Safari the Globe

Cultural Information for the Traveler

Destinations » Europe » Mediterranean »

GreeceThe 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.

Ελλάδα

Introduction:

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.

The colors and symbolism of the Greek flag have unknown origins. In fact, the blue in the flag often varies as there is no set standard color for the flag. However, what is known is that the white cross in the upper corner of the flag symbolizes Greek Orthodoxy.

Name: Hellenic Republic
Independence: 1830, but March 25, 1821 celebrated
Capital: Athens
Currency: Euro
Population: 10,772,967 (2013 estimate)
Ethnicity: Greek
Language: Greek
Religion: Greek Orthodox

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.

Learn More About Greece:

The Land:
Geography WeatherWildlife

The Past:
History Architecture

The Food:
FoodSpecialtiesDining Etiquette Drinks

The Culture:
Way of Life EthnicityLanguage ReligionDress BehaviorIdentity

Map of Greece:

Map of Greece

Information for Greece was last updated: March, 2014 ● View our: Sources & Special Thanks