One of the best ways to learn Greek is to immerse yourself in the language. When it comes to learning the modern Greek language, avoid limiting yourself to classical Greek literature. Here is a list of the best Greek books of modern Greek literature that will inspire you to learn Greek or improve your Greek skills. You can order these books in Greek (reaching B1 level is essential) but you can find some of them translated in your native language.
How easy is it to integrate yourself into a new country, specifically Greece? How can you make friends and as an expat in Greece? Here are some tips on how to feel at home in this southern European country.
On the 28th of October Greeks and philhellenes around the world celebrate the “Anniversary of the No” (Επέτειος του Όχι), also known as “Ohi Day” (Ημέρα του Όχι). It marks Greece’s rejection of Benito Mussolini’s ultimatum to allow Axis forces to enter Greek territory during World War II.
The 28th of October is an annual national holiday in the Hellenic Republic, and it is celebrated with military and student parades. The student parades are a controversial topic in Greece, with some people stating that children should not be parading as soldiers and others adding that the parades are symbolic, showing the young generation’s respect for their ancestors’ sacrifices.
The Greek Anniversary of the No (Ohi Day). Metaxa’s Reply
According to the official report of events, the Prime Minister of Greece, General Ioannis Metaxas, received an ultimatum from the Italian embassy to Greece in the early hours of the 28th October 1940. They demanded to allow Axis forces to enter Greek territory; otherwise, war would ensue.
Metaxas replied with the phrase “Alors, c’est la guerre!” (Then it is war!). However, there is an unverified common belief that his reply was a laconic «Όχι!» (No!). This day does not only mark the start of the Greco-Italian war, but also Greece’s general stance against Italian Fascism and German Nazism.
It is important to note that General Metaxas was the totalitarian leader of the 4th of August Regime that was inspired by the rhetoric of Musolini but kept closed relations with Britain and the French Third Republic.
Some time ago I posted a video with do’s and dont’s in Athens, Greece. But I realized that there are other things that I did not mention and that do not apply only in Athens. So today I will discuss some things to avoid when traveling or moving to Greece. Before we get started, make sure to subscribe and stay till the end because the last two things I will mention are literally lifesaving.
When Eating and Drinking in Greece, Avoid Splitting the Bill
You are eating out with friends in a restaurant in Greece and it is time to pay the bill. Although a lot of bars and restaurants nowadays offer the option of having each person pay individually, splitting the bill is considered bad etiquette and it is generally frowned upon. In Greece, restaurants are responsible for creating a bill for every single table and not for every single person who is eating there. Then, it is the responsibility of the people who sit on the table to find a way to pay for everything.
That is not only because it is way faster for the waiters and waitresses who need to attend other tables, but also because, in Greece, it is common to order food as a group and not as an individual. For example, Greeks usually order a bunch of different dishes that they agree upon and each person gets an empty plate to fill it up with anything they like. Just like a family would do at home.
It is important to remember that Greece is considered much less individualistic and much more collectivistic than countries such the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom, without that meaning that people have less individual rights or anything like this. It is more about how well people integrate into groups and how easy it is to take decisions as a collective.
Tipping Might Be Optional in Greece But It Is Also Expected
Tipping in Greece is not mandatory, as it is in the US, and you definitely don’t have to do any calculations to make sure that you tipped an acceptable amount. However, unless the service was terrible, you are expected to leave a tip on the table that you deem appropriate for the service. That applies mostly in cafes, bars, and restaurants, rather than hair salons or other businesses that offer some type of service. Tipping taxi drivers or employees in self-service restaurants is less common. However, when ordering food, tipping the delivery man or woman is recommended.
There is no specified percentage of the bill that should be offered as a tip. Most people would agree that one euro for two cups of coffee and five euros for a 25-euro bill at a restaurant are acceptable. When the amount you have to pay is too small, it is preferred to round things down: giving 2 euros when the bill says 1,65. However, leaving 1-2 cents as a tip is worse than not leaving a tip at all.
Most museums and archaeological sites around the world have dress codes or at least a few rules regarding what is not allowed to wear. The same applies in Greece. As in most European countries, the dress code in Greek museums is very relaxed – you don’t have to dress up formally or cover your entire body, but you might be asked to cover up if you enter without a shirt or with a crop top.
What most visitors do not know is that there are stricter rules when visiting archaeological sites. For example, the Herodion Theater of Athens does not allow the entrance to anyone wearing hilled shoes, since they can ruin the marble auditorium. Furthermore, if you are visiting historical churches and monasteries, you might be asked to cover your legs, whether you are a man or a woman.
Avoid Showering When the Water Heater (Boiler) is On
Houses and apartment buildings in Greece have two different water heaters: one powered with solar energy and an electric one. The second is used only on the rare occasion that there is no sunlight for over 24 hours. Also, some old houses do not have a solar powered water heater installed.
If you have to turn on an electric water heater when travelling in Greece, note that you shouldn’t let it run for hours. It is extremely costly and the chances of starting a fire due to an electrical short circuit are high. But the most important part is to always turn it off when someone is showering. Many water heaters are not properly insulated and showering with the water heater on can lead to electrocution.
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