Although visitors to Croatia are now spoilt by the number of guidebooks there are on the country – many of which are now on their fourth or fifth editions – it’s always interesting to be offered something a little extra. The Culture Smart! series of books go this extra mile, offering up information on customs and cultures of many countries around the world. At present count, almost 100 guides exist in the series, on countries as diverse as Belarus to Bolivia, Ghana to Guatemala, and Oman to Trinidad and Tobago. And there’s of course a guide to Croatia, so we delved into it recently to see what Culture Smart! had to say about the country.
The Culture Smart guide to Croatia is a handy little book that doesn’t take long to read from cover to cover – but really does provide plenty of useful information on every day life in Croatia, covering topics such as family, work, education, religion, business and much more. Many times I found myself nodding as I read, thinking “Yup – that’s certainly true!”, with some of the text (intentionally!) also raising a smile or two. I personally found that it put into words more than adequately some of what may be considered slightly touchier subjects – such as differences amongst the generations, or locals’ thoughts on politics, the Homeland War, and the former Yugoslavia. The book is certainly packed with information and covers a good amount of ground on the country and its peoples, customs and traditions. Sure, you wouldn’t get this book as your only guide if you were visiting the country, but it’s a great companion book to help you understand the country a little better. If you’re planning on spending a considerable amount of time in Croatia, or see yourself socialising a fair deal with Croats (perhaps you’re planning an extended stay in the country), then I think this book would be invaluable. But there’s also plenty for short-term visitors to learn – in particular, the sections on eating out and entertainment, health and safety and media and communications. But most of all, the book goes some way to helping understand what Croats are like, and what everyday life is like for them. I’d certainly recommend picking up a copy of Culture Smart! Croatia if you have even just a passing interest in the country and its people. The book is available from Amazon, in paperback and Kindle versions. Culture Smart! Essential Guides are published by Kuperard and you can find all of the Culture Smart titles at www.kuperard.co.uk or via Amazon.