Greece and “Greekness” What does it mean to be Greek?
Greece The Remains of the Past Lead to the Present
LocationAsks the geographic question: Where is it? Two ways of describing the position and distribution of people and places on Earth’s surface. • Absolute location on Earth • Relative location
39o N 22o E
How big is Greece About the size of Louisiana – 52,000 sq. miles Interesting fact: 2000 islands – 227 inhabited
Human characteristics that define a group of people. Social structure Language Beliefs Art Food Traditions Cultural MosaicWhat is Culture?
Greek Identity • Language - Greek • Religion – Greek Orthodox • Common Habits and Customs (Culture) • Hellenism -- Connection to Classic Greece (descended from Hellen, son of Deucalion)
Greece and “Greekness” What does it mean to be Greek? LANGUAGE
Language • 99% of the population speaks Greek • Greek is the official language • English is widely spoken
Greece and “Greekness” What does it mean to be Greek? RELIGION
Eastern Orthodox Church of Christ • Religion plays an important role in the everyday life of Greeks • 98% of the population Greek Orthodox
Brief Overview of Beliefs • Orthodox Christians believe in a single God who is both three and one—Triune—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, "one in essence and undivided." • Ultimate goal of the Orthodox Christian is to achieve theosis, or Union with God • Salvation, or "being saved," refers to process of being saved from the fate of separation from God. Available to all – not the same as going to Heaven. • A person does not earn entrance into Heaven • Resurrection of Christ is the most important event of the Orthodox Church
History of Greek Orthodox Church • Christianity first spread in Greek speaking half of the Roman empire. • 313 Emperor Constantine (Byzantine) ended persecution of Christians • Differences and disagreements between the two parts of the Roman Empire occurred over successive centuries. • Great Schism (break) from Roman Catholic Church (Church of the West) and Constantinople (Church of the East) in 11th Century. • Orthodox religions spread in East.
Church Services • Mostly sung or chanted • Incense – symbolizes pray rising to God
Customs Tied to Religion • Easter most important in Greek Orthodox religion • Name Day • Saints Day/Festivals • Fasting
Fasting • Regain a sense of purity • Seen as a great privilege-not a burden • Number of fast days varies from year to year but usually makes up about half the year dedicated to fasting. • Almsgiving, giving to those in need, is especially important during periods of fasting.
Common roadside memorials to a dead family member. Cemetery alters
Icons • Found in churches and homes. • Images of • Icons are typically paintings on wood, often small. • Icons are often illuminated with a candle or oil lamp • ex-voto is a votive offering to a saint or divinity -symbolize the miracle one is seeking or for which one is offering thanks
Names • Named after saints or martyrs. • Babies receive their name at baptism (usually around 12 months of age). • Naming pattern – first boy after father’s father. First girl after father’s mother. Second boy – mother's father – second girl – mother’s mother. • Days of the year dedicated to a saint or martyr. • Celebrate Name Day – more important than a birthday – on the saint day for which you’re named. • Babies and mothers usually don’t leave house for 40 days (“lehona”)
Greece and “Greekness” What does it mean to be Greek? SHARED CUSTOMS/ TRADITIONS
Greek Cultural Life Elements of Greek lifestyle • Food • Family • Fun • Customs/Traditions • City vs. Rural Lifestyle