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“Let’s go for a coffee!”, … in Greece

Many important things can start very simple. In this case only one sentence is enough:  Πάμε για καφέ; (Shall we go for coffee? ). Because coffee in Greece is a very strong part of the country’s cultural identity. Drinking coffee in Greece is not just a break of the day. A whole ritual goes with […]

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Mani

Towers of Mani & the spirit of warriors

The towers of Mani: made of stone like the landscape, tall, with no special decorations and full of pride they stand there; they are the guards of Mani. They guard the dignity of a clan (=Patria), the tradition of hospitality, the local customs and legends. Michael Palaiologos attempted in 1415 to limit the height of […]

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Caves

Crete: the island of the hidden caves

According to the Greek Speleological Society, there are around three thousand caves scattered around Crete. Many of these caves are open to the public and they make the difference to the island’s scenery. People lived in caves thousands of years ago. But in Crete, caves were more than a natural shelter. Originally, they were used […]

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Crete

Kalami: the abandoned village of Crete

It could be a village of war-torn Syria. A village that was marked by the war and forced its inhabitants to abandon it, in order to save themselves. Although the images of the recent past come back to fill us with sadness and unanswered questions. Children running and playing carefree in the streets and men […]

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white

Greek Easter in White background!

Easter is just around the corner, just like the fever of preparations. Especially in Greece it is one of the most important celebrations of the year and is distinguished by its strong religiosity and its family character. Welcoming Easter with white colour! Because of the season, everyone is attempting a small escape to the countryside […]

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Cuckoo

Cuckoo: the winged clock of spring

The cuckoo shouted. Is spring here? The cuckoo is in Greek tradition closely related to spring, just like the swallow. Both migratory birds leave Greece when the weather cools down and return back in spring. So, their appearance marks the passage into a new era and identifies the regeneration of nature. From there, the proverbial […]

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The Greek “sea-language” / Vol 1

The most widespread Greek “sea-expressions”! Language is not static. On the contrary, it is something that evolves over time, travels with us and is influenced by our habits. It is not a set of words and rules. It is a communication code and a way of exchanging information. Of course, it is related to society, […]

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Cats-Greek

Cat language: Idioms and Phrases

They are our companions in everyday life from the past up till now. Previously they lived together with people for practical reasons. Nowadays they are part of the stressful life that the city imposes on us and they make us relaxed with their playful games. And, as it is natural after so many years of […]

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Easter

Kyra Sarakosti or Lady Lent: the peculiar Easter calendar!

“Lady Lent”, “Kyra Sarakosti” in Greek, comes with the end of the Carnival and remains until Easter. Lady Lent is a custom that one could find all over Greece and it was a peculiar calendar which was used to count down the weeks of Lent until Easter. Even though Kyra Sarakosti was almost forgotten for […]

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Exarchia

Modern Exarchia: a Do or a Don’t for the visitor?

Exarchia ….  tear gas in the air, graffiti everywhere, broken windows and some older people complaining to reporters about the lawlessness of their area. “It wasn’t always like this… they say”. The different names of Exarchia in time But what is Exarchia and what exactly happens in this small corner of the city? Where is the […]

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Greek Carnaval

The friendly ghost of Harmena comes always with Carnaval.

Traditions, ghosts and Carnaval Legends always remains a significant part of our traditional background. And even if we know that they have nothing to do with the reality, we keep them as a secret treasure. One of them is the “ghost of Harmena”  in Central Greece (in the region of Amfissa) which comes always in […]

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graffiti

The art of Graffiti from antiquity until our days

Modern cities: black and white life on a coloured background! The spirit of our times, expressed in the form of coloured shapes, images and signatures on concrete walls. Graffiti and Tags: a new form of art that has entered into our lives in recent years. Many find it unsightly. Many others again think it is an innovation. But […]

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Epirus

Epirus: Greece carved in stone.

Greece: a small country, which seems to be made of water and stone, bathing in the light of the Mediterranean sun. For sure, most of the visitors recognize it as the country of the absolute “blue”, through her beaches and her cloudless sky. Only a few know her other side: the one that experienced craftsmen […]

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christmastree-kerstboom

The Christmas Tree Story

One of the most famous Christmas traditions is the Christmas tree. Since the 20th century, it has become very popular in many city centres and stores. But how did the Christmas tree arrive till today? When and how its long history began? According to some researchers, the tradition of decorating trees or pieces of trees […]

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whistling-language

The disappearing whistling language of Greece

How well can someone know Greece? Whatever the answer is, it is sure that when in Greece one can always discover new hidden places that will surprise him. So, even if Evia is well-known, the small village of Antia remains unknown to many. But not to the linguists! Antia is hidden deep in the south-east […]

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superstitions

Arachne( =spider) : trapped in the web of the myth!

The story of the famous weaver who was transformed into an insect. Arachne, the gifted weaver. Arachne in Greek mythology was a Lydian woman highly gifted in the art of weaving. As Arachne was no ordinary weaver, very fast the news about her artistry spread far and wide and it is said that nymphs from the forests gathered around her to watch her weave. In their attempt to […]

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Greek

The hidden “Greece” of Southern Italy

    © Lato / Credit: T. Zacharis “Grico“: the Greek dialect of South Italy. How possible is to hear Greek outside of Greece? Ultimately, it seems not so unlikely! The town of Castrignano dei Greci, as its name reveals, is located in Italy, south of the city Lecce. The strange thing is that its inhabitants speak […]

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Popi's naval accident

The naval accident which changed into a daily Greek expression

“It happens(-ed) of Popi” is a common expression used primarily in Greece to describe absolute chaos, panic or a situation which has gotten out of hand.  But where did this come from? And how did a tragic event become a story?  If you want to learn more Greek, see all our courses here! The “famous” Popi! […]

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Navagio

Zakynthos: the famous Navagio & its story.

Zakynthos, the island of music, poetry, hospitality … A corner of the Ionian Sea that stands out thanks to its distinct culture and customs. That is why many gave the island the name “Florence of the East”. Its unique traditions, its uncommon tastes, its sunsets (less touristic than Santorini’ s but likewise unforgettable) and finally […]

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symbol-Vergina

The symbol of Vergina: the unknown symbolisms behind the rays of a much-discussed ‘Sun’.

The golden larnax of Vergina (Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki) Much has been written and told about the much discussed symbol of Vergina. Some call it a star, others call it a sun … The only sure thing however is that all of them are referring to the same symbol which is depicted on the golden “box” (maybe […]

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Summer solstice

The magical character of the Summer Solstice.

Saying goodbuy to June! What is the Summer Solstice? Every year on the 20th of June (or 21st) the sun is at the highest point of the sky at the northern hemisphere. That is why on that day the longest day of the year (=summer solstice) is observed – at least for the northern hemisphere-, […]

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Kalymnos-sponges

Kalymnos & the last sponge-divers of the Aegean

It belongs to the Dodecanese, it is just 20km from the Turkish coast and is known to all the mountain climbers for its mountains. It is none other than beautiful Kalymnos. The “soft gold” of Kalymnos The locals use to say “When God created the earth, He just flung a few rocks in the direction […]

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Superstitions from Greece and the whole word

Black cats and open umbrellas that bring bad luck. Βlue beads and garlic against  the evil eye … And much more! … Prejudices and superstitions that have to do with everything that surrounds us. And if you think that all these funny and absurd metaphysics concern only Greece, you are probably wrong. Superstitions are something […]

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Old Athens & its faded history

Sitting in one of the many cafes in the shadow of the once holy (now only touristic) hill of the Acropolis, we enjoy a cup of hot coffee, Greek, or one of the European styled we have grown accustomed to in recent years. In the hustle of the modern city, in an environment with old-fashioned […]

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