• Vatican City!

    Vatican City: Vatican Museums. Go Now!

    Vatican City
    The smallest country in the world offers the heart of Catholicism and among the world's finest art collections, including the Sistine Chapel and the Raphael Rooms (ceiling pictured). Go to Vatican City!

  • Albania!

    Albania: Village of Theth! Go Now!

    Albania
    Albania is unique in Europe, starting with its Muslim heritage, but expanding to include food, culture, and even its natural beauty. Explore Albania!

  • United Kingdom!

    United Kingdom: Oxford's Christ Church. Go Now!

    United Kingdom
    This country includes England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland with four distinct cultures to match. Explore the United Kingdom!

  • Ukraine!

    Ukraine: Traditional Village. Go Now!

    Ukraine
    Ukrainian culture is based on village life, particularly that found in the Carpathian Mountains (pictured). Begin Your Journey!

  • Latvia!

    Latvia: Art Nouveau in Riga. Go Now!

    Latvia
    Latvia is small, but has a diverse history, foods, and architecture (shown), which includes aspects from both Eastern and Western Europe. Begin Your Journey!

  • Germany!

    Germany: Town Hall. Go Now!

    Germany
    Food, beer, natural beauty, and more create a country that's known for its distinct culture and history. Go Now!

Ethnicity, Language, & Religion of Greece

Ethnicity

Most of Greece's population is ethnic Greek (also known as the Hellenes). These people are a fairly ancient people who have changed little over the past few millennia, although small ethnic groups have been integrated into the gene pool. The Greeks are perhaps most similar to the Italians, although there is also distant relations to the Romanians, Albanians, and Turks.

Language

Greek is the official language of Greece and nearly every local speaks this language. This language is fairly unique as it branched off of other languages thousands of years ago so has no close linguistic relatives. In fact, it constitutes its own branch of the Indo-European linguistic grouping; Greek also has its own alphabet with similarities to both the Latin script and the Cyrillic script.

English and other popular international languages are also spoken in Greece to varying degrees. Most people in some business sectors and the tourism sector tend to speak English and many young people study English in school, but fluency is not common among the majority.

Religion

The Greek Orthodox Church is the official church in Greece and nearly every citizen is a member of this church.

Orthodoxy is a Christian religion that claims to be the most loyal to the Christian faith and religion as it was described by Jesus and the Gospels in the New Testament. Christianity, including Orthodoxy, was founded after the death of Jesus in about 30-33 AD; various branches of Orthodoxy were officially recognized by governments long before Catholicism was recognized in the Roman Empire.

Orthodoxy and Catholicism have many of the same beliefs; both believe that there is a single God who created everything and a savior, the son of God, Jesus Christ who is the forgiver of sins. However, Orthodoxy is decentralized so each bishop oversees their local country or region, giving each orthodox country a different leader. In this way, no bishop has more power than any other, meaning the tenants and interpretations of the faith remain relatively unchanged. These beliefs are based on the teachings of the Bible, consisting of the Old and New Testaments, in particular the life and teachings of Jesus, which is found in the gospels (in the New Testament).

This page was last updated: May, 2014