THE MONTENEGRIN CULTURAL BACKGROUND

Montenegro’s traditional culture revolves around clans, groups of patrilineally related families that at one time maintained tribal identities on their own traditional territories. Increasing integration into the Yugoslav state, including general provision of public education, brought an end to clan autonomy, but clans themselves remain an important element in Montenegrin social life.

Cuisine: The traditional dishes of Montenegro’s heartland, and its Adriatic coast have a distinctively Italian flavour which shows in the bread-making style, the way meat is cured and dried, cheese-making, wine and spirits, the soup and stew making style, polenta, stuffed capsicums, meatballs, priganice, japraci, raštan, etc. The second large influence came from the Levant and Turkey, sarma, musaka, pilav, pita, burek, ćevapi, kebab, Turkish sweets like baklava and tulumba, etc.

Montenegrin cuisine also varies geographically; the cuisine in the coastal area differs from the one in the northern highland region. The coastal area is traditionally a representative of Mediterranean cuisine, with seafood being a common dish.

Music: The music of Montenegro has been relatively underlooked, especially in comparison with its literature and visual arts. Nevertheless, the 20th century produced several outstanding composers and interpreters. Specialized Musical High Schools in Kotor and Titograd, were the pillars of the classical music education, the latter being upgraded to the rank of Academy in the last decade of the 20th century. Particular attention is given to Choir and Chamber music. In addition, a national TV in Podgorica maintains a professional orchestra.

The Sports in Montenegro revolves mostly around team sports, such as football, basketball, water polo, volleyball, and handball. Other sports involved are boxing, judo, karate, athletics, table tennis, and chess.

Water polo is often considered the national sport. Montenegro’s national team is one of the top ranked teams in the world, recently winning the gold medal at the 2008 Men’s European Water Polo Championship in Málaga, Spain, and winning the gold medal at the 2009 FINA Men’s Water Polo World League, which was held in Montenegrin capital, Podgorica. Montenegrin team PVK Primorac from Kotor became a champion of Europe at the LEN Euroleague 2009 in Rijeka, Croatia. The Montenegro national basketball team is also known for best performance in Montenegrin sport after water polo, and had won a lot of medals in the past as part of the Yugoslavia national basketball team. In 2006, the Basketball Federation of Montenegro along with this team joined the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) on its own, following the Independence of Montenegro.

Religion: Montenegro is a multireligious country. Although Orthodox Christianity is the dominant form of religion, there are also sizable numbers of adherents of both Islam and Catholic Christianity. The dominant Church is the Serbian Orthodox Church although traces of a forming Montenegrin Orthodox Church are present.