This post is part of the Multicultural Kid Blogs World Cup for Kids Project. Each time Greece plays, I will be posting about something you can do with your kids to get to know the Greek culture. You can follow along with each country here, and find our introduction and schedule here.
With Greece playing against Columbia today, here are a few interesting facts about the country:
Greece is located in southeast Europe, and has over 3000 islands, though only 227 are inhabited. The official name is the Hellenic Republic, and the capital is Athens. Greece is one the most mountainous countries in Europe with 80% of the landscape covered in mountains, and its highest mountain is Mount Olympus. The language is Greek, the oldest language spoken in Europe, and has its own 24 letter alphabet. Greece is considered the cradle of all Western civilization and is the birthplace of democracy, major mathematical principles and Western drama.
Yo-yos, one of the oldest known toys in the world, originated in ancient Greece, about 3000 years ago.
Greece is also the birthplace of the Olympic Games, which were first recorded in 776 BC. The first modern Olympics were also hosted in Athens, Greece in 1896. These days, the most popular sport is the Greek national sport: football. During the football season, professional soccer matches take place nearly every Sunday afternoon.
The Greek national football team, nicknamed The Pirate Ship, ranked 14th in the world in 2012. This year is the fourth time they have qualified in the World Cup.
Our World Cup posts about Greece include a list of books kids will enjoy, here, and a tutorial to make Greek worry beads, here.
It gets hot in Greece, and refreshing drinks are important. A tall glass of water is always appreciated. Iced coffee is very popular, as is vissinada (sour cherry syrup in water) and ayrani (yogurt blended until frothy with water). Having virtually explored Greece two years ago, we wanted to try a new popular drink, so we made the Greek Lantern, a parsley and lime fizzy drink. As for snacks when watching the match, a simple mezze platter with hummus, tzatziki, pita and olives is always popular here.
The Greek Lantern
Adapted from How About Some Greek Tonight
- 1 cup firmly packed curly leaf parsley
- 1/2 cup fresh lime juice (4 - 5 limes)
- 1/2 tsp lime zest
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup cold water
- 2 cups club soda
- Ice to serve
1. When juicing the lime, be sure to first roll it hard with the palm of your hands before cutting it in half - this gives it more juice.
2. Clean the parsley well, then add the leaves with the lime zest, juice, sugar and water in a blender.
3. Pour juice through a sieve lined with cheesecloth into a large measuring cup.
4. If you're serving for a crowd, add to a pitcher with ice and 2 cups of club soda (or more to taste). If just serving a couple of glasses, add ice to glass, some juice and top off with club soda to taste.
Elle and I both love lime, but don't care much for parsley. We spend an inordinate amount of time inhaling the scent of lime zest. Luckily the parsley taste is not too strong, and altogether the drink is refreshing. I wouldn't call it a family favorite though. How about you?
Don't forget to find out about what other bloggers and families are doing to follow along with the World Cup and learning about different cultures. I've outlined how it works in my introduction and will be featuring other posts on our Facebook page.
You can find more cultural and historical activities at the following linkups: