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Greece

 

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Country

Identification

Greek Republic

Language(s)

Greek

Religion(s)

97% Greek Orthodox, minorities of Protestants, Catholics and Jews

Political System

Parliamentarian Republic since 1973

Currency

1 Euro = 100 Cent

Geographical Information

Capital: Athens

Area: 132 000 sq. km

South-east Europe, consisting of mainland and 3054 Islands, 167 of which are inhabited. Albania, Macedonia and Bulgaria border in the north, Turkey borders in the east, and the rest of Greece is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea.

Climate in the north is cool, landscape is woody and mountainous, in the south hot Mediterranean climate.

Typical Food and drinks

Wide range of vegetables. Tasty local cuisine with simple but rich dishes. Fish is very expensive because of extensive fishing in former times.

Famous for olives, olive oil, pistachios, honey, Feta cheese.

Retsina is a wine treated with resin. Ouzo and Raki are famous spirits.

Holidays and Festivals

National Holidays:

25th March : liberation from the Ottoman Empire

28th October:: The great historic "NO" against an ultimatum by Mussolini

Most Catholic holidays are observed, but the dates in the Julian calendar the dates are differ from dates in the Gregorian calendar in Western Europe.

There are a lot of local festivals with historic or religious backgrounds.

Carnival is celebrated in February, in all parts of the country.

History

Greece is the birthplace of democracy and western culture.

Rockpaintings from the Early Stone Age.

Archean period: 1580 – 600 B.C. (Dorian)

Classical period: 600 – 400 B.C.

Persian Wars, Pidias, Herodot, Sophocles, period of cultural ascendensy of Athens

Hellenistic period: 400 – 150 B.C.

Philipp of Macedonia, Alexander the Great

Roman period: 150 B.C. – 330 A.D.

Byzantinum becomes capital of the Easter Roman empire

Byzantine period: 330 – 1450 A.D.

conquest by the crusaders

Ottoman rule: 1450 – 1830 A.D.

Turkish rule, wars of independence

Monarchy and Dictatorship: 1830 – 1974

The "New Republic" : since 1974

Art and culture

Some of the most famous Greeks were:

Sokrates, Aristoteles, Platon, Homer, Diogenes, Alexander the Great,

Oracle of Delphi, Ikarus, Laokoon,

In 776 B.C., the first Olympic Games took place.

Acropolis,Mount Olypus ,seat of the gods.

Maria Callas (singer), Mikis Theodorakis (musician), Seferis Georgios (lyricist)

National Dance is the Syrtaki.

Dos and don´ts for visiting the country

There are no dress regulations in Greece, but one should be suitable dressed in a church.

The hospitality of Greeks is legendary, but tourists abused Greek generosity and nowadays such hospitality exists only in the country.

Don’t take a taxi in Athens,you will be faster on foot.

Never take a stone or anything else from an excavation site. The penalty is very heavy.

Never compare greek cuisine with turkish cuisine.

Population and

% of foreign population /minorities

Officially the population is 100 % Greek, but there are minorities of Macedonians, Turks, Bulgarians, Gypsies, Armenians, and some 300.000 illegal Albanians

Main Integration Problems

Language and Cyrillic alphabet

Education

Unemployment

Cultural Background

 
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Latest update of this page: 2005-07-15 
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