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What Do Teenagers Do in Greece for a Social Life?

By Emma Wells ; Updated April 18, 2017
Greek Easter bread: Food is a central part of many holidays and family gatherings.

Greek teenagers enjoy sports and recreation, they like to spend social time with their friends, and are often close with their families. Unlike many teenagers in the U.S., teenagers in Greece consider it socially acceptable to drink from a young age, as long as consumption of alcohol does not lead to visible inebriation. Though Greek teenagers have a positive outlook for the future of their country, they are spending more time at home right now because of the economic crisis in their nation.

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Popular Hobbies

Football -- known as soccer in the U.S. -- is far and away the most popular sport in Greece, according to the “Rough Guides” online travel guide. Many teenagers enjoy playing on a football team or going to see games with friends. Professional football game tickets are fairly easy to get. On the coast, windsurfing is popular, closely followed by waterskiing, parasailing, riding jet skis, and sailing boats.

Consumption of Alcohol

Teenagers typically consume alcohol in Greece -- Greeks have a relaxed, Mediterranean attitude toward drinking, according to AngloInfo Greece. Teenagers might consume wine with their families, and although legally the drinking age is 18, alcohol can be fairly easy to access for younger teenagers. Greek adolescents go out to drink socially with friends and frequent bars or “discothèque” dance clubs. Being visibly drunk in public, though, is not socially acceptable in Greece. Smoking cigarettes is common in this culture, and marijuana, though illegal, is also popular with many young people.

Family-centered Life

Much of teenage social life in Greece centers on the home and family, according to EveryCulture.com. Families will gather to eat, drink, dance and talk, with food at the center of the event. The goal at these gatherings is the attainment of “kefi, a sense of high spirits and relaxation that arises when one is happily transported by the moment and the company,” according to EveryCulture.com. While alcohol might contribute to kefi, it is still considered rude to become drunk at family gatherings. Religious holidays play a central role in the lives of many teenagers and their families.

Economic Changes

Teenagers writing about the economic crisis in Greece for an article in 2012 for TheGuardian.com say that most people can’t afford to go out to restaurants, coffee shops and bars right now. “The issue is not violence, but misery!” wrote a Greek teenager named Louise. She says that life in Greece right now is “quiet and depressing.” In the current economic climate, teenagers are more likely to be at home, school, or work than out with their friends.

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About the Author

Emma Wells has been writing professionally since 2004. She is also a writing instructor, editor and former elementary school teacher. She has a Master's degree in writing and a Bachelor of Arts in English and anthropology. Her creative work has been published in several small literary magazines.

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