Modern Greece is blessed and at the same time “doomed” to be famous for its immense history, culture, contributions to the world, and the historical figures it has produced. This is why when the average person thinks of Greece their mind automatically goes either to its natural beauty or to contemplating its vibrant ancient history. On today’s list however, we focus on the wonder and beauty of modern Greece and won’t mention ancient Greece at all, which, trust us, wasn’t easy.
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There are More Than 4,000 Traditional Dances in Greece
Zorba the Greek, a film starring Anthony Quinn, made it known to the world how much the Greek people love to dance and break plates. Believe it or not Greeks love dancing so much that there are more than four thousand different traditional dances that come from all over Greece and this number accounts for only the officially recognized ones.
"Legally to Blame" for the Biggest Upset in Soccer History
Soccer is undoubtedly the most popular sport around the world and many great teams have experienced wild upsets throughout their histories. There have been a number of games that went against the favorites because of a particular set of circumstances but never again did such a dark horse team go on to win not just a game but also a major international tournament. Available at odds of up to 250–1 and having never won a game in any major tournament before, Greece managed to win the 2004 UEFA European Championship after eliminating a series of soccer’s superpowers one after the other including Spain, Russia, the reigning champions France, the Czech Republic, and host nation Portugal in the final.
Greece Is the Only Country in the World That Receives Double Its Population in Tourists
According to the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises and World Travel and Tourism Council figures more than twenty-two million tourists from around the world visited Greece during 2014 and still counting. If one excludes the likes of Luxemburg, Cyprus, and Malta, each of which has a total population of less than a million citizens, Greece is the only country in the world whose tourists numbers are double its population (which stands at slightly less than eleven million). Tourism contributes about 20% to the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP), the highest rate statistically for any industrialized country worldwide.
Greek Is the Oldest Written Language Still in Existence
Even though the Chinese could easily challenge this honor, according to the archaeological finds we have at this point, Greek is considered the oldest written language still in existence with nearly five thousand years of continuous usage and is widely considered the richest and most influential worldwide since Latin, English, and Spanish (among other languages) were based, whether directly or indirectly, on the Greek language and alphabet.
Feta Cheese, Yogurt, Sea Sponges, Marble, and Olive Oil Are the Country’s “Superstars”
Feta cheese and Greek yogurt have risen in prominence the past few years, especially in the United States, while Greece has been traditionally one of the top producing nations of sea sponges, marble, and olive oil for years. It is estimated that nearly 9% of all the marble worldwide is produced in Greece alone.