The Way Of Life In Greece

Greek Family Life - Courtesy Of Zorlusert (Wikimedia Commons)

When it comes to the way of life in Greece I think people have their own opinions. Would you say they are hard-working? Would you say something else?

I know only too well that a lot of people assume the way of life in Greece is easy. It is assumed a lot of the Greeks sit outside their Taverna with a Greek coffee or an Ouzo, a cigarette and generally pass the time soaking in the sun.

Well, let me tell you the truth.

This does happen, you are not wrong. However, there is also the other side to the way of life in Greece that involves a lot of hard work and many hours.

A lot of people work extremely hard to serve all you lovely people that come here for a holiday, and some of them do not have a single free day to have an hour in the sun.

And when you think the summer tourist season starts in April and finishes in November, that is a long time with little time for yourself!

So I am going to agree to disagree and say it is 50/50 when it comes to the way of life here!

Sometimes the picture painted of Greece is not fair, and it is certainly not all bad press like you see on the television!

Aside from that there are other areas of Greek life that you may find different from what you may know. Here are some insights for you!

The Working Life

I think we are all fully aware that the overall state of Greece’s finances are far from good. Although you do not notice it when you visit the islands, underneath there is a lot of struggling to make ends meet at the moment.

Now I do not want to start talking about governments and policies on this website,

Aegean Airways - The Way Of Life In Greece

Aegean Airways – Courtesy Of Magnus Manske (Wikimedia Commons)

this is a place for escape and fun, but you should know that most of the money that comes into Greece is from tourism.

Also, there are other well-known names when it comes to businesses such as Blue Star Ferries and Aegean/Olympic Airways. Also, the supply of Olives, Olive Oil, Ouzo and various cheeses which are very traditional, make a big hit with the tourism and generate a lot of money. But as you can see, it all comes back to tourism.

Without the lovely people visiting us here in Greece there would be no chance of survival in my opinion.

As I said above, some people can see the Greek working life as very carefree. There is little going on in the way of being stressed out as a worker and most of the government filled positions require an 8-hour day.

To make you laugh I have a perfect example of this.

My Experience

About 3 weeks ago, I had some papers to fix here in Rhodes Town. It was for my tax and other related papers. I waited 3 hours to be seen even though there were only 20 people in front of me.

5 people working, 3 of them went outside for a cigarette while we were all waiting.

As I sat at the desk (after waiting 3 hours) someone came in, and the lady that was seeing me walked away and went to have a conversation and a good old laugh for 20 minutes while I sat there like a lemon.

This is the kind of example when people rightly think ‘lazy and casual’

I can think of stronger words, but this is not the time or place 🙂

On The Flip Side

There are also the people that work a lot like I said before. The people that work in tourism.

These people work hard and long hours. The chefs that work in 45 degrees heat so we can enjoy the beautiful traditional Greek food.

The people working 15 and 16 hour days in the Rent A Car business to serve us when and where we need.

The waiters and the staff in the hotels that run around after us all 24 hours a day to make sure everything is in order and clean.

What about the people that work in the airport making sure every person gets to get where they want to go, no matter what time you arrive?

What about the shop owners who are open from 7 am until 12 midnight to make sure they provide a quality service?

You see there is also a lot that goes on in the way of solid work, but can be easily taken for granted and overlooked.

There is another side to working in Rhodes except tourism. ==>More Here<== 

Rhodes Workers - The Way Of Life In Greece

Those Hard At Work

Greek Families and Family Life

Greek families as a rule are very tight-knit and they really do look after one another.

It is something that is important from a young age and you will find most of the time that family always comes first.

In the past it has been known for a man and wife to have 4 or even sometimes 5 children, but nowadays this trait seems to have slowed down. It is more common now to have a couple of children only, so families have reduced in size over the last years.

A lot of this has come about to a drastic increase on the price of living these days, and now to have 4 or 5 children is not feasible.

After saying that, family life in Greece is both loyal and traditional. A lot of the time you will see children growing up into adulthood and still living with their parents. One fried of mine is in his 40s and he still lives at home with his parents.

Again this is because of financial difficulties here in Greece and it is hard to get started on your own these days.

It is also common for families to all live together, so seeing parents, grandparents and children all living under the same roof is common. Aside from the financial side of things, families stick together in Greece. A lot of the time the children will live with

their parents in the family home until they are married (and sometimes beyond).

It is also very rare to have children until you are married. The law in Greece actually

Greek Family Life - The Way Of Life In Greece

Greek Family Life – Courtesy Of Zorlusert (Wikimedia Commons)

does not allow you to register yourself as a family unless you are married.

In the past it was almost unheard of to have a single parent, although nowadays this is on the rise.

When all said and done, the bond between families here is really solid, and I personally love the way they all come together to make things work.

Difference In Family Generations

Where the older generation of Greek people tend to stay in the old set ways of life,

the younger generation are slowly adapting to the western way of life.

Whereas the older generation of people are used to the family having dinner together for example in the traditional way, the young prefer to go with friends and eat McDonalds or Burger King. This is not always looked on well by the parents and grandparents as they believe they should be following the family traditions.

Another example of this is money. The older people like to make sure the house is in order with food on the table and the bills paid. The younger generation prefer to be seen with the latest cellphone and sporting the latest fashions.

Some may say there are two cultures developing now in Greece with the younger folk happy to follow the more common western way of life.

Conclusion

So what are your thoughts on the Greek way of life? Do you think you would be able to adapt to it. Some find it hard, some find it rewarding. Which one are you?

I would love to hear what you think. Just leave me a comment below if you have something to share!

Thanks

Chris

Click Below And Learn More About Greek Customs And Culture.

Chris Towers
Hi there, I am Chris and I live on The Island Of Rhodes In Greece. I am more than happy to assist you in anyway possible if you are looking for information or help on this amazing Greek Island.

Feel free to leave me a message if you have any questions or need advice!

Hey, maybe you have visited this beautiful place yourself and you have something you want to share?

I look forward to hearing from all of you.

28 comments on “The Way Of Life In Greece

  1. Hi Chris,

    Thanks for the great article, it will really help me in my decision to go to Greece or not.

    I’m thinking about doing an internship in Greece, do you recommend this or do you think there aren’t enough commercial companies to join for an internship over there?

    Levi

    • Chris Towers Post author

      Hey Levi and thanks for passing by.

      I am pleased you are thinking of coming to Greece of course but as far as internships go I will be honest and say I am not sure.

      What skills are you looking to use or learn? What kind of internship are you thinking about?

      I am sure you will find internships a lot more difficult to come by in Greece in comparison to other countries, but that does not mean you cannot do it.

      Do me a favor, send me a message through the contact me page of this site. Tell me a little more on your goals/skill set and which location you are thinking of in Greece.

      From there I will happily make some inquiries for you and seek to provide you with some options.

      I will wait for your message!

      Thanks

      Chris

  2. Nice article.

    I have never really thought of Greeks being lazy. Probably because of all the mythology I have read.

    To me, it seems the Greeks are very busy people. Although I have to say, eating outside while watching tourists or people go by would be fun,

    You make the place sound so relaxing and comfortable. I think it would be a fun place to visit one day.

    • Chris Towers Post author

      Hi Jagi thanks for passing by and leaving your opinion!

      Yeah, I have to admit that the Greek culture can lead different people to have different thoughts.

      I have one friend in England, and when I was there some months ago, he said to me that life must be good for me in Rhodes, sat on the beach everyday, little to do, just to soak in the sun.

      I asked him what the hell he was talking about. i was working in tourism too at the time, and i was doing a lot more work that he was back in England 🙂

      People have their own impressions, and usually the negative impressions are from the people who have never been to Greece, but see only the bad press.

      As far as i am concerned, when it comes to working, they are available. They do their best. When the time comes to relax with an Ouzo and take a little sun, they do it.

      We can’t blame then for that can we? 🙂

      Thanks

      Chris

  3. I really enjoyed your little story about waiting in line! I can only imagine how well that would have gone over in some other fast paced countries! 🙂

    I had no idea that Greeks relied so highly on tourism to help their businesses.

    Interesting that families are so close knit. Would you say the same applies to friendships?

    • Chris Towers Post author

      Hey Bret thanks for getting in touch!

      Yes waiting in line here can be somewhat frustrating sometimes and a lot of people are prone to pushing in too. It can be frustrating. It does lead to a lot of fighting and arguing sometimes, which in someways can break up the boring wait 🙂 I am sure it happens on other countries too, but I have never seen anything like it here 🙂

      As for the tourism yes, it is the major driving force for business in Greece, and without it, there would be little in the way of anything else when it comes to employment. It is just the way it is here!

      Also for the families, it is of major importance to the Greeks, and that goes for friendships too. A lot of the time close friends are considered to be part of the family, which in itself is a very nice way to do things.

      It is one of the reasons I love it here 🙂

      Thanks

      Chris

  4. Hey Chris this is another great article.

    Its probably because I’ve visited this fascinating country that helps me read your blog and relate even in a little way.

    I found that the Greek people are hardworking and industrious despite the general cliche of Greece being a nation of people relaxing outside taverns and such.

    • Chris Towers Post author

      Hey Keith, how are you? I hope you are well. Thanks for visiting again!

      Yes, is my answer 🙂 although you did not ask a question! YES because I agree with you.

      The opinions of many do seem to dominate areas such as the press and television these days and the picture painted of Greece is not always a pretty one.

      Although the information on my website here is not aimed at politics (and it never will be) sometimes the bad press can affect peoples decisions to visit.

      The Greeks are very hard working in general, and a lot of the time it seems to be taken for granted.

      I for one am glad you have visited to make up your own mind, and have not needed to rely on others to make your decision about this amazing country.

      More people like you Keith and there would not be half of the problems 🙂 99% of the bad talk comes from people that have never even been here!

      Thanks again, and come back soon 🙂

      Chris

  5. Madelaine

    Hey Chris!

    What a great article on Greece! I have always fantasized about visiting Greece, though I wouldn’t want to live there because my family is in America!

    Yes, the economy too would hold me back from actually living there. I like to stay financially secure myself. I’m not much of a risk taker anymore. I could adapt to it if I had too though!

    I love that the Greeks are still attempting to hold onto those good traditions! It’s a shame that the younger generation is pulling away from that, but it’s the same all over! what can you do?

    As for me and my house, we will stay old fashioned! Aha.

    Yours

    Madelaine

    • Chris Towers Post author

      Madelaine hey 🙂 Thanks for passing by and letting me know your thoughts on this.

      You know, I was the same when I first decided to lift and move away from my roots. I am sure i have mentioned this in my site somewhere, that I do feel lucky to be here.

      I also have family back in the UK, and although we miss each other, they have always taught me to live my life to the full and be happy.

      It is hard though don’t you think? Life sometimes takes you on a course that is hard to get off. OK if you are rich you have more scope, but for the average person we have to play the cards we are dealt.

      If you have children and a family life it is not always the right thing to do. Uplifting everyone and taking a chance, well – it can be a big risk!

      I was presented the opportunity, and I took it. I did not have anything to lose.

      But hey, you have your ways and lives too. Houses and families are not something you take chances on!

      BUT YOU CAN MAKE HOLIDAYS 🙂 haha

      Thanks for your comment Madelaine, I really appreciate it!

      Chris

  6. I spent a month in Athens last summer. I worked there as a model and realized how the economy effects the lack of jobs and low payment.

    I really love the city, the food, and the landscapes. I felt so lucky to be able to stroll around every day, and enjoy the street restaurants and cafes, cheap delicious foods and wine.

    Even though there is a lot of tourism in Athens, there was more in the way of locals than tourists even though it was a middle of July!

    It made me feel like i’m actually experiencing the authentic Greece, not the tourist attraction.

    I was lucky to have a local friend there too to show me around places I would never end up going by myself.

    I definetly want to go back to Greece and visit the islands.

    • Chris Towers Post author

      Hi there Helmi and thanks so much for sharing your experience here.

      I have also been to Athens and it really is the most amazing place isn’t it 🙂 I also enjoyed the restaurants and attractions when I was there, and it is certainly a city I would go back to without question.

      You had the best experience too when it comes to having a friend there that knows the ins and outs of the area. In this way you are sure to see the places off the beaten track, and most probably places which are overlooked by a lot of people during their visit.

      Although the city of Athens really is amazing, the islands also have a really special feeling to offer. So if you get the opportunity to visit Greece again, the islands are a must. Rhodes for sure 🙂

      Thanks again Helmi, I appreciate your visit and your story!

      Chris

  7. Hey Chris,

    Thanks for an interesting insight.

    I’ve never been to Greece, but judging from what I have heard and from what you have written, it’s an ideal place for those who don’t like to hurry and get stressed about things that are not essential in life.

    I really like Greeks’ attitude towards life!

    • Chris Towers Post author

      Hi Marta, I hope you are doing fine.

      Well, yes – but this can be looked at in different ways.

      Firstly I am with you, I love the mentality the Greek people have. They let life go ahead, and the deal with things as much as they please. Sometimes it is hard to get things done here because it can be quite relaxed.

      On the other side, it can seem that it is a lazy society, and nothing moves forward, hence the problems the country has at the moment.

      There is always tomorrow with the Greeks, which can be infuriating when you are not used to it.

      Personally, after all the years of living here, I really accept what they are like, and I love it now!

      For sure people get stressed, but this is dealt with very quickly by saying.. aahhh tomorrow 🙂

      Thanks Marta

      Chris

  8. You have a very interesting and informative site and I enjoyed reading about life in Greece.

    I’m new at this internet stuff so I probably won’t have much say. 

    It sure seems like Greece is becoming very much like America and though some of it is good, some is not. I hope you all can maintain some of the old ways of Greece and yet enjoy some new ways.

    I would love to have seen a few more pictures to show some of the terrain and culture.

    God bless you,

    Dave

    • Chris Towers Post author

      Hey there Dave, thanks so much for getting in contact. Do not worry if you are not used to this ‘internet stuff’, you did just fine 🙂

      Well, what to say about comparisons. Yes, the Greeks have adopted some of the ways of the western world. There is a lot going on now which would be taken as standard. You can come here, you can shop, use an internet cafe, eat, drink, relax and go about your business as you are accustomed to without feeling out of place.

      While this is great, the Greek people still have a great sense of pride in their country, their beliefs and standards.

      I would say a lot of the younger generation have adopted the ways of the western world more-so than the older generation. Over time, things have changed and their is a different mindset. Sometimes this can cause conflict in families. In general though, most people get on with their lives quite peacefully and embrace what life offers them!

      Thanks for your interest in seeing more in the way of images on the site too. I am in the process of creating a lot more material, and this will incorporate more photographs too. Coming soon I promise!

      Thanks Dave, it is nice to meet you.

      Chris

  9. Matt's Mom

    I have always wanted to go to Greece. One of those places on my bucket list that I plan on doing. 

    I like the fact that family comes first, and this is a good thing I think. It says a lot about the Greek people. I think that I could easily live the Greek way of life. 

    I don’t mind a long hard day at work, beats sitting at home doing nothing. And nothing is more important than family!

    • Chris Towers Post author

      Hey Leahrae.

      I really love the Greek way of life I must admit. I like the fact they hold their families and traditions/culture close to their hearts. Your right, it says a lot of about them. They are a decent race of people, with honor and respect, and in return I respect them for that!

      Rhodes (and Greece in general) is a wonderful place to visit. Once you come, you never want to leave. That is exactly what happened to me.

      I also know hundreds of people that come back year after year. They love it so much, and some people consider it a second home. Hey, some people even end up retiring here and settling down 🙂

      Never say never Leahrae 🙂 Let’s hope you get here soon!

      Thanks

      Chris

  10. I really liked your article on the way of life in Greece. I have always been interested in the culture, but this has given me more of an insight to the people. I am definitely going to add this trip to my bucket list so I can check it out for myself . Thanks for sharing.

    • Chris Towers Post author

      Hey there Corrine, thanks for passing by.

      Yes the Greek way of life is something quite special I can tell you.

      After living here I have come to understand appreciate the way Greeks do things. Some people may not agree with me, but after being brought up in a big city in the UK, the pace is a lot different here from what I was used to.

      I like the approach the Greek people have towards life. Sometimes they can lack a little urgency, and lots of things can wait until tomorrow, but once you are used to it, you find yourself doing things the same way.

      The life is is hard sometimes. It is of course hard at the moment when you look at the financial difficulties, and the summer seasons can be testing as there is little in the way of free time, but when it is time to down tools, the Greeks do it the best 🙂

      Make sure you get over here and experience it for yourself. You will love it 🙂

      Thanks Corrine, and really nice to meet you.

      Chris

  11. I really appreciate the insight on an actual living situation of a Greek resident. 

    I never thought about the work that must go into providing a good experience for their tourists. Although the people work longer hours (in some cases), do the people enjoy their life there? 

    I once read that if you do what you love you will never work a day in your life. I think it might apply in this situation.

    • Chris Towers Post author

      Hey Edmundo, great question and thanks for asking.

      Well, I guess work is work isn’t it? I guess where ever you go in the world there will be people who are not completely satisfied with their working life.

      The difference here is that the people do not let it show. Days and nights can be hard in the summer, but it is understood that it is not the fault of the tourists. Let’s face it, if it was not for the tourist industry, Greece would have some serious problems ahead!

      The people that work here always try to have a good time. They aim to please and make people smile and this lifts the spirits for everyone.

      Overall I would say most people enjoy their work here. It is not like a 9 to  5 job at all, and when you are working with tourists, they are in a good mood because they are on holiday, and this reflects on the working people.

      Overall, the atmosphere is great.

      As for the quote “if you do what you love you will never work a day in your life”, I know what you mean. However 🙂 when you are working many hours with pressure and in 40 degrees Celsius heat, you know you are working 🙂

      Thanks for getting in touch Edmundo, and if you need more just let me know 🙂

      Chris

  12. This was a very entertaining article. I was born in eastern Europe so I’m familiar with the way of life you are describing lol. It is definitely a slower paced kind of life.

    While Greece had some rough times I hope to see it recover, and if tourism is the way to do it maybe one day I will contribute. I heard great things and would love to visit.

    Andy

    • Chris Towers Post author

      Hi there Andy and thanks so much for getting in touch!

      Where are you from Originally? I am from the UK, and for me the pace here was quite a shock at first. On saying that, I am not complaining now, I love it here 🙂

      Yes, Greece has had a rough time of late, and is still having a rough time to be fair, but hey – This is the life (as the Greeks would say). I am hoping too that it recovers. There is a lot of bad press that it put out globally and it paints a bad picture of the country. So much so that people are frightened to come.

      The tourist figures have been down compared to the past, so I am hoping too that it will recover.

      The more people that can come to enjoy this amazing place the better. The way of life here is quite different, but should be experienced by everyone!

      Thanks again Andy. Happy to hear from you.

      Chris

  13. Tish Travels

    Hi Chris

    Thanks for the inside look at Greece and Rhodes. I’m planning an adventure overseas from the U.S. in the near future and I’ve considered Greece as an option.

    I love to immerse myself in new cultures and Greece certainly seems interesting. As a person that’s ALWAYS in a rush, I appreciate the warning about the slow and relaxed way of life there. I definitely want to be in the right frame of mind before I enter into any offices.

    I have one question, do you think Rhodes would be a good budget travel destination?

    • Chris Towers Post author

      Hey there, nice to hear from you.

      It is great that you are considering coming to Greece for your overseas adventure.

      Seriously though, you need to slow down your pace 🙂 I know what you mean though, I am originally from the UK, and I always remember the pace. Running all the day and achieving very little! I do not miss it!

      The way of life here in Greece (and certainly Rhodes) can be quite relaxed. The people that live and work here do so with a lot of effort in the summer time, but as a rule, they are quite nonchalant. So, slow down before you come 🙂

      As for visiting Rhodes and Greece as a whole, the prices are pretty average in comparison to other places. Of course with the debt issues Greece has, prices have gone up in many areas. For a vacation though, you do not need to overspend.

      Hope this helps you out!

      Thanks

      Chris

  14. I love this! This article is exactly what I expected. 

    I had a Greek roommate and she was a very very hard worker who never complained, and would work more if she had to. 

    She was very family oriented and wholehearted. She described Greece as you did and that’s why I was curios to read it. 

    Thanks for showing others the Greek way of life!

    • Chris Towers Post author

      Thanks Traci.

      Having a Greek roommate would have given you an insight into the Greek way of life.

      They are very family orientated for sure, and I like that about them. There are a lot of them that will break their backs working too. Most of them are always available to work hard, and they will do more than what is required.

      Of course you have the lazy ones too 🙂 but that is the case around the world i am sure!

      Thanks Traci, it is nice to hear from you. Happy you liked the information here.

      Chris

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