Contemporary Greek culture and traditions are very rich and diverse, reflecting Greece’s location at the crossing point where the West meets the East and the country’s great and turbulent history.The culture of Greece has evolved over thousands of years - dating from the Paleolithic era and the birth of the great Minoan, (2600-1500 BC), Mycenaean (1500-1150 BC) and Cycladic civilizations through the Classical Period (6th - 4th centuries BC) - the Golden Age, reaching great levels of prosperity that resulted in an unprecedented cultural boom, expressed in architecture, drama, science and philosophy, and nurtured in Athens under a democratic environment, through the sequence of invasions and domination: by the Macedonians, the Romans, the Byzantine Empire and the 400 years of Ottoman rule.Religion is present in the education sector, both in private and public schools, where children have compulsory religious courses and pray collectively in the morning before the start of classes.
In August 1974 Greek forces withdrew from the integrated military structure of NATO in protest against the Turkish occupation of northern Cyprus. In 1981, Greece joined the EC (now the EU) and became the 12th member of the Eurozone in 2001.
It successfully hosted the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.
In 1967, a group of military officers seized power, establishing a military dictatorship that suspended many political liberties and forced the king to flee the country.
In 1974, democratic elections and a referendum created a parliamentary republic and abolished the monarchy.
The family's prestige often rests on the woman's ability to carry out her household duties properly.
Frequent communication and assistance between the two adult generations and children and youth are also very common for Greek families.
Today the Church is more important in political, civic, and governmental affairs than in many other secular countries.
Officially, and like all over Europe, the Greek State and the Orthodox Church are separated, but this separation is not written or regulated by the Constitution and the Greek Orthodox Church has a great influence in Greek society.
Greeks define their natural and ethnic belonging through their culture and tradition.
Anyone who has seen the movie “My Big, Fat, Greek Wedding” knows this.
Younger people are not as devout church-goers as their parents and grandparents, yet most will still turn to the church for holidays or for important rituals such as weddings and funerals.