The do’s and don’t s of Greek Culture
A trip aboard the Glaros is an exciting and relaxing experience that takes you right into the heart of Greece and the Greek Culture. However, one of the reasons Greece is so attractive as a holiday destination is because it’s culture is so different from our own. But, this difference can lead to confusion about preconceptions and connotations of certain social situations. Before you head over to Greece then, read our list on what you should do, and what you definitely shouldn’t do.
Greek Culture: What You SHOULD Do
Wear What You Are Comfortable In
The Greeks are very modern when it comes to clothing. The hot climate means that people have been less than conservative with their outfits for many years, so just go with whatever feels natural and don’t worry about what people might think, because they probably won’t notice.
The Greeks are well known for being loud, outgoing and in a perpetual state of boisterous laughter. This isn’t something they reserve for residents of the country though. If you like being loud and flamboyant at home, then go for it. However, if you’re more quiet and reserved, don’t feel like you need to be loud to fit in. Quiet or noisy, you’re welcome in Greece.
Let’s say you meet a nice family across from where you are staying. Later you see them at a local bar and they buy you a traditional Greek drink. Refusing to drink it is considered very rude, but that doesn’t mean you have to down the whole thing. A sip and a thank you is all you need to avoid any tension.
Tip If The Service Was Good
Greek Culture: What You SHOULDN’T Do
Give A Mountza
This is the action of putting one’s hand up to somebody’s face; a talk to the hand gesture. While in many cultures this is considered rude or humorous, in Greece it is the most offensive gesture you can offer, avoid it above all else. Even when going for a high-five, make sure your hand is up near the side of your head, not out in-front of you.
Insult the Church
Religion might be losing favor in some western nations, but in Greece it is still very much alive and kicking. The most commonly practiced religion is Greek Orthodox, and while the people of Greece aren’t going to try and push it on you, bad mouthing their beliefs is considered highly offensive.
Ignore Church Rules
As you can imagine from the point above, the church is one area the Greeks don’t mess around with. While often laid-back and relaxed, especially when it comes to fashion choices. If you decide to enter an Orthodox church you should do so while being respectful of their customs. For example women should have their torso’s and shoulders covered and no dresses above the knees. Likewise, the men should at least wear formal-casual clothes, such as a shirt and trousers, no shorts or flip-flops here.
Be Noisy During Siesta
This isn’t as much of an issue in less traditional city areas, but in small villages, the Greek Siesta is between 3pm and 5pm, don’t make too much noise during this period. It will not be appreciated.
Mention The Current Financial Situation
Turn Up As a Guest Without a Gift
If you’re invited over to a local’s house for dinner, make sure you take a small token of appreciation. Flowers or wine are a safe bet.
Assume They Speak English
While English is spoken in many European nations, it is not their native language so don’t assume they know a single word. If you want something, perhaps the cheque, learn it in Greek.
Don’t Forget To Relax
While this may feel like an awful lot of rules to follow, it isn’t as hard as you might think. Just be kind, courteous and friendly and the locals will be the same to you. The Greek people are famed for being warm and welcoming, so as long as you don’t break any of our golden rules, you’ll be absolutely fine.
Once you think you’re ready to take on Greece’s exciting culture, contact us to book your Greek sailing holiday.
I will be happy to answer any questions that you may have. I will also be pleased to hear any of your comments, so please feel free to leave them.