When you travel to another country, you have to be aware that they may not follow the same rules or customs as your country does. Some countries have really strange laws that can catch people out, and others just have really bizarre traditions.
Greece is no exception to this.
In most places, spitting is a sign of disgust or an indication someone may have accidentally swallowed a fly. It is seen as rude, even to accidentally spit on someone whilst speaking to them.
When you visit Greece, do not be alarmed if, when talking to a local, they spit three times.
I see that shocked expression on your face. This may be a completely new phenomena to you or you may have thought it only happened in My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Well I’m telling you, it happens.
This is a tradition that, especially as a new traveller, may make you feel uncomfortable or even violated. To you, spitting is most likely something you think of as disgusting. It might make you feel dirty or as though you are disliked. Don’t stress though! If you know about these traditions before you travel then they will be less shocking.
Spitting is an old Greek superstition. People believe that spitting three times, sometimes after giving a compliment, will keep evil away. They also believe it stops people from encountering misfortunes or the ‘evil eye’.
Culture shock or culture confusion can be difficult to overcome. However if you are well versed on the customs and laws before you visit that will help reduce the effects. One of the ways you can minimise ‘culture shock’ or ‘culture confusion’ is to travel and expose yourself to customs or laws you may not be familiar with. Researching your country will help keep your expectations more realistic when travelling.