At IoT.nxt we embrace diversity, and we always want to remain teachable around different cultures. For Heritage Day this year we reached out to one of our Greek employees and struck gold with interesting cultural nuggets we never knew we needed to know!

Aristotle Anastassiou

Machine Learning Engineer at IoT.nxt


What is your heritage’s core values and characteristics?

One of the pillars of Greek culture is the concept of `filoxenia` — this word is almost impossible to translate directly into another language directly, but it is a moral code of being welcoming and warmly hosting any foreigner, in any context. This means setting aside different backgrounds, languages, and beliefs, and sharing human moments with any other person. So if you do ever find yourself in the vicinity of a Greek home, you’ll be sure to be invited in just for a coffee, and be fed (often multiple) full meals.

What are your favourite foods typically associated with your heritage?

The typical souvlaki experience is unrivalled. Skewers of meat and vegetables served with pita and tzatziki, a yoghurt dip.

Tell us a bit more about one or two traditions practised by your culture and what are their purpose?

Just like typically people are wished on their birthdays, Greeks fervently celebrate name days, which are often considered a bigger celebration. A name day refers to a specific date dedicated to a Christian Saint, with whom you share a name. There are days dedicated to those who don’t share names with Christian Saints too. Another tradition that is more well-observed outside of Greece, is breaking plates. Plates are mostly broken during celebratory times, to ward off evil spirits, and because it’s — bluntly put — fun! You’ll also hear `Opa!` being shouted amongst the commotion.

What is the one thing that other cultures could learn from your own?

Sometimes, the best thing you can do is sit back, enjoy 1-3 strong coffees, and take in the world around you. Small resets and the ability to take life on at a leisurely pace at times is really valuable in a world that moves as quickly as ours does.

-Aristotle Anastassiou


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