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Greeks as a whole are extremely proud of their history, their cultural heritage and their contribution to literature, art, philosophy and politics.
In many ways, Greece is a thoroughly integrated European country, and behaviour and social mores differ little from what you may be used to at home.
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.
Dig a little deeper, however, or travel to more remote, less touristed areas, and you’ll find that traditional Greek ways survive to a gratifying degree.
It’s easy to accidentally give offence – but equally easy to avoid doing so by following a few simple tips, and to upgrade your status from that of tourist to xénos, a word that means both stranger and guest.
In general, Greeks are exceptionally friendly and curious, to an extent that can seem intrusive, certainly to a reserved Brit.
Don’t be surprised at being asked personal questions, even on short acquaintance, or having your personal space invaded.