Greek Culture

Do's and Don'ts

play_circle_filled

Do’s

  • Take the time to show some thoughtfulness and consideration into people’s lives, no matter your familiarity with them. For example, enquire about their well-being before getting to any point at hand. This is essential to fostering good relationships. It is thought to be brusque and blunt to skip small talk and immediately discuss your topic of interest.
  • Try to be open about yourself if you can. Greeks commonly share the personal details of their lives and appreciate when others do the same. They will likely ask you personal questions during casual discussion (i.e. “Are you thinking about having children?”) in an effort to get to know you.
  • If a Greek digresses from a topic, be patient and allow them to finish verbalising their thoughts before redirecting the conversation back to the point.
  • Show sympathy and solidarity if conversation turns to Greece’s economic situation. Most people will respond well to warmth.
  • Try to follow through with any verbal promise you make to a Greek. The spoken word is valued in Greek culture and people are expected to be true to what they say. Greeks with whom you have a close relationship may expect you to grant favours for them and show more loyalty to them than others. If you can, do what they ask; they will likely do the same for you in return.
  • Refer to the country of Macedonia as the “Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” (FYROM) if talking to a Greek. See more on this in 'Other Considerations' in Macedonian Culture.

 

Do not’s

  • Avoid criticising the Greek culture, people or nation. Though many Greeks openly complain about their country or lament about how it is being ‘ruined’ by the current politicians, remember that they are still very proud of their homeland and its cultural contributions to the world. Foreign criticism is unlikely to be appreciated.
  • Avoid provoking conversation about Greece’s relationship with Cyprus, Turkey or Macedonia. You cannot presume a person’s position on these affairs.
  • Never imply that the Greek people somehow deserved the financial crisis or that they caused their own economic demise. The Greek people were going about their daily lives when the economy collapsed around them outside of their immediate control. Almost everybody knows someone who has lost their job, pension or even their house if they haven’t themselves.
  • Do not suggest that Greeks are lazy. Comments implying that they do not contribute anything to the European Union can be particularly hurtful.
  • Avoid making comments that could be perceived to question someone’s integrity. Greeks tend to take personal offence to undertones of statements that suggest a person is dishonest, disingenuous or stingy.
  • Avoid drawing on ideas of ancient Greece to inform your assumptions of contemporary Greek culture. Greece is a globalised, technologically advanced country and such stereotypes are grossly misinformed.
Download this Cultural Profile
phone_iphone
Too busy to read it right now?

You can download this cultural profile in an easy-to-read PDF format that can be printed out and accessed at any time.

$9.00
Greece
  • Population
    10,768,477
    [July 2017 est.]
  • Languages
    Greek (official) (99%)
    Other (1%)
  • Religions
    Greek Orthodox Christianity [official] (98%)
    Islam (1.3%)
    Other (0.7%)
  • Ethnicities
    Greek (93%)
    Other (7%)
    [2001 census]
    Note: Greece does not collect data on the ethnic backgrounds of the population. This data represents citizenship only.
  • Cultural Dimensions
    Power Distance 60
    Individualism 35
    Masculinity 57
    Uncertainty Avoidance 100
    Long Term Orientation 45
    Indulgence 50
    What's this?
  • Australians with Greek Ancestry
    397,431 [2016 census]
Greeks in Australia
  • Population
    93,743
    [2016 census]
    This figure refers to the number of Australian residents that were born in Greece.
  • Average Age
    67
  • Gender
    Males (48.8%)
    Females (51.2%)
  • Religion
    Eastern Orthodox Christianity (93.4%)
    No Religion (1.7%)
    Jehovah's Witness (0.7%)
    Other (2.7%)
  • Ancestry
    Greek (91.3%)
    Macedonian (3.3%)
    English (0.7%)
    Other (2.2%)
  • Language Spoken at Home
    Greek (88.0%)
    English (7.4%)
    Macedonian (3.0%)
    Other (1.2%)
    Of those who speak a language other than English at home, 63.8% speak English fluently.
  • Diaspora
    Victoria (50%)
    New South Wales (31.6%)
    South Australia (9.8%)
    Queensland (3.4%)
  • Arrival to Australia
    Prior to 2001 (93.1%)
    2001-2006 (0.8%)
    2007-2011 (1.1%)
Country https://dtbhzdanf36fd.cloudfront.net/countries/239/gr.svg Flag