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Greek Modern Day Life

Updated on May 15, 2013


Greece today!

Many many have a concrete idea about ancient Greece and the ancient Greek civilization. But way about modern Greece?

It's seldom that people confuse facts, ideas, or even fantasies of theirs about the ancient Greeks, with the life of modern Greeks. Particularly many may wonder which is the popular religion in modern Greece ( the answer ain't Zeus and the other ancient Greek Gods). Other might not know much about the food in Greece today or may wonder about the architecture of the buildings of the Greek cities, the clothing of Greeks, their customs and generally their daily life.

This is the reason I have created this lens. To shade some light on how Greece of the 21st century looks like. Modules are added constantly for the expansion of this lens, which hope to create a more clear image of modern Greece, still comparing it to ancient Greece.

Test your knowledge by taking part in the fresh Greek Quiz. How well do you know the modern day Greece?

If you have a question that is not answered in this lens - yet! - , move to the the Questions & Answers section and submit it!

modern day athens - Syntagma square with Greek Parliament
modern day athens - Syntagma square with Greek Parliament

Athens Squares

Athens today

In the capital of modern Greece, Athens, one may find numerous completely different areas in the city center. Characteristic of all of them is that each different districts has a square.

Syntagma Square( meaning literary Constitution Square is the most central one, just opposite of the Greek Parliament.

Others though consider Omonia Square the most central location in Athens. Omonia resembles more to the commercial center of the city. Around this square there are many hotels of all types and categories from the Athens' guests.

Another square in Athens centre is Kolokotroni Square, named after a hero of the Greek Revolution of 19821. Apart from a statue of Kolokotronis on this square one will find the old Parliament, which is operating today as a historical museum. It is worth visiting the Athens old Parliament and discover bits of modern history of Greece.

Few other central squares are Avissinias Square and Klathmonos Square, each of which has got its name due to its very special history.

The picture above depicts the Greek Parliament as seen from the famous Syntagma Square

modern day greeks - famous greek people: Elena Paparizou
modern day greeks - famous greek people: Elena Paparizou

Modern Day Greeks

or how Greek men and women look like today

There are people living in Greece that believe that are directly related to the ancient Greeks, and by saying ancient Greeks, I mean the most famous ones, Socrates, Plato, Aristoteles, Pericles etc.

If you think carefully there is nothing but a fantastical connection between the ancient Greeks and the modern ones...which is still surviving.

So, lets stick for a while to modern Greeks: many people from all over the world tend to believe that modern Greeks are are just like ancient Greek people.Well the truth might be disappointing.

Modern Greeks look like the rest modern Europeans! You'll find no Vicking in Scandinavia and no Spartan soldier in Greece.

Greeks wear the same clothes as the rest Europeans and have similar habits and lifestyle.

So if you are traveling to Greece in search of people wearing sandals, white tunics and golden wreaths, you won't be able to find them!

There are many Department Stores in Athens and elsewhere, selling modern clothes to modern people. :-)

The picture depicts a famous modern Greek singer, Elena Paparizou, so that everyone can understand how people in Greece dress and look like.

greek alphabet - greek alphabet letters & symbols
greek alphabet - greek alphabet letters & symbols

Greek Alphabet

alpha beta gamma delta...sounds greek?

Greek alphabet consists of 24 letters. Modern Greek language has is roots to the ancient Greek, therefore most of the letters of the alphabet used in antiquity still survive and are used today by modern Greeks. It needs to be mentioned that only in Greece and Cyprus you can find the Greek alphabet in use. So back to the historical facts: Greek alphabet descended from the alphabet of the Phoenician civilization. Ancient Greeks enriched the Phoenician alphabet with vowels (and it was the first language to include letters for vowels). So today you will find 6 vowels in the Greek alphabet and 18 consonants.

Do the Greek letters seem familiar to you, but you cannot understand why? To answer to that question: Greek symbols are traditionally used as names in mathematics, physics and other sciences...


α alpha *, β beta, γ gamma, δ delta, ε elpsilon*, ζ zeta,η eta*, θ theta, ι iota*

κ kapa, λ lambda, μ mu,ν nu, ξ xi,o omicron*, π pi, ρ rho, σ sigma, τ tau,

υ upsilon*, χ phi, χ chi, ψ psi, ω omega*

* these are the vowels that if combined create seven different diphthongs

athens modern culture - open air cinemas
athens modern culture - open air cinemas

Open Air Cinemas

A summer tradition and THE place to start your evening out, open air cinemas show the previous winter's hits in a friendly atmosphere. The screen looms above an area filled with tables and chairs, where spectators can have a drink while watching the film, which always has an interval!

greek traditional food - greek gyros - greek souvlaki
greek traditional food - greek gyros - greek souvlaki

Souvlaki VS Gourmet Food

traditional vs modern

You might have heard of soulvaki, and in case you have visited Greece you definitely would have tasted one of the pita with gyro.

For those who don't know what a souvlaki is, i would say it's the Greek fast food.

Everywhere in Greek towns, from Athens to remote villages you will find a place to buy a souvlaki.

But Greek cuisine isn't just souvlaki

You can also find, especially in Athens, many great gourmet restaurants, other serving fusion cuisine, others French or Mediterranean plates, all well taken care after.

So if you want to taste both, there is list of traditional restaurants and one of modern to guide you:

Souvlaki VS Gourmet Restaurants

The picture depicts two souvlakia

temples in modern greece - religion in greece today
temples in modern greece - religion in greece today

Religion in Greece

Zeus, Hera, Apollo, Athena, Aphrodite....the ancient 12 Greek gods, were very popular in the ancient world. Are they in modern Greece too?

Well, the ancient Greek religion does not have many supporters left in Greece today.

The majority of Greeks are Christians, and more specifically are members of the Greek Orthodox Church. There is also a percentage of Muslims, mostly in northeastern regions of Greece, Roman Catholics and Jews.

Greek orthodox churches' architecture dates back to the ages of the Byzantine empire.

modern greek culture - evil eye superstition
modern greek culture - evil eye superstition

Popular Superstitions

The evil eye

The legacy of centuries of Ottoman invasion, the mati (literally the "eye") borders on the obsessive among the Greeks, who live in constant fear of becoming matiasmeni (being hot by the evil eye). People suffering from flu, nausea or colds, in particular often say they are matiasmeni. And so, to ward off any malediction they carry a small glass eye set in turquoise blue.

Modern Greece

Learn modern greece

Map of modern Greece

Map of modern Greece
Map of modern Greece

Greece Poll

Would you like to visit Greece?

See results

Modern Greece vs Ancient Greece

The question is simple:

Do you prefer ancient or modern Greece?

Your Greek knowledge revealed

What was your score?

See results

You in Athens

People from all over the world, who visited Athens in May 2010, talk about there experience. Enjoy the video.

Books & Guides on Greece - modern greece

leave here your views & reviews

Greece Guidelines - moder greece

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    • primarolia profile image

      primarolia 4 years ago

      Everything fine, but Greeks don't look and dress like Paparizou!

    • profile image

      othellos 5 years ago

      Very good and educational lens on modern Greece. Maybe you need a little update on the quiz (i.e. prime minister). Thanks for sharing:)

    • profile image

      MasterDripper 5 years ago

      I love everything about Greece...perhaps because I am Greek )

    • MikeRobbers LM profile image

      MikeRobbers LM 5 years ago

      Great lens!

    • profile image

      henrenzhenh 5 years ago

      Nice post. Hope you could also go to our website:

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      There are some errors in your quiz.

      Greece joined the European Union on January 1st 1981.

      Limassol IS a Greek city,Cypriots are Greeks too (one nation two states)

      and there are a few thousand Greeks who still believe in the Olympians gods.

      Dodecatheism is the fastest growing religion in Greece today.

    • puppyprints profile image

      puppyprints 5 years ago

      Greece seems to be a very beautiful place..... and I do like gyros!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I really want to visit Greece. i am a quarter Greek. I'm tired of how living in America gives people these false ideas of places and how it swirls places together and what not. I want to travle the world. It would be so awesome to witness the cultures firsthand.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Greece is a lovely place with rich history and culture. Paphos Properties

    • rosytaylor profile image

      rosytaylor 6 years ago

      Hi! This is an amazing and Awesome lens and very informative too. Nicely done, Keep up your great work!

    • pimbels lm profile image

      pimbels lm 6 years ago

      Great lens, would love to visit someday.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      @Pete Schultz: it really was wasn't it?

    • profile image

      achilles644 7 years ago

      amazing lens. there's a lot of things changed due to the growth of advanced technologies. ancient Greece was not excluded from that. the food, clothes and the building architectures shows you the major differences comparing the ancient and the modern Greece. even though the ancient Greece fashion is a followable thing nowadays by most of us.-greek hoodies

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      i spent 2 weeks there. It was gorgeous i got to work on my tan in the amazing beaches i actually just came back 1 week ago....... still exhausted gettin back to the same was amazing......beaches were beatiful!........and the clothing there was a little different but some of it was the same here.......... i do perfer beatuful places like the caribean but this was a trip of a lifetime for a 21 year old! As a girl the shopping was amazing!

    • profile image

      Pete Schultz 7 years ago

      fun to read, and educational too. I enjoyed the quick trip to greece...but felt I could have spent more time on sun drenched beaches beside azure waters. Oh well.

    • Blackspaniel1 profile image

      Blackspaniel1 7 years ago

      Great Lens

    • ClassyGals profile image

      Cynthia Davis 7 years ago from Pittsburgh

      Fascinating lens on modern Greece!

    • ClassyGals profile image

      Cynthia Davis 7 years ago from Pittsburgh

      Fascinating lens on modern Greece!

    • mehulsey lm profile image

      mehulsey lm 7 years ago

      great lens! i have a lot to learn!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Nice work, informative lens about Greece. Learned some new stuff today!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Very good lens on Greece. Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

    • NoYouAreNot profile image

      NoYouAreNot 7 years ago

      Well. thanks for tolerating me! :-)) I didn't want to be offensive in any way; it's just that I am fed up with this "bouzoukia" stuff. Btw, there are some really great composers in that music genre, but unfortunately they mostly belong to the past.

    • isabella lm profile image

      isabella lm 7 years ago

      @NoYouAreNot: You are right - I'll correct the quiz immediately.

    • NoYouAreNot profile image

      NoYouAreNot 7 years ago

      To be fair, it's a very nice lens! I think I will recommend it or feature it or whatever-one-can-do in my future lenses about Greece. One thing though: I to-tal-ly h.a.t.e. it when "bouzoukia" is suggested as the representative kind of greek music. There are so many traditional and modern or not-so-modern styles of music to be explored -- but that's what "Zorbas" brought about! Ugh!

    • NoYouAreNot profile image

      NoYouAreNot 7 years ago

      Regarding the SquidQuiz: Actually, 1821 was the date of the uprising against the Ottoman Empire, which after years of bloodshed led to the signing of the London Protocol in 1830, by which the modern Greek state was founded.

    • isabella lm profile image

      isabella lm 7 years ago

      @WorldVisionary: Thank you!

    • isabella lm profile image

      isabella lm 7 years ago

      @WorldVisionary: Thank you!

    • profile image

      WorldVisionary 7 years ago

      Fantastic lens, and loved the quiz!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Thanks fpr the great lense. We will soon launch an online travel magazine and maybe you could contribute to it.

    • isabella lm profile image

      isabella lm 7 years ago

      @julieannbrady: I am glad you had a good time.

      The weather also is good, we are having a hot November!

      I'll check out the pics

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 7 years ago

      Well ... do you know that I just got back from Greece? On Sunday! Visited Athens and Crete for nearly 12 days -- got my pictures uploaded to flickr this morning. What a time! Saw a lot of sights -- loved the mousaka, souvlaki, cheese pie and FRAPPES!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Great lens. I didn't do very well, but I have longed to stay a few months in Greece. I don't think that would be enough. Thank you for sharing this.

    • emmaklarkins profile image

      emmaklarkins 7 years ago

      Blessed by a Squidoo Angel!

    • WorldVisionary3 profile image

      WorldVisionary3 7 years ago

      I would definitely love to see Greece someday!

    • isabella lm profile image

      isabella lm 7 years ago

      That sounds very nice Incooper529. Which places did you visit? What was the most impressive site you have seen in Greece?

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      i went to greece last may/june (2009) for our 5 year wedding anniversary. i was there almost 3 weeks and couldve stayed 3 years! i loved it and can't wait to go back. possibly next summer. the most amazing place ive been!

    • profile image

      GrowWear 7 years ago

      Hope to one day be steeped in the surroundings of Greece.

    • Bradshaw LM profile image

      Bradshaw LM 7 years ago

      I haven't had the opportunity to go to Greec (yet), but someday - hopefully soon. A beautiful country rich in history and scenery.

    • profile image

      achang1 7 years ago

      Greece is one of the best place to visit, especially during special occasions like wedding, anniversary, birthdays and more.


      Best Modern Furnitures

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      @chloemurray lm: me too

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Modern Greece has so much to offer to its tourists.

      Thanks for sharing

    • Louis Wery profile image

      Louis Wery 8 years ago from Sarasota, Florida USA

      Thanks for bringing me up to date about modern life in Greece.

    • emmaklarkins profile image

      emmaklarkins 8 years ago

      Great lens! Lensrolled to my lens about Traditional Greek Easter!

    • profile image

      erikusik 8 years ago

      Thanks for interesting information!

    • chloemurray lm profile image

      chloemurray lm 8 years ago

      Wow! Interesting... very interesting... I would love to visit Greece someday.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      @anonymous: you must come from naxsos

    • AppalachianCoun profile image

      AppalachianCoun 8 years ago

      Fantastic lens. We want to go there some day. 5 stars*****

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Nice article... However, there is a few mistakes.

      The evil eye, was not passed down by the Ottomans, it was in fact a superstition found all over the ancient mediterrenean basin (not only Greece), it was used in front of ancient greek navy ships, many ancient Greek, Pheonician statues and frescos, a thousand years before the Ottomans.

      Also the people of ancient Greece did not look like the ancient Greek statues The statues were ment to portay the ideal human. Ancient Greeks looked like modern day mediterranean people. Modern day Greeks are for the most part direct descendants of the Byzantine Greeks who were themselves the heirs of ancient Greece. Ancient Greeks, like many other ancient civilisations, were never a pure race.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Very nice

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      I like Greece, I have been there twice

    • rane84 profile image

      rane84 9 years ago

      You made me really want to visit Greece! Thank you!

    • papawu profile image

      papawu 9 years ago

      Very nice lens. It's sad just how little I know about modern Greece. It has always been a dream to visit, but just haven't made it there, YET.

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      i love your imfo on modern day greece

    • mistyblue75605 lm profile image

      mistyblue75605 lm 9 years ago

      I love cuture. 5*'s

    • anthropos lm profile image

      Lamar Ross 9 years ago from Florida

      Thanks for joining ”Anything and Everything Travel” Group. We look forward to seeing your other travel related lenses in our group. Keep up the good work. For a categorized list of my travel lenses and other lenses see my Lensography..

    • gigifitrakis profile image

      gigifitrakis 9 years ago

      nice idea for a lens, so keep on rocking


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