Exploring the Culture of Bosnia

Bosnia and Herzegovina is located in the western Balkans in South-East Europe, bordering Croatia to the North and South-West, Serbia to the East, and Montenegro to the South-East. Close to fifty percent of Bosnia and Herzegovina is forested. Most forest areas are in Central, Eastern, and Western parts of Bosnia. The culture of Bosnia offers a mix of influences that blend the East and West in architecture, cuisine, languages, and religions. Bosnia and Herzegovina are home to beautiful towering mountains—the site of the 1984 Winter Olympics—forests, historical fortresses, monasteries, and mosques.

Study abroad in Bosnia and Herzegovina Host a Bosnian student in the U.S.


Bosnian People and Community

Students in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnian people are very friendly and welcoming with a unique sense of humor. Relationships between parents and children are mostly based on mutual trust, even though parents have the final say in many decisions. Many people live with their extended family and it’s common for grandparents to care for children while parents work. In the culture of Bosnia, elders are respected and are generally considered extremely important members of the family. Mothers and fathers play an equally important role in families and have the same amount of authority.

Families love discussions and voicing their opinions– which may seem like fighting. They can be loud and will often speak at the same time. However, it’s just their way of communicating and it doesn’t mean that they’re arguing. Most activities are pursued together as a family.

Language and Communication Style

Women talking in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina has three official languages: Bosnian, Serbian, and Croatian.

Food in Bosnia and Herzegovina

ćevapi in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnian cuisine uses many spices, but usually in very small quantities. Most dishes are light, as they are cooked in lots of water with fully natural sauces. Bosnian food is related to Turkish, Greek, and other former Ottoman and Mediterranean cuisines. Most families say Prijatno (enjoy your meal) before they start eating. Typical dishes include ćevapi (grilled, minced meat), pita (a pie stuffed with meat, potato, cheese, spinach or pumpkin), dolma (vegetables stuffed with meat and rice), and baklava (a pastry with sugar syrup) for dessert. Meals also commonly contain beef, lamb and potatoes, and lots of coffee and tea are consumed during the day.

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