17 Amazing Facts about Greece

17 Amazing Facts about Greece

Modern Greece is blessed at the same time doomed to be famous for its immense history, culture, contributions to the world and the historical figures it has produced. That's the main reason that when you think of Greece, your mind automatically goes either to its natural beauty or its vibrant ancient history.

Today's post is about a small introduction to this beautiful country.



Before we begin, I would like to know, What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear Greece ??? Let me know in the comments below and lets begin with our brief introduction to Greece. 

1. Greece's Real Name: -

Lets start with the most surprising one. Greece is not the actual name of the country. The official name of Greece is the 'Hellanic Republic' .The Greeks call their country 'Hellas' or 'Ellada'. 

Then why Greece ????

The English word Greece is derived from the Latin word 'Graecia', which was used by the Romans and literally means 'The Land of Greeks'

2. The Sunniest Country: -

Greece is one of the most sunniest countries in the world. It enjoys on an average more than 250 days of sunshine or more than 3000 sunny hours every year, making it one of the most sunniest countries in the world and the most sunny in Europe. 

If you are someone who just loves to just lie down in sunlight on a beach, Greece is a perfect country for you.

3. Women Dominated Country: -

According to the census, Greece's population is nearly 55% female and a little over 45% male. As a result, almost 65% of all the students in the Greek universities are women. Even most of the major positions in government are occupied by women.

Also women live longer in Greece as compared to men; their life expectancy is 82 years while for males it is an average of 77.

4. Most Number of Islands: -

Although Greece is ninety-seventh biggest country, with an area around 131,957 km2 , it has more than 3000 islands and islets out of which only 130 are inhabited.

Some of these are world famous for their natural beauty. Santorini has been named as the most beautiful island in the world multiple times by various travel magazines, blogs and TV channels including Lonely Planet, BBC and CNN.

Santorini

5. Biggest Upset in Soccer History: -

Soccer is undoubtedly the most popular sport around the world. I don't follow soccer much, but this fact is so amazing that I had mention it here. There were a number of games that went against the favorites but never did that country manage to win a major international tournament. 

Available at the odds of 250 : 1 and having never won a game in major tournament before, Greece managed to win the 2004 UEFA European Championship. Greece won it by eliminating a series of soccer superpowers like Spain, Russia, the defending champions France, Czech Republic and the host nation Portugal in the final.



6. Greek is one of the oldest Languages: -

According to the archaeological finds, Greek is considered as one of the oldest languages still in existence. With almost five thousand years of continuous usage, it is also considered as the richest and the most influential language worldwide. 

Most of the major languages of modern world like English, Spanish etc have directly or indirectly have their base in Greek. Thousands of English words like 'academy', 'apology', 'marathon'  and many many more come from Greek.




You can just watch the movie 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding', where the father just keeps on pointing out and telling how the English words are derived from Greek.

7. Double Tourists than Population: -

More than twenty million people from all around the world visit Greece every year. Greece is the only country in the world whose tourists number are double its population. All thanks to its natural beauty, wonderful beaches, exotic islands and some incredible architecture from ancient history.

Tourism contributes to almost 20% of the country's GDP, the highest rate statistically for any country worldwide.

8. Greeks celebrate Name Days more than Birthdays: - 

Yes, that's right. In Greece ones birthday isn't the day each individual will have the biggest party. According to Greek tradition, there is a "Name Day" for that. 

Each Orthodox Christian saint has a name day on which he or she is celebrated by the church. People who share the same name also celebrate the day, often receive gifts from friends and family, have huge parties that have lots of food, wine, dancing and plate breaking.

9. Sexually most active nation: -

According to a number of surveys conducted by Durex, the Greeks have won the title of the most sexually active nation for the past decade. According to this survey, the Greeks have sex 164 times a year while the Brazilians rank second with 145 times.

10. If some Greek spits on You, Its GOOD: -

It is believed by Greeks that spitting chases the devil and misfortune away. That is why when someone transfers a bad news such as a death or an accident, the people who hear it usually spit 3 times. 

Also when a Greek person compliments your looks he or she will spit on you so that you will be protected from the evil eye, which is called mati in Greek. 

However, keep in mind that the Greeks won't literally spit on you but just make a puff of breath through pursed lips, as if spitting.

11. Greece's Army: -

This is the fact that fascinates me the most. Almost 6% of the annual GDP on military by the government. And also it is compulsory for all the Greek men to serve in any branch of armed forces for a period of 1 year to 18 months.

12. Greek's were the First to Defeat the Axis Powers: - 

This is one more amazing fact about Greece's army. During World War II, Greece was attacked by Fascist Italy. The Greek army, though outnumbered three to one was able to force the fascist Italians into retreating, with only 77 aircrafts up against Italy's 463. 

This was the first Allied Power victory against the Axis Power country which made the British Prime Minister say;

"Formerly we said that the Greeks fight like Heroes. Now we shall say that Heroes fight like Greeks "

13. Greece's Geography: -

Lets take a look into Greece's geography. No point in Greece is more than 85 miles(137 kms) from sea. Greece has a coastline of 9000 miles which is 10th longest in the world.

Almost 80% of Greece is covered in mountains and there are almost no navigable rivers in the country.

14.Major Exports: -

Feta cheese and Greek Yogurt have risen to prominence in the last few years, especially in the United States. Feta cheese is the National Cheese of Greece and is produced from goat's milk. 

Greece is also the leading exporter of olives for many years. Some of the olive trees in Greece are more than 700 years old and are still producing olives.

Greece is also the leading producer of marble. It is estimated that nearly 7% of the total marble in the world comes from Greece.

15. Magic of White and Blue: -

If you have traveled through Greece, then you must have realized that there are two colors which you frequently see; these are white and blue.

Most parts of the Greek houses like furniture, doors, windows and even the domes of the Churches are painted in Blue while the structure as a whole is painted in white.

The white color helps keep the houses cool in the sunny weather. Blue color helps to reduce the sunlight reflecting from the buildings. It is also believed that the blue color keeps the evil away.



These two colors are an important part of Greek traditions and also the National Colors of the country. Hence even the Greece National flags hosts these colors.

16. World's Oldest Currency: -

The ancient currency of Greece, Drachma was the oldest currency in use until Greece became a part of the European Union in 2002. Drachma was in use for nearly 2,650 years. 

17. Contributions to the World: -

At last to conclude this, I would like to mention some of the amazing contributions that Greece made in developing the World.

The first but obvious being the Democracy. Greece was the birthplace of Democracy. During ancient times, the Greek people would elect a council of people that would work for the development of their cities. Although this period did not last long, but it gave world a precious gift, which every country follows today.

The amazing contribution being the Olympic Games. These games were celebrated in ancient Greece every 4 years as a way to please God Zeus. No wars were fought during this time and all the cities would come together and enjoy the games. The modern Olympic games which were started in 1896 came from Greece.

Ancient Greek Stadium

Apart from these, the Greeks also contributed to developing various fields of mathematics, science, astronomy and medicine. The Archimedis' Principle, the Pythagorus Theorem all came from Greece.



This brings us to the end of this small introduction to Greece. Hope you liked it. Stick around because there's more coming about this wonderful gem of Europe. Subscribe to my blog so that you don't miss any of those.