built on Krka river in 1895. • In Croatia, people can start voting at the age of 16 if they have a job, but have to wait until they turn 18 if they are unemployed. • In the Dinaric Alps in Croatia lives the Olm (Proteus anguinus); it is the only cave-dwelling chordate species found in Europe. This creature can survive ten years without food and lives blind and in the dark. 1111 Country profile CROATIALearnmera Oy www.thelanguagemenu.com11 Country profile CROATIALearnmera Oy www.thelanguagemenu.com
  12. 12. Communication Style • Generally Croatians’ communicate in a direct and straightforward manner, but there is, however, an emphasis on being re- spectful and diplomatic so as not to offend anyone. • Many Croatian people speak in a loud voice and have an animated communica- tion style. Softly spoken people may be seen as lacking in confidence. • Humour is often used in communication and is not meant to be offensive but a way of making light of difficult situations or a person’s flaws, and it is common to respond in a similar fashion. Non Verbal Communication • Personal space is usually respected in Cro- atian culture. People generally don’t touch each other when communicating until a familiar relationship is established. • Direct eye contact is usually expected and appreciated. Avoiding eye contact can be taken as a sign you do not like the person; however, making eye contact with eyes wide open can suggest that a person does not agree with what is being said. Working practices in Croatia Croatians are very fashion-conscious and will always dress according to the latest western styles. Croatians dress to reflect their level of professionalism. Deadlines are more flexible than in western business culture, and work is often finished at the last minute. Working relationships in Croatia Croatians are personable and will want to know about your family and where you are from. Do not talk about money or person- al problems – Croatians view this as a sign of weak character, and the discussion will leave your colleagues feeling uneasy. Personal space is important, but a large dis- tance indicates dislike. Eye contact is also essential and is viewed as a sign of respect. Croatians are often direct and view soft-spoken or shy people as vulnerable and weak. Business practices in Croatia Meetings are often lengthy and do not tend to follow an agenda. Small talk usu- ally precedes negotiations at meetings. It is important to initially build a relationship before discussing business matters. Personal titles Most professionals are addressed accord- ing to their qualification or their position at work. Titles according to education are Bachelor (prvostupnik), Master (magistar struke), Doctor of Science or Doctor of Arts (dr. sc. or dr. art.), Doctor of Medicine (doktor medicine). If you are unsure of titles, use “Gospodin” for Mr, “Gospodja” for Mrs and “Gospodična” for Miss). Only close friends and family members tend to use first names. Never address someone by their first name without being invited to do so. IMPORTANT TIPS Learnmera Oy www.thelanguagemenu.com1212 Country profile CROATIALearnmera Oy www.thelanguagemenu.com12 Country profile CROATIALearnmera Oy www.thelanguagemenu.com
  13. 13. DOS AND DON’TS DOS Do show respect towards everyone you meet, including people that you do not know, as Croatians will often acknowledge strangers in passing. Do ask Croatians for their opinions on the subject matter at hand, as they will be happy to assist you and this will help you earn their trust. Do translate one side of your business card into Croatian. While not a necessity, this shows respect and will impress your Croatian business partners. DON’TS Don’t discuss religion, war, and other for- mer Yugoslavian ethnicities. These sub- jects are taboo in Croatian culture. Don’t openly criticise your Croatian col- leagues. Croatians are very proud and easily offended, so make suggestions rather than complaints and avoid direct confrontation. Cultural taboos As Croatians like to know their new ac- quaintances and business partners very well there might be some mixing of busi- ness with pleasure, but try not to over- step the boundaries. It is important to avoid: • mixing confidential and intimate discus- sion on personal and business level • personal financial questions • any subject or question that might show that you have lost respect for them or that may cause them to lose respect for you. • discussions concerning the political and military history of Yugoslavia, collapse of communism, the war in Bosnia-Herzegov- ina (1992-1995), and anything related to war crimes. • raising the thumb, index, and middle finger at once, because it is a Serbian gesture and is connected to Serbian na- tionalism. • discussing comparisons between the nationalities of the former Yugoslavian states, as this may also be found offen- sive. For many Croatian-born people, religion is an important part of their lifestyle with the majority belonging to the Roman Catholic faith. Be mindful of discussing any subjects that may offend those of the Christian faith, such as divorce, euthana- sia, family planning, and alternative be- liefs. Don’t make plans for your Croa- tian colleagues at the weekend without their consent. Weekends are considered family time and Croatians do not tend to let busi- ness interfere with their personal plans. Learnmera Oy www.thelanguagemenu.com1313 Country profile CROATIALearnmera Oy www.thelanguagemenu.com13 Country profile CROATIALearnmera Oy www.thelanguagemenu.com
  14. 14. Croats are a South Slavic ethnic group at the crossroads of Central Europe, Southeast Europe, and the Mediterranean. Croats mainly live in homeland Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and nearby countries Serbia and Slovenia. Likewise, Croats are an officially recognized minority in Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, and Slovakia. PEOPLE IN CROATIA Croats are noted for their cultural diversity, which has been influenced by a number of other neighboring cultures through the ages. The strongest influences came from Central Europe and the Mediterranean where, at the same time, Croats have made their own contribution. Body language People stand close to one another and talk loudly. Strangers stare openly at one an- other. Formality is maintained in language and behavior when people do not know each other well. Strangers nod their heads in passing. In stores, offices, and places of business, people use formal language for greetings and good-byes. Failure to greet someone in a context that requires a greet- ing, or an overly familiar greeting, are seri- ous breaches of etiquette. People who are on friendly terms greet each other more informally and usually kiss on both cheeks. Young people are expected to offer the first greeting to older people, and women to men. The formal “you” is used unless people are age mates, good friends, or co-workers or have reached a stage where the dominant person invites the person of lesser status to address him or her informally. 14 Country profile CROATIALearnmera Oy www.thelanguagemenu.com14 Country profile CROATIALearnmera Oy www.thelanguagemenu.com
  15. 15. Meeting and Greeting • Greetings at first meetings will tend to be formal and reserved. • A handshake, direct eye contact and the appropriate greeting for the time of day are standard. • “Dobro jutro” (good morning), “dobro dan” (good day), and “dobro vecer” (good evening). • Address people with their honorific titles plus surname. If you are unsure of titles then use “Gospodin” for Mr, “Gos- podja” for Mrs and “Gospodice” for Miss). • Only close friends and family members tend to use first names. Never address someone by their first name without be- ing invited to do so. • Close friends may greet each other with an embrace and a kiss on each cheek. Again, wait until the Croatian initiates this form of greeting. • At social gatherings hosts introduce guests, usually starting with the women and then moving on to the men in a rough approximation of age order, oldest to youngest. Dining Etiquette • Wait to be shown where to sit. • Table manners are Continental, i.e. the fork is held in the left hand and the knife in the right while eating. • At formal meals, the napkin is unfolded and placed on the lap. • Do not begin eating until the host sig- nals to begin. • Refusing second helpings initially is po- lite. After the host insists you should take more. • Leaving a small amount of food on your plate indicates that you are finished eat- ing. Gift Giving Etiquette • If invited to someone’s house, bring flowers for the hostess. The host may be given a box of chocolates or a bottle of good wine. • Do not give chrysanthemums as they are used at funerals and for gravestones. •When giving flowers, make sure there are an odd number of stems. • Gifts are generally opened when re- ceived. CUSTOMS AND ETIQUETTE Learnmera Oy www.thelanguagemenu.com1515 Country profile CROATIALearnmera Oy www.thelanguagemenu.com15 Country profile CROATIALearnmera Oy www.thelanguagemenu.com
  16. 16. Values • With more than 90% of Croatian-born people belonging to the Roman Catho- lic church, many of the Croatian cultural values stem from religious beliefs. These include family and marriage, morality, de- votion and compassion. • Honour is an important principle in Croa- tian culture, and it is closely linked with the values of family. Making personal sacrifices to benefit your family is highly regarded. • Children are expected to respect their elders and are generally raised with strict discipline. • The elderly are traditionally seen as a source of knowledge and information on culture, traditions and history, and they are valued both within the family and the broader community. • Good health is also valued in Croatian culture for without it one cannot enjoy their family and faith. Social Stratification An unofficial class system is based on one’s family name and professional status rather than wealth. Communist Party membership challenged this class system, although it was not uncommon for prominent fami- lies to join the party. In more recent years, Croats increasingly became discontented with the socialist government, particularly people who were well educated, profes- sional, and from prominent families. Most high-status individuals speak English well and are likely to speak one other Europe- an language. Dialect is also an indicator of social status. People from a city have higher status than people from villages, though many urban dwellers have village family connections. High-status individuals are usually Croats. They may be of mixed eth- nicity but are members of a predominantly Croatian family. Jewish families are likely to be of relatively high status. Ethnic Alba- nians are usually at the bottom of the social system, and Gypsies are completely outside of it. Self-Identity Croatia was one of the six republics of the former Yugoslavia. Croats think of them- selves as more closely linked with Austria than with the other territories and cultures of the former Yugoslavia. They do not refer to themselves as a Balkan country but as a European one. SOCIETY 16 Country profile CROATIALearnmera Oy www.thelanguagemenu.com16 Country profile CROATIALearnmera Oy www.thelanguagemenu.com
  17. 17. FAMILY IN CROATIA Family Structure • As many Croatians are Catholic, monogamy is strictly followed and marriage is encouraged. Most Croa- tians marry in their early twenties. Croatian-born people may choose whom they wed; however, they generally marry people of similar nation- ality, religion and social status. Divorce is considered undesirable. • Extended families are valued and nur- tured within Croatian culture. • Traditionally, married couples lived with the husband’s parents and were expected to have more to do with his relatives. Childcare was shared with grandparents, and grandfathers tra- ditionally spent quality time with the grandchildren. • The elderly enjoy higher status than younger members of the family. • Traditionally, Croatia was a patriarchal so- ciety, however women were encouraged to join theworkforce during the Socialist rule and now experience a fairly equal status with men. Rural women often worked alongside their husbands, whilst maintaining the household. • Women are still viewed as responsible for the housework and pri- mary childcare, whilst pursuing higher education or maintaining a career. However, many men share some of the home duties and actively raise their children. The Relative Status of Women and Men Croatia is portrayed as a patriarchal society, but women have fairly equal status with men. Men enjoy more privileges and have a higher status, and many families prefer sons to daughters. Women are represented in most professions, politics, and the arts and are not likely to take a secondary role in public life. Women are as likely as men to pursue higher education. Status differences are as marked between older and younger people, and be- tween professional or working-class individuals, as they are between the genders. Gender differences are more pronounced among farmers and the working classes than among professionals. 17 Country profile CROATIALearnmera Oy www.thelanguagemenu.com17 Country profile CROATIALearnmera Oy www.thelanguagemenu.com
  18. 18. CORPORATE CULTURE Business dress code The dress code is formal in Croatia. Croatian business people wear suits to the office and to business meetings. Men wear suits with a jacket and tie, while women tend to have a wider range of options. Women’s busi- ness attire is formal and must not be too revealing. In any case, dressing well is a sign of respect, demonstrating your attitude to business and attention to detail. Structure and hierarchy Croatians value authoritative superiors and respect the knowledge, education, confi- dence and experience that come with sta- tus. Croatia’s collectivist society has significantly impacted business culture. Decisions are usually made without consultation, and managers do not need to provide explana- tions as to why a decision was reached. Usu- ally only one person makes major decisions and takes credit for success. Business Meetings Meeting schedules are not very rigid in Cro- atia. There may be an agenda but it serves more as a guideline for the discussion than anything else. • Be prepared for lengthy meetings. People may go off on tangents, and time is never a factor in bringing a meeting to a close. • There may be some small-talk at the be- ginning of meetings. This would become more important as the relationship devel- ops. Never jump straight into business, as this may come across as rude. • At least initially, be sure to temper your communication style if you are used to being quite direct. Building the relationship is more important initially and should be focused upon. Professionalism is extremely important in Croatian busi- ness culture. Always main- tain an appropriate rela- tionship with your Croatian colleagues, as respect will decrease if the relationship becomes too personal. 18 Country profile CROATIALearnmera Oy www.thelanguagemenu.com18 Country profile CROATIALearnmera Oy www.thelanguagemenu.com
  19. 19. BUSINESS ETIQUETTE Helpful hints • Greetings should include a firm handshake and direct eye contact, a weak hand shake means that you are weak and no direct eye contact can be taken to mean that you are hiding something. • Remain standing until you are invited to sit down as there might be a seat reserved especially for you. • Always maintain direct eye contact while speaking. • Punctuality is expected and taken extremely seriously. • Expect some small talk and getting-to-know-you conversation before business is dis- cussed • Business is conducted slowly. You will have to be patient and not appear ruffled by the strict adherence to protocol • Companies tend to have a hierarchical structure, with decision-making power held at the top of the company. • Do not try to schedule meetings on Friday afternoons, as many Croatians leave for their country cottages after lunch. • Many businesses are closed in August. • Letters should be addressed to the company rather than to a specific person. This prevents a letter from being held up if the person it is addressed to is away from the office. Punctuality In Croatian culture, it is very important to pay particular attention to your time-keep- ing skills. It is considered good manners, whether attending a business meeting or social lunch, to be punctual. A 15-minute grace period is normal in social settings, but might well be frowned upon in a formal business environment where punctuality is appreciated. Gift giving Small presents like a book or a souvenir representing the country you are visiting from would be acceptable. Expensive presents are not recommended, and most companies have a ceiling on the value of the gift that can be accepted. Most business people would not expect gifts to be presented at the first meeting. Bribery and corruption Bribery is used by both foreign and local businesses in order to acquire contracts or to cut through bureaucratic red tape when they are starting a new business. The main problem in Croatia seems to be the legal system, which has a backlog of over a million cases waiting to be heard. Learnmera Oy www.thelanguagemenu.com1919 Country profile CROATIALearnmera Oy www.thelanguagemenu.com19 Country profile CROATIALearnmera Oy www.thelanguagemenu.com
  20. 20. Veronica Gelfgren Yulia Bazyukina Marja-Liisa Helenius Research Research, layout Proofreading www.thelanguagemenu.com Learnmera Oy

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