This island is what I’m sure the UK was like many years ago as it still has a rich history and a sense of community. They seek to engage all of the senses with there customs like when your drinking and you say yamas!  Which means cheers or you could say yamas egias! which is health and happiness, peace and prosperity, family and friends. You have to go round and clink everyone’s glasses which in a large party can take a minute. The clinking represents the sound, your touching the glass, seeing the bubbles in the champagne and hearing them pop. Thanks pauline for this insight. Also another interesting feature is that they celebrate easter more than Christmas as it has more meaning to them and is less commercialized. I haven’t been over for a Greek easter as it’s too early in the year and the airport isn’t open but I think they do quite an authentic reproduction in my big fat greek wedding. They tend to celebrate there name day more than there birthday which is the saint day for there name. This can be quite a long way from there actual birthday or quite close. This is more rooted in the church than current commercial celebrations. I think the feast on joffreys name day in game of thrones is an elaborate depiction of what it could look like. One more is festivals like fanorimeni which is the gypsy market held everything year to celebrate whitsun tide in the Christian calendar. Older people will remember that the calendar used to quite strongly feature this religious festivals but younger people like myself haven’t a clue when they are.
England on the other hand has quaint customs like cheese rolling, morris and maypole dancing, blacking up days, carnivals and the village fayre. We may have done some of these at primary school like the Greeks learn there traditional dance, when may never have done most of these things before and may not even be aware of anywhere that practices them.
In lefkas everybody tends to know everything so you can’t get away with things unless everyone is doing it a bit like the blatant disregard of the no smoking rule that should be in force everywhere.
In the UK it’s quite difficult to solve crimes as nobody knows anything hence the place is so heavily covered with cctv. We need street sweepers to pick up litter, chewing gum and fag butt’s.
They both have homeless though and they are militant in greece if they want your money. Thing is there gypsy or black from athens selling all kinds of illegal items like sunglasses, watches, dvds etc. You get them all over Europe but usually only in the more touristy areas or the supermarket car parks.
The last major difference is that the week starts on Sunday not Monday which is reflected in the names they give to the days of the week. Kri-ri-a-key which comes from one, deftera which is 2, triti which is the trinity and 3, tertarti which you can see is tetris and 4, pempti which is 5, paraskivi and finally sabbato which to them I guess is a bit like the sabbath as it’s the last day of the week so I guess the sabbath. Thank you Colleen for this insight.
Weddings are most Saturdays with christenings Sundays showing the importance that family holds for them. Each family usually gives money to the married couple rather than gifts so that they can buy what they need as the house will generally have been built for them before hand hence all the half finished buildings everywhere due to the planning laws. Sometimes cars are presents on learning to drive. Births are greeted with a special trunk as are weddings. As wedding gifts sometimes you get little gifts like boubonyires which could be sugared alomds, a crown or other type of brooch. One for girls and one for boys. This was another custom pauline introduced me to at my own wedding.
Death in lefkas is also shown differently, the body is buried within 24 hours but then they have lots of memorials at different points of the year to mark there passing 8, 40 and 1 year. I learnt this when the chef of our favourite restaurant had to bury his father. Greek widows always seem to wear black too and it’s a rarity to see one wearing any colour apart from black.
Raising children is very European like the daily greeting of a hug and a kiss on each cheek. Births are quite surreal and seem to be the the only thing that is done against nature as women are given a due date and they go to the hospital on that day and they are told when they will give birth and they do with the help of inducement and cesereans. Women’s hormones are not aligned with the working day as most kids in the uk are born in the evening, night or early morming. I guess this prevents very long labour’s as sometimes women in the UK can be overdue and take a week to get baby out as there too comfortable in there.
England seems to have lost its identity as it has so many cultures, costumes and languages present. There is no form of social cohesion. Nobody knows what it is to be British anymore past looking in a museum which is strangely a thing I never do in lefkas. I also don’t drink that much as it’s not the culture even though the schooling is not as good and there is a lot of corruption present in politics (when isn’t there).

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