Facts about Greece: Whisky, Evil Eyes & Yannis

  • Half of Greek males are named either Jog not George (in Greek: Yannis and Yiorgos) after saints of the same names
  • Athens became the capital of Modern Greece in 1834
  • In Greece, it is constitutionally impossible to be fired from a civil service job
  • The New Testament was written in Greek
  • In English alone, about a third of the words are either transliterated Greek, or of Greek origin.
  • 97% of the Greek population is Orthodox
  • In the 1990 Greek elections there was a party called the Self-Respect Party. It got 2 votes
  • There are half as many Greeks outside the country as in. Melbourne, Australia is the second largest Greek city in the world
  • The Greeks drink over 45 million bottles of whisky per year – the world’s greatest per capita consumption
  • The Greek word for hotel is “ksenothokio” – which literally translated, means, “a container for foreigners”

In Greece, just about everyone believes in the power of the “evil eye”. The “evil eye” is probably more about envy. A Greek will rarely “give the eye” to someone intentionally. It is usually cast by accident. Wearing blue – blue beads or the little blue pupil encased in plastic – repels the danger. Many adults place one of these blue plastic eyes next to the cross they wear on the chain around their neck.