Montenegro Coast culture
The Montenegrins are generally friendly and hospitable people, whose outlook and social conventions are similar to most Western European countries. For example, it's customary to shake hands when greeting or saying goodbye to someone.
It's generally acceptable to take photographs in tourist locations, but you should avoid photography in the vicinity of military installations or anywhere that might be construed as a security risk.
A tip of around 10 per cent is the norm in hotels, restaurants and taxis, although it's also common practice just to round the bill up.
The majority of the population are Eastern Orthodox, with a minority of Muslims.
Between the 14th and 19th centuries, the fiercely independent Montenegrins spent most of their time fighting the Turks. However, it wasn't until 1799 that Sultan Selim III formally recognized the independence of the country.
Nicholas I ruled the country between 1860 to 1918, proclaiming himself king in 1910. More fighting with Turkey took place during the Balkan Wars, and when World War 1 broke out the Montenegrins promptly invaded Albania and declared war on Austria, but was soon overrun by Austro-German forces.
In 1918 Nicholas was deposed and Montenegro joined with Serbia to become the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. It wasn't until after World War II that Montenegro regained its own identity, as one of the six republics of Yugoslavia.
As Yugoslavia began to break up in the early 1990s, Montenegro and Serbia were the only republics which kept Communist power and stayed in the Yugoslavian federation. Over the next few years there was considerable in-fighting over whether to break away from Serbia or not. It was agreed in 2002 that there should be a referendum on independence. However it was delayed by the signing of a pact that called for restructuring of the federal government, giving more autonomy to both Montenegro and Serbia.
Finally, after a change of president, Montenegrin voters approved independence in 2006.
The population of Montenegro is officially around 620,000. However, it's difficult to be sure as there is considerable blurring between Montenegrin and Serb identities. A Montenegrin may view himself as a Serb and vice versa. What's more, over 270,000 citizens of Serbia have Montenegrin citizenship.
In the constitution of Montenegro adopted in 1992, the official language of the republic was changed from Serbo-Croat to the Ijekavian standard dialect of Serbian. As of 2003, just over 63% of the population claim Serbian as their first language, while almost 22% prefer Montenegrin. Younger Montenegrins and those working in the tourist industry are likely to speak at least some English, but amongst the older generation and in rural areas English is not widely spoken.
Over 74% of Montenegrin citizens are Eastern Orthodox Christians, most of them belonging to the Serbian Orthodox Church. 110,000 Muslims make up just over 17% of Montenegro's population.
Montenegro Coast holiday resorts
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