It starts with OPA! And ends with OPAAAA!
A common, a verbal emotional expression Greeks use and say at celebrations when they are dancing. Today is accompanied by throwing flowers and napkins. Before the 70’s is was common to smash plates but it now a banned practice.
Nightlife for Greeks is typically at night out at Bouzoukia (plural for the bouzouki instrument). There’s a lot hype and excitement as girls and women get ready and dressed for this occasion. Hairdressers, manicures and the latest fashion is a must for the night out. Tables are booked well in advance especially if the singer/artist is popular. These tables are set out around the stage (pista) so everyone has a good view to watch and enjoy the show.
Usually the closer you sit to the stage it’s equivalent to the amount one spends here (high spenders). They are always reserved for the rich and famous or if it’s a local place for the big shots of the village/town. Beverages consumed is usually spirits and bottles are bought to be divided amongst your table’s guests. An average spirit like vodka or a whiskey could range anywhere from 100€ to 170€ a bottle depending on what you order! But the bulk of your bill is flowers!!! Flowers (usually carnations) are sold separately by the club’s female staff in trays or baskets, in 10’s or 20’s. They’re thrown en masses at the performer/singer. People also throw on each other as a gesture of courtship or for flirting. Broom-fulls of flowers thrown by the elite are swept up at regular intervals around the singer’s feet so as not to injure or trip themselves.
The show usually starts well after 2pm and can stagger on till 6/7 am. Not for the faint hearted! It’s a high adrenaline, non-stop evening of dancing and really very emotional singing. People sing along with the greatest amount of passion as these songs are indicative of love’s rawest state of affairs like what a male feels when being rejected by the love of his life or a female expressing her undying love for her man.
So when you are ever on a Greek island, out on holiday, do yourself a favour and go to Bouzoukia. You will experience the Greek Bouzoukia culture and totally fall in love and I’m certain you won’t regret it! You will be back for more!!! OPAAAAAA!