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    Italy: Rome' historic buildings. Go Now!

    Italy
    Crumbling buildings in Rome (pictured) only add to the atmosphere in a country where old is redefined and western civilization begins. Explore Italy!

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    The Emerald Isle is world famous for its landscapes, foods, beers, and culture. Explore Ireland!

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    Serbia is a historic power now looking internally to re-discovery their identity and future. Explore Serbia!

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    Armenia: Noravank Monastery. Go Now!

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    With a unique language, foods, architecture, and identity, Armenia is a fascinating country and culture unlike no other in the world. Begin Your Journey!

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    Switzerland: The Matterhorn. Go Now!

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    This mountainous country unites ethnic Germans, French, and Italians; making it home to a number of diverse cultures. Go Now!

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    Finland: Finnish Sauna. Go Now!

    Finland
    Unlike its neighbors, the Finns are unique ethnically & linguistically, but are wholly European in many other ways. Begin Your Journey!

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