Family is considered to be one of the most important institutions in the Greek

community. Greek families are usually divided between the core family and the

extended family where the inner circle consists of the parents and their children while

the extended family is much bigger as it consists of all relatives and their own core

families. All the above constitute a close circle and the bonds between members are

quite strong.

Big family gatherings. These are held on important holidays such as Christmas

and Easter where relatives are getting together to celebrate over food and music. Very

similar to what is portrayed in the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding, siblings will visit

their aged parents along with their own children which results to brothers and sisters,

various cousins, aunts and uncles, getting together and creating a huge group of people

who will be interacting with each other. As such, family members keep in touch with one

another and don’t necessarily drift apart with the passage of time.

The importance of Name Days. Greek parents are usually accustomed to give

their own parents’ name to their newborns as a sign of love and respect. Thus, on name

days, parents will usually visit their own parents so the child and the grandparent can

celebrate together. Furthermore, it can be considered rude not to contact relatives on

their name day in order to exchange wishes, especially if they are close to you.

Greek grandparents. They are actually a fundamental part in the raising of the

children. Even though day care exists, Greeks have the habit to leave their children with

their grandparents when they are at work since it is more affordable and since they tend

to believe that their children are better off with someone familiar and someone who

would be able to take initiative if something bad happens. At the same time, Greek

grandparents are known to spoil their grandchildren with gifts and toys and later in life

with money.

Family-owned Vacation homes. Greece has a variety of villages in rural areas

and a big amount of people who live in the big cities originate from those areas and still

have family relatives there. As such, a significant number of people own or are

associated with property in those areas. This means that a large amount of families

spend their summer holidays at their villages or what they call summer houses,

something very traditional in the Greek mentality.

The role of children. Another aspect of Greek mentality that has to do with

family is the idea that children are expected to take care of their older parents. Even

though this mentality is somewhat universal, it is important to mention it due to the fact

that it is of very high cultural importance in the Greek community. Essentially, nursing

homes are something like a taboo in the Greek community and is only for the people

with no remaining relatives.