Greeks do not think of their family as just mother, father and children. Families include grandmothers, grandfathers, aunts, uncles and cousins. In rural areas, since both parents usually work on the land, it is more common to have the grandparents working and living with the family. Even after children grow up and leave home, they return to their families for holidays and celebrations.

Greeks also feel strong ties to their native village, district or province. When Greeks meet fellow Greeks, they try to determine whether they come from the same region or have any relatives living in that region. In this way, Greeks create a type of kinship with non-relatives when they are away from home.

Nearly two-thirds of Greece's people live in urban areas. Many Greeks who have moved to the cities own land and a summer house in their rural village. In the city, most families live in apartments. A typical apartment has two bedrooms and children share a bedroom. Families in the country usually have a house, but it is likely to be about the same size as a city apartment.

In the past, men and women had different roles in the family. Women were expected to focus on family and home, and men were responsible for providing food and shelter for their families. Today, these roles have changed. Women in Greece are entering professions and other previously all-male occupations in large numbers. Women gained the right to vote and to hold public office in 1952.

When a couple gets married in Greece, families on both sides help them set up their household. The birth of a child, especially the first child, is a major event. It is customary for children to be named after their grandparents. Greek children are cherished by their parents and usually live with them until they get married.

Did you know?

Philotimo is a very important value in Greek culture. It involves generosity, hospitality and respect for others, especially elders. It influences the daily behaviour of all Greeks.