Marija

Montenegro

This is
Marija Kovacevic (1983)

Country of origin
Montenegro

In the Netherlands since 
2010

Lives in
Jordaan

Profession 
Physicist

Loves
Chocolat and Latin-American dancing

Favourite spot 
‘I like to brunch at Pluk in the Nine streets.'

Would like to
Go with a canalboat

Misses
‘The sun and the food. Especially the taste of fruits, vegetables and even the meat. It just feels that the taste is better in Montenegro.'

Montenegro in Amsterdam
‘When I walk nearby the Amstel, I think about Montenegro. It's a small country by the sea. So the water and boats on the Amstel reminds me of this feeling.

“Before I came to live here, I had only been to Amsterdam for a day trip. I didn’t really enjoy the city. All I could see were crowds of tourists and as I didn’t know much about the city, I followed the crowds to the various tourist hot spots. Now that I live here, my views on Amsterdam have completely changed. This really is the best place in the world to live. It’s friendly, tranquil and beautiful. And if you want to liven things up, you only need to look around the nearest corner.


I have lived here since March this year. Before that, I lived in Groningen for three years. I was a student in Montenegro, but wanted to study abroad.  I originally planned to stay for about a year, but that quickly became six. I studied Theoretical Physics in Groningen and got my PhD there. If I had wanted to remain here after completing my scientific research programme, I would have to have moved to a place that could offer appropriate work. Texas or Argentina for example. All I wanted was to live in the city I loved. So I moved into the corporate sector, and now live in my city of choice: Amsterdam.

My family weren’t too happy with the fact that I no longer lived in Montenegro. It wasn’t an easy decision to make. I had my doubts, but ultimately, living in Montenegro did not really make me happy. Including family, friends and sunny weather, I also miss the spontaneity of Montenegro when I’m in Amsterdam. We do have a social calendar we tend to stick to there, but it’s nowhere as strict as it is in Holland. If nothing’s planned here, nothing happens. In Montenegro people are more willing to forget the plans and do something spontaneous.

However, I can also see a lot of similarities between the people of Montenegro and Amsterdam. People from the south are often described as warm and friendly. Montenegrins tend to be reserved at first, and often seem arrogant. Which I also recognized as an Amsterdammer trait. I like that. They are more similar to me than, say, Spaniards or Italians. What really stands out is that Dutch people tend to have Dutch friends. Even the Italians, who live in Amsterdam, hang out with the Italians, and the Spanish with the Spanish. People don’t seem to mix, which they do in Montenegro. “

68 people in Amsterdam have the Montenegrin nationality

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