By Jessica Edlin and Brooke Gallup
In many ways Greek and American culture are very different. However in modern times the two cultures are becoming more similar.
- The Greek people are very family oriented.
- When they meet they shake hands, if they know each other they often kiss each other on the cheek. Male friends often slap each other’s arm on the shoulder
- Tipping the head down means yes and tipping the head up is a sign for no.
- arriving late is considered punctual. Ex. half an hour late is considered on time.
- Guests are treated like royalty.
- They prefer face to face meetings instead of by phone or email
- The "ok" sign is considered extremely rude.
- More casual in comparison.
- People greet with firm handshakes and exchanging of names.
- It's best to be on time to appointments or other engagements.
- The middle finger is considered a rude gesture.
- Guests to a dinner party are usually expected to bring a small gift.
- Arriving “late” is ok
- When eating always finish your entire plate.
- It is polite to ask for seconds as a complement to the chef
- If you are eating out the person who extends the invitation pays.
- Meals are generally shorter.
- If you are invited to eat come on time and leave at an appropriate time.
- RVSP to invitations to eat out.
- If they are eating out the person who extends the invitation usually pays, or the bill is split between the people.
- Forks are held in the left hand and knives are held in the right hand.
- It is polite to not eat before the host starts eating.
- A while ago dating meant marriage.
- marriages were arranged and the bride’s family had to pay a dowry.
- Dating is now much like the US.
- dates could be anywhere from activities to a dinner.
- Usually the guy asks out the girl to a date
- Dating sometimes doesn't mean that they will be married
- More casual than Greece
- Activities like going to see a movie or going out for dinner are popular.
Weddings and Funerals
- They get engaged in front of their family and a party is followed after
- The engagement ring is usually a pearl ring.
- For weddings they have strict dates to follow, they cannot get married the first two weeks of August to honor the virgin Mary
- For the groom the friends will help get him ready for the wedding
- At the bottom of the brides shoe are the names of her unmarried friends so they will soon be married
- Together the couple has to meet the priest of the church
- they wear something blue so they will have good luck at their wedding
- The groom asks the father permission to marry the bride.
- There is a party following the engagement.
- Rings have diamonds usually.
- There are multiple parties before the wedding.
- Normally there is a smaller ceremony with a larger reception after.
- they will not have them on sundays or holy saturday.
- they have an additional ceremony just for the family that lasts up to an hour and a half.
- After 9 days there is a memorial service held in their honor.
- After the death of a family member the rest of the family goes into a 40 day mourning period.
- Widows sometimes choose to wear black for the rest of their lives.
- It's a tradition to wear black clothing to a funeral to symbolize mourning.
- There is usually an open or closed casket ceremony.
- Most families try to be buried in cemetery lots closer together.
- There is usually a celebration of their life at or after the funeral service.
- there Easter date differs from our date on the calendar
- Easter 2015 is the 12th of April
- They dye eggs like us but instead of using all colors they only dye them the color red to represent Christ’s blood
- The thursday before easter they call it there day of mourning
- On this day they ring church bell all day
- On the saturday they prepare meals for the next day, decorate the church, have church services, and much more
- 2015 Easter is on the 5th of April.
- Easter egg hunts and decorating eggs are common activities.
- Many children look forward to treats from the Easter Bunny.
- Special church services are held and many people have a large Easter feast after.
- Christians commemorate Good Friday as the day Christ died and Easter sunday as the day he was resurrected.
- Seen as a sign of Spring.
Typical Diet and Mealtimes
- More fresh foods as most buy their food daily at markets
- Lots of seafood and lamb in their diets
- Honey is popular topping for desserts or breakfast foods.
- Many Greeks eat more olives and goat or sheep dairy products.
- Roast lamb is made for important events.
- Meals are generally larger because there are only three of them.
- Breakfast foods are usually eggs and a meat such a sausage with toast or bacon. However a cold breakfast like cereal or yoghurt is popular as well.
- Food is usually bought in larger amounts so it's not as fresh.
- There is a larger quantity of beef products that are consumed
- Fast food is very popular.
- "Traditional" dishes almost don't exist because there are so many different cultures.
- 3 meals
- Breakfast in the morning.
- Lunch at midday.
- Dinner at night around 5-6pm.
- Dinner is usually the biggest and most important meal of the day.
- Greece: Breakfast (proino) is not an important meal for them, they normally drink a cup a coffee and a slice of bread, sometimes nothing!
- on their way to work they will normally stop and buy something for a mid-morning break
- Dinner (Mesimeriano): this is the main meal of the day and it doesn't start until 2pm, they will go home and enjoy a meal with the whole family, they always have salad, meat and bread, and at the end they drink of bottle of red wine.
- “Tea”(Vrathino) : they will meet for their last meal around 8:30-9ish, this is lighter meal served with salad and veggies.