Cultural Facts with Amanda

To showcase my love for diversity

June 13, 2013 – Greece

on June 13, 2013

Hello again! Today we’re going to talk about Greece…a beautiful place:

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Friendly reminder: all my information is coming from the book Kiss, Bow, or Shake Hands by Terri Morrison and Wayne Conaway.

Let’s get started!

The official language of Greece is Greek, with the second most common language being Romanian. The type of Greek that spoken in Greece today is Demotic Greek.

Ninety-eight percent of Greeks are members of the Greek Orthodox Church, however there is a freedom of religion in Greece. There is a small portion of the country who are Muslims, Roman Catholics, and Jews. 

It doesn’t rain often in Greece so fresh water is very valuable. There are often wildfires in the dry woods and fields. There are also a lot of earthquakes in Greece. Because of this, some Greeks believe that humans are not in control of their fate. 

There are serious environmental issues in Greece. There is a lot of air pollution in Athens and deforestation throughout the country. Ancient Greece was filled with forests and wooded hills. Trees have been cut down for lumber, charcoal, and fuel. What hasn’t been cut down has been destroyed by forest fires and goats. The Greeks are trying to rebuild their forests but it’s hard to do so with low amounts of rainfall.

The Greeks are heavy smokers. Although it is illegal to smoke in public places, they often ignore those laws and do it anyway. Greece is a large tobacco producer. 

Greeks are open to discuss mostly any topics but it’s hard for them to change their opinions about some things. They tend to process information from a subjective perspective rather than an objective one. Interpersonal relationships are very important to them which is how they make their decisions rather than based on universal laws.

The Greeks made individual decisions but when making those decisions, they consider the feelings of those who depend on them such as family. With friendship comes obligations. Friendships must be established before negotiations can take place. A Greek’s role in the social structure is what gives them security. The Greeks have a strong work ethic but a laid-back approach to living. So there may an image of a lot of activity but slow progress. 

The Greeks usually do business over coffee. Lunch is the main meal of the day, lasting two hours: noon to 2pm. The elderly get served first. Dinner is a smaller meal, eaten around 8 or 9pm. When dining in a Greek home, they may insist that you will get offered seconds or thirds. Eating more is a compliment to your host. It is not a good idea to bring up political topics in conversation. 

It may seems like Greeks have a lot of nervous energy because they constantly tap their foot or fidget. It doesn’t mean they are uninterested or impatient with you. Greeks indicate “no” with an upward head nod but that is not so common with the younger generation. Anger is expressed with a smile. After giving or receiving compliments, Greeks may let out a puff of breath to ward off the “evil eye.” 

Greeks are very generous. If you compliment something enthusiastically enough, it may be given to you. If you are invited to a Greek home, compliment their children and give them a small gift. Give flowers or a desert to the host.

Hope you enjoyed this information about Greece! 

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