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name Greece is used in English and other foreign languages, but not in Greek to
refer to the country. The word Greece comes from the Latin word Graecia,
which the Romans used, meaning "land of the Greeks."
The name of the country in Greek is Hellenic Republic of Hellas. Hellas is named
after Hellen, who was the son of Deucalion and Pyrrha, two mythical figures from
Greek mythology who built a ship and maintained mankind when Zeus flooded the world
for nine days.
Greece is home to one of the world's most historic and advanced civilizations
and even today the people, their culture, and their lifestyle reflect these past
empires. The Greeks, both in the past and today, are quite different from most people
in Europe ethnically and linguistically. However, today the people have also proven
adaptable as new technologies and lifestyles have been introduced with some success;
some only because to the Greeks relaxation, family, and the enjoyment of life seem
to always remain more important than work or money.
The ancient Greeks developed an advanced social and political system that set the
standard for much of modern day society. They led the way in education and philosophy,
making the language important even today. The Greeks also developed new technologies,
transportation networks, communication networks, political organizations, architecture,
foods, and even clothing. In fact much of modern day European culture is tied to
ancient Greece in some way and this is truer in Greece itself than it is elsewhere.
As political changes occurred so too did Greek culture and influence. At times the
Greeks were ruled over by foreigners, while at other times it was the Greeks who
did the ruling. No matter the position, Greek culture and society vastly changed
over time, partially due to outside influences. The primarily Greek-led Byzantine
Empire changed the course of history architecturally, culinarilly, and politically.
It also led the Great Schism, dividing Catholicism from the Eastern Orthodox churches,
which many Greeks still adhere to.
Although Greek political power has fallen over time, their influence remains unmistakable
throughout Europe and much of the world. Their historic and present cultures formed
much of modern day culture in numerous areas, but this is truer in Greece than
elsewhere. Greek foods are still based on the simple flavors of the past, which
were partially inspired by foreign introductions. Greek clothing changed over time,
leading to the modern pants and shirts common in Greece and elsewhere. Greek architecture
was at the core of not only style, but also engineering feats, which led to the
modern construction of Greece and the world. The Christian church first used Greek
as the language of choice as many adherents were Greek speakers and even today the
Greek Orthodox Church is an important part of the lives of the Greeks.
Despite the ties and importance of the historic Greek world on modern day Greek
culture, modern technology and the working environment of today has changed the
culture to a degree. Despite these changes, which can be found in nearly every country,
the Greeks remain more closely tied to their families, friends, foods, and lifestyle
than to work and money. It is this reliance on their social lives, their families,
and their friends that continues to define Greek culture today as most people would
rather enjoy a long drawn out meal with family that discuss ancient philosophy or
architectural achievements of the past.
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