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Greek Culture Essay

1124 words - 4 pages

Imagine hundreds of huge muscular men, with sweat dripping down their brown, leathery backs, as they test their strengths and skills. Thousands of years ago, the Greeks started a series of competitions that they are now famous for creating, called the Olympics. At these events Greek food , customs, courtesies, and history showed off some of the best that Greek culture and region has to offer.

To start, food is an extremely important part of Greek culture, as well as the region, because it affects everyday life. As in every culture, knowing the food eaten can help you understand the affects it has on the culture and sometimes even the region. For example, the main foods eaten in Greece are seafoods, lamb, cheeses, and olives. By studying these common foods travelers can start to envision the landscape of the region along with the wild animals and plants that call it their home. Lets start with seafood, knowing this lets people infer that Greece must be by an ocean. The prominence of lamb shows that the region is set in a mountainous area. The cheese shows that this area must be fertile enough for cows or goats to produce the cheese for consumption. As well as the olives show that this area must have a warm, mediterranean climate to produce the olives. With that background of the region, it makes sense that one of the more common meals eaten in Greece is kebabs. Which are vegetables strung on a wooden skewer or stick and then grilled over a fire. Another thing that is good to be aware of is the traditional holiday foods. In Greece when celebrating Christmas it is common to enjoy food similar americans during Thanksgiving, like turkey and stuffing. Easter however has more influences from their region, like seafood and vegetables cooked in olive oil, but similar to their american counterparts, unleavened bread is also eaten. Where on May day various kinds of pies, like meat and onions, are consumed. All of these foods give insight to the Grecian culture and the region.

When getting to any location many things will help travelers not to seem rude or offend any locals. By knowing about their customs and greetings; travelers can avoid common mistakes. No matter what culture it’s very important to know how to address someone properly. Unlike some cultures Greeks express themselves more physically than vocally. Friends and relatives will hug and kiss; Where men will slap each others backs and shoulders. ProQuest claims, “In urban areas, people do not greet strangers,they pass on the street. Villagers briefly greet passing strangers in rural areas. When getting on an elevator, one usually nods at the others present and might give a short general greeting,”(3). Being that Greeks communicate so physically it’s important to know how to understand and express yourself by using the proper gestures. For example by tilting your head backwards indicates “no,”. Another confusing communication is the smile. Americans smile when they are happy, where Greeks...

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