In this small and beautiful country, sea and mountains are within easy reach, and there is a great diversity of landscape, mentality, and lifestyles. Its rich and turbulent history can be traced back to ancient times, to long before the Greeks and Romans founded their great colonies on the Croatian islands of Hvar and Vis.
Your first impressions may surprise you: you’ll notice how cheerful and noisy the Croats are, how they use hands and gestures and touch when they are talking, and their straightforward approach. You will observe that the people tend to be tall and well built, and pay a lot of attention to clothes and appearance.
Culture Smart! Croatia is designed to give you an insight into Croatian values and the Croatian ways of life and work. A short introduction to Croatian history and language will help you to understand how and why the Croats fought for independence from Yugoslavia, and why this part of the Balkan Peninsula is still one of the most complicated regions in Europe. It will tell you who the Croats are, how they live and behave and how you should behave when visiting their country. It will guide you through their customs, quirks, and etiquette, and offer tips on doing business, communicating, and feeling comfortable with the local people.
Croats use body language a great deal. For an outsider it can seem a bit over the top. Touching, hugging, caressing, standing close to another person, and smiling are normal. People don’t intend to cause offence if they invade your personal space more than you might expect.