Posted by BT on January 29, 2002 at 00:49:57:
In Reply to: Re: What are the main characteristics of greek men (difference from American?) posted by Maria on January 27, 2002 at 15:19:10:
I have to laugh aloud when I read things like "more family oriented" and "passionate"(see other post). I cannot argue with them, relative to a Greek perspective of course they are true.
Look through all the prior posts. I think you will find many of them "enlightening" to say the least. There is unquestionably a great amount of importance placed on family. However, the definition of family rarely means just the nuclear family. The ties between the extended family are often as strong. The extended family can exude a great amount of force and can even be intrusive at times. Worst of all, this force is sometimes used coercively. "Family Oriented" ends up being "controlled by parents for LIFE." I agree with Maria in the fact that I too do not wish to over generalize but I will not ignore the facts. If you were to read ALL the posts, you will read numerous stories about parents and/or grandparents disapproving of the children?s choices regarding whom they wish to marry. God help you if you want to marry a non-Greek. I am sorry, but my definition of "family oriented" does not include being made to feel like a traitor for marrying the person I am in love with. I would never want to be part of a family who would try to make me choose between my spouse and them. A real family would never openly ignore their son or daughter-in-law. Cases like these are well documented and prevalent in the Greek community.
I also do not feel that living with your parents until you are 30 (or 23 for that matter) makes you "more family oriented." I am sure this system works fine for some people, but I will be "individualistic" all day long if that means I am able to achieve the independence of thought which comes from being 100% responsible for myself. I am glad that I am able to manage my own affairs with out the help or interference of others. If I need help, my family will be there for me. I am not sure how not living in the same house somehow changes that. These comments really have little bite unless you go back and read the posts. I think you will find some of the stories somewhat pathetic.
As far as passionate, you will find that womanizing is a national past time in Greece - and for many, being married doesn't really slow them down. I know this is a huge generalization, but a culture which places a high value on virility and female subservience tends to make those who live within that culture believe their own machismo hype. Although I do not believe this to necessarily be true of Greeks in the US, the extramarital affair is not only commonplace in Greece there is a certain amount of "see no evil, here no evil" towards the practice.
For some strange reason people like to pick on the United States, proclaiming it to be void of unique culture, food, and music. Maria, I would like to draw your attention to a number of unique and interesting "cultural" tidbits that exist within this fine Republic. First, I would like to address the issue of music. Why is it that people seem to always forget where the Blues or Jazz originated? I do not know if you heard but the United States is the freakin birthplace of Rock and Roll. The subject of architecture seems to be a sore spot for us Yanks. Lets be truthful this is an area we really have not excelled in (unless you count strip malls and Pizza Huts). Nevertheless, here are a couple of architecturally significant points. Historically speaking, the cliff dwellings of Mesa Verde are amazing. Do not get me wrong, they are not Greece or Rome, but when you realize where, how, and by whom they were built these places are amazing. Frank Lloyd Wright!!! Skyscrapers. The theatre - Last I checked we were pushing out some mighty fine musicals - please tell me you have seen 'Rent'! Food - Granted we did not invent the hamburger - we have managed to achieve near world domination in the arena of selling them in mass quantities. One of the reasons it is so hard to pin down American cuisine is the fact that it is always metamorphisizing. Chefs in this country really take pride in creating new and complex tastes. There are plenty of unique eating experiences all over this country, and styles vary between each region. Variety is a good thing!!! Change is even better. As far as "traditions" go, I think it should be noted that many of the Greek traditions revolve around the Orthodox religion. I am here to tell you that other religions have traditions too. I think you will find that the observed holy days and holidays in the Orthodox Church are also celebrated in the Catholic Church right here in the USA. Festivals, fairs, family gatherings, etc. abound in this country. From small towns and big cities to ethnic communities and family units, everywhere you go you will find a plethora of macro and micro traditions.
Anyway, that is all.
: : What are the characteriscics of greek men, any difference from american men? Every nation has some peculiarities, what are greek?
: I don't think it's fair to ask what the main characteristics are of a greek man or a man/woman of any ethnicity. To answer that question you would have to stereotype an entire group of people based on what you know from personal experiences. That cannot be fair or accurate. Every man is different regardless of his ethnicity. Maybe, what you meant to ask was what are the main characteristics of greek culture? Every country and culture has unique beliefs, traditions and way of life, but once again every person is different. Just because someone is Greek or Spanish or whatever doesn't mean they necessarily share the same beliefs as their culture. They are more likely to, but don't always. Just a thought.
: Greeks, in general, are more family-oriented and less individualistic than Americans. They have many traditions, music and unique food that American culture lacks. They tend to be Greek Orthodox. Beyond that, people are who they are and you can't say too much without stereotyping them.
: I hope that helped you.
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