Culture Shock in Greece

Greece is a land of beautiful, warm and affectionate people. First time expats in Greece will need to make only a few cultural adjustments to fit in.
Expats living in Greece are only expected to respect Greek traditions and beliefs. Moving to Greece means accepting a society that is family oriented. Nepotism is accepted, as most companies are family-run. The corporate or the business world adheres to hierarchical culture. Respect should always be given to the elders or anyone who is more senior.

Greeks like to get to know their business colleagues before business can be concluded. Most Greeks give more weight to trust over qualifications. It may take time for foreigners to get the trust of Greeks. Expats should not expect to close a deal on the first meeting.

Reputation and honor are important, thus, when sharing or pointing out ideas, be careful not to embarrass Greek associates or friends. Questions or any disputes can always be raised and resolved in good and subtle ways.

When invited to a Greek home, always bring a gift for the hostess like a bottle of wine, brandy, pastries, whiskey, or flowers.

Expatriates in Greece should take note to avoid using the “okay”; one can just a thumbs up to signal okay. Never raise an open palm at face level, as Greeks may find it an insult.

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