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2 definitions by Michael Kasdaglis, DCSW

 
1.
OPA
OPA is a Greek Word that may be used as an ‘Exclamation’, or ‘Utterance’, or ‘Declaration’, or ‘Affirmation’ or a lovingly gentle way of telling you to ‘Stop’ ... depending on the situational context.
It is a word or pronouncement of celebration; the celebration of life itself.
It is another way of expressing joy and gratitude to God, Life, and others, for bringing us into the state of ultimate wisdom; that all that really matters is health, family, and friends.
It is a humorous affirmation that you’re the best; that you’re where you’re supposed to be; and that you need to stop and celebrate. …
It is the Greeks’ way of stating they have come to a level of serene exuberance able to enjoy life as children. … In a state where having been fed, and having quenched our thirst, and having enjoyed the pleasure of uniting with others, we have filled with hope and confidence that life abounds with all that we need, … and that food will always be there, … and so, we break the plates, … because tomorrow there will be more. … And we light a fire and dance around it as a symbol of the warmth that surrounds us. … and …
<br><br>We break the plates as a way of saying thank you to those that helped us reach a state of celebrating our life, … as a way of saying thank you to the music that brought peace to the world, … and we break them to honor the one that’s dancing, as we kneel in front of them and look up to them exclaiming : Oooopa !!! …
And we throw the napkins in the air as a reminder that we are as free as the birds; ‘sky is the limit’ … so ‘Let go, Be Greek, Fear nothing and join in the celebration’.
It is a way of saying “don’t worry” … no matter what has happened you are still alive, … “don’t be harsh on yourself,” there’s another minute and another day ahead of you to right what’s wrong, … and we are here together to make sure of this. … So, as an example when someone accidentally drops and breaks something, no matter how valuable, we yell: Oooooopa !!! … kind of “It’s ok,” … everything can be mended if your mind is healthy and still open to music, dance, mezedes, and wine !!

Somebody dropped something, or broke something : Opa!
Someone is assisting someone to back up the car, ...and just about whene the driver is about to hit something : Opa (ie : Stop !)
Somebody is dancing and another is breaking plates as they exclaim : Opa !!
A group is drinking and as a form of Cheers : Opa !
....
by Michael Kasdaglis, DCSW February 28, 2008
428 140
 
2.
A traveler to Greece soon discovers eight types of eateries; The most essential contemporary distinction deals with the type of food and drink being served, vis-a-vis the primary reason for visiting there in the first place.

1. Restaurants (Estiatoria), (They serve a very wide variety of precooked food & casseroles. The food is displayed in long cases and customers can mix and match)
2. Tavernas (They have an exceptionally limited menu with most of its food comprised of fresh meat, poultry, and fish, cooked to order upon a customer’s request)
3. Clubs (Places usually frequented by youth enjoying contemporary European House-Techno Music while socializing and sipping Frappes (Iced Nescafe coffee with Milk)
4. Bouzoukia (Very similar to Tavernas – in terms of food and menus - ) but also ready to provide live entertainment, belly dancers, and traditional plate-breaking.
5. Ouzeris (Greeks may go there, late at night to enjoy some ouzo, or wine, with traditional ourderves, and samplers.)
6. Zacharoplastia (Pastry shops specifically catering to people out for the ultimate pleasure of the most exotic and deliciously aroma-filled cookies and pastries.)
7. Kafenia (Places usually frequented by men enjoying a game of backgammon while drinking coffee, or ouzo with tid-bits of Octapus, olives, feta-cheese. Now days, Kafenia are contemporarily furnished gathering places where people sit to relax, socialize and sip Frappes in the peaceful ambiance of the Greek Ports, sidewalks, Greek squares, and Streets. Please note that American-Type Bars, are neither known, nor in existence in Greece, since the Greeks will not drink just for the sake of drinking ! They view drinking as part of a social or family ritual incorporating fun, food, celebration, and bonding, over music and dance.
8. Tavernas are the common folk eateries, and the gathering places for families who may wish to have some fresh food over a glass of wine, and celebrate each other. To that extent, Tavernas, have traditionally been laid-back places where guests are not only accustomed to long waits for their food, what more; they might feel insulted, rushed, and unwelcome if the service was too fast, or too efficient.
The word ‘Taverna’ derives from the Latin taberna and the Greek taverna, whose original meaning was a shed or workshop. The distinction of a tavern from an inn, bar or pub, varies by location, in some places being identical and in others being distinguished by traditions or by legal license.
Gathering in a tavern to eat and drink is a longstanding social tradition dating at least to Sumer (3500 BC); in Sumer the tavern keeper was traditionally a woman but in other places and times women could be completely excluded from tavern culture.
Name of an Eatery : Taverna Opa.
A Greek that is constantly inebriated : "He lives in a Taverna"
Let's go to a Taverna !
by Michael Kasdaglis, DCSW February 28, 2008
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