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Saints' days are celebrated all around the calendar year, when it is customary to visit and bring gifts to friends who share the name of that particular saint.
A funeral custom is for mourners to eat boiled wheat with sugar and cinnamon. Basil's Day, when Greeks bake a cake called vassilopita, with a coin hidden in it to bring good luck to whoever finds it.
Higher education also is highly valued as a measure of class and success, and thousands of students compete every year for a small number of university places.
Mainstream thinking and history wants us to believe that writing was not invented until around 3200 BC in Mesopotamia (from the Sumerians) and that all other civilizations relied on oral exchange to maintain and transfer knowledge.
Of all the world's living cultures, Greece's is among the most ancient.
Ethnic Greeks have inhabited the area since 1000 B.
Popular beverages include retsina, wine grown from local grapes and flavored with pine resin, as well as ouzo, an anise-flavored liqueur consumed before meals.
The concept of philotimi holds a unique place in Greek social culture.
Workers involve themselves in the tourism industry and small shopkeeping.
C., and the nation as we know it today dates to 1830, when it won independence from the Ottoman Empire.
Greece is among the most homogeneous nations, with 98 percent of its population sharing an ethnic identity, as well as a strong Greek Orthodox religious tradition.
The goal is to attain kefi, a collective feeling of happiness and relaxation.
Government offices are closed for all Orthodox holidays.