greece

Facts about Greece

On this page we will present the main facts about Greece the Greeks and their culture. Among them are facts about today’s life in Greece and the Greek islands, famous Greeks, religion, finacial developmen and industry Greek shipping , transport etc.. Introducing many other topics such as Greek education, dowry and marriage. Quality of life and economic development, issues concerning foreigners who want to move to Greece, and life in Greece and the islan

WHAT MAKES GREECE A UNIQUE COUNTRY
HOW MANY GREEK ISLANDS ARE INHABITED ?
GREECE IN THE EUROPEAN UNION
HOW MANY GREEK WORDS ARE IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE ?
THE MODERN GREEKS
THE GREEK PATRIOTISM
HOW RESILIANT ARE THE GREEKS
HOW MANY GREEKS ARE SMOKERS ?
GREECE IN THE WORLD WARS
GREEKS WHO WON NOBEL PRICES
GREECE AND OLYMPIC MEDALS
GREECE HAS THE WORLD’S LARGEST MERCHANT FLEET
WHAT ARE THE TOP EXPORTS OF GREECE ?
FAMOUS PEOPLE OF GREECE
FAMOUS GREEK AMERICANS
WHAT IS THE NATIONAL FOOD OF GREECE
THE MOST TOURIST ISLANDS IN GREECE FOR 2021
WHAT ARE THE MOST POPULAR ISLANDS IN GREECE
HOW RELIGIUS ARE THE GREEKS ?
GREEK RELIGIUS CULTURE
WHY THE TRUNKS OF TREES ARE PAINTED WHITE
WHAT IS THE MOST POPULAR COFFEE IN GREECE ?

WHAT MAKES GREECE A UNIQUE COUNTRY ?

The main feature of Greece that sets it apart from other countries is its unimaginable diversity. Nowhere else in such a narrow geographical area is there such a wide variety of land with high mountains next to beautiful plains and dreamy islands.

HOW MANY GREEK ISLANDS ARE INHABITED

There are thousands of islands in Greece ( about 6.000) but most of them are uninhabitend and many are just small rocky islets. The ihabitend islands of Greece are about 270 with a population of about 1.210.000. The largest islands are Crete, Evia, Lesbos and Rhodes

WHEN DID GREECE JOINED THE EUROPEAN UNION ?

After World War II, the effort to unite Europe began. Greece is one of the countries that played a leading role in these developments. In 1981, Greece became the 10th member of the EU. Since the end of the military dictatorship in 1974, concerted efforts have been made to strengthen democratic institutions and to cultivate the state’s international relations. Despite their individual differences, all governments after 1974 have worked to modernize and improve the quality of life of Greek citizens. Thus, the standard of living of the Greeks improved dramatically.

The Greek actress and politician Melina Mercury pioneered the completion of the European union,  she was inspired by passion in everything she did, from her appearances in the theatre and on the big screen in the first stage of her life, to her struggle against the fascist junta who came to power in Greece in 1967 and her campaign, as a politician, for the protection and promotion of culture.

HOW MANY GREEK WORDS ARE IN THEE ENGLISH LANGUAGE ?

Τhe words of the English language (according to the Webster International dictionary) are 166,724 – and of these, 41,214 are Greek!!
Even more impressive, of course, is the medical terminology: of its 43,716 words, 20,346 are Greek. That is, in a total of 178,903 English words, 51,807 (29.24%) come from Greek !

It should be added that the well-known American Hellenist, Professor MacDonald, claims that the total number of Greek words reaches 600,000 (ie 3.4 times more than English and 4.3 times more than French).

Even if there was no other report, even if no pre-flood monuments had been saved, the Greek language would suffice as proof of the existence in the past, of an era of great civilization. In the Greek language is implanted all the knowledge that man has acquired, up to the present moment. Every Greek word carries a heavy burden of intellect.

THE MODERN GREEKS

Despite their complex origins, their wide geographical spread and their cosmopolitan instincts, the modern Greeks are a remarkably homogeneous people, markedly different in character from neighboring peoples, united by a common enthusiasm for their national goals.

THE GREEK PATRIOTISM

The intense patriotic zeal of the Greeks, It can sometimes degenerate into arrogance and intolerance. That feeling sometimes can blinds their judgment and engages them in reckless ventures, but nevertheless contains the best guarantee for the ultimate achievement of its national goals. Their patriotic feeling, unfortunately, is subject to the exploitation of selfish demagogues and polititians, who compete in the exaggeration of national claims and in the flattery of national vanity.

HOW RESILIENT ARE THE GREEKS ?

Together with other southern European peoples, the Greeks are particularly resilient, their passionate character easily easily offended by small challenges and trivial arguments. They are lively, sensitive, irritable, a child of the moment; in terms of temperament, are French rather than Italian or German and different from the Anglo-Saxons.

GREECE AND WARS OF THE 20th CENTURY

During the 20th century there were two World Wars and many others large but local. Greece participated in most of these wars. As a result of its participation in the wars, Greece integrated many regions, expanding its borders and increasing its population in the Balkan wars in 1913.

The Asia Minor Catastrophe, in 1922, caused great changes within the Greek state. Dealing with the refugee issue was the biggest challenge for Greeks during the interwar period.

The Occupation of Greece in the period 1941-1944 and the Civil War in 1946-1949 are two more tragic trials for the Greek people.

GREECE AND NOBEL PRICES

George Seferis (1963) Nobel Prize in Literature. He was the first Greek writer to be awarded the Nobel Prize. He has written poems, novels, essays and translated works into foreign languages. He was nominated for the Nobel twice (in 1955 and 1961) and finally won it in 1963 with the reasoning of the Swedish Academy being the following: “for his wonderful lyrical style, which is inspired by a deep feeling for the Greek cultural ideal”.

Odysseas Elytis (1979) Nobel Prize in Literature. He wrote poems, essays and translations. According to the Swedish Academy, he was awarded “for his poetry, which, against the backdrop of the Greek tradition, enlivens with sensual power and spiritual clarity of view the struggle of modern man for freedom and creativity.”

Nominees for the Nobel Prize in Literature

Giannis Ritsos He was nominated for the Nobel Prize four times in a row, and in 1979 the Swedish Academy suggested that he and Elytis share the prize. They both refused, without implying that they were rivals, and many representatives of the intellectual community agreed on the way the two poets dealt with the issue. After the awarding of the prize to Elytis, Ritsos stated that “The awarding of the Nobel Prize to our great Greek poet Odysseus Elytis is not an honor to Elytis, but an honor to the Nobel itself.”

Nikos Kazantzakis Perhaps the most important Greek writer of modern Greece, he was criticized more than anyone else for his work and was considered, among others, an atheist, a communist, a corruptor of the youth and a public danger. While his books were hugely successful abroad, in Greece they were not only not appreciated, but were also published with difficulty or criticized. He was nominated for the Nobel Prize nine times, while Greece itself was the one who helped his final rejection from the position of winner.

George Souris He is one of the most important satirical poets of modern Greece and was characterized by many as “modern Aristophanes”. He was nominated for the award every year from 1907 to 1912, except 1910 (a total of five times).

Kostis Palamas He was one of the most prolific Greek writers and contributed significantly to the renewal and evolution of modern Greek poetry. He was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature fourteen times (every year from 1926 to 1940, except 1939).

GOLDEN MEDALS OF GREECE IN THE MODERN OLYMPICS

SportGold medals
TrackSpyridon Louis, Konstantinos Tsiklitiras, Voula Patoulidou, Costas Kenteris, Athanasia Tsoumeleka, Fani Chalkia, Katerina Stefanidi, Miltos Tentoglou
Lifting weightsPeriklis Kakousis, Pyrros Dimas (3), Kahi Kahiashvili (2)
GymnasticsIoannis Mitropoulos, Nikolaos Andriakopoulos, Ioannis Melissanidis, Demosthenes Tabakos, Eleftherios Petrounias
ShootingPantelis Karasevdas, Ioannis Fragoudis, Georgios Orfanidis, Anna Korakaki
SailingRoyal Successor Konstantinos – Odysseas Eskitzoglou – George Zaimis, Nikos Kaklamanakis, 470, Sofia Bekatorou – Emilia Tsoulfa
FencingLeonidas Pyrgos, Ioannis Georgiadis
SwimmingIoannis Malokinis
FightStelios Mygiakis
CyclingAristidis Konstantinidis
Tae Kwon doMichalis Mouroutsos
RowingStefanos Douskos
JudoElias Iliadis
DivingThomas Bimis – Nikos Syranidis Synchronized diving

GREECE HAS THE LARGEST MERCHANT FLEET IN THE WORLD

Greek shipping accounts for 53% of the European Union fleet and almost 21% of the global fleet in dwt, according to the annual report of the Hellenic Shipowners’ Association.

Specifically, the Greek merchant fleet is the largest fleet in the world, with 4,936 ships (over 1,000 gt) with a capacity of 389.69 million tons (dwt)

WHAT ARE THE TOP 4 EXPORTS OF GREECE ?

1. Fish and shellfish

The value of Greek fish exports in 2017 amounted to 660 million euros, accounting for 0.63% of world exports. Italy is the main destination of Greek fish, with 38.49% of exports ending there. The countries of Northern Europe and the Iberian Peninsula are Greece’s main competitors in fish.

2. Fruits and fruits

The value of exports of fruits and nuts amounted to 848 million euros. Greece is an economy that traditionally relies on the primary production sector and, therefore, in this category there are many products that have good export performance.
They account for 0.80% of world exports.The main destinations of Greek exports are Germany, Romania, Italy, the United Kingdom and Bulgaria. The most important competitors are the Netherlands, Belgium and Spain.

3. Plant resins and plant extracts

They hold 0.22% of world exports, worth 13 million euros The main destinations of the exports are the USA, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Germany and Turkey.

4. Animal and vegetable fats and oils

The value of exports for fats and oils was 594 million euros and covers 0.68% of world exports.
It is one of the most competitive categories for Greece.The main destination is Italy, with a big difference from the rest.

THE MOST TOURIST ISLANDS IN GREECE

Many Greek islands have been among the top favorites of the Americans lately, as Greek destinations are experiencing increasing dynamics in the United States market. This fact is also reflected in the arrivals of Americans in Greece this year, which exceeded 55% of those of 2019 in the first eight months of this year.
As the best island in the world and in Europe for 2021 “Top Island in the World – Top Island in Europe” with an almost excellent score of 95.50, Milos was named by the readers of the leading American travel magazine “Travel & Leisure”, who participated in the voting for the World’s Best Awards 2021. Among them on the top places are the islands of Folegandros, Santorini, Mykonos and Rhodes.

HOW MANY GREEKS ARE SMOKING ?

Greece holds the first place in Europe, with 31.8% of its population indulging in smoking. Smokers in Greece make up almost 1/5 of the adult population. In second place is Bulgaria and third is Latvia .

FAMOUS GREEKS AND CELEBRITIES WORLDWIDE

ANCIENT GREEKSWHAT THEY WERE
SocratesAncient Greek Philodopher
Plato Ancient Greek Philodopher
Epicurus Ancient Greek Philodopher
Aristotle Ancient Greek Philodopher
Archimedes Ancient Greek Mathematican
Herodotus Ancient Greek Historian
Hippocrates Ancient Greek Physician
Thales of Miletus Ancient Greek Mathematican
Xenophon Ancient Greek Historian
PericlesRuler of Ancient Athens
Solon Ancient Greek Legislator
MODERN GREEKSPROFESSION
Aristotle OnnasisShip owner ( he created the world’s largest privately-owned shipping fleet)
Stavros NiarchosGreek tycoon and ship owner
Demis RousosGreek singer and composer
Vangelis PapathanasiouGreek composer ( Academy Award for Best Original Score 1981 Charriots of Fire
Manos Hadjidakis Greek composer ( Academy Award for Best Original Song 1961 Never on Sunday
Melina Mercouri Former minister of Culture, activist, actress (Cannes Film Festival Best Actress Award)
George MichaelMusician, composer, singer (born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou)
Prince Philip of England Duke of Edinburgh late husband of Queen Elisabeth

FAMOUS AMERICANS OF GREEK DESCENT

NAMEPROFFESION
John KassavetisActor, film director
Tely SavalasActor TV and films (Greek parents)
Jennifer AnistonActor TV and films, (Father from Crete Greece)
Olympia DoukakisActor, film director and producer ( Greek parents)
Michael DoukakisGovernor of Massachusetts 1975–1979, 1983–1991, Presidential nominee Democrats ( 1988 )
George StephanopoulosWhite House press secretary during Clinton’s Precidency, Journalist
Spiro Agnew39th vice president of the United States (1969 – 1973)
Jennifer Psaki White House press secretary (2021) Greek, Irish and Polish descent
Elia Kazantheatre and film director, producer and actor (Greek parents)
John StamosActor, comedian, producer, singer and musician (Greek father Stamatopoulos)
Nia VardalosActor and script of “My big fat Greek wedding) Golden Globe Award for Best Actress
Maria CallasOne of the greatest sopranos of all times
Basil Poledourisconductor, composer, orchestrator of film and television scores
Michael CapellasCEO of Compaq and MCI
Ted Sarantos chief content officer and co-chief executive officer of Netflix
George ColvocoressesComander of the USS Saratoga and USS Supply during the American civil war
Giannis AntetokounmpoBasketball player of the NBA (player in the NBA (Milwaukee Bucks)
Nikos Galisone of the greatest basketball players in Europe
Elena Ford-NiarchosGrand daughter of Henry Ford II, Chief Customer Experience Officer at Ford motors
Christopher GeorgeActor Television series The rat patrol
Betty CantrellMiss America 2016
Nick CassavetesActor, director, and writer (Son of John Cassavetes)

WHAT IS THE NATIONAL FOOD OF GREECE

If you are a Greek and look several websites that tells you what is the National food of Greece…..it makes you really to  lough…No the national food of Greece is not moussaka, souvlaki, pizza and gyros…(those are the so called tourist specialities…)

Instead the national food of Greece is what the Greeks eating usually at home depending on the season. The summer menu is different from the winter one.

During the summer Greeks eat fried or grilled fish with greens , courgettes and French fries, lettuce and tomato salads and generally casseroles with green beans, okras and aubergines with a lot of olive oil and tomato sauce.

During the winter the Greeks usually eat pulses like lentils, beans, and chickpeas. Among other foods the Greeks love spaghetti dishes, grilled sausages and lamb chops.

But eventually the real National food of Greece is the BEAN SOUP, (a casserole made with butter beans, carrots, onions and parsley in red sauce).

HOW RELIGIOUS ARE THE MODERN GREEKS ?

Though the Greek Ortodox religion played a huge role in the Byzantine Greece and during the Ottoman occupation and the war of indipendence, from the late 70’s modern Greeks are not so “religious” like other nations. Greeks who were born during the 60’s and onwards will go to the church only for marriages, funerals, baptisms, Easter Fiday and Easter Saturday. You might see hundreds of small churches in the Greek islands , but most of them are closed or they function as museums.  In other words the majority of modern Greeks are not depending by the religion and the church like their grand parents use to.

WHAT ARE THE MOST POPULAR ISLANDS IN GREECE ?

The question of what are the most popular islands in Greece is a matter of worldwide advertisment but perhaps a matter of taste. There are over 200 hundred inhabitent islands in Greece, each one of them has its own charm and beauty. But there are many difference among several Greek islands like the Ionian are much different from the Aegean islands in matters of Architecture and culture. The Cyclades are different from the Sporades and the Dodecanese and so on.

The Greek island’s culture was effected by the occupants they had through the ages. The Ionian islands where never occupied by the Ottomans therefore they kept a more western European style since they were occupied by the Venetians and later by the British. The Dodecanese were affected by the Italians who occupied them from 1913 – 1943 leaving behind them wonderful mansions, roads and other infrastructure that still exists today especially in the islands of Rhodes, Kos and Leros.

GREEK RELIGIUS CULTURE

At a baptism the whole child, who usually is around a year old, is put under water and Greek parents do not call their child by its name until it has been christened.

Each day of the year is also a saints day, and therefore all orthodox prefer to celebrate their name days since most of them have saints names. like, Maria, Iohannis, George, Anna, Nikolaos etc..

The most important days of the year Easter, 15 August, the day of the Assumption of the Virgin. Many miracles are believed to happen that day, and pilgrims travel to monasteries and churches on that day especially. The most famous place is the island of Tinos, which can be compared to the Catholics Lourdes.

WHY THE TRUNKS OF SOME TREES IN GREECE ARE PAINTED WITH WHITE PAINT

Painting the trunk of the tree with white paint is the painting of the trunk with a solution of lime with water or with a latex solution of white colour to protect the bark of the trees that are barked by insects, hares, and various rodents during the winter.
Planting of tree trunks is still practiced in many parts of the world, as a practice inherited from growing fruit in cold areas, where it can thus help newly planted, grafted or pruned trees to protect them from sudden temperature changes in late autumn and winter. Because temperature changes can cause damage to parts of the trunk and specifically to the layer between the wood and the bark

 

WHAT IS THE MOST POPULAR COFFEE IN GREECE ?

This is a kind of tricky question….most Greeks like the traditional good old Greek coffee…but in the last 30 years that fashion has changed. Among the top ten kind of coffees that the modern Greek prefer,  is the so called “Cafe Frappe” (shaken instand coffee with ice ) , followed by Cappuccino, Latte and the good old “Gallikos me gala”  ( filter coffee with milk ) and Espresso.