Greek, Greece… everyone knows it for the country with souvlaki and ouzo, for Santorini and for that boring AP class that you never took in High School. A weird dude named Aristotle lived there once. Oh and nice beaches…
But who are the Greeks? What does even the name mean?
Most people think Greeks come from Caucasus and thus they are usually branched along with other Europeans. The come is sizes and colours and people seem to either think we are close to Persians or close to Turks or even Italians. And it is true all of the above people wanted to grab that part of the world for their own (who can blame them?) but Greeks even the name and the perception is quite off track.
Greek comes from the Latin Graecia which was a small part of Epirus, the upper west part of Greece that Romans obviously liked (along with the gods, talk about plagiarism there…) and named the entire region. The name that the people of the country use for themselves and the country is Hellas and Hellenes. The name derives from the first Hellenic person, the matriarch (!) who was named Helena and that means the one who brings light. The non-correct name stuck in the public mind even though the official name of the country is the Hellenic Republic. Although Hellas can be pronounced… a bit weird at times…
The Hellenes also form their own genotype and came from Asia Minor settling first onto Crete and with boats from the fertile crescent and the modern day Cyprus island.
The language is also distinct as it doesn’t form a family with any other language but the dialects of the country.
Some also think that the Great Alexander was not Greek or that he kind of homogenised the greeks with the Macedonian genotype but the Macedonian genotype is exactly the same as the Greek, they spoke Greek and their traditions mirrored those of the South of Greece.
He himself stated that he wanted to merge all of the Greek tribes and city states to form a grand nation, up until that point Greeks were kinda on their own not wanting to merge. And if you are confused about the modern day nation of FYROM (Former Yugoslavia Republic of Macedonia) don’t be; think of them as the “Made in Shengzhou” version of Macedonia
No matter where you are from or who you are one thing is important to remember, never mix your blacks with your whites and to always have fun, wherever you are…
And since you made it to the end of the post here… a cute picture of Greeks.