Stereotypes aren’t exactly the nicest thing in the world. Most of the time they pertain to something negative about a culture, race, or ethnicity, but there’s the odd time where they can be viewed as funny and/or innocent. The stereotypes that really suck are the ones that derive from a stigma regarding a culture’s past. These are nearly impossible to shake, as a lot of them are deeply embedded in our subconscious thanks to books, what we learned in school, society in general, and different forms of media.
Greeks, for one, are not exempt from these labels. We, like every other ethnicity in the world, have been painted with the all-too-familiar “same brush”. And how are we supposed to wash these stereotypes clean of our image? Well, it’s kind of hard, unless you’ve proven yourself to a group of friends, family, or acquaintances to be the opposite of your typical Greek.
That being said, here are some of the stereotypes often associated with being Greek. And whether you agree with them or not, deep down inside you probably can’t help but grin in approval with most of them. Here they are: Greeks are stereotyped to be…
This stereotype has some truth to it, because Greece does have a party culture. The stereotype, on the other hand, does not apply to everyone. It’s also worth noting that liking parties isn’t something that is exclusive to the Greeks. If you asked people in literally any country on Earth, “Do you like parties?” the majority of them would undoubtedly respond, “Yes.” Outside of Greece, the perception that all Greeks enjoy partying is most likely the result of a few reasons. Most tourists that arrive for vacation in Greece spend the majority of their time partying on Greek islands like Mykonos, Ios, Paros, or visit nightclubs in Athens, Thessaloniki and other mainland. They don’t get to really experience much of what everyday life is like for the vast majority of Greeks. Some Greeks do frequent ‘Bouzoukia’ which is live Greek entertainment in Athens or Thessaloniki. Much less people attend nowadays with all the Coronavirus pandemic restrictions, closures, and curfews. In their hay day, the ‘Bouzoukia’ would have thousands of dancing Greeks on tables even on weekdays!
Sorry for the visual, but it just really helps drive home the point. While hairy men (and women) exist in every culture, for some reason Greeks get a lot of flack for sporting fuzz on parts of their bodies where typically not much of it grows.
LIVING WITH THEIR PARENTS UNTIL MARRIED
This stereotype has some truth to it. Many Greeks live at home until they get married. However, we are in the 21st century and many Greek daughters and sons now move out before they marry to have their independence and privacy. Greeks have somewhat become less strict on this traditional rule now in the year 2022. That’s not to say that the majority don’t still live at home.
Why would Greeks possibly converse in a quiet manner when there’s a one-way volume button buried deep in our vocal chords? Being Greek almost always means that you love to socialize, and that of course means that you love to talk. Now that’s fine and all, except for the fact that when it happens, it’s usually done at a decible level a lot higher than your average talker. This is because Greeks don’t believe in whispering. The louder you are, the more right you are.
The older Greeks get, the more they complain of health problems. You most likely have heard an aunt or uncle, mom, or dad complaining about back problems, headache, feet hurting and other health related ailments! Greeks will often share medical history with people in conversation. One of the most hilarious MBFGW scenes is when Aunt Voula shares her “bobopsy” biopsy experience with Ian Miller’s parents! LOL!
This one is a little bit of an anomoly when it comes to Greek stereotypes, because as much as we are care free, we also don’t take shit from anybody. Case in point: the current crisis going on in Greece and the amount of protests because of it. The irony in all of it is that while (I believe) the majority of the problem is a result of incompetent governing, it also has a lot to do with the stereotypical notion that Greeks have a knack for not worrying a whole lot until it comes to crunch time. However, at the end of the day, no matter how many problems there may be, we still realize how important it is to kick back, relax, and not stress too much.
For Greeks, the only thing better than movies and soap operas are real life dramas. Actually, for many, gossiping is even considered a hobby. Of course I’m being overdramatic when I stress how much Greeks like talking about the latest in the grapevine, but that still doesn’t mean there isn’t some truth to the fact that we love knowing scoops about our neighbours, their neighbours, and their relatives neighbours.
Boy oh boy, this one isn’t even a question. Now I know that smoking is prevalent in almost every country, but if you can find me a single kid living in Greece over the age of 13 who hasn’t finished at least one pack of smokes.
According to media coverage and the thousands protesting in Greece over the last year, you would think that every Greek in Greece is a “antivaxxer”. However, according to reports, statistics show that 17% of Greeks in Greece are against getting vaccinated in 2022.
MAMMA’S BOYS & DADDY’S GIRLS
As a Greek, as soon as your gender is confirmed upon birth, you are immediately drawn to either your mother or father, and they will forever protect you from any fire-breathing dragons or other evil that the world may throw your way. If you’re a boy, mom will cook, feed, care, and clean for you until you’re well beyond your adult years and finally ready to move on. If you’re a girl, daddy will protect, provide, comfort, and love you until the first man (based on dad’s approval) sweeps you off your feet. FACTS.
Did we miss any? Let us know in the comment section below.
By – Jonathan Bliangas