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"Olga Hotel" Sarti Chalkidiki

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‘Filoxenia’

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‘Filoxenia’ (“friend to foreigners”), is an important point of pride for Greeks, and is something rooted in ancient times and in mythology. In the latter, Zeus was said to have disguised himself as a poor man, dressing himself in rags, so that he could visit the homes of Greeks and see how they treated strangers, revealing himself at a certain point as the god he really was, the point of the story being that it’s a good idea to treat strangers/foreigners well, because they could turn out to be gods.

The Greek word ‘xenos/ xeni’ (masculine/ feminine) means ‘foreigner’ or ‘stranger’; making filoxenia/hospitality ‘love or friendliness for the foreigner/stranger’, who is, in turn, the guest (filoxenoumenos).

In villages, it is not uncommon for villagers to show up at the door of a resident foreigner (or even a temporary visitor renting a room) with a sack full of fresh tomatoes, or even a bottle of local olive oil.

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