Hidden Gems

Appreciate the culture as you enjoy sailing Croatia

By Jenny Wilson
on  August 15, 2014

Make the locals smile and ensure you get the most out of sailing Croatia by knowing a little about the customs, language and traditions of the country.

You may hear the word “bok” whilst sailing Croatia and may well be confused about whether bok means hello or goodbye but, similar to the word ciao in Italy, in some parts of Croatia bok means both. This little word can ingratiate you with the local community and, fortunately, is really quick to learn and easy to pronounce. If you want to really show off you can use “dobro jutro?” for good morning, “dobro dan” for good day, and “dobro veeer” for good evening.

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Local beliefs

Almost 90 per cent of Croats are Roman Catholic. Of course, you do not have to share their beliefs but if you want to enjoy the friendliness of the locals it is best to at least respect their beliefs. If you want to learn more about the real culture of Croatia during your visit, make time to talk to the local people. Most are staunch nationalists, calling Croatia “Our Beautiful Homeland”, and there is a strong interest in folklore, which has found its way into songs, fairy tales, dance, symbolic rituals, jewellery, and costumes.

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Eating out

Eating out in Croatia is generally a relaxed affair. This is a country where people like to chat and eat at the same time. Taxes and tips are usually already included in bills but if you want to reward really good service or food, a 10 to 15 per cent tip would be about right. If you are presented with a shot at the start of a meal, this is likely to be the South Slav favourite Rakia, which tastes like plum brandy. This is quite often home-made and so it is usually polite to accept the drink. If you were to eat at someone’ s home in Croatia, it would be considered rude if you did not at least make a good attempt to finish all your food. This is less relevant when eating out but if you do get questions about the amount you have eaten, this may well be why.

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