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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.
This rich and tumultuous past greatly influences contemporary lifestyle, the Greek perspective on the world, Greek music, food, customs and traditions, even the way Greeks do business.
Greeks as a whole are extremely proud of their history, their cultural heritage and their contribution to literature, art, philosophy and politics.
They speak with intense passion of their country as the cradle of European civilization.
A recent study found that Greeks' pride in being Greek surpassed the ethnic satisfaction of every other European nation.
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.
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.
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.
Traditions, religion, music, language, food and drinks are the pillars of contemporary Greek culture and lifestyle, making the country an attraction point for visitors from all over the world.