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Hello Corax, I am doing a project at my school for the Culture of Greece.  I was wondering if you could answer a few questions.  What technology is used there? What kind of food is eaten there? What is your transportation? What are the jobs like? Is there a specific thing women or men do? What is the weather like? Do you get snow? What types of music is famous there? I'd really appreciate to hear back! Thank you

Answer
Hello.

That's a pretty sweeping set of questions you've got, so I'll try to give you some general directions on each one which you could follow up on your own.

As far as the technology in general use is concerned, it's pretty much in line with rest of Western Europe. There's a relatively high rate of computer literacy, and while the number of households with fast Internet connections is still not as high as it should be, that's partly due to the difficulty of providing ADSL lines to the more remote parts of the country such as the many islands. However, there has been a steady increase in the provision of fibre optic networks.

Traditional Greek diet is different from that of Northern Europe and America, and has generally been regarded as healthier, with much less consumption of red meat and a high percentage of fresh vegetables and pulses. Another big difference has been the substitution of vegetable oils, particularly olive oil, for the animal fats used in the north. Many traditional dishes are based on vegetables with small amounts of meat, usually lamb rather than beef. Increasing prosperity and familiarity with the diets of other cultures have nevertheless affected the diet of Greeks today, not always in a healthier direction.

Greece is a mountainous country with a very long coastline, and includes many islands. This means that railroads never became as important as in other European countries, and the single main north-south line carries a very small percentage of total passengers and freight. Shipping is still very important, particularly for the islands, as is the extensive road network. Most freight travels by road, and most passenger travel is by private car or long-distance coach. The capital, Athens, has an efficient and modern metro (underground) system.

Jobs are a sore subject, as the country is going through a very serious financial crisis at the moment, with the jobless total edging past 25%. Arguably, the country is experiencing the equivalent of the Great Depression. A large percentage of the working population has traditionally been employed by the state in one form or another, with many such civil service jobs being only minimally productive - one reason for the present crisis!

The  weather is Mediterranean: relatively mild compared to countries further north, with four clearly defined seasons. Summers can range from hot to very hot, depending on location and altitude, spring and autumn are generally rainy, and winters are colder but changeable. Keep in mind that Greece has considerable geographical and therefore climatic variation, from the high mountains of Macedonia and Thrace in the north to the islands of the south; the mountainous regions of Epirus and Macedonia get a lot of snow, and many small villages can still get cut off for weeks on end, while some islands only see a light dusting of snow once or twice a decade. In the last few years, as in many other parts of the world, global warming has tended to provoke more extreme conditions, with hotter, dryer summers and colder, wetter winters.

Finally, music. Greece has a rich heritage of folk music, which is still part of most people's musical background. Rembetika , a popular form of music which came to Greece with the Greeks of Asia Minor, has been described as a kind of Eastern Mediterranean blues. Younger people are very much aware of international trends in popular music, and many well known singers and groups put on successful concerts, particularly during the summer months. There are even Greek rappers, rapping either in Greek or in English.

I think this is about as much as I can cover in the space available, but you should have enough information here to get you started on further research on a number of subjects.

Good luck with your project!

Corax

Greek

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Corax

Expertise

I can answer questions and offer advice or, at least, an educated opinion on a range of questions concerning Greek culture. Particular areas of expertise include: Modern Greek language & literature; Greek history, ancient to contemporary; contemporary "high" culture; Greek politics; Greek society. I am unable to answer questions on the following: Ancient Greek language; Greek music; popular culture; sports and athletics; tourism and holiday issues.

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Multilingual Greek writer & journalist

Education/Credentials
B.Sc. London University

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