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When I go to Greece, sometimes I wonder if there is some etiquette to keep in mind. My questions:

1. Is there a way to greet someone in Greek when you walk into a store or restaurant?
2. Is there phone etiquette to follow?
3. Anything else I should know?

The etiquette there is pretty much the same in the USA/Canada/Australia...

The immediate things that come to mind are:

  1. Always take a gift when invited to someone's house
  2. Take off your shoes before going in someone's house
  3. If you have a family member in college in Greece, give them money when you see them.
  4. If you're visiting an older family member (e.g. your grandparents) in a village, give them 100 euros (or whatever you can afford to give)
  5. Do not leave the air conditioning on all night when staying at someone's house. Utilities are extremely expensive and the AC usually turned on when guests are over and turned off when they leave. In most instances, windows are left open for air
  6. Don't go into a store just to browse; they don't like it. You're either in there to buy something or not at all.
There is no specific way to answer the phone in Greece. The most common way to answer it is by saying "ναι" (pronounced neh), which means "yes".
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When a Greek wants to pay the bill, don’t argue. Refusal of a “gift” is definitely bad form. (Just try to pick up the tab for the next time or round.)

If someone has made a kind gesture towards you and your offer to pay them is refused (which it is likely to be), you can always give them something for “τα παιδια”. Gifts to children are always welcomed and acceptable. Obviously any gifts to family members (like grandparents) are a different matter and will be welcomed.

When entering a store, a simple good morning (καλημέρα) or good afternoon (καλησπέρα) will suffice. If you’re speaking to a much older person or want to show a little more respect, just add σας (sas) after it.
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Thank you so much - I find this so helpful. I plan to visit with people who have kids- friends. I wonder if I should bring a few gifts from home for the kids just in case?
That would be a nice gesture; it will be well-received. You should plan on it; not “just in case”. Sometimes when one brings gifts to the parents, the adults reciprocate (even with all of the hospitality they have already afforded you) so you can always show your appreciation to them by gifting to their children.
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I think it is a great idea to give a gift to he children! That's the best way, I think.

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