BREZNA (AFP) – For more than a month, leisure has been taken to a new level in Montenegro, where an annual competition celebrating the country’s languid ways has seen participants going to the mattresses, literally.
“I’ve been here for 800 hours,” said Lidija Markovic, a 23-year-old beautician from the nearby town of Niksic.
“I’ll get up when I get bored, and I don’t know when that will happen.”
To celebrate its relaxed ways and poke fun at stereotypes of laziness, a traditional bed and breakfast in northern Montenegro’s Brezna has been hosting an annual “lie in” competition for the past 12 years – where participants sprawl on mattresses and do next to nothing.
“The competition is a joke about the stereotype of Montenegrins being lazy, and we wanted to organise something that no one else has,” said the event’s organiser Radonja Blagojevic.
Standing and sitting results in immediate disqualification, but competitors are allowed to use mobile phones, read books, and receive visitors.
This year’s competition has seen a slight change in the rules, allowing participants to take a 15-minute break every eight hours.
The previous record of five days has been shattered – thanks in part to the new rules.
Out of the 21 contestants who entered the competition, just four remain – putting their obligations to family, work and education on hold for the time being.
“I am proud of myself for enduring this long,” said Gordana Filipovic, a 36-year-old cook from a nearby village.
“My husband says to me: ‘Wife, you are on vacation. Lie down and enjoy’.”
Most contestants are from Montenegro, but the competition has also seen Ukrainians, Russians and Serbs compete.