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How Are Croatians Like? Is It True They Are Rude? Find out!

What are Croatians really like – in all honesty? The opinions in this matter differ. Some had a great experience. Others, well, not so much. Are Croats really that difficult? Are they rude, as some claim? 

To understand, you first must know the people that will walk pass by you or eat at the next table.

Who are Croats?

Croats enjoy jokes. They enjoy telling them during every occasion. It’s a culture thing. You cannot spend more than 15 minutes in someone’s company without hearing at least one good joke that will make you laugh.

That being said…

It’s the nation of people that prefer one strong leader and commonly organize in small, tight tribes; no matter how conservative or old-fashioned that sounds.

Forged through centuries of never-ending wars, Croats and other nationalities residing in Croatia at the time stood on the bloody front line, preventing Ottomans from penetrating deep into Western Europe.

We are talking hundreds of years of constant outrage and fighting against the fearsome enemy.

In other words, the only thing that stood between Europe and the aggressive nemesis that was aiming to conquer entire Europe was Croatia and its people. Keep that in mind, please, because it will help you understand Croatian mentality.

War on Croatian Teritory
War on Croatian Teritory
You can imagine the sheer impact of that on the people who had been living every day like it’s going to be their last. And it didn’t matter whether you are a man or a woman, young or old. The last war Croatians waged was the War of Independence against the mighty Yugoslav Army, the 5th strongest armed force in Europe at that time, in the first half of the last century. It lasted for over 5 years, but, once again, Croats defended their ground and defeated their enemy. Now, when you have a nation of people with warfare running through their veins, you can imagine how different they might appear from the rest of the Western world. But not in a negative way!

Connect with a Croat and you’ll have a lifelong friend who will sacrifice himself for you if he must.

However, that kind of a connection doesn’t come easy. As Andrea Pisac skillfully explained, in one of her articles, Croats form deep bonds very early in their lives. That inner circle of family members and close friends never actually changes or sees any radical expansions.
Lifelong Friendship with Croatians
Lifelong Friendship with Croatians
Outside that inner circle are the acquaintances or the people Croats meet from time to time and exchange 5 words max., at best.

Finally, there’s this 3rd, outer ring where connections are made. 

Now, Andrea is spot on with her comparison. On the west, people pay much attention to that 3rd, outer ring. Exchanging cards and contacts just to expand their network because you never know when you’re going to need someone’s help.

That’s the reason why LinkedIn is so popular with Westerners but you won’t see many Croats active there or with hundreds of “connections.”

For Croats, only the inner circle matters.

Everything outside may or may not exist. It’s pretty much irrelevant until someone calls for arms.

That inner circle may ask for a kidney. People in there can spend 12 or more hours straight eating, drinking and having fun. They will build entire houses for each other free of charge and have fun while doing it. They will die for one another.

The Strongest Bond
The Strongest Bond
And in most of the cases, these are the people who grew up together and developed a strong bond over the course of years. Years full of challenges and temptations. Because life in Croatia is far from life in UK, Germany, or the US. So, casual chatting with “strangers” is simply not our thing. Sure, we’ll help and we like people visiting Croatia, but don’t expect miracles. You can’t simply impress local people with money or appearance. And don’t be surprised if you smile at a Croat and his face changes from normal to pissed-off. He’s sure that you are laughing at him for some reason and he’s trying to figure out why.

Nonetheless, Croats are not rude!

That’s one common misconception coming from the people who didn’t make any effort to connect with local people but instead tried to patronize them. And if there’s a nation of people particularly sensitive about that, it’s the Croats. You are traveling among proud and hardy people with a strong sense of patriotism, their homeland, religion, family, and close friends. However, when in Croatia, it’s beyond important to make friends with the Croats because the best things in this European holiday destination never find their way to brochures.   So if you are looking for the best time of your life, break through the brick wall around every Croat’s heart and enter the inner circle for life. You’ll finally understand why people love Croatia and keep coming back. Your CTC Team, I.K.
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