May 21, 2011 - Independence Day – Montenegro

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 Albanians are “virtually identical in common usage.” 

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 the short slide show offered at this tourism site.  Click on the Montenegro Virtual Map at the top of the website page to see more videos and photos along with satellite maps.

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