Bosnia and Herzegovina is a country of contradictions, where East meets West, and where several ideologies have come together to evolve into a vibrant, diverse culture. While there may be much that the Western visitor will find familiar in the day-to-day life here, the differences can be startling.
Bosnia is a unique combination of religious values, communist secularism, Western attitudes, and Eastern practices. The people are warm, open, and eager to move forward - but are hampered by their memories of a conflict-filled past. And whilst Western attitudes are often espoused, the society remains somewhat conservative and upholds traditional gender roles. In sum, nothing can be taken for granted.
Bosnia is a beautifully complex country, and a country at a crossroads. With its dramatic history and uncertain future, it is unlike any other part of Europe. The culture can be confusing, and the bureaucracy frustrating. Culture Smart! Bosnia will help you to understand the quirks of Bosnian society and introduce you to a friendly, hospitable people who are proud of their history but pessimistic about their future. The well-informed visitor, armed with knowledge about the cultural context behind the dos and don’ts, will be rewarded with new friends, warm hospitality, and a deeper understanding of this fascinating land.
If you are offered coffee in someone’s house or office, always accept it—it is considered impolite to refuse!