Greece: Breaking an Old Habit

A popular song urges Greek revelers:

"Ola spasta, ola kapsta [Smash all, burn all]." The notion obviously strikes a chord in the Greek soul. As viewers of the film Never on Sunday will recall, tipplers in the portside dives of Piraeus punctuate their drinking contests by breaking glassware, plates and occasionally furniture. In Athens' best clubs, people like Aristotle Onassis have been known to pay as much as $700 in damages for a single noisy evening of crockery tossing.

A well-smashed plate expressed approval of the local bouzouki music as well as the manly exuberance of the thrower—presumably well-fueled on ouzo,...

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