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Ten interesting facts about Greece

  1. Around the world, an estimated 12 million people speak the Greek language. It is widely spoken in Cyprus, Albania, Italy, Turkey, and in the United States.
  1. Due to strong family ties, it is rare to find a retirement home in Greece. Families live together, filling the house or compound with various generations of the clan.
  1. Structures in the Cyclades Islands are usually painted blue because of an ancient belief that this color keeps misfortune at bay.
  1. The color cyan got its name from the Greek word kyanos, which has been translated to “dark blue.”
  1. The word colossal was derived from one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World that once stood in Rhodes. The Colossus of Rhodes, a 98-foot statue of the god Helios, was destroyed by an earthquake around 226 BC.
  1. The evolution of sculpture struck an important milestone when the Greeks began to carve figures or statues that showed real human emotion and gestures.
  1. The traditional Greek currency, the drachma, is the oldest currency in the world.
  1. The popular sports apparel label Nike is associated with the Greek legend of Pheidippides who dashed to Athens in a 40-kilometer run to proclaim the message, “Nike, Nike,” which translates to “victory.”
  1. The word thespian, which is defined as “an actor in a stage play,” was taken from the name of the actor-writer Thespis, who performed the first Greek tragedy in 534 BC.
  1. Ancient Greek plays only allowed men and boys to perform.