May 21 - Independence Day in Montenegro

  Posted on May 21, 2022     

This is an update of my post published on May 21, 2011:

Montenegro rebelled against the Ottoman Empire in the 17th Century.

It suffered annexation by Mussolini's Italy in 1941.

It survived Socialist Yugoslavia for half a century.

It voted to be independent from the republic of Serbia and Montenegro on this day in 2006.

With a name meaning “black mountain,” this European nation has many mountains and a picturesque coast on the Adriatic Sea. 

Slightly smaller than the small U.S. state of Connecticut, Montenegro has a lot of diversity: Montenegrins, Serbs, Bosniaks, Muslims, Albanians, and Croats. A large proportion of the population voted NOT to split from Serbia, and apparently there is confusion among many who consider themselves to be Serbians (ethnically) AND Montenegrins (nationally). Of course, many people in the U.S. and other “melting pot” nations share that confusion. For example, I have students who identify themselves as Korean some of the time, as American some of the time, and as Korean-American once in a while. (And they're all true.)

Is there a diversity of languages, as well? Yep. Montenegrin is the official language, and Serbian, Bosnian, Croatian, and Albanian are also commonly used. But...not SO much diversity—according to Wikipedia, all of these languages except Albanian are “mutually intelligible.” In other words, if you know Montenegrin, you can pretty much understand Serbian, Bosnian, and Croatian - and vice versa!

Montenegro—a hot spot for tourism.

This tourism video features a woman in a really long red gown swimming past snow-clad mountains. Dramatic, eh? 

You might also enjoy exploring this tourism site.

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