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Montenegro Customs & Etiquettes


A very important dimension of Montenegrin culture is the ethical ideal of Čojstvo i Junaštvo, roughly translated as "Humanity and Bravery". Another result of its centuries long warrior history, it is the unwritten code of chivalry that stipulates that to deserve a true respect of its people, a person has to show virtues of integrity, dignity, humility, self-sacrifice for the just cause, respect for others, and rectitude along with the bravery. In the old days of battle, it resulted in Montenegrins fighting to the death as being captured was considered the greatest shame.

This code of conduct is still very much ingrained, to greater or lesser extent, in every Montenegrin's ethical beliefs system and it is essential that it be kept in mind in order to truly understand them. Coming from non-warrior backgrounds, most of the other south Slavic nations never fully grasp it, resulting in reactions from totally ignoring it, in the best case, to mocking it or ignorantly equating it with backwardness. Most of extraordinary examples of Montenegrin conduct during its long history can be traced to the code.

Females are the predominant gender in most professions and hold many senior positions in utilities and large corporations; males are the predominant gender in the trades. What many consider 'civil behaviour' towards women is not that common in ; e. g. men do not usually rise when a woman enters the room or hold the door whilst a women passes through, etc.

One saying goes that Montenegrin clocks have only one hand and for the most part punctuality is not highly valued. However, in the case of court hearings, things are very punctual.

Nobody tends to care whether youngsters drink or smoke, because it is not forbidden, there is no incentive to getting drunk and it is rare to see a drunk juvenile. The age of legal sexual consent is 14.

Except for the strict enforcement of road safety rules, tend to be fairly laissez faire when it comes to law enforcement.

Meeting & Greeting

Greetings among Montenegrins, be they men or women, is usually a handshake for initial introductions, thereafter anything between a handshake, a hug or a hug and kiss (once or twice on the cheek).

Communication Style

People tend to be very direct in their communication style. Foreign visitors may be surprised by the influence of religion on sex. Birth control is considered interference with God's work and therefore sinful; so is castration of pet animals, by the way.

Usually, personal space isn’t highly regarded. People often hug and tap each other on the shoulder or touch lightly while conversing. There is more than occasional touching between members of the same sex, but any touching members of the opposite sex is usually frowned upon.

Direct eye contact is acceptable in most situations.

Gift Giving Etiquette

When you are invited to somebody's house (e. g. for a meal) it is customary to bring a bottle of wine and a box of coffee (the variety suitable for making Turkish coffee) as a present.




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