Thursday, 24 February 2011

Greek nights - How the Greeks do it..

In the last post, I told you about Greek nights for the non-Greeks and what you can expect to see there. In this post, I am going to tell you how the Greeks do it. It's kind of like the 'after party' that doesn't even get started until gone midnight! 

Non Greek nights are usually held at tavernas which are like restaurants, but bouzoukia is normally a bit different. There can be a similar layout with long tables, food, dancefloor and a band at a small venue, or they can be at a large venue with a huge stage and a famous Greek performer.

File:Notis sfakianakis at bouzoukia.jpg

What happens at the bouzoukia wherever you are, is normally the same though. As I said before, get there late. If you get there too early the atmosphere is a little bit dry!

You are normally expected to have something to eat and a bottle of something to drink. You can't just sit there! If you have just come from a late dinner, you can just order some nice fruit and drink the night away!

File:Glass of whisky.jpg

While you are enjoying your food and drink, you will be entertained by a variety of singers and a band. Every now and then people will go up and dance on stage with the singer (depending on the song, usually!)
You will most likely see the girls up there shaking their hips and twisting their wrists with their arms up in the air with the men simply sitting with their drink enjoying watching the view... But the men aren't totally lazy, they get up to dance to their 'vareto' where they basically do a solo 'drunk' dance with everyone standing/kneeling in a circle around them clapping. 

Some men and women get really adventurous and jump up and dance on the chairs or tables (I told you Greeks like to show off...!)

When people are dancing, you can buy flower heads (one basket can be very expensive!) which you use to throw at people who are dancing or singing as a way of showing appreciation or catching someone's attention! Depending on the bouzoukia you go to, some places allow you to buy stacks of plates and smash them on the dancefloor as well! Watch out for plate fragments flying all over the place though, it can get dangerous!

There is great fun to be had at the bouzoukia, and they can usually go into the small hours of the morning! 

What are your experiences of the bouzoukia and can you think of anything I may have left out? Let me know in the comments below!


  1. The only thing that i would add in the above,is that when people aren't dancing with the singer,they usually dance on the tables.

  2. OH yes thanks for reminding me! I had that picture all ready to put in the article as well, going to add it in now! Thanks for the comment and feedback, much appreciated!

  3. Don't mention it!I'm just your typical Greek woman :-D


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