Sirtaki Is Not Real? Surprising Facts About the Greek Culture

Surprising facts about the Greek culture that even Greeks don’t know.

Did you know that the famous sirtaki (or syrtaki) dance is not a traditional folkdance but rather a made-up dance for the movie Zorba the Greek? Also, what is the connection between Greek mythology and western astrology?

Surprising Facts About the Greek Culture

  1. Sirtaki is a movie dance
  2. Western astrology is based on Greek mythology
  3. Greek Christian Orthodoxy is connected to the ancient Greek religion
  4. Greeks avoid uncertainty at all cost

Sirtaki is a Movie Dance

Sirtaki (or syrtaki) is the most famous Greek dance. However, sirtaki is not a traditional folk dance but rather a combination of various dances, including sirto and hasaposerviko. It emerged in the 1964 with the movie “Zorba the Greek“. Since the main character of the movie dances to his emotions, rather than following a choreography, sirtaki is not meant to be taught or replicated exactly as in the movie.

Western Astrology is Based on Greek Mythology

Astrology has reemerged over the past ten years, with many more people reading their daily or yearly astrological predictions. What few people know is that astrology -as we know it in the west- is based on ancient Greek mythology. Are you a Capricorn? Then, your star sign represents the form of god Pan who once transformed himself into a goat-mermaid to escape the monster Typhon. Each sign has a similar connection to a Greek deity (and the planet he/she represents) and a myth that goes along with it.

Greek Christian Orthodoxy is connected to the ancient Greek religion

Greek polytheism and Orthodox Christianity are not that different after all! Christian traditions in Greece are often similar to ancient Greek rites that were dedicated to the Olympian gods. Not only that but many greek deities are associated with Greek Saints. For example, did you know that the Virgin Mary was often portrayed as goddess Athena?

Greeks Avoid Uncertainty at All Costs

Although Greeks describe themselves as “laid back”, and “going with the flow”, in reality, they score very high (100/100) in uncertainty avoidance. According to the social psychologist Geert Hofstede, cultures can be measured based on different “cultural dimensions”. The Hofstede dimensions show that the “unruly” Greeks are extremely insecure in real or perceived threats. Uncertainty is avoided at all costs. Cultures with such scores usually desire strict rules and a sense of security from a powerful protector (e.g. a government, a political leader etc.). In Greece, this sense of security is perhaps provided by the institution of family, rather than by… law and order. Greeks maintain real close relationships with their extended families and enjoy the security of their relatives being there to support them financially and emotionally throughout their lives.