These days I function the guest post by Danny, a fellow blogger writing at What’s Danny performing?. Danny tells us about his adventures when hitchhiking in Greece and experiencing Greek hospitality. Get pleasure from the study!
Not so extended ago I identified myself at the side of a road in Northern Greece– a spot in Europe I’d in no way explored ahead of.
My girlfriend and I have been standing with thumbs turned upwards, backpacks at our side, forcing a smile beneath a blistering late summer time sun waiting with increasing desperation for some type soul to present us a ride. We had a couple of stale biscuits and half a bottle of tepid water left. Sources, of each the literal and mental type, have been operating low.
But then, miraculously, a rather fancy searching auto drove previous. It pulled more than a couple of meters away, stopped for a second- as if pondering what to do subsequent- and then reversed gradually back towards exactly where we stood in anticipation.
Two olive skinned, smiling males sat in front of us, eyes and voices welcoming us into their auto. With excellent relief we sat down, bags on our laps, feeling immensely delighted to ultimately be someplace cool and comfy.
In broken, but brilliant, English: “Where have been we going?” “What have been our names?” “Where have been we from?” We answered gratefully and asked concerns of our personal. And extremely promptly we realized we’d been picked up by two of the kindest, warmest and most generous men and women we could ever have met.
The events that followed this opportunity encounter have been of the type I’ve come to anticipate and adore of travel.
The sort exactly where openness to expertise, alongside a hefty dose of a total fluke, blend with each other to generate memories that final a lifetime.
My Expertise of Greek Hospitality
In brief, we stayed with these two godly Greeks for the most effective aspect of that day.
They listened to exactly where we wanted to go, took us to see all the sights along the route went far out of their way to drop us precisely at our finish location. They even supplied to host us in Athens, exactly where they lived, if we ever produced it that far.
And, a couple of weeks later, when my girlfriend and I ultimately identified ourselves there, we gave them a contact. Accurate to their word, they hosted us for cost-free, opened up their residences and invited us into their lives. They showed us the city, took us to the lesser identified neighborhood spots, took us out for dinner at a friend’s restaurant, helped us get blind drunk on Raki, and shed light on what it is truly like to reside in Greece these days- struggles and all.
These two unbelievable folks did not have a great deal they did not reside a fancy life. But what they had, they shared. Their generosity was incomparable and like practically nothing I’d ever skilled.
It was a correct lesson in hospitality. It got me interested in the function that hospitality has played, and continues to play, in Greek culture…
Why are Greeks so Hospitable?
It turns out hospitality in Greece goes back a extended way. Like, a truly extended way. In reality, it stretches back thousands of years to ancient Greek occasions, when men and women believed the Gods roamed the streets alongside them, disguised as lowly travelers.
As a outcome, the ancient Greeks welcomed guests and travelers into their residence, treating them with total kindness, respect and generosity. They showered them with all they had to present: bed, board and every thing in amongst.
Right after all, their guest could be a God! For worry of mistreating and disrespecting a deity, hospitality was the only choice. It demonstrated their virtue and piety to the Gods amongst them. This practice even had a name in Ancient Greek culture: Xenia- a name that derived from the ancient God, Zeus, who was apparently referred to as ‘Zeus Xenios’ in his function as a protector of travelers.
These days Xenia is no longer a really hard and rapid rule in Greek society. Having said that, it certainly laid the foundations for existing social practices of hospitality there. So, even though hospitality in Greece is no longer tied to a sense of religious devotion, it appears to stay present as a practice. In some techniques, this tends to make it even much more commendable.
I imply, it is no longer duplicitous in any way: hospitality is no longer just a automobile for godly goodwill. As an alternative, it is a purely voluntary act, supplied out of pure kindness and a sense of obligation to do superior unto other people.
That is a stunning factor and a single that I had the excellent fortune of experiencing initially-hand.
Modern day Day Expectations of the Guest in Greek Hospitality
I didn’t really feel like we had to do something to repay our incredible Greek hosts. At no point did their hospitality look tied to something other than sheer niceness. It didn’t hinge on my girlfriend and I possessing to behave in a specific way, or repaying them somehow. We have been produced to really feel totally welcome and have been invited to remain as extended as we wanted.
We have been unaware of any expectations on us! Frankly, I do not believe there was any…
But, possessing accomplished a small bit of reading into it now, apparently there are couple of issues that a ‘good guest’ in Greece should really think about when the recipient of Greek hospitality. It is fairly uncomplicated: do not remain also extended and present a present when you leave.
Fortunately my girlfriend and I managed to do each of these issues! And to be truthful, I believe they look affordable asks of any guest and fairly common practice for any polite, respectful human! For all we received in our couple of days in Athens, a bottle of wine supplied as a present at the finish, plus a note expressing our gratitude, was the least we could do.
In summary, my expertise of hitchhiking via Greece led me to find out the immense Greek hospitality. That opportunity encounter on a hot, tiring Grecian day led, in the end, to a refreshing, inspiring reminder of the superior that takes place about the planet.
We received an specialist lesson in how to treat strangers: that respect, courtesy and generosity of spirit and resource should really constantly be a go-to response when named upon for help. Hunting backward, it is quick to see exactly where this tradition of hospitality comes from Greek culture. Hunting forward, I believe we can all find out a factor or two from the Greek instance about how to treat our mates and neighbors.
About the author: Danny Newman is a 26 year old who’s travelling the planet and writing as he goes. He’s felt a small lost not too long ago, and he desires to find out precisely what he’s performing, and exactly where he’s headed in life, a single adventure at a time. You can stick to his journey more than at whatsdannydoing.com.
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