Croats are extremely proud of their heritage and culture and are thus staunch nationalists. They call their country “Our Beautiful Homeland” (“Lijepa naša”), which is also the title of the national anthem.
The sense of nationalism comes both from their long and rich culture as well as a legacy of foreign invasion and control.
Folklore plays a key role in preserving the culture. Life experiences are translated into verse, poetic songs, melodies, fairy tales, symbolic rituals, music, dance, costumes, and jewellery. Folk songs and poems often attest to the sentiment and regard between family members.
Gift Giving Etiquette: Some general gift giving tips include:
. 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.
. Gifts are generally opened when received.
Business: Meeting schedules are not very rigid in Croatia. 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 plus time is never a factor to bring a meeting to a close.
There may be some small talk at the beginning of meetings. Never jump straight into business as this may come across as rude.
Cuisine: Croatian cuisine is heterogeneous and is known as a cuisine of the regions since every regions has its own distinct culinary traditions. Its roots date back to ancient times and the differences in the selection of foodstuffs and forms of cooking are most notable between those on the mainland and those in coastal regions.
Music: The music of Croatia, like the divisions of the country itself, has two major influences: Central European, present in central and northern parts of the country including Slavonia, and Mediterranean, present in coastal regions of Dalmatia and Istria. In Croatia both pop and rock are popular, as well as pop music influenced by Dalmatian or Slavonian folk elements.
Since the mid-20th century, schlager and chanson-inspired music have formed the backbone of the Croatian popular music.
Sport in Croatia has significant role in Croatian culture, and many local sports clubs as well as the Croatian national squads enjoy strong followings in the country. The most enduring sport by far in Croatia is football, and is played on amateur and professional levels amongst all age groups across the entire country. Several other major team sports are handball, basketball and water polo, with clubs in all parts of Croatia. Ice hockey is another popular team sport, namely in the Croatian interior. The most popular individual sports in Croatia are tennis, alpine skiing, and swimming, and to some extent table tennis and chess. Various amateur sport games are popular in Croatia, notably picigin.