Essay: Culture in Greece

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  • Published on: February 4, 2019
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  • Culture in Greece
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Culture varies throughout the world; culture is a learned social behavior that occurs when you are brought into the family or an organization. Greece is very rich in culture and history. The country began in ancient times, they are known for many things such as their historical archeological grounds, like the Olympic stadium, where they held the Olympic games. They are also known for the many arts and museums throughout the country.


The most common language that is used all throughout Greece is Greek, but Greek wasn’t always the language spoken. In the BC times, they spoke two different dialects they were Ionic and Attic. When Greece became known as the cultural inside of the Greek world, they adopted the Attic dialect for their common language to be used. Then in 1829 there were two languages that they wanted to use in the ways they teach education and religion and those were Katharevousa and Dimotiki. In the end, they decided to use Dimotiki because the many people of Greece spoke this language throughout their whole life. That was when the Government realized they needed to make this the language to teach education and religion. In 1976, the Greece Government decided to adopt Dimotiki as the official formal language for the education system and religion. Throughout the country of Greece, you will find different areas that have different accents, but that is common for every country.


The Greece population varies in religion, but the biggest religion of Greece is Eastern Orthodox Christianity. Eastern Orthodox Christianity is made up of 98% of the Greece community. What is Eastern Orthodox Christianity? Eastern Orthodox Christianity is a branch of Christianity that has been around since the Byzantine era. They are really big about worship, having faith, and using theology through their worshipping. The biggest religion time that is celebrated through the Orthodox Church is Easter. They start off with a festival that is named Aprokies also known as Carnival, and then is followed by lent on Holy Saturday. For Easter dinner they eat lamb and boiled eggs. Other religions throughout Greece include Muslims, Jewish, and Catholicism.

Social Customs

The Greece culture is a very humble culture. Their families are very close knit and most of the families have generations of families living with them in their homes. When visitors come over to others homes to visit they always are greeting the hostess with a gift, such as candies and alcohol. At the small parties at the hostess’s home, they consist of enjoying each other’s company, like eating, drinking, and dancing. When they do drink at the parties they never are drunk, because they believe in happiness and relaxation.

Another custom that they do in Greece is that they celebrate Saint’s days that occur throughout the whole year. During these days they go to people’s houses that are named after that saint of that day and they are showered with gifts. On New Years, it is not celebrated at the same time as the United States or other countries around the world. They have it in January on St. Basil’s Day, at this time they bake a cake that has a hidden coin in the cake, and whoever finds it will have good luck for the year. This cake is called Vasilopita.


Many people believe that the Greeks follow the Mediterranean diet, but some do while all of Greek food is made with fresh ingredients. Many of their dishes can be passed down from generation to generation. Every meal has olive oil and the entrees also known moussaka have meat with every meal. The Greeks always start off with mezedes known in the United States as appetizers. Many of these dishes consist of olives or a dip known as tzatiki. After the appetizer they normally have the Village Salad, which is known in the United States as Greek Salad. After the salad portion of the meal, is the main course with meats such as lamb, beef, or pork.

The Greeks are also famous for their alcoholic beverages such as their wine and liquor. They drink many of their liquor with their main entrees. If you have too much to drink that night at dinner they have a cure for the hangover the next morning, they recommend eating tripe soup. The most popular wine that is used during Holy Communion through the Greek Orthodox Church and it is called mavrodafni, which is a sweet, very thick dark red wine.

Art and Entertainment

Greece is very rich in art they have multiple art museums from contemporary to historical art museums. The art can consist of paintings, buildings, and even sculptures. The most popular attraction and museum is the Acropolis Museum, this is located in Athens. You will find the Parthenon sitting on the top of a mound.

There is a variety of entertainment throughout the country of Greece. They vary from carnivals, to festivals, to wine tours, and even just sight seeing Greece in general. In the summer they have a huge art festival Athens, known as the Epidaurus Festival. At this festival they will have performances in the concert halls and theaters, which is put on by the Greek National opera. Another big festival that happens once a year is the International Film Festival. This ten-day film festival is known internationally and is very popular among the celebrities.

Carnivals are a big Greek tradition; it was around during ancient Greece. At the carnivals, they have huge decorative floats and the people and around the floats are decorated in creative costumes.


The Greeks have always been known for being athletic, because they were first in ancient Greek times to hold the Olympic games in 684 B.C. The Olympic games was normally held for one day as time went on they gained more sports, so they made it a three day event. Since Greece is near water and the mountains they have many sports they can choose from. For water sports you go windsurfing and kite surfing or even water polo. They also have sailing and rowing to do in the water. In the mountains you can go snow skiing and snowboarding in the winter and in the summer you can go mountain biking. The most popular sport in Greece is Football, not your average American football. In Greece, football is another name for soccer. They are also into basketball, which is really big in Europe.

Social Organization

Greek culture and customs are known for their friendships and family being super close and tightknit. Through this tightknit culture they are able to network with each other and meet new people. In the small rural areas, the large landowners are at the top, the middle is the farmers and shop owners, and at the bottom are workers who help the farmers. In the big city, the bankers and wealthy professionals are at the top, the middle are shopkeepers and office workers, and the bottom is the lower class of workers. Greece is predominantly made up of middle class, but they will always have a chance of moving up in the social class.

Values and Norms

The modern day values of Greece have not changed from the ancient Greece times. They still hold these values accountable throughout the Greece culture. Some of the values include, hospitality and loyalty. Many of the Greek people believe that everyone is welcome and that no one is left out. That is where hospitality comes in, when people need a place to stay, they are happy to open up their homes. Another value they hold close is loyalty; they use this value through their family and even the whole community. You can find this value, practiced everyday during their tasks.

Some norms that the Greek people do when they first meet someone, is they always shake hands, or if they have known someone for quite sometime they will kiss each other on each cheek. Another norm is that Greek culture never has a set time, which means when they parties you come whenever you please.

The business norms tend to be a little different than the United States norms. When you need to talk to someone you never email or call him or her, you have to simply meet that person face- to – face. Another norm in the business world is you can’t be pushy when it comes to make deals or agreements with the Greeks. You will gain respect from them when you are being patient on the deal you are making.


As you tour Greece today, you will see many statues from ancient times that are unclothed. The reason that many of these statues are bare is because many of the Greeks believe they see the naked human body as beautiful. The first Greek statues known as kouros had stood straight up and looked very unrealistic, as time went on many of the statutes had more natural look to the statue. They have arms bent, and even a slight bend in the leg, making these statues look more like the people they were creating. Also as time went on, they started creating sculptures of the people in action, such as people doing something athletic. Today, you will find many of these sculptures and pottery that they have created over time, but one thing that is really hard to find from the ancient era is the paintings they have created. They tend to be very rare.

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