1. Knowing the importance of family
Support is always offered when a member is in need, no matter the age or the distance. And we don’t just care about our immediate family. Whether it’s grandparents or aunts, uncles or cousins — we’ll look out for each other. One of the best parts of having such strong family ties? Who couldn’t love sitting round a long table, sharing homemade food with the ones they love? Thankfully, that’s a tradition that doesn’t yet seem to be disappearing.
2. Working more than any other European, and still being considered lazy
That is one weird ability! Throughout the crisis, I’ve always wondered how the “Greeks are lazy” rumor came about. Everyone I know (besides the unemployed ones, of course) works an average of 10 hours a day, every working day. Fact.
Perhaps we’ve developed the unique ability of hiding how hard we work because we want to keep our Zorba the Greek stereotype alive?
3. Creating some of the world’s greatest dishes out of the most basic ingredients
Imagine a rich, tasty meal made with the cheapest and simplest of ingredients: flour, olive oil, greens picked straight from the earth. If you need a heartier meal, just add some feta cheese and eggs. If you don’t have a garden at hand and the grocery is closed, leave the greens out.
And there you go: I already gave you three different classic recipes for traditional Greek pies. Greek cuisine is one of the most tasty, frugal cuisines around, with endless variations composed from a few simple things. We don’t need to add tons of spices or add fancy, hard-to-find ingredients to make an incredible dish. That can’t be said for some other famous cuisines…
4. Always finding reasons to celebrate
Celebrating birthdays, weddings, and New Year’s Eve isn’t enough for us. Oh no. We also looking forward to name days, saints’ days, graduations, wine festivals, tsipouro festivals, chestnut festivals… You name it, we’ll find ways to celebrate it. Nowadays, we even celebrate when we find a job.
Finding ways to come together and keeping our spirits high, no matter the hardship — that’s a pretty incredible ability, and a crucial part of what makes us Greek.
5. Always making it on time, even though we leave everything till the last minute
Planning our holidays, putting our tax declarations together, organizing the Olympic Games — no matter how big or small the project, we don’t love deadlines…but that’s okay because we’re good at sprinting toward the end! Even if we leave everything till the last minute, we’ll always be done in the nick of time. That’s just how we are.
6. Relieving headaches by taking the “evil eye” away
“Ksematiasma” — “It works, if you believe it.”
Taking the evil eye away is a special ability Greek moms have. The ritual of breaking a spell with some secret words that release the negative energy is performed with a glass of water and a drop of olive oil. While this highly “scientific” ritual is performed, moms yawn. The more they yawn, the greater the amount of evil eye was inside the poorly person. Soon after, the headache is gone… Or it works, if you believe it!
7. Seeing the future by “reading” coffee
A good cup of Greek coffee and an aunt or a grandma (or anyone into the fortune-telling method of tassology) is all that’s needed for getting to know what the future holds for you.
By drinking the coffee and turning the cup upside down, shapes and symbols are formed: “I see you passing through a big door,” “I see a crossroad on your way,” “You see the letter X here?” — these are common phrases heard through the session. And if you have your fortune read in a cozy kitchen or cute little backyard in a Greek village, that’s just all the more perfect. Greece, we love you. We really do.