I subscribe to an expat newsletter published by Telegraph.Co.UK Recently they have run a series about Cultural Profiles. You only get a brief summary for free but it looks accurate--for stereotypes that is.

Any Greek readers please do not be offended. The one I read about the French is much more insulting.

National Cultural Profiles – GreeceNational Cultural Profiles are your guide to the thinking patterns of all the world's major cultures. Below is an extract from the Greece profile, please follow the link where you can subscribe to read the profile in full.

Introduction: Greece is a mountainous country and comprises a mainland and more than 400 islands, over 150 of which are inhabited.
Values and beliefs: Greek consciousness is keenly aware that the Greek city-state period laid the basis for Western European civilisation and the liberal democracies. Greeks believe strongly in their intellectual powers, intuition and sense of artistry. Self-image is of a cultural, eloquent, sophisticated European, experienced in social and commercial matters.
Concept of space: Greece is a tactile culture. Its distance of comfort is similar to the Italian - hugging and kissing are common.
Communication patterns: Greeks are verbose, theatrical and intense. Greeks believe in their own powers of oratory. They use rational argument like the French, but spice it up with emotive content.
Body language: Eye contact has been measured as the strongest in Europe. Special Greek features are a slight upward nod of the head (meaning “no”) and tilting the head to either side (meaning “yes, of course”).
Behaviour at meetings: Greeks hold many lengthy, argumentative and intense discussions amongst themselves. Non-Greeks will find them extremely loquacious, digressive, often volatile. They respect logic, however, and are skilled at pleasing (and often manipulating) other nationalities. They can display great understanding and charm, often appearing extremely flexible and accommodating. One has, however, to listen carefully as they extract concessions smartly when an opening occurs. They are normally well-dressed, neat and well-composed.
Concept of status: There is great respect for education, qualifications and intellectual prowess on the one hand, wealth and family connections on the other.
Manners and taboos: The multi-active nature of the Greeks means that they are often late for appointments and, when they give interviews, let them run on endlessly, even if someone else is waiting. Elderly people have a lot of authority and are not kept waiting. Greeks are excellent hosts and their hospitality can be embarrassing.
(Contact harold.formstone@rlcglobal.com for subscription details.)

For more about our life among these excellent hosts see our full service Paros web site.


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