* national school systems: Greece








Greek Schools


Figure 1.--This photograph shows the children at the Dories School, a school at a small village on Crete during the 1950s. The children do not wear school uniforms.

We don't think that Greece ever adopted a strict school uniform rule. School uniforms were actually banned in 1981. But even before children didnt wear strict school uniforms. In the 1960s and 70s the uniform was comprised of something like a blue overal. I am not sure about that but the uniform surely didnt look like those of the U.K. or other european schools. During the 1930s and 40s (or something like that) boys of school age had to wear a special hat with an owl badge on it. It looked like a police cap and they should wear it at all times even outside school, even at play. If a teacher caught them not wearing it they would be punished next day at school. A HBC reader reports, "The only personal memory of school uniform I have is at parade days". Schools and the military do a parade twice a year. At Independence Day (25 march) and Ochi Day ("No Day," remembering the Greek resistance of World War II, 28 October). Students of 5th and 6th grade of elementary schools and selected students of high schools do a parade on those two days. All students must wear a uniform which is determined by the board of the school. The uniform items must be always blue and white. A HBC reader reports, "I had to parade as a 5th and 6th grader at October 28. I remember my school's uniform was consisted of short blue shorts, black or blue shoes, white dress kneesocks, a white sweater and the school's badge. I remember that it felt weird having to wear shorts during a chilly October morning." At that time (late 1980s) most elementary schools had uniforms with short pants for parades. Nowdays its very rare to find a school with a shorts parade uniform even if it is an elementary school.

Chronology

we have limited information on Greek chronological school trends. We don't think that Greece ever adopted a strict school uniform rule. During the 1930s and 40s (or something like that), there was no perscribed school uniform, but boys of school age had to wear a special hat with an owl badge on it. It looked rather like a police cap and they should wear it at all times even outside school, even at play. Those caps persisted onto the 1950s. If a teacher caught them not wearing it they would be punished next day at school. In the 1960s and 70s the uniform was comprised of something like a blue overall. I am not sure about that but the uniform surely didnt look like those of the U.K. or other European schools. School uniforms were actually banned in 1981. But even before children didnt wear strict school uniforms. The school uniform rules in Greece had so many expeptions which make it hard to understand who wore what and when. A HBC reader has helped to better understand school uniform trensd. to clear things out.

Prevalence

Most pictures show that children did not wear school uniforms but again I am sure that they were required. It may have been common for schools in poor regions to let children wear what they wished since they were poor and isolated.

Activities

Two activities for which Greek schools have special activities are parades and gymnastics. Since the 19th century, schools in Greece celebrate Independence day on March 25. Since the early 20th century it has been popular in schools to make theatrical presentations of the revolution events, read poems and sing related songs. For the theatrical presentation boys are dressed in foustanela (white kilts), but some play the roles of the Ottoman officials or Orthodox Church priests and wear other related costumes. Another event is the parade. Students parade in the main street of the city along with soldiers, boyscouts, police forces, war heroes, red cross nurses etc. In small villages that do not have soldiers, police forces etc. there is only a small student parade. Since the 50s the parade is not only an event of the Independence day but also of the "Ochi" day (28th October). Boys and girls must wear a uniform for the parade. Many elementary schools since the 1950s have had gymnastic demonstrations at the last day of the school year. These demonstrations, however, have since the 1980s become less common.

Garments

The most important boys' school garment for many years was the "owl-badge" cap that boys wore to school. Pictures from the 1950s (sometimes) show the boys wearing blazers and the owl-badge cap. Elementary school children, both boys and girls, wore smocks for many years as a national requirement, although actual enforcement varied. The smocks were mostly blue with wide white collars. Most elementary schools in the late 1980s had parade uniforms with short pants. Nowdays its very rare to find a school with a shorts parade uniform even if it is an elementary school. A gym or physical education (PE) called "formes" was adopted in the 1970s, but in the 1980s became popular as ordinary schoolwear.

Photography

Greek photographer Giannis Patmios was born in Samos Island in 1906 and went to Athens in 1927. He first exposed his work in the International Exposition of Thessaloniki in 1938. He worked for full 42 years and took part in 462 International expositions in 37 countries with 94 of his photographs. He won several medals and awards along the years of his course. He is considered as the most hard working of all Greek photographers. He did some wonderful work on Greek schools and sdchool children.

Individual Schools

School portraits provide a great deal of information, both about education as well as popular fashion. We collect school portraots from all over the world because of the extensive information thant can be derived from these images because many countries did not have school uniforms. Thus every school portrait is a little record of popular fashions at the time. The images also offer us insights into varying national eduvation trends. At this time we have only a few Greek images. We have a school portrait taken in Mylopotamos, a vilage on Crete. It was probably taken during the 1910s. Hopefully Greek readers will help us expand this section.

Individual Comments

HBC has obtained some comments from Greeks about the school unforms that they wore. We incourage Greek readers to contribute their own personal comments about their school uniform.








Careful, clicking on these will exit you from the Boys' Historical Clothing web site, but several are highly recommended

  • Apertures Press New Zealand e-Books: Appertures Press has published three different EBooks about New Zealnd schools.
  • School Uniform Web Site: Informative review of British school uniforms with some excellent photographs
  • British Preparatory Schools: A photographic book depicting life at British preparatory schools during the 1980s. Most of the schools are English or Scottish, but schools in Italy, New Zealand, South Africa, and Ulster are also included. The pictures show the uniforms worn at many different schools.
  • British Prep School eBooks: Apperture Press has published six eBooks about different vaspects of British public schools. Volume I is a general assessnent. The other volumes deal with more specufuc aspects of the schools ahd school life.
  • Information: Information about school uniforms in America



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    Related Chronolgy Pages in the Boys' Historical Web Site
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    Created: April 24, 2002
    Last updated: 3:33 AM 10/10/2010